Do we have to verify the source of income of an investor before going into partnership with them?
April 8, 2016
Q: We are planning to start a school in India. Our intention is to start with a conducive learning environment to our Muslim children without compromising our ethics and values, which is totally missing in non-muslim institutions. Though the school is based on a business model, all investors have agreed to pay back 40% of the income to the welfare of the society. One of the brothers, who is working in an interest based bank in the IT department as a software professional, is keen to join this project. We do not know for sure if we can make a business contract with him. Further, he intends to give all the returns including the investment amount to the trust itself in charity. We want to know the clear answer before making a contract with him. Please help us to clarify the issues at the earliest:
1) Is his income halaal, as he is in a support role and not directly involved in business transactions and investments?
2) Can we accept him as an investor in this project?
3) Do we have to verify the source of income for other investors?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: 1. It is not possible to determine whether his income is lawful or not without a full description of his job role and without identifying whether the bank is Muslim owned or not. However, if it does transpire that his income is unlawful it may be given to the Trust without the intention of reward.
2. This depends upon the answer to question no.
3. You are not required to enquire as to the source of funds unless you have reasonable reasons for believing that they are unlawful. And Allah knows best. Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt Chair, Al-Qalam Shariah Scholars Panel