Is My Salary Haram If I Take Break at Work Longer than the Alloted Time?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Am I sinful if I take more than a 30-minute break in Ontario in my job, and is my money haram as in my previous job, I could have taken 30-minute and two 15-minute intervals? Sometimes I cool off and seek knowledge, and maybe I go over the 30-minute time and an hour, but I do my work, and I have heard no complaints from my managers and colleagues. Please advise.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is customary for employees to take small breaks here and there for multiple reasons: to go the bathroom, to get coffee, etc…

There is a customary time for such breaks that is overlooked by management.

If one fulfills their tasks and breaks within what is customary, there is no issue, primarily if the management does not raise any grievances with it.

However, if the breaks are excessive or more prolonged beyond the customary amount, this is disliked as it goes against the employee-employer agreement and the terms that were agreed on.

The Salary

As for the salary attached to the time wasted in the excessive breaks, this depends on the type of employment and whether one finishes their assigned tasks within the allotted time.

The Exclusive Employee

The exclusive employee is someone who is hired as an employee on salary and is not hired merely for a specific task or project. For example, an engineer for a telephone company or a CEO. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

This person is paid to free themselves up for a specific amount of time per week/month for any tasks their employer requires within their job description. If this employee fulfills their duty within the prescribed periods, they deserve their salary. [Ibid.]

The Contracted Employee

The contracted employee is hired merely to do a specific task. For example, a painter or a divorce lawyer. [Ibid.]

This employee deserves their pay if and when they finish the agreed upon service/task as agreed upon. [Ibid.]


It is permissible for you to take periodic breaks as long as you fulfill your work, your breaks are within what’s customarily allowed, and as long as your employer is either explicitly or implicitly okay with you doing so.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.