A Brief of Islamic Law


Halal (allowed) Transactions

  1. There are many Halal (allowed) deals and businesses, some are mentioned below:

(i) To sell and purchase intoxicating bevereges, non-hunting dogs, pigs, and unsalughtered carcass (as a precaution). Basides, if a permissible use of Najis-Ayn is possible, like, excrement and faeces being converted to fertilisers, its transaction is permitted.

(ii) Sale and purchase of usurped property, when required using it, like delivering or taking over.

(iii) Transaction with creditless money or counterfeil money, if the other side of the transaction does not know it. If he knows, however, the transaction will be permissible.

(iv) Sale and purchase of those things which are usually used for Halal (allowed) acts only, like, gambling tools.

(v) A transaction which involves fraud or adulteration, like, when one commodity is mixed with another, and it is not possible to detect the adulteration, nor does the seller inform the buyer about it, like, to sell ghee mixed with suet. This act is called cheating or adulteration (Ghishsh). The holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) said: If a person makes a deceitful transaction with the Muslims, or puts them to a loss, or cheats them, he is not one of my followers. And when a person chearts his fellow Muslim (i.e.sells him an adulterated commodity), Allah deprives him of Blessings in his livelihood, closes the means of his earnings, and beams him to himself. Ghishsh has several kinds like following:

  1. Mixing a good commadity with another, or with a bad commidity, e.g. mixing milk with water. 2. Giving good appearance to a commodity, like pouring water on old vegetables to appear new. 3. Changing the outward of the thing to another thing, like putting rolled gold, not allowing the buyer to know. 4. Hiding the commodity's defect when the buyer relies on the seller, in that he will not hide any defect.

  2. There is no harm in selling a Tahir thing which has become Najis, but can be made Tahir by washing it. And if it cannot be made Tahir with water, and its use does not require it to be Tahir, like some oils, its sale is permissible. In face, even if its use requires it to be Tahir, if it has subs tantialHalal (allowed) benefit, its sale is permitted.

  3. If a person wants to sell a Najis thing, he should inform the buyer about it, providing by not telling him, he might do something contrary to the rule of Shari'ah. For example, if he sells him Najis water which the buyer may require Wudu or Ghusl, and to offer his obligatory prayers, or he sells him something which he uses as foor or drink-in all such cases, the seller should inform the buyer. Of course, if the seller knows that it is no use informing the buyer who is careless, and does not care about Taharah or Najasah, that iti not necessary to inform.

  4. There is no objection to selling or buying the oils which are imported from non-Islimic countries, if it is not known to be Najis. And as for the fat which is obtained from a dead animal, if there is a probability that it belongs to an animal which has been slaughtered according t o Islamic law, it will be deemed Tahir, and its sale and purchase will be permissible, even if it is acquired from a non-Muslim or is imported from non-Islamic countries. But it is Halal (allowed) to eat it, and it is necessary for the seller to inform the buyer about the situation, so that he dose not commit any thing contrary to his religious responsibility.

  5. The purchase and sale of hide and skin which is imported from a non-Islamic country, or is bought from a non-Muslim, is permissible provided that one feels that the animal may probably be slaughtered according to Islamic lwa. And,Salat with it will be in order.

  6. Transaction of intoxicating drinks is Halal (allowed) and void.

  7. If a person has purchased a commodity on credit, and wishes to pay its price later from his Halal (allowed) earning or wealth, the transaction will be valid, but, he will have to pay the amount which he owes fromHalal (allowed) property, in order to be absolved of his responsibility.

  8. If a thing which can be used forHalal (allowed) purposes is sold with the intention of putting it to Halal (allowed) use, for example, if grapes are sold so that wine may be prepared with them, the transaction is Halal (allowed) However, if the seller dose not sell it with that intention, but only knows that the buyer will prepare wine with the grapes, the transaction will be in order.

  9. Making a human sculpture or that of an animal, as a precaution is Halal (allowed), but there is no harm in purchasing and selling it. However, painting human portraits or animals is permissible.

  10. It is Halal (allowed) to purchase a thing which has been acquired by means of gambling, theft, or a void transaction Provided that it is associated with its use, and if a person buys such a thing from a seller, he should return it to its original owner.

  11. If a seller sells a commodity which is sold by weight or measurement, at a higher rate against the same commodity, like, if he sells 3 Kilos of wheat for 5 Kilos of wheat, it is usury and, therefore, Halal (allowed). In fact, if one of the two kinds of same commodity is faultless, and the other is defective, or one is superior and the other is inferior, or if their prices differ, and the seller asks for more than the quantity he gives, even then it is usury and Halal (allowed). Hence, if a person gives unpoken copper or pass and takes more of poken copper and pass, or gives a good quality of rice, and asks for more of inferior kind of rice instead, or gives manufactured gold and takes a larger quantity of raw gold, it is usury and Halal (allowed).

  12. If the thing, which he asks for in addition, is different from the commodity which he sells, like, if he sells 3 Kilos of wheat against 3 Kilos of wheat and one Dirham cash, even then it is usury and Halal (allowed). In fact, if he does not take anything in excess, but imposes the condition that the buyer would render some service to him, it is also usury and Halal (allowed).

  13. If the person who is giving less quantity of a commodity, supplements it with some other thing, for example, if he sells 3 Kilos of wheat and one handkerchief for 5 Kilos of wheat, there is no harm in it, provided that the intention is that the transacton is not on cerdit. And if both the parties supplement the commidity with something, like 3 Kilos of wheat with a handkerchief is sold for 5 kilos of wheat and a hand kerchief, thereis no objection to it, provided the intention is that two kilos of wheat with the handkerchief on one side, was given for a handkerchief on the other.

  14. From the point of usury, wheat and barley are commodities of one and the same category. Hence, if a person gives 3 Kilos of wheat and takes in exchange thereof, 3-5 kilos of barley, it is usury and Haram-and if, a person purchases 30 kilos of barley, on the condition that the would give in exchange 30 Kilos of barley, on the condition that he would give in exchange 30 Kilos of wheat at the time of its harvest, it is Halal (allowed), because he has taken barley on the spot and will give wheat some time later, and this amounts to taking something in excess, and therefore Halal (allowed).

  15. Father and son, husband and wife can take interest from each other Similarly, a Muslim can take interest from a non-Muslim who is not under protection of Islam. But a transaction involving interest with a non-Muslim who is under protection of Islam, is Halal (allowed). But after the transaction is completed, and deal is closed, if payment of interest is permissible in the religion of that non-Muslim, a Muslim can receive interest from him.

  16. It is not permissible as an obligatory precaution, to shave the beard or taking wage for doing it, except when there is helplessness, or not doing it will result in harm or difficulty which is unbearable, even if because of being mocked or disgraced.

  17. Ghusl is Halal (allowed), and Ghusl means a vain word which is sung in such a manner that is fit for debauchery meeting. Also it is not permissible to recite Qur'an, supplications and the like, in this manner, and as an obligatory precaution, words other than these, should not be recited this way too. Listening to Ghina, and taking wages for it is Halal (allowed) either, and the wage taken in this way will not become one's possession. To learn and teach Ghina is not permissible. Music, i.e. playing with instruments of music will be Halal (allowed), when it is played in a manner which is fit for debauchery meetings, and otherwise it will not be Halal (allowed). Taking wages for playing unlawful musics is Halal (allowed) too, and it does not become the player's possession. To learn and teach unlawful musics is Halal (allowed) either.

Conditions of a Seller and a Buyer

  1. There are six conditions for the sellers and buyers:

(i) They should be Bàligh. (ii) They should be sane. (iii) They should not be impudent, that is, they should not be squandering their wealth. (iv) They should have a serious and genuine intention to sell and purchase a commidity. Hence, if a person says jokingly, that he has sold his property, that transaction is void. (v) They have not been forced to sell and buy. (vi) They should be the rightful owners of the commidity which they wish to sell, or give in exchange. Rules relating to these will be explained in the following.

  1. To conduct business with a child who is not Bàligh, and who makes a deal independently, is void, except in things of small value, in which transactions are normally conducted with the children who can discern.

  2. The father or paternal grandfather of a child and the executor of the father and executor of the paternal grandfather of a child, can sell the property of the child, and if these persons are not present and the circumstances demand, an Adil Mujtahid can also sell the property of an insane person, or an orphan, or one who has disappeared.

  3. If a person usurps some property, and sells it and after the sale, the owner of the property allows the transaction, the transaction is valid, and the thing which the usurper sold to the buyer and the profits accrued to it, from the time of transaction, belongs to the buyer similarly, the thing given by the buyer, and the profits accrued to it from the time of the transaction, belong to the person whose property was usurped.

Conditions Regarding Commodity and what is Obtained in Exchange

  1. The commodity which is sold, and the thing which is received in exchange, should fulfil five conditions:

(i) Its quantity should be known by means of weight or measure or counting etc. (ii) It should be transferable, otherwise the deal will be void. (iii) Those details of the commodity, and the thing accepted in exchange, which influence the minds of the people in deciding about the transaction, must be clearly described. (iv) The ownership should be unconditional, in a manner that, once it is out of his ownership, on other one foresakes his rights over it. (v) The seller should sell the commodity itself and not its profit. Details of these will come later.

  1. If a commodity is sold in a city by weight or measurement, one should purchase that commodity in that city by weight or measure. but if the same commidity is sold in another city at sight, one can purchase it in that city at sight.

  2. If the transaction has become void because of the absence of any of the aforesaid conditions, except the fourth, but the buyer and the seller agree to have the right of discretion over their exchanged commodities, there is no objection if they do so.

  3. The tranaction of a property which is Mawqufah (endowed) is void. However, if it is so much impaired, or is on the verge of being impaired, that it can not be possibly used for the purpose for which it was dedicated, like, if the mat of a mosque is so torn that it is not possible to offer prayer on it, it can be sold by the trustee or someone in his position. And if possible, as a precaution, its sale proceeds should be spent in the same mosque, for a purpose akin to the aim of the person who originally endowed it.

  4. There is no harm in buying and selling a property which has been leased out to another person. However, the leaseholder will be entitled to utilise the property during the period of lease. And if the buyer does not know that the property has been leased out, or if he purchases it under the impression that the period of lease is short, he can cancel the transaction when he comes to know of the true situation.

Cash and Credit

  1. If a commodity is sold for cash, the buyer and seller can, after concluding the transaction, demand the commodity and money from each other and take possession of it. The possession of immovable things, like, house, land, etc, and the movable things, like carpets, dress etc. means that the original owner renounces all his right over them, and hands it over to the opposite party with full right of discretion over it. In practice, the mode of delivery may vary according to the situation.

  2. When something is sold on credit, the period should be fixed clearly. If a commodity is sold with a condition that the seller would receive the price at the time of harvest, the transaction is void, because the period of credit has not been specified clearly.

  3. If a commodity is sold on credit, the seller cannot demand what he has to receive from the buyer before the stipulated period is over. However, if the buyer dies, and has some property of his own, the seller can claim the amount due to him from the heirs of the buyer, before the stipulated period is over.

  4. If a person sells a commodity on credit, and stipulates a period for receiving its price, and for example, after the passage of half of the stipulated period, he reduces his claim and takes the balance in cash, there is no harm in it.

Conditions for Contract by Advance Payment

  1. Purchase by advance payment means that a buyer pays the price of a commodity, and takes its possession later’Hence, the transaction will be in order, if, tor example, the buyer says: I am paying this amount so that I may take possession of such and such commodity after six months’, and the seller says’, I agree’ ,or the seller acepts the mon ey and says:’ I have sold such and such thing and will deliver it after six months.

  2. There are seven conditions of advance payment contract:

(i) The characteristic, due to which the price of a commodity may vary, should be specified. However, it is not necessary to be very precise, and it will be sufficient if it can be said that its particulars are known.

(ii) Before the buyer and the seller separate from each other, the buyer should hand over full amount to the seller, or if the seller is indebted by way of cash to the buyer for an equivalent amount, the buyer can adjust it against the price of the commodity, if the seller agrees to it. And if the buyer pays certain percentage of the price of that commodity to the seller, the transaction will no doubt be valid equal to that percentage, but the seller can rescind the transaction.

(iii) The time-limit should be stipulated exactly. If the seller says that he would deliver the commodity when the crop is harvested, the transaction is void, because, in this case, the period has not been specified exactiy.

(iv) A time should be fixed for the delivery of the commodity when the seller is able to deliver it, regardless of whether the commodity is scarce or not.

(v) The place of delivery should, as a precaution, be specified. However, if that place becomes known from their coversation, it is not necessary to mention the name.

(vi) The weight or measure of the commodity should be specified. And there is no harm in selling through advance payment contract, a commodity which is usually bought and sold by sight. However, for such a deal, one must be careful that the difference in the quality of individual items of the commodity must be negligibly small, like in the cases of walnuts or eggs.

(vii) If the commodity sold belongs to the category which is sold by way of weight and measure, then it must not be exchanged for same commodity. In fact, as an obligatory precaution, it must not be exchanged for any other commodity which is sold by weight and measure. And if the commodity sold is the one which is sold by counting, then as a precaution, it is not permissible to exchange it for the same commodity in increased number.

  1. If a person purchases a commodity by way of advance payment, he is not entitled, till the expiry of the stipulated period of delivery, to sell it to anyone except the seller, but there is no harm in selling it to any person after the expirty of the stipulated period, even if he may not have taken possession of it yet. However, it is not permissible to sell cereals like wheat and barley, and other commodities which are sold by weighing or measuring other than fruits, unless they are in possession, except that the buyer wishes to sell them at cost or lower price.

  2. If the commodity which the seller delivers is of inferior quality to that which was agreed upon, the buyer can reject it.

  3. If the seller delivers a commodity different from the one he had sold to the buyer, and the buyer agrees to accept it, there will be no objection to it.

  4. If a commodity which was sold by advance payment becomes scarce at the time when it should be delivered, and the seller cannot supply it, the buyer may wait till the seller procures it, or even cancel the transaction, and take the refund, but as a precaution, he cannot sell it back to the seller at a profit.

  5. If a person sells a commodity promising to deliver it after some time, and also agrees to take deferred payment for it, the transaction is void.

Circumstance in Which One Has a Right to Cancel a Transaction

  1. The right to cancel a transaction is called Khiyar (option to cancel a transaction). The seller and the buyer can cancel a transaction in the following ten cases:

(i) If the parties to the transaction have not parted from each other, though they may have left the place of agreement. This is called Khiyar-ul-Majlis. (ii) If the buyer or the seller has been cheated in a sale transaction, or in any other sort of deal either of the parties has been deceived, they have a right to call off the deal. This is called Khiyar-ul-Ghabn. (iii) If while entering into a transaction, it is agreed that up to a stipulated time, one or both the parties will be entitled to cancel the transaction. This is called Khiyaru-sh-Shart. (iv) If one of the parties presents his commodity as better than it actually is, and thereby attracts the buyer, or makes him more enthusiastic about it. This is called Khiyar-ut-Tadlis. (v) If one of the parties to the transaction stipulates that the other would perform a certain jod, and that condition is not fulfilled. Or if it is stipulated that the commodity will be of particular quality, and the commodity supplied may be lacking in that quality. In these cases, the party which laid the condition can cancel the transaction. This is called Khiyaru Takhalluf-ish-Shart. (vi) If the commodity supplied is defective. This is called Khiyar-ul-Ayb. (vii) If it transpires that a quality of the commodity under transaction is the property of a third person. In that case, if the owner of that part is not willing to sell it, the buyer can cancel the transaction, or can claim back from the seller the replacement of that part, if he has already paid for it. This is called Khiyar-ush-Shirkah. (viii) If the owner describes certain qualities of his commodity which the buyer has not seen, and then the buyer realises that the commodity is not as it was described, the buyer can rescind the deal. Simlarly, if the buyer may have seen the commodity something back, and purchases it, thinking that the qualities it had then will be still existing, and if he finds that those qualities have disappeared, he has a right to cancel the deal. This is called Khiyar-ur-Ru'yan. (ix) If the buyer does not pay for the commodity he has bought for three days, and the seller has not yet handed over to him the commodity, the seller can cancel the transaction. But this is in the circmstance when the seller had agreed to allow him time for deferred payment, without fixing the period. And if the seller had not at all agreed on deferred payment, he can cancel the transaction at once, without any delay. And if he had allowed him more than three days credit, then the seller cannot rescind, the deal before the termination of three days. if the commodity is perishable like fruits, which would perish or decay in less than three days, the respite is less. This is called Khiyar-ut-Ta'khir. (x) A person who buys an animal, can cancel the transaction within three days. And if a person sold his commodity in exchange for an animal, he can also cancel the transaction withing three days. This is called Khiyar-ul-ayawan.

  1. If a buyer not know the price of the commodity, or was unconcerned about it at the time of purchase, and buys the thing for higher than usual price, he can cancel the transaction if the difference of price is substantial, and if the difference is established at the time of apigation. Otherwise, the buyer cannot cancel the deal as a precaution. Similarly, if the seller does not know the price of the commodity, or was heedless about it at the time of selling, and sells the thing at a cheaper price, he can cancel the deal if the differen is substantial and if other conditions mentioned above obtain.

  2. In a transaction of conditional sale, for example, a house worth $2000 is sold for $1000, and it is agreed that if the seller returns the money within a stip ulated period, he can cancel the transaction, the transaction, the is in order, provided that the buyer and the seller had genuine intention of purchase and sale.

  3. In a transaction of conditional sale, if the seller is sure that even if he did not return the money within the stipulated time, the buyer will return the property to him, the transaction is in order. However, if he does not return the money within the stipulated time, he is not entitled to dement the return of the property from the buyer. And if the buyer dies, he (the seller) cannot dement the return of the property from his heirs.

  4. If a person mixes in demand the ferior tea with superior tea, and sells it as a superior tea .buyer can cancel the transaction.

  5. If a buyer finds out that the thing purchased by him is defective, like, if he purchases an animal and finds that (after purchasing it) it is blind of an eye, and this defect existed before the transaction was made, but he was not aware of it, he can cancel the transaction and return the animal to the seller.

And if it is not possible to return it, for example, if some change has taken place in it, or it has been used in such a manner that it cannot be returned, the difference between the value of the sound property and the defective property should be assessed, and the buyer should get refund in that prortion of the amount paid by him to the seller. For example, he has purchased something for $4 and finds out that it is defective. Now the price of the thing in perfect faultless state is $8 and that of deficient is $6, the difference between these two prices will be assessed at 25%. The buyer will be paid 25% of what he actually paid, and that will be one dollar.

  1. In the following two cases the buyer cannot cancel the transaction because of defect in the property purchases by him, nor can he claim the difference between the prices:

(i) If at the time of purchasing the property, he is aware of the defect in it. (ii) If at the time of concluding the contract, the seller says, I sell this property with whatever defect it may have. But, if he specifies a defect and says, I am selling this property with this defect, and it transpires later that it has some other defect as well, which he did not mention, the buyer can return the property due to that defect, and if he cannot return it, he can take the difference between the prices.