In the name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. Blessings and peace be upon the noblest of the Messengers, our Master Muhammad.
In the previous episode, we have discussed some of the etiquette and guidelines that Muslim individual has to adopt while conducting his financial transactions. That is because Islam came to organize the life of humanity along with its different nations and transactions. Amongst the matters that we come to know in the previous episode is that selling and buying is prohibited in some cases such as:
Trade transactions are not to be concluded in a time or a place in which transactions are prohibited such as doing them after the second call of Jumu‘ah (i.e. Friday Prayer) or if selling and buying divert one from catching prayer in congregation. The same ruling applies to selling prohibited commodities in themselves because when Allaah The Almighty prohibits something, He, Exalted be He, then prohibits its price such as selling dead things, pork, idols, intoxicants and drugs and their different forms such as drinks, foods, pills or the like. They also include selling and buying the prohibited musical instruments and the indecent tempting images that they include and lead to fornication and sinning. Also, this include all what may be used in a prohibited matter or will lead to it such as selling grapes to make wine from it or the like.
In this episode, we will review some of the forms of the prohibited trade transactions such as:
- Selling what is not in seller’s possession. This is prohibited by the Hadeeth narrated by Hakeem ibn Hizaam, may Allaah be pleased with him, in which the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Do not sell that which you do not have.”
Accordingly, it is not permissible to sell except what is in your possession. That is because the one who sells a commodity for someone while he does not have it and then go to buy it and deliver it for the buyer, then the prohibition made in the reported Hadeeth was occurred.
Thus, the one who wants to sell such commodity has to have it in his possession (i.e. in his shop for example) and then sells it afterward. So, what we hear of selling commodities that the seller does not possess and then sells and buys as if he owns this commodity, all of such things and the like is not allowed to be bought or sold for the Hadeeth stated above.
- Another type of prohibited trade is that called ‘Eenah, in which a seller sells a commodity on credit to a buyer and then buys it from him at the same time at a lower price. For example, a trader sells a commodity for a certain price (i.e. twenty thousand pounds) on credit then buys it from the same man (who has just bought it) for fifteen thousand pounds cash.
This kind of selling is prohibited as it is mere fraud and one of the forms of Riba (i.e. usury, interest, etc.). In this way, the seller sells a sum of money on credit for another greater one in cash, making the commodity just a means of fraud and a means of Riba. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “If you sell to one another with ‘Eenah, hold the tails of cows (i.e. become occupied with worldly gains), become pleased with agriculture, and give up Jihaad (fighting in the Cause of Allaah), Allaah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return (i.e. adhere) to your religion.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].
Amongst the other forms of prohibited trade transactions is the Gharar (ambiguous) transactions which are the transactions in which the sold item is not known. Thus, the buyer has to know the sold item well because this is a condition for making transaction valid. So the buyer and the seller have to know well the commodity and the price.
- Another type of the prohibited trade transactions is to sell the faulty product while hiding its fault for this implies fraud and deception. There is absolutely no doubt that this form of transactions is prohibited for it causes harm to the buyer. It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.”
Hiding faults and fraud are really forms of deception and it was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “He who deceives us is not one of us.”
Here is an example to make things clearer: One sells a faulty car and pretends before the buyer that it is free from all defects and does not points this out for the buyer. This is really cheating and fraud and the seller has committed a prohibited matter. Amongst the other forms of prohibited transactions is that one raises the price of a commodity while he does not want to buy it. This actually implies lying regarding the real value of selling. For example, the seller says, I have bought it for such as such price while he is lying, or says, this commodity is called such and such while he is lying. All of this is to deceive the buyer. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Do not envy one another, do not hate one another, do not artificially inflate prices, do not undercut one another. Be, O slaves of Allaah, brothers.”
Thus, all what is like this is prohibited and impermissible.
- Prohibited trade transactions also include that Muslim cancels the sale of his fellow Muslim for it was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “You must not try to cancel the sales of one another.”
For example, a Muslim seller may say to a customer who has paid a hundred pounds for an item from another seller I can sell you a similar piece for only eighty pounds and cancel the contact with the buyer at the time of option.
There is absolutely no doubt that selling and buying bring about much of envy, hatred, and grudge among Muslims. All of such things are prohibited and thus Muslim individual has to keep away from them and the means that lead to them.