I have been sent overseas to study and I am also an employee. The system is supposed to give me half of the salary I get in Saudi, but until now they have been giving me the salary in full. Please note that I have done everything that is required to tell the company so that they will deduct half of the salary. What should I do? Please note that they may discover that later on, then they will deduct it from future salaries, as happened to my colleagues. Is this money halaal or haraam? Should I tell them about it? Please note that I am worried that the person who made this mistake will be punished.
Praise be to Allaah.
If the system dictates that you should have half of the salary whilst you are overseas, it is not permissible to you to take anything more than that. What you have to do is tell those who are in charge, regardless of whether the person who made the mistake will be published or not.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: I am an employee working in a government department and sometimes they pay us overtime without us having worked overtime and without us having attended for work, and they regard that as a bonus for employees from time to time. Please note that the head of the department is aware of that and approves of it. Please advise us, may Allah reward you with good: is it permissible to take this money? If it is not permissible, what should I do about money that I have taken in the past, which I have disposed of? May Allah reward you with good.
He replied: If the situation is as you have described, that is wrong and is not permissible; rather it is a betrayal. You have to give back whatever you have taken in this manner to the state funds. If that is not possible, that you have to give it in charity to poor Muslims or to charitable projects; you also have to repent to Allah, may He be glorified, and resolve sincerely not to do that again, because it is not permissible for a Muslim to take anything from the bayt al-maal (treasury) of the Muslims except in legitimate ways that the state knows of and approves of. And Allah is the source of strength.
End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 19/344
And Allah knows best.
-- Islam QA