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Paying extra for a favor

Fatwaa ID: 509

Selam Alejkum va rahmetullah respected scholars, I pray this message finds you well. If I were to ask some friends to purchase some books for me online, and in return I would pay them back in cash at a slightly marked-up rate (for their time and the inconvenience) would it technically be impermissible considering they are making money giving me something they do not own? Would this be the case even though the only reason they are doing it is because I do not want any record of me having bought books from a certain place, and feel bad to ask for a favor without paying them back somehow?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of your query. We commend you for your desire to express your gratitude to them. Your situation is different than the prohibited case as it is unilateral. If they were to demand it from you by claiming that they are selling to you, then that would be impermissible. In the enquired situation, you are voluntarily giving them some extra money without them asking for it or expecting it. That is permissible. We suggest that instead of referring to it as a markup, you just give them a lumpsum amount as a token of appreciation.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

07/11/1444 AH – 02/02/2022 CE | AMG3-3287

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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