Agreeing with the Taxi Driver not to Pay Fees
Fatwa No: 371134

  • Fatwa Date:21-2-2018 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 6, 1439
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Question

I live in the UAE, where whenever a person takes a taxi from Sharjah to Dubai, there is a 20 Dirham toll that the taxi company charges the customer. Now a few years ago, there were some journeys I took (from Sharjah to Dubai) where sometimes the driver himself suggested that he would take me to Dubai without charging the 20 Dirham toll. He would simply not plug the charge into the meter. Other times I suggested to the taxi driver to take me to Dubai without charging the 20 Dirham toll, and he agreed. The issue is that this money belonged to the taxi companies, and not to the driver or to me. So it is a form of stealing & deception, because the taxi company did not waive the 20 dirham toll in any of those instances.I was investigating how to go about returning the money, or to give it in charity on behalf of the taxi companies. However, I got two different opinions (from scholars) on whether I should in fact pay at all. a) One opinion is that since I was the customer, it is my responsibility to return the money to its rightful owners (the taxi companies), or give it in charity on their behalf. The taxi driver was merely an agent (or intermediary) between myself and the taxi company, and is therefore not responsible to pay anything.b) The second opinion is that I do not have to pay anything because the driver (being the employee of the company) was the responsible party. He knew full well what the rules of the company are, and as their employee, he made the decision to agree with my suggestion (or in some situations initiated the suggestion himself) and not charge the 20 Dirham toll. The scholar who gave this opinion said that the driver might have done so to meet his monthly target (or for whatever other reason), and that I was not responsible to return any money to the taxi companies.Could you please advise which opinion is the correct one, and what I should do?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You should not have asked the driver to stop the taxi meter or have accepted him doing so, even without you asking him, as long as you knew his intention behind it. This is because the taxi driver would be cheating the company and consuming their money unjustly. Indeed, we are forbidden from cooperating with sinners and unjust people. Allah says (what means): {… but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Quran 5:2]

The scholars stated that taking money from those who took it (from their owner) by force, or by stealing it, or by transgressing other people’s rights, is like them [in sin] as long as one knows that they transgressed the right of others. The driver does not have the right to do what he did and is not entitled to take you without charging.

Therefore, your cooperation with him is forbidden, and you have to pay the taxi fees to the company. It is not sufficient to donate the money in charity on behalf of the company as long as it is possible to deliver the money to them, even if it is in an indirect way. But if it is impossible to do so, then you may spend it in charity while intending the reward for the company.

Allah knows best.

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