Islamic rulings on trade

Shar’i method of investment in livestock

Question 1: What do the blessed ‘Ulama state regarding the following matter: We purchase an animal for 25,000 rupees and give it to someone to rear it. When the animal fully grows, it is sold out. Half of the money is taken by the rearer and half is taken by the one who had purchased and gave it in the custody of the rearer. Is it permissible in Islam or not?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: This method is not permissible because in this case, the remuneration of the rearer for his work is ambiguous. Generally, when two people work together in livestock business, animals belong to one person and the second person rears them to earn a livelihood, but in case there is a Shar’i mistake [in the method of work], their contract and earnings can become permissible according to Shari’ah provided that they work by employing the correct method.

The following is its permissible method: Make the rearer also the owner of the animal, i.e. sell half of the animals to him on credit, agreeing to receive money after a long time. Now, since both of you are the owners of these animals, whatever benefits will be received through it and similarly, the money which will be received by selling it will belong to both of you. For understanding it in a different way, suppose an animal has been purchased for 20,000 rupees. The buyer makes the second person, i.e. rearer also the owner of the animal in 10,000 rupees even though the rearer does not have the money for payment immediately which he needs to make at becoming the owner of the animal. Since this selling has taken place on credit, the rearer will make its payment afterwards. The time for receiving payment for this sale on credit should be such that it is close to the approximate time when the animal is to be sold; for example, if it is known that the animal will be sold after two years, fix two years for the payment. Then, for example, this animal is sold for 80,000 rupees after two years, both of them will receive 40,000 rupees and the rearer will pay 10,000 rupees as the payment due on him. In this way, he earned a profit of 30,000 rupees. In the meantime, if the animal gives birth to babies, both the buyer and the rearer will be their owners as well. It is necessary to be cautious about one thing in this matter that if the rearer feeds the animal by purchasing fodder, he alone will not bear its cost; in fact both of them will bear it.

It is stated in Bahar-e-Shari’at: A person who owns a cow gives it to someone else to rear and feed it, and both of them will be the owner of each half of the calf which will be born, then this partnership is also Faasid [defective]; the calf will belong to the one who owns the cow. The other person will be given fodder similar to what he has fed the cow and he will get Ujrat-e-Misl [the usual amount of money for this job] for rearing and other work. For the permissibility of such partnership, sell half of the cow, goat, hen, etc. to the other person. Then, since both of them have become partners in the ownership of these animals, the babies [of these animals] will also be owned by both of them. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, pp. 512)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Receiving additional amount of money from a company by having a fake bill made for expenses

Question 2: What do the blessed ‘Ulama state regarding the following matter: In the company where I work, I need to travel a lot for work. If I need to stay at a hotel during travel, company has restricted me to staying in a hotel which costs at most 1,500 to 2,000 rupees. Is it permissible if I stay in a hotel which costs less, for example, 500 to 700 rupees, and I have a bill of 1,500 rupees made?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: If your company gives you this amount of money as an allowance that wherever you stay, even if you sleep on a footpath, or stay at a hotel or somewhere else, you will receive 1,500 rupees anyway, it will be permissible to take this allowance and you also don’t need to have a bill made for this purpose.

However, the need for having a bill made is an indication that your company does not follow this method; in fact, the company has placed a limit of 2,000 rupees that the expenses within this limit will be met by the company. If the amount is 1,000 rupees, it will give 1,000 rupees, and if it is 1,500 rupees, the company will give 1,500 rupees. In this case, it is not permissible for you to have a bill made of the amount more than you have spent, and receive more amount of money from the company. In fact, you will become a treacherous person and the additional amount which you will receive will be Haraam wealth.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Giving bribe to a purchaser

Question 3: What do the blessed ‘Ulama state regarding the following matter: If an employee of a shop comes to us to purchase something and every time we give him twenty or thirty rupees for his expenses so that he purchases goods only from us the next time, is it permissible to do so?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: It is bribe because you are giving him money only for the reason that he purchases goods only from you, not from anyone else; so it is not permissible to give this money.

Regarding a case similar to the question asked, A’la Hadrat, Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه has stated: Bay’ ‘بیع’ [sale and purchase contract] will take place between this person (who is selling goods at station) and buyers. This person (who has made a contract to sell goods at the station) gives money to the railway management just for the purpose that no one except him sells goods [over there]; according to Shari’ah, it is purely a bribe. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 19, pp. 558)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Ruling on giving a treat on promotion

Question 4: What do the blessed ‘Ulama state regarding the following matter: A person has to give a treat on a promotion in an office; is it permissible?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: If friends mutually arrange a meal for each other with mutual agreement on a promotion, etc. or normal circumstance, it is permissible. There is no harm if sometimes one person arranges a meal and sometimes the other with mutual understanding provided that they do not embarrass each other. However, if there is such a situation that others will embarrass a person in case he does not arrange a meal and he unwillingly arranges a meal to remain safe from embarrassment, this meal will be regarded as a bribe.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

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Islamic rulings on trade

There is no harm in purchasing on low price by bargaining without lying etc. It is permissible if a trader quotes a high rate but he should not tell a lie by saying: ‘It costs me such and such amount or I have purchased it for such and such amount etc.’ There is no harm in reducing the price after quoting a high price. Imam Ibn Seereen رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه said: ‘A man can mention price on the product whatever he wills.’ He رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه said about himself: ‘I mention price on the product so that I may bargain.’ So he would sell his product below the mentioned price, for example, he would sell his product for 9 after mentioning 10 pounds. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, pp. 134, Hadees 3)

Similarly, a customer should check the product thoroughly and bargain for the price reduction as negotiating for the price reduction is also an act of Sunnah of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

Bargaining for price reduction is an act of Sunnah

Sayyiduna Suwayd Bin Qays رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ said: I, accompanied by Sayyiduna Makhrafah ‘Abdee رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ, (for business purpose as a business partner) came to Makkah Mu’azzamah from Hajar, carrying cloths. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم came to us. He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم made a bargain for buying a pyjama and set a price and we sold it to him. There was a person who used to weigh (dirhams) for a wage. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said to him: ‘Weigh [these dirhams] and give a little more.’ (Abu Dawood, vol. 3, pp. 332, Hadees 3336)

Paid more price than the agreed amount

There was no currency note system at that time like it is nowadays, and dirham was a common currency and it would take very long time to count the dirhams, so they would be paid after weighing.

By the above-mentioned blessed Hadees, we learn about the kindness and favour of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم that he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم paid a higher price than the agreed price. Buying something at a higher price causes a loss whereas paying a higher price than the agreed amount is a favour (to the seller). So, the loss is bad but favour is good. Moreover, it is also learnt that going to shop, not paying the demanded price of the trader but rather bargaining for price reduction is an act of Sunnah. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 304)

A’la Hadrat رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه said: ‘It is better to negotiate for the price reduction but rather it is a Sunnah act except for the thing that is bought for Hajj travel. It is better to give whatever is demanded for the things purchased for the Hajj travel.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 17, pp. 128)

Loss of intelligence

A trader came in the court of Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ and he started bargaining with him. Upon this, the trader said to him: ‘I have learnt something else about you.’ He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ asked him: ‘What have you learnt about me?’ He said: ‘I have learnt about your kindness and favour.’ He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ said: ‘Leave it! Kindness and favour are done without any return and I would not do any act which surely causes loss to intelligence.’ (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunyah, vol. 7, pp. 465, Raqm 284)

When once Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ came to blessed Madinah, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ started bargaining with a non-believer and stopped at 500000 dirhams but the non-believer started insisting on 600000 dirhams. He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ further increased 50000 dirhams. The Jew said: ‘O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen! I have learnt that you would give even 1000000 dirhams to anybody in one Majlis [gathering] whereas you are bargaining [here].’ He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ said: ‘There is a matter of [the loss of] intelligence. You want to cheat me! Regarding giving money to someone in one Majlis, it is an act of righteousness.’ (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunyah, vol. 7, pp. 466, Raqm 289)

Act of foolishness

Imam Ibn Abid Dunya رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه narrated a saying that nobody should become angry at this thing that when it is commented about him: ‘So and so is wiser than you’ because you have been cheated by him in buying and selling goods because the trade is a different thing and carrying out an act of kindness is something else.(i.e., by buying something at a higher price, one should not think that he has carried out an act of kindness to the seller but rather it is [an act of] foolishness. When buying something, one should bargain and get the price reduced as much as possible.) (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunyah, vol. 7, pp. 465, Raqm 285)

Sayyiduna Imam Hasan رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ said: ‘One who buys something at a higher price neither deserves appreciation nor attains any reward.’ (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunyah, vol. 7, pp. 465, Raqm 283)

Buying goods at higher price from the poor and weak people

Imam Ghazali رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه said: When buying anything from the weak (i.e., woman or elderly people) or poor and needy person, etc. one should buy at a higher price making it comfortable and easy for him [the poor seller]. This is an act of virtue and such kind of person will be considered to be the one for whom the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, ‘May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ grant kindness to the person who makes [things] easy in buying and selling’. (Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 6, pp. 50, Hadees 795)

Buying goods at a higher price from any rich trader is not any act worth-appreciating but rather it is wastage of money without any appreciation and reward.

(It is further stated) The matchless act is that one should neither cheat anybody nor be cheated. A great quality of Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen Sayyiduna ‘Umar Farooq-e-A’zam رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ is stated that he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ would not cheat anybody and he was also so sensible that no one could cheat him. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 2, pp. 102, 103; summarised)

It is Du’a to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ that He عَزَّوَجَلَّ grant us ability to get the price reduced when buying with the intention of [acting upon the] Sunnah and grant us the privilege to do a favour by buying [things] from the poor and the weak at a higher price.

اٰمِيۡن   بِجَاهِ   النَّبِيِّ  الۡاَمِيۡن   صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ  عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

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