Rules regarding Ju'ala (payment of reward)
2226. Ju'ala means that a person promises that if a particular work
is completed for him, he will give a specified amount for it. For example, he
declares that if anyone recovers his lost property, he will give him $10. One
who makes such a declaration is called Ja'il, and the person who carries out
that work is called 'Amil.
One of the differences between Ju'ala and Ijara (hire) is that, in the case of "hire", the hired person is bound to do the job after the agreement, and the hirer becomes indebted to the hired person for his wages, whereas in the case of Ju'ala, the person who agrees to do the job is at liberty to abandon it if he so wishes; and until he completes the job assigned, the person who declared the reward or payment does not become indebted to him.
2227. A person who declares the payment or reward should be adult and sane, and should have made it with his free will and intention, and should have the right of disposal and discretion over his property. Therefore, the declaration by a feeble minded person who squanders his property indiscreetly is not in order. Similarly, a bankrupt cannot declare any reward or payment from that part of wealth over which he has not right of discretion.
2228. The task for which the declaration was made by the employer should not be haraam, futile, or one of those obligatory acts which should necessarily be performed free according to Shariah. Hence, if a person declares that he will give $10 to a person who drinks alcohol, or traverses a dark passage at night without any sensible purpose, or offers his obligatory prayers, the employment will not be in order.
2229. It is not necessary for the employer for Ju'ala to specify the
reward he would give with all its particulars. If the employee, in this case,
is certain that he would not be taken for a stupid or foolish person if he undertook
the assignment, it is sufficient.
For example, if the employer in Ju'ala tells a person that if he sells a particular stock or goods for more than, say, ten dollars, whatever is the excess will be his. This form of Ju'ala is valid. Similarly, if he says that whosoever finds his horse, that person will own half of it, or that person will be awarded ten kilos of wheat, Ju'ala will be in order.
2230. If a person does not at all mention the amount of reward which he would give for his work - for example, if he says: "I shall give money to the person who finds out my son", and does not specify the amount of money, and if some one performs the task, he should pay him according to what is customarily paid for such tasks.
2231. If the employee in Ju'ala performs the task before the agreement is made, or performs it after the agreement, but with the intention that he will not take any money, he is not entitled to demand wages.
2232. The person who makes a Ju'ala agreement can cancel it before the person employed starts to work.
2233. If the person wishes to cancel the Ju'ala agreement after the employee has started work, it is a matter of Ishkal.
2234. A person appointed to work in Ju'ala can leave the task incomplete.
However, if his failure to complete the task causes harm to the person who appointed
him, he must complete it.
For example, if a person says: "If someone operates upon my eye I shall give him so much money" and a surgeon commences the operation. If by not completing the operation, the eye will be defective, he must complete it. And if he leaves it half way, he has no claim, whatsoever, over the person who employed him.