We know that it is sunnah to bargain in business and shopping. Will you give information regarding the issue?

The Details of the Question

- What are types of buying and selling and the decrees about them according to Islam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The price of the goods is determined after the seller and buyer agree, that is, after bargaining. It is halal to bargain. It is not halal to demand an excessive price or to offer a too low price. While the buyer and seller are bargaining, it is not permissible for another buyer to bargain. Abdullah b. Umar states that the Prophet (pbuh) forbade another person from bargaining while two people were bargaining. (Bukhari, Buyu, 58, Muslim, Buyu, 14)

It is also haram to increase or decrease the price without the intention of purchasing the goods, thereby harming third parties; cheating and secret agreements made in auctions are also haram. All these deeds are called “najsh: deception” in our religion; they were forbidden by the Prophet (pbuh). (Bukhari, Buyu, 64, Muslim, Buyu, 14)

A deal to buy and sell occurs when both parties approve it mutually, that is, through offer (ijab) and acceptance (qabul). It can be said that a sale occurs when one party gives the goods and the other gives the money or something valuable to each other.

People have to exchange goods to a certain extent in order to make a living in their worldly life; it is called ‘obtaining sustenance’.

God Almighty states the following in the Quran:

“It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes...” (al-Mulk, 67/15).

What is meant by traversing through the earth’s tracts is to extract the blessings that are beneficial to people and to do research for it. Allah Almighty made the earth a place of obtaining sustenance for people. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith narrated from Abdullah b. Mas’ud:

“It is fard for every Muslim to work in order to obtain sustenance.” [al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar, İst. 1980 Çağrı Yay. 4/170; Ibn Sulayman, Majmuaul-Anhur (Sharhu Damad) İst. 1316 Mtb. Amira, 2/527]

Accordingly, Muslims have to pay attention to halal and haram and provide sustenance for themselves and their family members. However, while trying to obtain sustenance, Allah’s consent and the limits set by Him must be observed. Hz. Abu Bakr’s statement “Only hellfire suits a body that is fed with haram” expresses the Muslim’s understanding of obtaining sustenance and buying/selling in the best way. We know that the Companions abandoned even doubtful things in order to do halal business and to stay away from harams. A Muslim who is engaged in trade should know the main points of all the rules of Islam regarding trade. It is fard for every Muslim to know those decrees at a minimum level in order to be able to carry out the daily buying and selling in a way with which Allah will be pleased.

According to Islamic fiqh, it is ‘fard’ for a Muslim to earn enough money to provide sustenance for himself and his family, and to pay his debts, if any. In addition, it is ‘mustahab’ to earn money in order to meet the needs of poor believers and to help one’s relatives. It is ‘mubah’ to work for more than that in order to lead a good and prosperous life. It is ‘haram’ to earn money in order to show off to others, to try to compete with someone else in terms of wealth due to worldly greed, to indulge in debauchery even if that earning is halal. On the other hand, it is regarded a deed of worship to work hard and to earn money with a sincere intention in order to contribute to the fight against unbelief and to spend one’s wealth in the way of Allah. A person who works and earns money for that purpose is considered to be worshipping constantly.

Likewise, Islam forbids a person who can work and earn money from begging. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:

“I swear by Allah that it is better for one of you to take a rope and tie a bundle of wood from the mountain and sell it to provide sustenance for himself and his family rather than ask others. The person you ask may give you something and you will be indebted; or he may not give you anything and you will feel degraded.” (Bukhari, Musaqah, 13, Zakah, 50, Buyu’, 15; Ibn Majah, Zakah, 25; Ibn Hanbal, I, 167).

Accordingly, it is not legitimate for anyone who can work to beg.

The most virtuous way of obtaining sustenance in Islam is trade/merchantry after jihad (booty). They are followed by agriculture and then artisanship/trade. In all those ways of obtaining sustenance, buying and selling are in question.

In fact, the goods that meet the needs of people are agricultural or industrial products. Therefore, some economic systems do not allow people to earn income by means other than agriculture and industry. However, the production of goods is not enough to meet people’s needs. The need is met only through delivering the produced goods to those who need them. It is not possible for the farmers or industrialists to deliver the goods they produce to those who need them. If we think of our country, it is necessary for a factory to open branches in many places in order to deliver the goods it produces to its consumers.

On the other hand, it is impossible for consumers to establish a direct relationship with the producer in order to obtain the goods they need. Therefore, there is a need for a service sector that will bridge the gap between the goods and the consumer, that will bring them together and eliminate the abovementioned drawbacks; but that service has to obtain a certain profit for it. And that is the “Trade Sector”.

Islam considers that trade, which is done with the understanding of serving people, as legitimate and acceptable. Allah Almighty states the following about trade:

“... Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury...” (al-Baqara, 2/275)

“A reliable and honest Muslim merchant is together with martyrs on the Day of Judgment.” (Ibn Majah, Tijarat, 1)

The hadith above states that honest trade will make a merchant gain a lot of thawabs.

According to Islam, trade is the exchange of a valuable thing (goods) for another valuable thing (goods) or money. The purpose our religion imposes in trade is not to earn at all costs, but to serve people by providing them with useful goods they need, and to make a normal and legitimate profit through it.

A legitimate trade must have the following properties:

1) The consent of the buyer and seller,
2) Mutual goodwill and honesty,
3) The trade must not harm one of the parties or others.

The Qur’an mentions those qualities, which must exist in trade, as follows:

“O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful! If any do that in rancor and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for Allah.” (an-Nisa, 4/29-30)

The essence of buying and selling is offer and acceptance like in other contracts. Offer and acceptance are made orally, in writing and by sign. Expressions used in offer and acceptance must be certain like the seller’s saying, ‘I have sold or given you this product’ and the buyer’s saying, ‘I have bought or accepted it’. The statements of the seller are called offer, and the words of the buyer are called acceptance.

It is better to determine the sales contract in writing in trade. A document will be ready in case of disagreement. When offer and acceptance take place, the deal becomes definite; there is no right of unilateral withdrawal. However, the buyer or the seller may give up the deal while bargaining continues. Shopping becomes complete when the goods are received. Thus, the buyer gets the goods and the seller gets the money.

Deals (buying and selling) are divided into three types in terms of decree: sahih (sound), fasid (invalid) and batil (wrong).  

1. Sahih deals: The trade of things that are in accordance with the religion (in terms of material and quality) are sound. For example, the sale of something that is permissible to use in terms of religion according to its conditions.

2. Fasid deals: If the quality of the goods sold is not in accordance with religion, this type of sale is fasid. For example, selling an uncertain sheep by saying “a sheep from the herd”. In fact, it is permissible to sell sheep. However, since it is not known what kind of sheep (quality) is sold in the sale mentioned above, the deal becomes fasid.

3. Batil deals: If the goods sold have a property contrary to Islam, the sale of such goods is batil. Selling goods and commodities that are haram to be used, eaten or drunk such as alcohol and pork is a forbidden type of deal in Islam.

Types of Deals (Buying/Selling) in Terms of Their Price:

1. Bay’: Selling goods in return for money is called bay’. Most of the deals take place like that.

2. Sarf: Exchanging money is called sarf.

3. Mubadala: Exchanging goods is called mubadala. It is also called “barter” and “swop”.

4. Salam: The trade in which money is paid in advance and the goods are delivered later is called salam. Some conditions are necessary for salam, which is a deal that farmers and industrialists generally do, to be permissible. A person in need of money wants to sell his property before he gets it. The religion of Islam permits such sales under certain conditions in order to prevent the buyer from buying goods cheaply by taking advantage of the financial need of the seller, and to allow the producer to sell his goods at a good price. When the Prophet (pbuh) went to Madinah, he saw that the people of Madinah sold their crops to Jews one year or two years before they got their crops. Thereupon he said,

“He who wants to sell his dates in advance should sell it for a specified measure and weight and for a specified period.” (Muslim, Musaqah, 25)

Since salam is the sale of a non-existent product, it should not have been permissible but it was rendered permissible due to a need and obligation. There is a profit for both parties in it; the customer buys the goods a little cheaper, and the seller meets his needs with the cash. For example, if an industrialist has a cash flow problem, he can sell the goods that he will produce with certain qualifications on the condition that they will be delivered after a certain period of time; he will produce the goods with the money he will receive. Thus, the production of the industrialist will continue and the buyer will buy goods a little cheaper than usual.

That opportunity also protects the producer from falling into the hands of usurers because there is an inevitable need for money for the continuation of production. If the prices are excessively low, such deals are not permissible.

The following conditions must be met for salam to be valid:

     a. The properties of the goods must be certain; the type and quality of the goods must be determined beforehand.
     b. The amount must be determined; it must be known how many kilos, how many meters, how many scales etc. the goods will be.
     c. Determination of the delivery date; the date when the goods sold through salam will be delivered must be determined. If there is no possibility of the delivery of the goods at the specified time, salam will be invalid. For example, it is impossible to deliver wheat in April. It is not permissible for a farmer to make a sale of salam in advance in order to deliver wheat in April.
     d. To determine the amount of money received in exchange for goods and to receive the money in advance. The price should not be excessively cheap.

5. Sales on Credit: Credit sales: The price of the goods to be sold can be received in advance or after a certain period of time. In such deals, the price of the goods must be in another type, such as money. It is not permissible to sell the same type of goods (for example, gold and gold) on credit.

Another type of deal (buying/selling) is “Bay’ bil-wafa”. It means making a contract of sale through wafa. As a term, it means “temporarily selling a commodity to someone in return for money or loan in order to get it back upon returning the sale price”. When the seller returns the price or pays off the debt, the buyer returns what he has bought. Such a contract is a valid contract of sale if it is taken into account that the buyer can benefit from the goods but it is an invalid contract of sale if the powers of the parties to terminate the contract are taken into account. Since the buyer cannot sell the goods he has purchased through wafa, it is like pawning, and this feature of pawning is superior. Most of the fiqh scholars consider the contract of sale in the form of bay’ bil-wafa permissible. (Bilmen, Istılâhât-ı Fıkhiyye Kâmusu, VI/126-127).

It is a customary form of sale in order to avoid interest and secure the debt. The contract is given that name because the seller undertakes to return the sale price at a later date or to pay the debt remaining from beforehand, and the buyer undertakes to return the goods in return. It is also called “bay’ul-muamala”; it is called “bay’ul-amana” in Egypt.

Sheikh Badruddin Mahmud (d. 823/1420), who lived at the beginning of the 15th century, states the following about the beginning of the sale in the form of bay’ bil-wafa:

“In this age, selling in the form of bay’ bil-wafa has become a custom in order to be protected from interest. It is actually something in pawn, and the buyer cannot own the property and cannot benefit from its income without the permission of the owner.” (Ali Efendi, Fatawa, I/300)

In the sale through wafa, the parties can terminate the contract at any time with a unilateral declaration of will. The buyer cannot own the goods during the period of the contract. The seller may return the sales price at any time and request the goods back. The buyer can also return the goods and demand the money back; the parties do not have to comply with the period specified in the contract. Since the goods are regarded to be in pawn, neither the seller nor the buyer can sell the goods to anyone else without the consent of the other. That right is also transferred to the heirs of the parties. However, one of the parties may sell the goods with the consent of the other.

When the permission of the person leaving something in pawn is obtained, it is possible and permissible for the temporary owner to benefit from the pledged goods. Since the sale through wafa is like a pledge, it is possible for the buyer to benefit from it. Ali Haydar Efendi, who annotated Majalla, states the following regarding the issue:

“If it is laid as a condition that some of the revenues of a pledged (sold through wafa) real estate will belong to the buyer, that condition is fulfilled because the following is stated in Majalla item 83:  

“It is necessary to fulfill, as much as possible, a condition that is in compliance with the religion.”

For example, if the grapes of a vineyard sold through wafa are agreed to be shared equally by the seller and the buyer, it is necessary to act accordingly. However, if the buyer consumes those crops without permission though it is not stated in the contract that the crops will belong to him, he will have to pay the equivalent to the seller because the buyer cannot own the crops obtained from a real estate sold through wafa. However, if the seller has allowed him to consume them, the seller cannot force the buyer to pay the equivalent. If the crop is destroyed without the fault of the buyer, compensation is not necessary. However, the equivalent of the crop that is destroyed is deducted from the debt.” (Ali Haydar, Mecelle Şerhi, I/664-667)

According to Abu Hanifa and Imam Shafii, such practices aiming to find money or to defer a debt are permissible if benefitting is not laid as a condition when the contract is made.

Types of Deals (Buying/Selling) in Terms of Profit

1. Musawama: The seller’s selling the goods without telling the buyer purchasing price and the amount of the profit. It is a sale based on free bargaining. Most of the sales occur like that. As we have mentioned before, the amount of the profit must not be exorbitant.

2. Murabaha: The seller’s selling the goods by telling the buyer cost price and the amount of the profit. For example, the seller says, “I bought this for 1000 lira and will sell you for 1100 lira with a profit of 100 lira.” The seller must not lie in this kind of deal. If it is understood that the seller lied, the customer has the right to demand the amount that is lied.   

3. Tawliya: It is sale without profit, at cost price. If the customer finds out that the seller lied related to a sale with a certain profit or without a profit - as we have partially mentioned above -, he can break the deal.

4. Wadi’a: It is sale at a loss, below the cost. It is a form of sale that is used especially at the end of the season and in shop clearances today. The prices declared by the seller must not be false. If the lie is revealed, the buyer can claim the excess amount from the seller.

Deals on Approval:

The buyer or seller may lay certain conditions for the realization of the sale; such deals are called “muhayyar sale (sale on approval)”. The one who lays conditions may break the deal when the conditions are not met. the Prophet (pbuh) states the following about such deals:

“Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it so long as they have not separated except in transactions which have been made subject to the right of parties to annul them. However, if one gives the other the option, the transaction is made on this condition (i. e. one has the right to annul the transaction), it becomes binding.” (Muslim, Buyu, 10).

A three-day period of breaking the deal is granted to the buyer and the seller. According to Abu Hanifa, those who stipulate the right to break the deal in shopping have to give up within three days. After the expiry of that period, there is no right to give up the deal.

If the seller stipulates the right to give up, the goods will belong to him. If the goods are destroyed in the hands of the buyer within three days, he will have to compensate; that is, he has to pay the price to the seller. However, if the buyer stipulates the right to give up, the goods in question no longer belong to the seller. If the buyer gives up within three days, he will return the goods. However, if the goods in the possession of the buyer are destroyed within those three days, the sale price is paid by the buyer to the owner. Accordingly, the party stipulating the right to give up may cancel the transaction or make it valid within that period.

It is permissible for a person to buy something that he has not seen. Accordingly, when he sees the product, he will have the right to give up the deal. When he sees the product, he may accept or reject it. The previously decided price is valid as the price of the product. The buyer accepts that price. Even if he says that he bought the property without seeing it and will accept it, he can return it when he sees it.

The seller, on the other hand, does not have the right to give up when he sells a product that belongs to him but that he has not seen. In other words, if he sees his product and regrets it after selling it, he cannot annul that sale.

It is not necessary to see all the goods that were sold. It is sufficient to see the sample. However, the rest of the goods must be the same as the sample. Accordingly, a person who buys some goods without seeing them is free to accept or return the goods because deception may be in question; the right to give up is given to the customer.

If a customer sees a defect in the product he bought, he has the choice whether to buy it or not. If he wants, he takes it for the price, or he gives back the product. If the product is said to have a certain feature, the sale may be broken if it is seen that the feature does not exist. For example, if a cow is purchased on the condition that it yields fifteen kilograms of milk and if it yields less milk, the buyer may cancel the sale.

If there is a defect or fault that reduces the value of the product, the buyer is free to buy or return it like a defective fabric that was bought. However, if the customer sees a defect in a product and buys it knowingly, he will have no right to give up the deal.  Bevertheless, if he dyes and sews the fabric he bought in a way that will increase its value and then sees the defect, he has the right to receive the amount of money equal to the loss of value from the seller. If the seller wants to take back the product that underwent such a treatment with the sales price, he does not have that right; he can no longer demand the product back.

Conditions of a Deal (Buying/Selling)

- The goods exchanged in trade must be valuable: The goods to be traded are those that are religiously permissible to use such as halal food, clothing and various items. The trade of haram goods is also haram. The Prophet (pbuh) addressed the people during the conquest of Makkah as follows:

“Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) forbade the sale of wine (all alcoholic drinks), dead animals, pigs and idols.” (Muslim, Musaqah, 13)

The things that are forbidden to people are the things that are really harmful to them. Those who sell haram goods harm people. Our religion forbids the trade of such goods, preventing people from doing evil to one another.

- The properties of the goods must be clear and there must be no hidden defect; the Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:

“Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it so long as they have not separated. If the buyer and the seller tell the truth and make everything clear, they will be blessed in their transaction; but if they tell a lie and conceal anything, the blessing on their transaction will be blotted out.” (Muslim, Buyu, 11)

For, such a deal means that one of the parties will be deceived and incur a loss. It is never tolerated in the religion. If there is any defect in the goods sold, it must not be hidden; it must be clearly stated. However, the trade will be halal and fruitful if the goods are sold like that.

- The goods to be sold must be existent: It is not permissible to sell non-existing goods. It might not be possible to deliver the non-existent goods to the buyer. In that case, the buyer will incur a loss. In order to prevent such a loss, Islam approves the sale of goods that can be delivered immediately.

The Prophet forbade the sale of fruits until they were ripe, when they were in bud but he allowed them to be sold when they started to ripen. (Muslim, Buyu, 13)

For, a lot of damage and diseases can occur in fruits until they ripen. The buyer will suffer from it a lot. On the other hand, it is difficult to predict the amount of fruit at that stage. Due to all those drawbacks, the sale of non-existent goods is not allowed.

- The goods and the price must be specified: Trade is the exchange of a certain product for a certain price. If the product or the price is not known, that trade is not legitimate. The customer must see the goods that are sold, check them, and make the necessary examinations. The seller must know the price or the goods he will receive in return for his goods. For example, if the customer says, “Sell this product to me in return for the money in my wallet” and even if the seller accepts, such a deal is not permissible. There is always a danger and deception for one of the parties in such deals. Our Prophet (pbuh) forbade such deals, which were valid before Islam.

All such deals, in which one of the contract elements is unknown, are called “gharar”.

- Receiving the goods (qabd): In the contract of sale, qabd means that the buyer has the authority to use the purchased goods without encountering any obstacles. This transaction takes place upon receiving the sold goods. The transactions that are considered as receiving vary depending on the status of the seller. For example, the delivery of a house or land is completed when the buyer walks into it or stays close enough to see the land or gets the door keys of the house. As for movable goods, it occurs when the goods are actually received or when the buyer is given the right to use them. However, the delivery of the things sold by measure, weight or number takes place by measuring, weighing or counting and delivery of the whole (al-Qasani, Badayius-Sanayi, V/244).

It is unanimously agreed that it is not permissible to sell movable goods before they are received. The evidence of it is the following hadith of the Prophet (pbuh):

“A person who buys a food item should not sell it until he has received it.” (Bukhari, Buyu, 54, 55, Muslim, Buyu, 29-34, 34-36, 39, 41)

The food item mentioned in the hadith is an example; other movable goods are also included in the scope of the hadith. The majority of Islamic fiqh scholars hold this view. (al-Qasani, Badayius-Sanayi) The reason for concern here is the spread of damage or a defect that is frequently encountered in movable goods and therefore the danger of deception of the next customer. Another danger is that the first customer might not receive the goods and cannot deliver them to his own customer.

One of the damages of selling something before receiving it seen in the economy of this century is that it causes artificial price increases:

Today, due to the balance of supply and demand, many individuals or companies come between the producer and the consumer months before the product is put on the market, especially as a result of controlled supply. For example, the main wholesaler reserves all the goods that a manufacturing company can produce in five or six months before they are produced; but before the goods are received, he sells them to other wholesalers, who sell them to the consumers by adding their profits. The goods reach the final buyer as if after passing through several sellers. However, in reality, the people between the first seller and the last customer always carry out the work among themselves on paperwork and each adds profit to the sales price separately. When the goods are produced, they are delivered directly to the end customer.

Those activities, which appear to be fluency in the market, actually cause prices to rise artificially, the supply of goods to be kept under control, and the controlled release of goods to the market. When the sales ban before receiving goods is applied, trade transactions will become a bit slower but some middlemen will have to disappear because expenses for transportation, warehouse rent, personnel employment, etc. will force middlemen to withdraw from the market. Thus, the natural formation of the current price in the market will be possible.

As a result, if the sale of purchased goods are allowed before they are received and delivered, the price of the goods stored in a warehouse will be increased without any reason and before the goods are moved from hand to hand. (Tecrîd-i Sarîh Terc. VI/447, 450, 451)

According to Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf, the prohibition of selling before receiving does not include land sales because the difficulties and risks (gharar) that may arise in the delivery of movable goods are not in question in real estates. There is little chance of being destroyed. (Alî Haydar, Mecelle Şerhi, I/407, item 253).

Limit of profit in trade: The purpose in trade is to make a profit from business along with serving people. However, that profit should not be exorbitant (ghabn fahish). In general, Islam did not set a certain limit of profit in trade. Rate of profit varies according to the type of goods and their characteristics; a low rate of profit is sufficient for some goods as it is the case with wholesale and high value goods. Rate of profit is normal for some goods such as non-perishable goods, retail sales, etc. as. Rate of profit is high for some goods such as goods with a high risk of perishing.

Rate of profit varies according to conditions but it is primarily a matter of conscience because a Muslim does not deceive or betray his brother; he thinks of his Muslim brother emphatically. In other words, he will sell goods to others at the same price and under the same conditions as he wants them to be sold to himself when he needs them. When we say that Islam does not set a certain limit of profit, it does not mean “no intervention in prices is possible”. When the state deems it necessary, it sets certain limits of profit (narh) according to the type of goods and punishes those who do not act accordingly.

There are some issues we should pay attention to as Muslims in trade:

- The first important issue that a Muslim who is engaged in trade should pay attention to is not to sell haram goods. If Allah rendered something haram, He also rendered the money obtained from it haram. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding wine:

“Allah, who rendered wine haram to drink, also rendered it haram to be sold.” (Abu Dawud, Buyu, 64)

Thus, he determined the issue very clearly. Similarly, a believing butcher cannot sell the meat of an animal that has not been slaughtered in the name of Allah because if the name of Allah is not mentioned deliberately while slaughtering an animal, that meat becomes haram. Accordingly, a Muslim cannot sell such meat. Similarly, selling idols and similar items is prohibited in Islam.

- It is not permissible to sell stolen goods or put them on the market either. It is known that the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“If a person buys a stolen property knowingly, he becomes a partner in the sin and infamy.” (Bayhaqi, Sunan, V/336).

Accordingly, a Muslim who is engaged in trade should be careful regarding those issues while both buying and selling goods.

- In the Islamic society, artificial interventions in the prices of goods are never permissible. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

“Allah will make the person who intervenes in prices to increase them sit on a big fire on the Day of Judgment.” (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, V/27)

- Black marketing (ihtikar) is haram in Islamic society. Black marketing is the withdrawal of a product from the market and stocking it in order to increase its price and selling it when its price increases. Normal profit is halal in trade. However, the purpose of trade is not to make profit at all costs, especially exorbitant profits. One of the ways of exorbitant profit that Islam forbids is black marketing. Black marketing causes many harms to people. We can list them as follows:

To cause artificial narrowing in the market, to increase consumption artificially, to increase inflation through it, to cause the consumer to suffer due to excessive prices, to destroy the trust, goodwill, love and respect between the buyer and the seller... It is regarded a sin to black market in order to make a few people to earn a lot of money. The Prophet (pbuh) threatens the black marketeer as follows:

“The one who brings goods to the market is provided with sustenance and he who profiteers (stocks and black markets) is cursed.” (Ibn Majah, Tijarat, 6)

- Ihtikar is religiously haram. Some mujtahids accepted that ihtikar is in question only in human and animal food. There is a general expression in the hadith above; that is, it includes all human needs. Accordingly, the necessaries other than foodstuffs are also included within the scope of black marketing. It is not black marketing for the farmer to keep the goods he has produced. The farmer can keep them to evaluate his labor. However, if there is a great need for that product, it is better for him to put it on the market.

- Buying the goods below their value: If the seller needs money very much, and the customer feels it and wants to buy the goods at a price far below the real value, it is not a religiously appropriate deed.

- Bargaining. The price of a product forms as a result of the agreement between the seller and the buyer, that is, by bargaining. It is halal to bargain. What is not halal is to overprice or to offer a very low price. While the buyer and seller are bargaining, it is not permissible for another buyer to bargain. Abdullah b. Umar states that the Prophet (pbuh) forbade another person from bargaining while two people were bargaining. (Bukhari, Buyu, 58, Muslim, Buyu, 14)

It is also haram to increase or decrease the price without the intention of purchasing the goods, thereby harming third parties; cheating and secret agreements made in auctions are also haram. All these deeds are called “najsh: deception” in our religion; they were forbidden by the Prophet (pbuh). (Bukhari, Buyu, 64, Muslim, Buyu, 14)

- Swearing an oath in trade. It is not permissible to take an oath during bargaining. To swear falsely is a bigger haram because it means to abuse the name of Allah for a simple gain and to deceive the customer. The Prophet (pbuh) states that one of the three people whose faces Allah will not look at on the Day of Judgment will be “...the person who says I bought this product at such and such price and the customer accepted it to be true and bought it though it was not true”. (Bukhari, Musaqah, 5; Muslim, Iman, 46) The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in another hadith:

“Beware of swearing a lot in trade; it increases the sale but blots out the blessing.” (Muslim, Musaqah, 27)

- Measuring and weighing correctly, not resorting to deception in trade.

The religion of Islam invites people to ethics, virtue and honesty in their transactions. The most remarkable characteristic of a Muslim is his honesty. What is meant by deception in trade is to influence a person with one’s words, actions and attitudes, suggesting that the contract of sale is for his benefit and to persuade him to a sale price other than the market price.

The following is stated in a verse:

“Woe to those that deal in fraud,- Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due.” (al-Mutaffifin, 83/1-3). (See also al-An’am, 6/152; al-Isra 17/35; ash-Shuara, 28/181-183).

When Muhammad (pbuh) became a prophet, Arabs were dealing with trade in Hejaz. The Prophet (pbuh) ensured the formation of an honest market by bringing some regulatory decrees based on divine revelation.

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