Is It Lawful to Be a Quantity Surveyor?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I am a relatively recent revert to Islam, Alhamdulillah, and my question pertains to the permissibility of a career path I am thinking of pursuing. I am looking at becoming a quantity surveyor. This job includes dealing with financial matters within construction, such as preparing bills for goods and sorting out client contracts. My main concern is that I believe construction companies use loans to fund their projects which involve riba (interest). Will I indirectly (or directly) participate in the unlawful in this regard?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

All praise belongs to Allah, Most High. May He shower His beloved, our Prophet, with His choicest peace, blessings, and salutations.

It is generally permissible to be a quantity surveyor. Riba (interest) is unlawful for the giver, the receiver, the scribe, and the witness, and if one’s job description involves those roles, such a job is generally unlawful. If one were to extend the prohibition beyond those roles, to any involvement, albeit distant, then we are all affected by Riba, and this was prophesized by our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). We are accountable for the sins we enable others to commit. We are not accountable for the sins people do that we are not involved with, and Allah knows best.

General Accountability of Sin

In general, one has no control over the actions of others and will not be held accountable by Allah for their deeds. Allah says: “And every soul earns not (blame) except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” [Quran 6:164]

Do Not Assist in Transgression

Allah says, “(…) And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Quran, 5:2]

Accountability for Enabling Sin

If our actions knowingly and intentionally enable or facilitate sinning for others, we incur a share of the blame. Allah says: “Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a share in the reward, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a share in the burden. And Allah is Watchful over all things.” [Quran, 4:85]

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed therein will bear his and the follower’s burden (of sin) without detracting from their burden. [Tirmidhi] – This applies whether the initiator is alive or not, and Allah knows best.

Widespread Riba

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A time will come upon people in which they will consume Riba.” It was said, “All of the people?” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever does not consume it will be affected by its dust.” [Aḥmad]

I pray that this benefits.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.