Q&A (Fatwa)

#143: Ruling on Permissibility of Transactions

” Assalaamu alaykum. May Allah put baraka in your efforts. Please we need an answer to this question 👇A person wanted to purchase an item from a seller, and made a deposit of 6000. The seller could not get the item immediately so it took about 5 month for the seller to get the item, so on going to pay the balance (the cost price of the item was 8000) there was a disagreement over the initial deposit made. The seller said the deposit made was 1000 while the buyer maintains that it was 6000. There was no documentation (receipt) for the deposit paid as the transaction was based on mutual trust (they are both Muslims) and it wasn’t anticipated that the transaction would take such a long time to complete. How do they resolve the issue amicably? Please it is kind of urgent. JazaakAllāhu khayran”_


Wa alaykum Salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh
: Alhamdulillāh. May Allah bless you too āmīn.
: This transaction goes against the Islamic Rule of transactions on three basis:
1. Allāh – ta’ālā – asked us to write down our transactions saying:
: يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا تداينتم بدين إلى أجل مسمى فاكتبوه وليكتب بينكم كاتب بالعدل
_”O you who believe, whenever you exchange debts between yourselves to an appointed time, then put it down in writing, and let a Scribe write that down with justice…”_
And the exchange of debts here includes every transaction that involve deposit payment as in the case you referred to
This is because Allāh – ta’ālā – made an Istithnā (exemption from the General Rule) in the close of the verse when He said:
إلا أن تكون تجارة حاضرة تديرونها بينكم فليس عليكم جناح ألا تكتبوها
_”Except if it be a present transaction wherein exchange took place between you. In that case, there is no harm on you if you do not record it…”_
Thus, the parties involved would have written it down
2. Allāh – ta’ālā – ordered that we take witnesses when doing such transactions by saying:
وأشهدوا إذا تبايعتم
_”And call upon witnesses whenever you transact”_
: Its purpose is to forestall such eventualities
3. It is wrong for a Muslim to sell an item he doesn’t already possess
This is because Islām is against any form of transaction that involves obscurity and middlemen who inflate prices.
Having said that, what has been mentioned of the Shar’ī regulations in the three points above do not vitiate any transaction made that doesnt conform with them.
Rather, whosoever makes such a transaction fails himself in eventualities such as that you described.
That’s because in the same verse, Allāh – ta’ālā – gave the reason saying:
وَلاَ تَسْأَمُوْاْ أَن تَكْتُبُوْهُ صَغِيرًا أَو كَبِيرًا إِلَى أَجَلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللّهِ وَأَقْومُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ.. {البقرة:282}
_”And do not be bored of recording it, small or big, to its appointed term. That is more just in the sight of Allāh and more upright for testimony”_
It only means that if this matter were to reach the Qādī in the Muslim Court, the Case would be ruled in favour of the ‘Seller’ because the Buyer is not able to tender a shred of evidence in his Claim
: The Rasūl – salallāhu alayhi wasallam – said:
البينة عاى المدعي واليمين على من أنكر
_”Clear evidence is upon the Claimant and the Oath is upon the Defendant”_
But as long as you said that the transaction was based on mutual trust, the only amicable way for them here is either for them to refer the matter to a person that is mutually respected by both parties
Or the ‘buyer’ takes the loss because the Original Ruling (Al-Asl) is that he gave him nothing.
Bārakallāhu fīkum.
18th Rabiul Awwal 1438AH

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