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19. Agency (Wikālah)

Agency is the act of delegating a transaction (muʿāmalah) that a person has the right to perform himself to someone else so that he may perform the task on his behalf. The transaction may be a contract (ʿaqd) or a unilateral instigation (īqāʿ)1 or something related to these, such as handing over and taking possession of something. For example, a person may appoint an agent (wakīl) to sell his house for him or to marry him to a woman. Therefore, someone who is foolish with finances (safīh)2 cannot appoint an agent to sell his house for him as he does not have right of disposal over his property.

1 The difference between a ‘contract’ and a ‘unilateral instigation’ is as follows: with a contract, two parties are required – one to make the offer and the other to accept it. Marriage, therefore, is an example of a contract. In contrast, in a unilateral instigation, one party alone executes the transaction, as is the case with divorce.

2 Ruling 2091 provides further clarification of this term: it refers to someone who spends his wealth in futile ways.

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  • Ruling 2275

    To form an agency agreement, it is not necessary to say a particular formula (ṣīghah). Therefore, if a person conveys to someone that he has made him his agent and the other individual in turn conveys to him …

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  • Ruling 2276

    If a person appoints someone in another city to be his agent and sends him a letter of agency and the latter accepts, the agency is valid even if the letter of agency reaches him a while after …

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  • Ruling 2277

    The principal (muwakkil) – i.e. the person who appoints someone to be his agent – and the agent must both be sane (ʿāqil) and they must both have an intention (qaṣd) to enter into the agreement and do …

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  • Ruling 2278

    A person must not become an agent to perform a task that he is not capable of performing or is legally (sharʿan) prohibited from performing. For example, a person who is in the state of iḥrām3 for hajj …

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  • Ruling 2279

    If a person appoints someone to be his agent to perform all his tasks for him, it is valid. However, if he appoints him to be his agent to perform one of his tasks for him but does …

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  • Ruling 2280

    If a person deposes his agent – i.e. he discharges him from his duty – then once news of this reaches the agent, he cannot perform the task for which he was appointed. However, if he performs the …

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  • Ruling 2281

    An agent can discharge himself from the agency, even if the principal is absent.

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  • Ruling 2282

    An agent cannot appoint someone else to be his agent to perform the task that was delegated to him to perform. And if the principal authorises him to appoint an agent, he must act in the manner in …

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  • Ruling 2283

    If with the authorisation of the principal an agent appoints someone to be an agent for the principal, the agent cannot depose him. And if the first agent dies or the principal deposes him, the second agency does …

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  • Ruling 2284

    If with the authorisation of the principal an agent appoints someone to be an agent for himself, both the principal and the first agent can depose him. And if the first agent dies or is deposed, the second …

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