Fatwas on Prepurchase
Q1583: I bought a residential flat as a salaf transaction. I paid a part of the price by installments for which I received a receipt. I’m still indebted for the remaining amount of the sale price. The vendors changed their minds and sold the flat to the housing bank. In exchange, I was offered another flat at a higher price. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: Buying the flat by installments as a salaf transaction is invalid from the beginning, because among the parameters which confer validity on this kind of transaction is paying the total amount in advance to the vendor at the time and place of the sale. Should this be the case, the vendor should have no alternative but to give the buyer the property as described in the sale contract.
The vendor has no right to demand from the buyer anything over and above the agreed price. The vendor has also no right to give the buyer any property of different specifications. For his part, the buyer can refuse to take possession of any property whose specifications do not tally with those of the flat he originally bought. It is also within his right to refuse to pay a higher price for it.
Q1584: I bought a partly built residential flat on credit. While still unfinished, I sold it to another person who took possession of it from the vendor. Is this deal in order?
A: If the partly built, and readily identifiable, flat has been bought on credit on the condition that the vendor is going to finish building it, there is no harm in buying or selling it, even before it is completed and handed over to the buyer.
Q1585: I bought some books in Tehran International Book Fair as a salaf transaction so that I would pay half of the total price at once and the second half when I receive the books. The time of delivery was not fixed. Is this sale valid?
A: There is no harm in this deal if the prepaid amount was regarded as a deposit and the sale takes place at the time of delivery of the books and the payment of the remaining amount. However, if this sale, at the time of paying part of the money, is regarded as credit without specifying a time for settling the remaining amount, or a salaf sale, yet without paying the total amount of the books there and then, it is deemed invalid. Of course, the salaf sale is valid in proportion to the payment but the buyer has the right to revoke it even regarding to the paid portion.
Q1586: A person bought goods from another, on the understanding that the buyer takes delivery of them after a while. On the due date, the goods are of no monetary value. Has the buyer the right to acquire the very goods or he can claim back the money he paid?
A: If the deal was concluded in a proper and lawful manner, the buyer is entitled to take delivery of the very goods, that is, unless its depreciation is deemed, in the common view, as dissipation. Should this be the case, the sale is deemed revoked and the vendor has to return the money to the buyer.
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