A sale that involves risk is impermissible
Fatwa No: 287650

  • Fatwa Date:18-3-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 28, 1436
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Question

In Thailand, there is a serious issue on a kind of selling a set of meals. It is a very serious issue to the extent that one side, who declares this kind of selling and buying to be haraam, uses this issue to declare those who do not agree to be innovator (mubtadi’). The details of this kind of selling a set of meals are as follows: 1. Mr. A announces to the people that he will sell a set of meals of price 100 us dollar and ticket will be issued to whoever buy this set of meals to be used as evidence to be shown on the date that the meals will be served.2. This 100 us dollar is to be paid at the time of buying the ticket and the meals will be served on the specific date known to buyer. 3. This set of meals is employed to be prepared by food shop with one specific price to be paid to food shop, whose price is less than 100 us dollar to be sure, and when Mr. A sell this set of meals to people, it is sold in price of 100 us dollar with Mr. A getting some profits out of 100 us dollar. 4. The menu of meals is known to Mr. A. but it is not informed to people who want to buy from Mr. A. 5. People who want to buy from Mr. A agree to buy this set of meals even they do not know the details of meals which will be served on the appointed date. 6. Mr. A starting sells the ticket of this set of meals 1 or 2 months before the event of serving this set of meals.7. All the people who buy this meal ticket will come together in one place on the appointed date and sit at their own table whose number is mentioned in the ticket. Ten persons can sit around 1 table. And a set of meals will be served on that day. 8. Finally, all the profits gained from this selling will be donated to Islamic institute for teaching Islam. The question is that is this kind of selling food permitted according Islamic Shariah and is there any difference among scholars on this kind of selling food if there is ever a fatwa which give verdic

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

This sale is not permissible because it involves an uncertainty(Jahaalah) and risk (Gharar). The closest kind of sale to it is the Salam sale, which is: "a contract according to which the price of a clearly defined item is paid in advance at the time of concluding the contract, and the item is delivered at a later time." It is an exception from the general prohibition against selling something that is not existent or something that one does not possess, based on people's need for such a contract. The evidence for its permissibility is that Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever makes a Salam sale, he must do that with a known specified measure or a known specified weight and to a known specified period." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Among the most important conditions is that the capital is delivered to the vendor at the time of contract and that it is possible to determine the object of sale with a description that distinguishes it from other kinds in such a way that there is no risk involved, and that its species, type, amount and description are known to the contracting parties.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 11368 and 27508.

The above conditions are not fulfilled in the sale mentioned in the question. The kind of meals and their amounts are not known to the buyer, so such a sale is not valid because it involves risk, which is forbidden. According to one Hadeeth: "The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade the sale involving risk." [Muslim]

We have not found any statements of the scholars who consider this sale to be permissible.

Allaah Knows best.

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