Islamic rulings on trade

‘Umrah-package on credit

Question 1: A person approached a travel agent for ‘Umrah but he was cheated. The person wishes to perform ‘Umrah even now but he feels reluctant due to the fraud. I want to make an offer to him saying that I will pay one hundred thousand rupees for two tickets and he will have to give me this amount after returning from the ‘Umrah. The actual charges of the tickets may range from ninety to ninety-five thousand rupees. Please provide Shar’i guidance to me in this regard.

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: There might be two cases in this question. First, you are making the offer of paying the expenses of his ‘Umrah on condition that he will give you the amount of expenses after returning from the ‘Umrah. If you do so for the purpose of showing kindness to him and doing him a favour, then in this case, you will receive the exact amount spent.

Second, it’s your business. The client was cheated by some other travel agent and he has now come to you. You are also a travel agent. You make it clear to him that the charges of ‘Umrah package are fifty thousand rupees per head. If there are two persons, the charges will be one hundred thousand rupees. You offer him to go to perform ‘Umrah and pay the charges later on after returning. This is also correct. In this case, it is not necessary for you to provide the package at cost but rather you may also earn a profit. If you suffer a loss, the client will neither be responsible for it nor be affected by it.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Taking anything in return for unpaid wage

Question 2: If a contractor does not pay the wages of labour, is it allowed to secretly take materials, tools, etc. of the contractor?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: In the situation mentioned above, it is better to claim wages from the contractor, approaching him, reminding him and making demands from him over and over again. If you take anything secretly, you will be blamed for it. First and foremost, there is no guarantee that the value of the thing you have taken is equivalent to your unpaid wage. Secondly, people will accuse you of theft. They will not realize that you have taken the thing in return for your unpaid wage. Therefore, you should not handle the matter in this way because it will cause quarrels.

However, the original ruling on such an issue is as follows. If a person does not fulfil the financial right of the other person and the other person gains his right in any permissible way, then the other person will not be punished for it in the Hereafter. It is stated in a footnote in volume one of Fatawa Razawiyyah: ‘For example, there is a person who owes one hundred rupees to another person but he does not pay it or there is no hope of the money being received from him for any other reason, then the other person may take any of the former’s things whose value is equivalent to one hundred rupees. These days, Fatwa has been issued on it. But the thing must really be of only one hundred rupees. If its value is more than one hundred rupees, even if only a single paisa [i.e. penny], then it is strictly Haraam.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 167)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Round figure

Question 3: We are fishmongers. Sometimes, a customer purchases, for example, 15 kilograms and 550 grams of fish or 15 kilograms and 100 grams of fish and he pays the full price. But if the weight of the fish is 15 kilograms and 70 or 75 grams, then he does not pay the price of 70 or 75 grams. The question is, should I receive the price of 70 or 75 grams of the fish or not? And, if the weight of the fish is 15 kilograms and 70 grams, then can I receive the price of 15 kilograms and 100 grams?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: The shopkeeper has the right to demand price even for a single gram of the sold item from the customer. Therefore, whether it is 10 grams or 100 grams or 200 grams, the shopkeeper may ask the customer for its price. If the customer bargains with the shopkeeper who willingly gives him a discount of some grams, then this is also correct. However, if the weight is 70 grams, then it is not permissible to receive the price of 100 grams without customer’s consent.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Selling goods in stock at new price

Question 4: I have a school uniform factory. Usually, I have cloth in stock. The price of cloth has recently risen. The question is, am I allowed to sell uniforms as per the new prices.

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: You are the owner of the goods you have in stock. And, the owner has the authority to sell his own goods at a low or a high price. However, you should sell them for affordable prices. Selling them for a very high price is contrary to morality. If you sell old goods in stock as per the new market prices, there is no harm in it. A’la Hadrat Imam of Ahl-us-Sunnah رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه stated: ‘Every person has authority over his goods. He may sell something worth a shilling[1] for a thousand pounds. It’s up to the buyer whether to buy it or not.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 17, pp. 98)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Government-fixed prices

Question 5: What do respected Islamic scholars say about the following issue? You have stated that one can sell his goods for any appropriate price but the problem is that the government imposes fines if we sell anything for a high price. What is the ruling on it?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: We have stated a Shar’i ruling. As far as price-fixing by the government is concerned, the government does not fix the price of everything. For example, the prices of clothes, soaps and oil are not fixed by the government. Usually, the prices of eating and drinking items are fixed. Similarly, the prices of petrol and medicines are also fixed. Violation of these fixed prices result in disciplinary actions. Apart from these things, sellers are free to sell most of other things at the price they wish. So, the government does not fix the price of everything. However, the things whose prices are fixed by the government must be sold at the government-fixed prices. You are bound to do that because you cannot present yourself to be disgraced. Therefore, violation of the law is not allowed but rather you will have to abide by the law on such an occasion. A’la Hadrat رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه stated: ‘It is also forbidden to present oneself to be disgraced by committing a crime.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 29, pp. 93)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم



[1] An old British coin.

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Islamic rulings on trade

In this modern era, people emphasize on the cleanliness of food and other items used frequently but they do not distinguish between Halal (lawful) and Haraam (unlawful). Islam has enjoined its followers to give importance to both of them. It means the edible items and the things around us should not be filthy apparently so that they may not make a negative effect on our physical health and on the other hand our livelihood should not have been gained through the unlawful sources so that we also remain clean spiritually.

Islam has not given a free hand to do anything to earn a living and even it shuts all the doors through which the laymen and inexperienced individuals are exploited which end up almost in a quarrel.

Following are the 14 etiquettes of trade. People can become successful in the world and Hereafter by acting upon them. Shari’ah has declared many of them necessary to be followed by every Muslim trader. Most of the Madani pearls have been taken from the great book of Imam Ghazali رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه, ‘Kimiya-e-Sa’adat’.

1     A trader should remind himself his good intentions daily in the morning in this way that he goes to the market so that he feeds his family with a lawful earning and they become independent of people, whereas, he saves some time to engage himself in worshipping Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, putting himself on the path of Hereafter. Moreover, he should also make this intention that he would deal with people with affection, sincerity and honesty as well as he would encourage them to do good and forbid evil. Apart from these good traits, he should also make an intention to question those who commit treachery.

2     A trader should learn the method of how to identify the counterfeit and original currency notes. He should neither receive counterfeit currency notes nor pass them to other Muslims so that the right of Muslims should not get violated.

3     If someone has given a trader a counterfeit currency note (and he is unaware of the whereabouts of the giver), he should not pass it to anybody else; (even if he identifies the one who has given him the counterfeit currency note, he should not also return it to him too but rather he should bury it so that that person may not cheat anybody else).

4     A trader should not excessively praise his goods; it is a lie and an act of cheating. If the purchaser is already aware about the qualities of goods, there is no need to give even permissible and correct praising to his goods because it is futile to do so.

5     A trader should not buy faulty goods for selling; if he does so, he should pledge that he would inform the buyer about this fault; if someone else cheats him, he will limit this loss to him alone, he will not cause others to suffer any loss because when he himself is condemning treachery, he should also save himself from this act so that people do not also reproach him.

6     A trader should buy the goods from the needy at a high price so that they also attain happiness.

7     A trader should not cheat in weighing and measuring but rather he should do it honestly.

8     Whether a trader reveals the real price of the product or not, it is up to him but he should not cheat the customer by telling him the wrong price.

9     A trader should not take too much profit even though his customer, due to any of his compulsion, has agreed to pay.

10   If any fault has developed in a trader’s goods, the trader should not hide it from the customer otherwise he will be a cruel and sinful person.

11  A trader should pay off his debt before the demand of the creditor and he should himself go to the creditor for paying the debt, instead of calling him.

12   In case, the other party is unsatisfied after the deal, the trader should cancel it.

13   The market of this world should not prevent a trader from going to the market of Hereafter. Masajid are the market of Hereafter.

14   A trader should not try to stay long in the market that he is the first one to go to the market and the last one to leave the market. (Kimiya-e-Sa’adat, vol. 1, pp. 326 to 340)

May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Grant us ability to carry out every kind of dealing and trade honestly and truthfully.

اٰمِيۡن   بِجَاهِ   النَّبِيِّ  الۡاَمِيۡن   صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ  عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

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