Ahkam in Brief - Purchase and Sale

A big part of our everyday time is utilized in shopping or trading with others. Due to its importance, this concept is discussed thoroughly in the Islamic laws. In this video learn some of the rules related to purchase and sale.

Ahkam in Brief. Purchase and Sale.

A big part of our everyday time is utilized in shopping or trading with others. Due to its importance, this concept is discussed thoroughly in the Islamic laws. In this episode, we will discuss some of the rules related to purchase and sale.

According to the Islamic laws, selling is the transfer of ownership of something from one person to another for a certain price. Firstly, let's review the characteristics of both the buyer and the seller.

They should each be saying, so an insane person is not permitted to transact. For a person who squanders, there are special rules. They should be at the age of puberty. In some specific situations, selling to a minor is allowed like selling to an authorized minor. They should be free and willing to trade. They should be the owners or lawfully authorized to buy or sell the goods like someone who has the right by proxy.

OK, now let's review the conditions regarding the goods and what is obtained in exchange.

First, the quantity, amount, weight, specifications, price and whatever affects the value, should be known to the buyer and seller.

Second, both the goods and what is exchanged should be posible and something that can be owned. For example, a fish while freely swimming in the ocean cannot be sold or purchased.

Third, both the goods and waters exchanged should be transferable. So what's lost or stolen cannot be traded.

Now, after knowing the conditions, we will commence a purchase. The first step is that the buyer and seller have to specify the goods and the price. For example, this book for 1000 dinar, the price could also be something else we exchange in return. For example, this book for ten pencils.

The second step is the offer and the acceptance. This means one of them should offer this trade and the other one should accept it. Verbal utterance is not required and any action that expresses such mutual consent is enough, like when the customer picks up something and pays the money, the seller also takes the money from him and accepted.

The third step is to exchange the goods and the price immediately after the agreement and on the same spot. If they have both agreed to postpone the exchange, there are different rules to be followed, depending on the type of the payment delivery and the type of the goods, there are four types of contract:

Cash contract. Cash contract is if both agreed to exchange goods right after the agreement.

Credit sale, credit sale is if both agreed to immediately deliver the goods and postpone the payment, the date of payment should be clarified. Otherwise the contract will be void.

Advance payment contract. Advance payment contract is the purchase of an item where only the specifications are defined before the sale, but not the exact item. And to be delivered later.

Sale of gold and silver against gold and silver. If gold is sold against silver or silver is sold against gold, the transaction is valid, but they should be exchanged immediately after the agreement. Otherwise it will become void selling of gold against gold or silver. Again, silver is only allowed if they are equal in the weight or amount.

An important note: did you know that there is a type of haraam Riba' in purchase? Riba' doesn't only occur in loans and interests. In some cases the purchase might be considered Riba', which is haram. For example, to sell a commodity which is sold by weight or measurement at a higher rate against the same commodity, like selling three kilos of wheat for five kilos of wheat, even if the quality is different, this is considered Riba' or usury, and it is haram. For more info, please refer to the Islamic Laws book.

Now a question. Is it possible to cancel a transaction? If yes, then how?

If a purchase is done, it cannot be cancelled except by the consent of both sides. In some specific situations, the buyer or the seller can gain the option or in Arabic khiyar of cancellation. Let's briefly review them.

Number one: option in delay. If one party does not pay or deliver on agreed time, the other party has the right to cancel.

Number two: option in Majlis or session. Both parties have the option to rescind the contract before they leave the contract, assembly or session.

Number three, option in being wronged or defrauded. If someone by mistake sells something for a very cheap price or the customer buy something for a very high price compared to its common price, or if deception has occurred, then the wronged party has the option to cancel. The wronged party must act as soon as he becomes aware.

Number four: option in observation. If the quality of goods at the time of delivery does not match what one was informed or sold before, the customer has the right to cancel.

Number five: option in defectiveness. If the goods supplied or what is paid in exchange is defective, either party has the right to cancel. The defect here should be something considerable and this option shouldn't be exercised as soon as one becomes aware of it.

Number six: option in stipulated conditions. If both parties agree that one or both or a third party is to be entitled to cancel the transaction within a limited time, then any party can cancel within that time frame.

And lastly, number seven, if the sold or exchanged item in the transaction was an animal, the person who takes it has the right to cancel the transaction within 3 days.

Some forbidden and haram sales:

It is haram to sell beer, liquors or any intoxicants. Even selling grapefruit to someone who makes wine from it is haram.

Selling pigs, known hunting dogs and dead najis animals is not allowed.

Lottery tickets, gambling tools like dice and chess.

Sale and purchase of things which are exclusively utilized for haram acts like haram musical instruments is not allowed. Even selling raw materials to one who makes them is haram.

Any trade with an oppressor such that it helps him in his oppression is not allowed.

Selling the Qur'an to a non-believer person who intends to insult it, is not allowed.

And finally, Ihtikar, which is monopolistic storing foods in order to control and raise the market price is haram.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this clip is based on the fatawa of the Grand Ayatullah Al-Sistani and is presented in a simplified form. Therefore, for the exact definition and explanation, please refer to the original sources or ask someone authorised to answer.