Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: If a Muslim is providing an essential service, like everyone else, he is allowed to charge for his services; he is also allowed to make a reasonable profit unless he has advertised or presents his service as a charitable service. If the last mentioned is not the case, then the income and profits he derives from such services shall be deemed as lawful so long as he does not over charge.

How should such person rendering these services determine whether his charges are reasonable? It should be determined by studying the market conditions for such services. He should ask what the normal charge for similar services in the community is. He should look into the religious communities and not in the secular communities. If there are comparable services in the Muslim community, then he should consider such services as setting the standard for measuring the allowable percentage of profits. If there are others providing exactly the same kind of services he is offering, then his charge should be comparable to theirs.

It is important for those who provide such services to be up front with their business policies and methods, and present themselves as accountable and transparent in their business practices. In Islam, everyone is accountable, and therefore, it is important to be open about such matters. This is what is required of service providers, but the community also has a responsibility towards such service providers: it is not allowed to judge anyone based on speculation and hearsay and pass judgment on people without evidence. We should give others the benefit of the doubt and seek to judge others as we ourselves would like to be judged.

May Allah make us all steadfast witnesses of truth and justice for sake of Allah. Ameen.

Allah Almighty knows best.