Assalaamu alaykum! May Allah reward you for your services towards Islam. I have a question. What is the ruling regarding an investment in the following way: I buy call recharge cards from a shop for 1000 riyals and sell it to my friend for 1140 riyal (14% profit) with a condition that he should return the money to me after 3 months. He sells the cards back to the same shop for a little less and takes the cash. He then goes abroad and buys cellphones and then sells them in his shop and gives me my cash after a period of about 3 months. This is for the purpose of having a safe investment. Is this halal or does it take the ruling on interest? If this situation is not permissible, then what is the permissible way for doing such an investment? May Allah reward you!
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, is His slave and Messenger.
If there was neither agreement nor conspiration between the first card vendor and the one to whom you are selling them to, providing that he will give them back to him (i.e. to the first seller), then there is nothing wrong in that transaction, and this is permissible tawarruq.
Ar-Rawdh al-Murbi’ reads, “Whoever needed cash and bought what is worth one hundred with a higher price in order to fulfil his need with the price, then this is acceptable; this is called tawarruq. This is mentioned in Al-Insaaf [a Hanbali book], and he said that this is the predominant opinion and the view of the scholars of the School (i.e. the Hanbali School).”
Nonetheless, it is more appropriate for your friend to sell the cards to other than the first vendor in order to avoid the suspicion of al-'eenah. (Sale with immediate repurchase: this is when a seller sells an asset to a buyer on a deferred basis and later buys it back on a cash basis at a price which is lower than the deferred price.)
Allah knows best.
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