Question: A person rents a property and hires it out to someone else for a larger sum. Can this be done? What does the Shariah say about this? If this is not possible, then what other permissible option does the Shariah provide?
Answer: The jurists have described in detail this situation of taking something on hire and hiring it out to someone else. They have described the following cases in it.
a) Hiring out a rented place to someone else is permissible if the rent of this place is equal to or less than the rent fixed by the owner of the place.
b) If the tenant hires out the rented place to someone on a larger amount than fixed by the owner of the place, then giving away the extra amount in charity is Compulsory (Wajib).
c) If the tenant gets some repairs done to the property or adds a boundary wall to an open land or gets some doors fixed in the place or makes some kind of permanent renovation to the property, then he or she has the right to hire out the property for more than the amount fixed by the original owner. Also if the tenant hires out the property for rent in another currency (other than what the owner has to be paid in), he or she may take a bigger amount than what the owner has fixed.
d) The tenant cannot hire out the property for some purpose which may damage it.
As mentioned in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Kitaab Ul Ijaarah.
And Allah Most High knows best.
Mufti Hafidh Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri
[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]