The Precepts of Deputyship
Deputyship is defined as the act of delegating a task to someone else, in matters wherein one possesses the right of discretion, and personal involvement is not a consequential in its validity, such as delegating the task of selling one’s house to another person, or marrying him to a woman.
Hence, since a feeble-minded person has no right of discretion over his own property, he may not deputize someone to sell it for him without the permission of his guardian. Similarly, a person who has been interdicted by a ¦¡kim al-shar’yy from disposing of his property owing to bankruptcy, may not deputize someone to dispose of his property without the permission or consent of his creditors.
2309. The act of deputyship does not require the utterance of a formal expression. Therefore if a person conveys to another that he has deputized him, and the other person also conveys that he has accepted it, such as a person giving his property to another to sell it for him, and the other also accepts possession of it, the deputyship will be in order.
2310.If a person deputizes someone who is in another city, and sends him a letter of deputyship, and the latter accepts, the deputyship will be in order even if the letter of deputyship reaches him after a while.
2311. The deputy and the one who appoints him, must both be sane, and must enter the relationship intentionally and out of their own volition, and should not be wrongfully compelled to do so.
Additionally, being b¡ligh is also a consequential condition in the one who appoints a deputy. However, a child who is not yet b¡ligh may appoint a deputy in matters which he is permitted to carry out himself, such as a ten year old child who has the right to make a will.
2312. A person may not appoint a deputy to perform a task that he is not capable of performing, or is prohibited by the shari’a from performing it. For example, since a person who is in the state of ihram in Hajj is not permitted to pronounce the formal expressions of a marriage contract, he cannot become a deputy to pronounce the formal expression for someone else.
2313. If a person deputizes someone to perform all of his tasks, it will be in order. However, if he appoints him to perform one of his tasks, but fails to specify that task, the deputyship will be void, unless he leaves it at the discretion of the deputy to specify the task. For example, he may say to him, “I appoint you as my deputy to sell my house or rent it out, which ever you of the two you wish to do.”
2314. If a person deposes his deputy, once the news reaches the deputy, he may not perform the task that he was deputized for. However, if he performs it before the news reaches him, it will be in order.
2315. The deputy may abdicate the deputyship, even if the one who appointed him is absent.
2316. A deputy may not appoint a deputy to perform the task that he was appointed to perform. However, if the one who appointed him permits him to appoint a deputy, he may act in the manner that he instructs him. Therefore, if he states, “Appoint a deputy for me,” he must appoint a deputy for him, and cannot appoint a deputy on his own behalf.
2317. If a deputy appoints a deputy for the one who appointed him (the first deputy), he cannot depose him. If the first deputy passes away, or is deposed by the one who appointed him, the second deputyship will not be voided.
2318. If a deputy appoints a deputy on his own behalf with permission from the one who appointed him, the one who appointed the first deputy and the first deputy himself may both depose of the second deputy. However, if the first deputy dies or is deposed, the second deputyship will be voided.
2319. If a person appoints a group of deputies to perform a task, and permits each of them to act solitarily, any one of them can perform that task. In the event that one of them passes away, the deputyship of the others is not voided.
However, if he fails to specify whether they must perform it together or may perform it solitarily, or if he specifies that they must perform it together, they may not perform it solitarily. In the event that one of them passes away, the deputyship of the others is voided.
2320. If the deputy or the one who appointed him passes away, the deputyship is voided. Similarly, if the item which one was deputized to dispose of, perishes, such as the sheep that one was appointed to sell dies, the deputyship will be voided.
Should one of them become insane or lose consciousness, it is problematic to claim that the deputyship is voided in a manner that the deputy would not be able to perform the task even after the individual regains consciousness or regains his sanity, and would need to be deputized anew.
2321. If a person appoints a deputy and agrees to remunerate him, he must remunerate him according to the agreement upon the completion of the task.
2322. If the deputy is not negligent in safeguarding the property that has been placed in his possession, and does not dispose of it in a manner other than what he was charged with, and incidentally the property perishes, he will not be responsible for its replacement.
2323. If a deputy is negligent in safeguarding the property that was placed in his possession, or disposes of it in a manner other than what he was charged with, and the property perishes, he will be responsible for it. For example, if he was charged with selling a piece of clothing, and instead chooses to wear it, whereby ruining it, he must provide its replacement.
2324. If the deputy exercises discretion over the property in a manner that he was not authorized to do, such as wearing a piece of clothing that he was deputized to sell, and thereafter he exercises the authorized discretion over it, it will be valid.