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Sharing of Loss

In the case of loss in musharakah financing, all the Muslim jurists are unanimous on the point that each partner shall suffer the loss exactly according to the ratio of his investment. Therefore, if a partner has invested 40% of the capital, he must suffer 40% of the loss, not more, not less, and any condition to the contrary shall render the contract invalid. There is a complete consensus of jurists on this principle.

Therefore, according to Imam Shafi’i, the ratio of the share of a partner in profit and loss both must conform to the ratio of his investment. But according to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad, the ratio of the profit may differ from the ratio of investment according to the agreement of the partners, but the loss must be divided between them exactly in accordance with the ratio of capital invested by each one of them. It is this principle that has been mentioned in the famous maxim:

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Profit is based on the agreement of the parties, but loss is always subject to the ratio of investment.


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