I work for a company from 9am to 5pm with a few breaks in between. There are times that I simply dont have much work, during that time I use my phone to get other work done (I have an online business where I sell things). My boss doesn’t really mind as I get my work done on time, he is quite happy with my performance.
Does this constitute as cheating? If so is the wage that I am paid Halaal or am I to return the money to my employer.
We understand from the query that you are working for an employer who is paying you for your time (from 8am to 5pm in your case), and not according to the amount of work done for the day. The Fuqaha have explained that a full-time employee deserves his full salary at the end of the month by dedicating his time for work during the specific hours of employment. By presenting himself during the allocated time and doing his best to do the requested tasks from his employer, he is fulfilling the signed and agreed upon contract between him and his employer. His salary will be considered Halal and it will not be incumbent for him to return any money to the employer.
They further explain that without the permission from the employer, it will not permissible for a full-time employee to carry out any kind of work like working for someone else or doing his own business besides the job for which he was employed . They even went to the extent of saying that it will only be permissible for him to perform the obligatory prayer (Fardh Salaah) and not even his Nawaafil Salaah during that specific time.
If he involves himself in other work during that time without the permission of the employee, then it would be advisable for him (lest he not be taken to task by Allah Ta’ala) to return a portion of his salary back to the employer, or alternatively he can make up for that amount of time that he spent in other work. This is because he knows that by doing private work during the working hours, he is not deserving of the full salary.
In the case when the matter has been discussed with the employer and he expressly gives his consent, it will be permissible for the employee to carry out other private work during his time of employment.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.
و هو من يعمل لواحد عملا مؤقتا بالتخصيص و يستحق الاجر بتسليم نفسه في المدة و ان لم يعمل قوله و ان لم يعمل اي اذا تمكن من العمل – رد المحتار ص69 ج6