Miscellaneous Sale Issues
Q1526: Some people sell their property with the condition of buying the same later from the buyer at a higher price. Are such deals valid?
A: Such fraudulent deals are ḥarām and void because they are not really intended and they serve as a means to obtain a ribā-bearing loan. However, if the sale was concluded seriously and in a shar‘ī way, there is no harm in buying the property back from the buyer later for the same price or even at a higher one in cash or in credit.
Q1527: Some merchants import goods on behalf of other merchants with bank letters of credit. They also pay the full price of goods to the bank on receipt of the paperwork of the imported goods on behalf of the latter. For this service the first party charges the second, as commission, an agreed amount calculated as a percentage of the total price. Is such a transaction valid?
A: There is no harm in the transaction provided that the merchant imported the goods for himself then sold them to any interested party for a profit that is calculated as a percentage of the total price of the goods.
There is also no harm in the transaction, should the merchant have imported the goods at the request of a particular person for a pay under the title of ju‘ālah with compensation calculated as a percentage of the total price of the goods.
Q1528: After the death of my wife, I sold some of the house furniture. I bought some new furniture for an amount above what I obtained from the sale. Is it permissible for me to make use of the new furniture in the house of my second wife?
A: If the sold furniture was your own property, whatever you bought as a replacement is rightfully yours. Otherwise selling it depends on the permission of all other heirs.
Q1529: A person rented a shop. It transpired that the owner had built the shop without a proper building permit. The authorities began proceedings, demanding from the tenant the payment of a particular penalty. Who should pay such a penalty, the landlord or the tenant?
A: The owner of the shop who built it without due regard to the building regulations should pay the fine.
Q1530: I bought property from a person and sold it to a third party. Having snatched the sale paper from me, the first vendor sold it to another person. On the assumption that I cannot prove that he snatched the sale paper from me, which of the two transactions is valid — his or mine?
A: On the assumption that the purchase of property from the owner was materialized in a shar‘ī and correct way, the buyer has the right of disposal in the property and should, therefore, have the right to sell it to whomever he wishes. Thus, the first vendor has no right of disposal in the property in any way, including the right of sale. Indeed, any sale by the latter is considered fuḍūlī and should be dependent on the permission of the first buyer.
Q1531: I agreed with my nephew that I would transfer to his ownership part of my land when he settled the purchase price in full. However, because of certain administrative constraints, I registered the land in his name before the settlement of the purchase price. Despite the fact that he admitted that the land was not rightfully his, he demanded that I hand ownership of the land over to him in accordance with the deed issued by the land registry office. Should I give in to his demand?
A: The claimant has no shar‘ī right to the land unless he proves that he really bought it in a shar‘ī, rightful manner. He should not stick to the land registry document as evidence of his ownership of the land, especially after he had admitted, at the time of registration, that he was not the owner of the land.
Q1532: A cooperative society took control of a plot of land. The land was distributed to the employees in return for money it collected from them. The representatives of the cooperative claimed that they had reached a settlement with the landlord. However, a number of houses and a masjid have already been built on this land. Now, we have learned that he has not consented to the sale of land. We would like to ask the following questions:
1. Insofar as the masjid is concerned, do we need permission from the original owner of land?
2. What is the view in the matter of the plots of lands on which houses have been built by the employees?
A: If it is proved that the representatives of the cooperative society, who were charged with responsibility of buying the land from its owner, conformed to the proper rules in dealing with him, so much so that they were certain that he consented to the deal, the purchase transaction is valid.
If they have told the employees that they procured the land from its owner in a shar‘ī way, their statement should be regarded as valid unless it is proved to be wrong. So should be the distribution of the land among the employees. Any consequential effect should be treated thus.
Accordingly, there is no harm in that the new landlords have the right of disposal in the land they got from the cooperative society. Nor is there a problem in completing the construction of the masjid on part of the land with the permission of the joint buyers of the land.
Q1533: A person asked a widow of a martyr, who is the guardian of her minor children, to apply to the authorities for a concession given to the children of the martyr to buy a car at a discounted price so that he could use this concession to buy a car for himself. After the car was bought with the person’s money, the children claimed that it was theirs under the pretext that it was bought with the help of the concession given to them. Are they justified in their claim?
A: If the vendor of the car sold it to the buyer, even through introducing a concession document and the buyer bought it for himself and with his money, the car is rightfully his. However, he is liable for the amount of concession given to the family of the dear martyr.
Q1534: As agent of the owner, I sold a plot of land and noted the transaction on an official piece of paper. I received the sale price in part, on the understanding that I change the title deed of the land to the name of the buyer after he had settled the outstanding amount. Although the transaction has not been officially registered, the buyer took the initiative and constructed a number of shops on the land. Having enjoyed the returns from the rent of these shops, he did not bother to settle the taxes and rates due to the authorities. When I sold the land some twelve years ago, it used to be a derelict land.
In the unofficial sale agreement, there was a provision that when the land would officially be transferred to the name of the buyer, all the expenses would be borne by him. Who should pay the outstanding taxes and rates, i.e. the vendor or the buyer?
A: The taxes and expenses relating to the land as such or those expenses resulting from selling it are the responsibility of the vendor. Any taxes and expenses arising from the construction on the land, or from its use for commercial purposes, should be borne by the buyer who had built it. Furthermore, if the two parties reached an agreement as a term in the sale contract that one of them is responsible for the expenses, they should act accordingly.
Q1535: A person bought a flat and paid a certain amount of money as a deposit. Among other things, it was agreed that the remaining amount should be paid in installments. The first buyer sold it to a third party. It was agreed that the latter pay the same installments to the original vendor of the flat. Has the vendor the right to revoke the original agreement and its agreed-upon conditions?
A: The vendor has no right to revoke the sale after it has gone through. Nor has he the right to disregard the conditions of the agreement. There is no objection to the buyer’s selling the property to another person, even prior to his settling the outstanding installments. However, stipulating that the second buyer should pay the said installments cannot be sanctioned unless the original vendor agreed to the arrangement.
Q1536: A television set was offered for sale by lot. Over one hundred people took part in the process. The ticket I held won the lot and thus I bought the set. Is this transaction correct? And is it permissible for me to make use of this television set?
A: If the sale agreement was concluded after you had won the drawing, there is no problem in the purchase transaction. Nor is there any problem in making use of the goods you bought.
Q1537: A piece of land changed hands between three different people. In accordance with the provisions of the law in force, each transaction requires payment of fees to the government. Is it obligatory on the first vendor to register the land in the name of the first buyer, and on the latter to register it in the name of the second buyer? Or is the landlord justified in bypassing the first buyer and registering the land in the name of the second buyer in order to save on costs? If he chooses to register the land in the name of the first buyer, should he be liable for the payment of fees paid by the latter? Is it obligatory on him to accede to the request of the first buyer to register the land in the name of the second buyer?
A: The vendor has the choice of registering the sold land in the name of the first or the second buyer provided that this does not contravene the law which should be abided by. The vendor has the right to ask the buyer to adhere to the provisions of the rule of law. He should not be made responsible to compensate the costs incurred by the first buyer if the land was registered in his name. Furthermore, he is free not to accede to the request of the first buyer to register the land directly in the name of the second buyer.
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