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Sale Without Possession/Speculation

1) Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Mes­senger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who buys foodgrain should not sell it until he has taken possession of it.” lbn ‘Abbas “said: I think it applies to all other things as well.”        

Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Mes­senger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who buys food-grain, should not sell it, until he has weighed it (and then taken posses­sion of it).” I (Tawus) said to Ibn ‘Abbas. Why is it so?” Thereupon he said: “Don’t you see that they (the people) sell foodgrains against gold for the stipulated time.” Abu Kuraib did not make any mention of the stipulated time. [1]


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Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who bought foodgrain, should not sell it until he had taken full possession of it (after measuring it).”        

lbn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who bought foodgrain should not sell it until he had taken possession of it.”

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who bought foodgrain, should not sell it until he had measured it.”  In the narration of Abu Bakr there the word is ‘Ibta‘ (instead of Ishtara).        

Abu Huraira is reported to have said to Marwan: “Have you made lawful the transactions involving interest?” Thereupon Marwan said: “I have not done that.” Thereupon Abu Huraira said: “You have made lawful the transactions with the help of documents only, whereas Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the transaction of foodgrains until full possession is taken of them.” Marwan then ad­dressed the people and forbade them to enter into such transactions (as are done with the help of documents). Sulaiman said: “I saw the sentinels snatching (these documents) from the people.”        

Jabir b. ‘Abdullah is reported to have said that Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the sale of a heap of dates the weight of which is unknown in accordance with the known weight of dates.

2) Ibn ‘Umar reported: “We used to buy foodgrains during the life­time of Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam). He (the Holy Prophet, Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) would then send to us one who com­manded us to take them (the foodgrains) to a place other than the one where we had bought them before we sold it.”

Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “He, who buys foodgrain should not sell that before taking possession of it.” He (the narrator) said: “We used to buy foodgrain from the caravans in bulk, but Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade us to re-sell that until we had shifted it to some other place.

Ibn ‘Umar reported that they were beaten during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) if they had bought food-grains in bulk and then sold them on the spot without shifting them (to some other place).         

Salim b. ‘Abdullah reported his father having said this: “I saw people being beaten during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) in case they bought the foodgrains in bulk, and then sold them at that spot before taking it to their places.” This Hadith is narrated on the authority of ‘Ubaidullah b. Abdullah b. ‘Umar through another chain of transmitters (and the words are): “His father (Ibn ‘Umar) used to buy foodgrains in bulk and then carried them to his people.”

3) Ibn ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the sale of fruits until they were clearly in good condi­tion; he forbade both the seller and the buyer.

Ibn ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the sale of palm-trees (i.e. their fruits) until the dates began to ripen, and eats of corn until they were white and were safe from blight. He forbade the seller and the buyer.

Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Mes­senger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: Do not buy fruit until its good condition becomes clear and (the danger) of blight is no more. He said: its good condition becoming clear implies that it becomes red or yellow.

Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “Do not buy fruits (on the trees) until their good condition becomes clear.” In the hadith transmitted on the authority of Shu‘ba it was stated that Ibn ‘Umar was asked what good condition implied. He said: “When (the danger of) blight is no more."  

Abu‘l Bakhtari reported: “I asked lbn ‘Abbas about the sale of dates. He said: ‘Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the sale of dates of the trees until one eats them or they are eaten (i.e. they are fit to be eaten), and until they are weighed (or measured).’ I said: ‘What does it imply: ‘Until it is weighed?’ Thereupon a person who was with him (lbn ‘Abbas) said: ‘Until he (the buyer) is able to keep with him (after plucking them)’.”

4) Anas reported that Allah’s Apostle (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade the sale of the fruit of date-palms until it becomes mellow. We (some of the other narrators in the chain of transmitters) said to Anas: “What does the word ‘mellow’ mean?” He said: “(There the fruits) turns red or yellow. Don’t you see if Allah had checked (the growth of) fruits then what of the wealth of your brother would be permissible for you?”

5) Hushaim reported Ali saying in his address: “A severe time will come on people when the wealthy will hold his wealth with his teeth and he is not commanded to do so. Allah has said: Do not forget magnanimity amongst yourselves (2:237). (And a time will come when) people shall transact business under coercion, whereas the Prophet (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) forbade from business bargain conducted under coercion and hazard and from buying fruit-trees before their fruit is apparent on the branch.”

6) Reported Qatada that (Abu Huraira) said: “He heard Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: “Avoid much swearing  (as it) helps a ready sale for a com­modity, but blots out the blessing.”

7) Qais b. Abi Gharaza reported: “We used to buy and sell heaps (of corn) and we used to designate ourselves as brokers and the people also named us so (as their brokers). The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) came to us and called us by a name which was better for us than the one we adopted ourselves. He said: ‘O Community of merchants, false and absurd oaths are mingled with your business. So, mix up (your business) with sadaqa (so that sadaqa may serve as attonement of vain oaths)’.”

8) Abu Huraira narrated on the authority of Abu Bakr that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) said: “There are three persons with whom Allah would neither speak on the Day of Resurrec­tion, nor would He look towards them, nor would purify them (from sins), and there would be tormenting chastisement for them: A person who in the waterless desert has more water (than his need) and he refuses to give it to the traveller; and a person who sold a commodity to another person in the afternoon and took an oath of Allah that he had bought it at such and such price and he (the buyer) accepted it to be true though it was not a fact; and a person who pledged allegiance to the Imam but for the sake of the world (material gains). And if the Imam bestowed on him (something) out of that (worldly riches) he stood by his allegiance and if he did not give him, he did not fulfill the allegiance.”

[1] A transaction is valid in Islam only when alongwith buyers and sellers there is also the commodity to be bought or sold. There is no idea of a com­modity without possession. Thus if the possession is not in the hand of the buyer who buys it, he is not authorised to sell it, for, without the commodity, it would be exchange of money against money which has the element of interest in it. Islam has forbidden such transactions in order to eliminate the chance of speculation which has been responsible for artificial rise in prices and the dearth of goods in the market. (A. H. Siddiqui)

 

Source: Economic Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): A Select Anthology of Hadith Literature on Economics, Muhammad Akram Khan. Republished with permission.