Charges for Job done by Hour
  • Question:

    I have a job as a web programmer/designer. Customers ask me how many hours it will take to make a certain website or script, so I give them an estimate time (based on how long I think the project will take me) and we agree on a price per hour. My question is that if I tell them it will take 10 hours to complete the website and if it takes me 7 hours to complete, charging them for 10 hours, will the money be halal? One thing also to consider that is sometimes it might take more than 10 hours, maybe 20, etc. and I am only charging them for 10 hours. Please tell me the correct ruling with regards to this.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. Your concern regarding good business practices is praise worthy.

    In response to your concern, it must be noted that the ruling depends on how you are communicating to your clients. If you make a statement, for example saying, “This kind of work takes approximately ten hours and I will charge you for ten hours” then it would be permissible. However if you are deliberately lying or cheating someone, then it would be Islamically incorrect.

    The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The one who cheats is not of us (meaning not following our path)” (Muslim)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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