Some Questions Regarding Trade
By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Q 1.) I deal in sale and purchase of mobile phones. Someone came to my shop and brought a set for sale. As I did not know the price of that set, therefore, I asked that person that he will send it to another dealer and know about the price. Therefore I sent to that person who deals in those sets. He said to me on phone that we will purchase it for Rs 4000. After the conversation with the dealer, I asked the owner of that set, that do you want to sell it for Rs 2600? He consulted it with his other partner and agreed to sell it on that price. Now the question is that whether the amount of Rs 1400 is Halal for me or is it haram? If the amount is haram for me, then tell me the procedure which I am going to adopt when such a situation takes place in future. As every now and then, people come to my shop to sell their things. Sometimes they bring sets in which I don't deal and I don't have any idea about the price, therefore, I send it to other dealers and get a price from them. If he gives me the price for example Rs 500 for a set, I ask the owner if he wants to sell it for Rs 300. Please clarify this mas'ala.
A.) It should be clarified to the seller of the Mobile phone that the price offered by you after consulting the relevant dealers will carry a margin of profit for you and it will not necessarily be equal to its market price then this transaction is valid and the profit generated thereby is Halal. In future, you should clarify the position to the customers. So far as the past transactions are concerned if you are sure that the point mentioned above was clear in the mind of customer, although not expressly mentioned by you, the profit is Halal. But if the client was under the impression that you will offer him the market price after consulting other dealers then the profit you earned is not clean. In this case if you can find out that person/client you should clarify the position to him and should offer to him to return the amount of Rs.1400/= but if the client is not traceable this amount should be given in charity.
Q.) A person asked me to buy a computer for him. As I don't deal in computers, I got the price from one of my friends who deals in computers. For example, he gave me the price Rs 35,000. Then I quote the price Rs 40,000 to the person who needs the computer. Now is the amount of Rs 5000 halal for me or not? If not, then please show me the method what I am going to do in future to make my earnings halal.
A.) The same principle will apply here also. You should clarify to the customer that you are quoting to him a price on which you are agreeable to sell the computer regardless of its market price as quoted by other dealers. This point must be clear in the mind of the customer either in express term or in an implied manner. In this case the profit earned by you will be Halal but if you gave an impression that your quoted price is equal to the market price quoted by other dealers then this profit will not be Halal.
Q.) A friend of my does the business of supplying medical equipments to different Goverment and other projects through Tenders. One of his brothers also works in one of the Projects to whom he supplies those equipments. As there is so much "Sifarish" in almost everything in our country, therefore in some cases his brother helps him in getting orders. If he gets the orders to supply, he has to pay bribe to the bosses of the project, as this is the normal routine in our country. Now my friend has got some orders in his hand, but he doesn't have money for that purpose. He asked me to invest money with him and he will give me profit. He has already calculated the profit in that order. He told me that the profit will be approximately Rs 53,000. Out of which he will give me Rs. 20,000 as a profit for investing. I asked my local Maulvi sahib and he told me that fixing profit is not halal as it becomes interest. He told me to fix the profit in the percentage and not in the fixed amount. I told my friend the same that he should fixed with me the profit in percentage and not in fixed amount. Now is that correct or not? Should I invest with him in the above given circumstances or not? Please clarify this mas'ala.
Respected Mufti sahib, I am very scared of getting Haram into my blood, therefore I am asking you these questions. In Pakistan most of the people are doing wrong businesses and therefore there earnings are haram too, just because of their wrong dealing.
MUHAMMAD TAUHEED from Peshawar
A.) The ruling given by your local Molvi Saheb is correct. The profit to be shared by the partners in a joint venture account to be fixed in lump sum amount is not Halal, rather proportion of profit of every partner should be based on the percentage of the actual profit earned.
In the situation mentioned by you in your question there is a point worth attention. Paying bribe to an official for acquiring orders to supply is not permissible in Shariah. If your brother has paid some money as bribe from his own amount without your consultation then he is responsible for that and you will not be liable for his act, if you are not reimbursing for the amount of bribe from your own money or from the joint pool. But if you are sharing the cost of bribe you will equally be sharing him in this sin. However, if there is no element of misrepresentation or fraud in the transaction itself the income generated therefrom will not be termed as Haram.