Musharakah - Distribution of Profit

The proportion of profit to be distributed between the partners must be agreed upon at the time of effecting the Musharakah contract. If no such proportion has been determined, the contract is not valid in Shariah.

The ratio of profit for each partner must be determined in proportion to the actual profit accrued to the business, and not in proportion to the capital invested by him. It is not allowed to fix a lump sum amount for any one of the partners, or any rate of profit tied up with his investment.

Therefore, if A and B enter into a partnership and it is agreed between them that A shall be given Rs 10,000/- per month as his share in the profit, and the rest will go to B, the partnership is invalid. Similarly, if it is agreed between them that A will get 15% of his investment, the contract is not valid. The correct basis for distribution would be an agreed percentage of the actual profit accrued to the business.

If a lump sum amount or a certain percentage of the investment has been agreed for any one of the partners, it must be expressly mentioned in the agreement that it will be subject to the final settlement at the end of the term, meaning thereby that any amount so drawn by any partner shall be treated as ‘on account payment’ and will be adjusted to the actual profit he may deserve at the end of the term. But if no profit is actually earned or is less than anticipated, the amount drawn by the partner shall have to be returned.

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