Laws of trade

Ruling on making an employment contract for selling goods

Question 1: What do the blessed ‘Ulama [Islamic scholars] and Muftis [Islamic jurists] state regarding the following matter: Zayd is getting a job at a shop which sells goods on instalments. The details of salary are as follows: If he does marketing and contributes to a sale worth 400,000 in a month, he will receive a salary of 25,000 rupees, and if the sale is less than it, he will receive a salary of 1,000 rupees for a sale worth 100,000. Moreover, he will receive the salary in the same ratio if the sale is less or more than it. Is this job permissible or not?

Note: The employment contract will not be for “one’s time” but for “one’s work”; there will be no restriction on time. Moreover, there is also a condition [for the customer] of paying fine if the instalment is delayed.

Questioner: Muhammad Mohsin (Markaz-ul-Awliya, Lahore)

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

It is not permissible to do a job according to the way mentioned in the question. Firstly, employment contract in this case has been made for selling goods, i.e. if the employee sells goods worth 100,000, he will receive 1,000 rupees and if he sells goods worth 400,000, he will receive 25,000 rupees (in the same way, there are cases of selling less or more than it). Making an employment contract for selling goods is not permissible as it is something beyond one’s power. Secondly, the condition laid down of paying a fine because of a delay in instalment is also not permissible because fine has been declared to be Mansookh [abrogated] and acting on Mansookh is Haraam [prohibited].

It is stated in Durr-e-Mukhtar, Tabyeen-ul-Haqaaiq, etc.

(والنظم للتبیین) ’’لو استؤجر بأجرۃ معلومة علی ان یشتری او یبیع شیا معلوما لا تجوز الإجارۃ لانہ استؤجر علی عمل لا یقدر علی اقامتہ بنفسہ فإن الشراء والبیع لا یتم الا بمساعدۃ غیرہ وھو البائع والمشتری فلا یقدر علی تسلیمہ‘‘

Translation: If someone is employed at a fixed salary for buying or selling goods, this employment contract is not permissible because he has been employed for doing the work which is beyond his power. It is because buying and selling does not get completed without another person’s effort and another person is a buyer or a seller; therefore, the employee has no power to give the required benefit.

(Tabyeen-ul-Haqaaiq, vol. 5, pp. 67)

With reference to Al-Bahr-ur-Raaiq, it is stated in Rad-dul-Muhtar: ‘فی شرح الآثار التعزیر بالمال کان فی ابتداء الاسلام ثم نسخ’ Translation: It is stated in Sharh-ul-Aasaar that Ta’zeer-bil-Maal [fine] was [allowed] in the early days of Islam but then it was declared to be Mansookh [abrogated]. (Rad-dul-Muhtar, vol. 4, pp. 61)

It is stated in ‘حاشیە شلبی علی تبیین الحقائق’: ‘العمل بالمنسوخ حرام’ Translation: It is Haraam [prohibited] to act upon Mansookh. (Haashiyah Shalbi ma’ Tabyeen-ul-Haqaaiq, vol. 4, pp. 189)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Islamic ruling on buying and selling on an unknown profit

Question 2: What do the blessed ‘Ulama state regarding the following matter: I am a cloth trader who employs the following method: My maternal uncle purchases cloth from another country and pays out of his own pocket. I buy that cloth from him on credit and it is already mutually agreed that I will pay him its cost at which he has purchased along with half of the profit earned after selling it. Is it correct to do so? If there is a fault in this method, kindly tell us the solution as well.

Questioner: Muhammad Arshad Attari (Markaz-ul-Awliya, Lahore)

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Your act of purchasing cloth from your maternal uncle in this way is impermissible and a sin, and it is a Faasid [defective] Bay’ [بیع] [sale and purchase contract]; terminating it is compulsory for both of you. It is because the price of cloth is unknown in this method. You have fixed two things as the price: (1) The price at which your maternal uncle has purchased the cloth. (2) Half of the profit you earn. The profit you will earn is unknown; therefore, this is a Faasid Bay’. Mentioning the conditions of the “correctness of Bay’”, it is stated in Bada`i’-us-Sana`i’ [بدائع الصنائع]: ‘ان یکون المبیع معلوما وثمنہ معلوماTranslation: One condition of the “correctness of Bay’” is that Mabee’ (i.e. the thing being sold) and its price is known. (Bada`i’-us-Sana`i’, vol. 5, pp. 156)

It is stated in Muheet Burhani: ‘جھالة المبیع أو الثمن مانعة جواز البیع’ Translation: Not knowing Mabee’ [i.e. the thing being sold] or Saman [ثمن] [i.e. the price at which it is being sold] is an obstacle to the permissibility of Bay’. (Muheet Burhani, vol. 6, pp. 363)

Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated:

وکل شرط فاسد فھو یفسد البیع وکل بیع فاسد حرام واجب الفسخ علی کل من العاقدین فان لم یفسخا اثما جمیعا وفسخ القاضی بالجبر

I.e. A Faasid [i.e. incorrect] condition makes the Bay’ Faasid [i.e. defective] and every Faasid Bay’ is Haraam; terminating it is Wajib [compulsory] for both, the buyer and seller. If they do not terminate it, both will become sinners, and the Qadi should forcefully make them terminate it.

(Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 17, pp. 160)

Its solution is as follows: Buy cloth from your maternal uncle at a fixed price by fixing a time period [for payment]; for example, if the cloth has cost him 5,000 rupees, you may purchase it from him on credit in 5,500 or 6,000 rupees, agreeing to pay the price on the 31st day. Whatever price is mutually agreed upon, it should be fixed and the date of payment should also be fixed; then your act of buying cloth is permissible.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Islamic ruling on selling something worth a rupee at ten rupees

Question 3: What do the blessed ‘Ulama and Muftis state regarding the following matter: Is it permissible to sell something worth a rupee at ten rupees?

Questioner: Muhammad Mohsin Attari (Markaz-ul-Awliya, Lahore)

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

[While selling things,] if there isn’t any unlawful act (such as telling lies, deceiving others, etc.), it is permissible to sell something worth a rupee at ten rupees with mutual agreement because the blessed Shari’ah has not placed any limit on profit. Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was asked: ‘Is it permissible to sell something worth four cents at a double or triple price?’ He رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه answered: ‘(This case and the previous one) both are permissible provided that one neither tells a lie nor deceives someone; for example, one says that something has cost him 4.25 cents after including all expenses but actually it has cost him 3.75 cents, or he tells the correct cost but changes the selling item, so he has deceived someone; these cases are Haraam, otherwise there is no harm in setting a high or low price of something.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 17, pp. 139)

However, the appropriate way is to take the same profit which people usually take because people less often buy something from someone who takes a high profit and they also speak against him.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

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Laws of trade

Nowadays everyone wants that his business flourishes and he makes remarkable progress. It is obvious that business grows when there is a flow of buyers and they also keep becoming permanent customers.

Let’s read 8 ways of making a buyer a permanent customer:

1. Good manners

Possessing the quality of good manners is also a great blessing of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Everybody in general and the businessman, in particular, should try to have good manners for the sake of the pleasure of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Another advantage of good manners is that courteous person is seen with honour in society and people also respect such kind of person. Good manners hold a most significant place in the progress of business and the attitude of businessman towards customers is of great importance. So, read carefully the following tips:

٭ Learn to have the patience to hurtful remarks of customer and his act of finding unnecessary faults with items.

٭ Develop a habit of bearing criticism, it strengthens a person.

٭ Talking to the buyer with a soft and friendly manner creates a strong possibility of making him his permanent customer.

٭ Sometimes it happens that some people visit shops only for information, so, give importance to them, provide them with correct guidance instead of showing anger as well as answer to their questions politely. Though they are not buying items at the moment, however, dealing them with politeness may draw them back to the shop, making them a permanent customer.

2. Selling products at low price

Selling the product at a high price is not sin but if the product is sold at a low price when people are already distressed by inflation, they will get some support and resultantly new buyers will come and become permanent customers gradually, leading one’s business to thrive. Through selling goods at a low price, while the new buyers will become the permanent customers, there are also a lot more benefits of it, for example, if a businessman purchases goods directly from the company in bulk in case of a high sale, the company will give him incentives and commissions and even scheme prizes. If he purchases goods from wholesalers, they will also take great care of him because they give immense importance to big shopkeepers. Subsequently, when a good number of customers will come at one’s shop, there will be a need of employees to share the load, leading to creating employment opportunities,اِنْ شَآءَ اللہ عَزَّوَجَلَّ.

3. Do not sell defective items

Selling defective items not only brings about a loss in Hereafter but also it causes worldly loss. Here is a well-known quote stated by someone, ‘Start selling defective items when you want to destroy your business’. The acts of selling defective items frequently end up in arguments and quarrels between shopkeepers and customers making a public spectacle in the market and damaging shopkeepers’ reputation.

4. Selling good quality products

If a good quality product is sold to a customer, he remembers the shopkeeper for a long time. Though the product is expensive, he forgets its price, but not the quality. Food items of some restaurants are expensive and these restaurants are also located at a long distance; despite that, people prefer to eat food items of such restaurants because they sell good quality items so the shopkeepers should maintain the high quality standard of their products thereafter they can observe how buyers become their permanent customers.

5. Work in an efficient manner

Whatever work people choose, they should do it sincerely in an efficient and skilful manner. Buyer will be happy to see the work done wholeheartedly and will become a permanent customer.

The Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said, ‘Best earning is the earning through hand provided that the worker works with sincerity.’ (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, pp. 231, Hadees 8420)

‘Allamah ‘Abdur Ra`oof Manaawi رَحْمَۃُاللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہ said, ‘Working with sincerity refers to ensuring cleanness and durability while manufacturing [a product], avoiding treachery; fulfilling the due rights of one’s skill and art without focussing on the amount of wages. It is the very thing that brings about blessings whereas going against it causes mischief and evil consequence. (Fayd-ul-Qadeer, vol. 3, pp. 635)

Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ said to His beloved Nabi Sayyiduna Dawood عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام regarding making suits of armour:

اَنِ اعۡمَلۡ سٰبِغٰتٍ وَّ قَدِّ رۡ فِی السَّرۡ دِ

That make large suits of armour and keep proper measure while making.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 22, Surah Saba, Ayah 11)

Loops of armour suits should be same and appropriate. They should not be too small or too large.

(Siraat-ul-Jinaan, vol. 8, pp. 122)

6. Manufacturing product as per required order

As per the nature of some works, products are made to order such as furniture, jewellery, eyeglasses etc. So, the product of the buyer should be manufactured according to the required standard as per order. It will lead to satisfaction and the buyer will also visit again happily otherwise if the product is not manufactured as per required order of the buyer, it will lead to argument and quarrel; buyer will distrust the shopkeeper and he will never visit the shop again. When a shopkeeper receives an order from his customer, he should also take his contact number for easiness because sometimes product of required order becomes unavailable in the market, so, in this situation, customer can be contacted and after taking him into confidence, product of some other quality can be manufactured whereas, if a shopkeeper does not have any contact number of customer, and the customer reaches him at appointed time then shopkeeper will feel ashamed for not preparing customer’s product on time and customer will be annoyed. If there are other customers present at the shop at that time, feelings of dissatisfaction will spread amongst them too and it may lead to affect the business badly.

7. Providing quick and better service

Providing quick and better service regarding the ‘products made to order’ is likely to play an important role in making a customer permanent. A customer becomes very happy when he receives a quick service with a good quality product. Good relationship of shopkeeper with skilled worker is also beneficial to him because sometimes a customer is in hurry as in case he has to leave for some other city etc., and he needs his product urgently, so, in this situation, if a shopkeeper has good relationship with skilled workers and they provide a quicker service with good quality product despite a sufficient workload then it will also be very helpful in the progress of one’s business.

8. Commitment

If punctuality of time is not followed regarding the ‘products made to order’ and carelessness is shown in fulfilling the promise, customer deeply suffers mental anguish because he also has his own tasks. He approaches the shop giving up his routine activities and sometimes he also reaches through transport spending money on fare or petrol. When he does not receive his product at the committed time, he develops the feelings of great distrust and he may not visit the shop again despite receiving the product of good quality.

May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ also enable us to act upon the blessed Seerah [biography] of pious people.

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ

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