Fatwas on Purchasing and Sales Agents
Q1243: What is the ruling on money given by a seller to the purchasing agents working for government departments and private companies for the purpose of maintaining good business between them without adding to the actual price so far as the seller and the purchasing agent are concerned?
A: The seller is not allowed to pay such money to the purchasing agent, nor is the latter allowed to take the money. Whatever money the agent receives should be delivered to the department or the company.
Q1244: Are purchasing agents working for government departments or private businesses allowed to make a condition that the seller pays them a percentage of the profit? Is it permissible for them to receive such money? And would the ruling be different if they were allowed by their superiors to do so?
A: The said condition stipulated by them is incorrect and it is not permissible for them to receive any money as a result of the condition they stipulated. Neither are their superiors allowed to embark on such a practice. Their permission is of no effect in this regard.
Q1245: Are purchasing agents working for government departments or private companies justified in buying goods for a higher price with a view to taking the extra money for themselves? And is it permissible to receive the extra money from the seller as a favor?
A: Should the goods be bought for prices higher than the usual market price, or should it be possible for them to buy the goods for less, the original contract of sale for the inflated price is regarded as fuḍūlī, in that it is contingent on the permission of the related official. At any rate, the agent does not have the right to receive any money from the seller for himself in return for his buying from him.
Q1246: An agent has a job of purchasing goods for a governmental department or private company. He, in spite of the existence of various sources, refers to an acquainted one in this regard and makes a condition with the seller that in return for his buying from him he would share the profit.
1. According to shar‘, what is the ruling of making such a condition?
2. May the ruling differ in case that his boss or the superior official sanctioned this?
3. What is the view of the seller’s offering a price higher than the normal market price for the same good and making the deal accordingly?
4. If the seller gives a share to the purchasing agent, then what is the ruling concerning both the seller and the agent?
5. If, in addition to his job in the said department, the purchasing agent works in marketing for another company, and for the process of buying goods for this department he does marketing for the company, is he allowed to obtain a percentage of profit from the company?
6. If one has obtained a gain in one of the above mentioned ways, what is his Islamic duty regarding this money?
A: 1. It is not in accordance with Islamic law and, so, it is void.
2. Because the permission of the boss or the superior official in this respect lacks any shar‘ī and legal validity, it is void.
3. Should the price be higher than the usual one in the market or he could buy the same for a lesser price from the market, the principle contract made is invalid.
4. It is impermissible. Besides, any money the purchasing agent receives for this purpose should be returned to the department he works in.
5. He has no right to receive any percentage and any money he received, he is obliged to deliver to the department for which he works as purchasing agent. Also, if the contract he made is against the interests of the department, it is originally void.
6. The illegal money he received should be given to the department he works in as a purchasing agent.
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