Mudarabah – Distribution of Profit

It is necessary for the validity of mudarabah that the parties agree, right at the beginning, on a definite proportion of the actual profit to which each one of them is entitled. No particular proportion has been prescribed by the Shariah; rather, it has been left to their mutual consent. They can share the profit in equal proportions, and they can also allocate different proportions for the rabb-ul-mal and the mudarib. However, they cannot allocate a lump sum amount of profit for any party, nor can they determine the share of any party at a specific rate tied up with the capital. For example, if the capital is Rs. 100000/- they cannot agree on a condition that Rs. 10000/- out of the profit shall be the share of the mudarib, nor can they say that 20% of the capital shall be given to rabb-ul-mal. However, they can agree on that 40% of the actual profit shall go to the mudarib and 60% to the rabb-ul-mal or vice versa.

It is also allowed that different proportions are agreed in different situations. For example the rabbul-mal can say to mudarib, “If you trade in wheat, you will get 50% of the profit and if you trade in flour, you will have 33% of the profit”. Similarly, he can say “If you do the business in your town, you will be entitled to 30% of the profit, and if you do it in another town, your share will be 50% of the profit.”

Apart from the agreed proportion of the profit, as determined in the above manner, the mudarib cannot claim any periodical salary or a fee or remuneration for the work done by him for the mudarabah.

All the schools of Islamic Fiqh are unanimous on this point. However, Imam Ahmad has allowed for the mudarib to draw his daily expenses of food only from the mudarabah account.

The Hanafi jurists restrict this right of the mudarib only to a situation when he is on a business trip outside his own city. In this case he can claim his personal expenses, accommodation, food, etc., but he is not entitled to get anything as daily allowances when he is in his own city.

If the business has incurred loss in some transactions and has gained profit in some others, the profit shall be used to offset the loss at the first instance, then the remainder, if any, shall be distributed between the parties according to the agreed ratio.

Source: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, An Introduction to Islamic Finance. Republished with permission.
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