Episode 38: Hadeeths That are Related to Trade Transactions (13)
Episode 38: Hadeeths That are Related to Trade Transactions (13)
In the previous episode, we have discussed the Hadeeth narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Both the buyer and the seller have the option of cancelling or confirming the bargain, as long as they have not parted and are still together, or one of them gives, the other the option (of keeping or canceling the bargain). If one of them gives the other the option (of keeping or canceling the bargain) and they agreed upon something, then transaction becomes binding.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].
We come to know the rulings that this Hadeeth implies regarding selling and buying.
In this episode, we will speak about the Hadeeth narrated by Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, forbade the selling by Munaabathah, i.e. to sell one's garment by casting it to the buyer not allowing him to examine or see it. Similarly, he forbade the selling by Mulaamasah. Mulaamasah is to buy a garment, for example, by merely touching it, not looking at it. [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].
This is a great Hadeeth points out some rulings that are related to transaction and especially in the chapter of prohibited matters in trade transaction. We will review its benefits and rulings in the following points:
Firstly, it was stated in the Hadeeth: “Forbade the selling by Munaabathah, i.e. to sell one's garment by casting it to the buyer not allowing him to examine or see it.” Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Apparent meanings of all routes indicate that interpretation (of the meaning of Munaabathah) is a Marfoo‘ (traceable) Hadeeth; however, words of An-Nasaa’i indicate that it is from something other than the words of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. His wording, and claim that Mulaamasah is to say to him…. and the nearest interpretation is that it is from the words of the companions; however, the companion cannot speak about the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, using the word ‘claim’.”
An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said regarding Munaabathah: “It has three types:
1- One says to another: throw the garment to me or I will throw it to you and thus such throwing will be a binding sale. This is the interpretation of Ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
2- One says to another, I will sell this for you and thus if I throw it to you the option will be invalid and transaction will be binding.
3- What is meant is Nabth Al-Hasaah (i.e. throwing the stone).
Secondly, the Prophet’s saying: “Similarly he, peace and blessing be upon him, forbade the selling by Mulaamasah. Mulaamasah is to buy a garment, for example, by merely touching it, not looking at it.”
Al-Haafith Ibn Daqeeq Al-‘Eed, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Scholars held different opinions regarding the interpretation of Al-Mulaamasah. It was said that it means concluding transaction by just touching the goods, saying: If you touched my garment, then it would be sold for you with such and such price. It was also said regarding its meaning that concluding the sale by just touching the garment and thus the transaction becomes binding and cancels the option of session. Ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, interpreted it that one brings a folded garment or in darkness and the one wants to buy it touches it and the owner of the garment says: I will sell it to you on condition that your touching be instead of seeing it.”
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Muslim scholars held different opinions regarding the meaning of Al-Mulaamasah on three categories. First, opinions of the Shaafi‘i scholars and the most correct of them is that one brings a folded garment in darkness, then the one who wants to buy it touches it, then the owner of the garment says to him I will sell it to you on condition that your touching to it be instead of seeing it and then there is no option to you if you see it. He said, this interpretation coincides with the two interpretation occurred in the Hadeeth. Second: They make the touching itself is a way of concluding the transaction without an extra wording. Third: Touching is made a condition in canceling the option of session and the like.”
Thirdly, the Hadeeth referred to prohibiting the transaction of Al-Munaabathah and we come to know that it has different forms and amongst the most correct of them is what is stated in the Hadeeth which is that to sell one's garment by casting it to the buyer not allowing him to examine or see it.
Selling by Hasaah (stone), likewise, is prohibited; it is another type of sale which means that when the buyer throws a stone at a certain commodity displayed for sale, he has to buy it at the price decided by the seller.
Such type and others like it that cause uncertainty and ignorance of the sold item is something prohibited and it not permissible. The same rulings applies to all newly-invented forms of trading are not permissible such as throwing arrow on some boxes or casting a lot among them and whatever gets out becomes binding and so on.
Fourthly, the Hadeeth has referred to the prohibition of the transaction of Al-Mulaamasah and we come to know that it is interpreted by several meanings. Amongst the most correct of them is what is stated in the Hadeeth and like it is what Ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, stated that one brings a folded garment in darkness, then the one who wants to buy it touches it, then the owner of the garment says to him I will sell it to you on condition that your touching to it be instead of seeing it.
All of such types and all like them are prohibited and impermissible because transaction implies uncertainty and ignorance. All selling and buying that imply uncertainty and ignorance is impermissible. An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “One should know that the transactions of Al-Mulaamasah and Al-Munaabathah and the like of what is stated in religious texts are included in the prohibition of selling what implies uncertainty and ignorance; however, they are mentioned alone because they are amongst the well known types of the transactions existed in the pre-Islamic era. He then added: “Forbidding sales that involve uncertainty is one of the great basic principles of Sharee‘ah (i.e. divine Islamic laws) regarding trade transactions and it includes many uncountable issues.”
Amongst the other forms that jurists have stated: “The invalidity of buying the unknown item that its real nature is not known not by seeing nor touching, nor its characteristics if it may be known by its characteristics. There is another type which is the invalidity of buying of the blind person regarding what cannot be known except by seeing. Also, such forms also include that the seller says, I sell you a tree from the garden, or one of such palm trees or a sheep from this flock.”
Fifthly, Muslim Jurists, may Allaah have mercy upon him, stated that amongst the conditions of the transaction is that the sold item has to be known for both parties of the contact i.e. the seller and the buyer. Knowing the sold item is fulfilled by two things; seeing all of the sold item if its remaining part does not indicate it such as engraved garment, or knowing a part of it if it indicates its remaining part such as seeing one of the faces of the garment that is not engraved. This includes what can be known by touching, smelling or tasting for there will be no room for uncertainty and ignorance, or knowing it via one of its characteristics if such characteristic distinguishes it.