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Trading industry

Sale is defined in Shariah Law as"exchange of a thing of value with another thing of value with mutual consent". In Arabic "Bai" means "sale".


  • The subject of sale must exist at the time of the sale. Thus anything that may not exist at the time of sale cannot be sold and its non-existence makes the contract void.
  • The subject matter should be in the ownership of the seller at the time of sale. If he sells something that he has not acquired himself then the sale becomes void.
  •  The subject of sale must be in physical or constructive possession of the seller when he sells it to another person. Constructive possession means a situation where the possessor has not taken physical delivery of the commodity yet it has come into his control and all rights and liabilities of the commodity are passed on to him including the risk of its destruction.
  •  The subject matter should be a property having value. Thus a good having no value cannot be sold or purchased.
  •  The subject of sale should not be a thing used for an un-Islamic purpose.
  •  The subject of sale must be specifically known and identified to the buyer. For Example, 'A' owner of an apartment building says to 'B' that he will sell an apartment to 'B'. Now the sale is void because the apartment to be sold is not specifically mentioned or pointed to the buyer.
  •  The delivery of the sold commodity to the buyer must be certain and should not depend on a contingency or chance.
  •  The certainty of price is a necessary condition for the validity of the sale. If the price is uncertain, the sale is void. E.g. price can either be in cash or on credit therefore it should be decided on spot before taking delivery or possession.
  •  The sale must be unconditional. A conditional sale is invalid unless the condition is recognized as a part of the transaction according to the usage of the trade.
  •  The sale must be instant and absolute. Thus a sale attributed to a future date or a sale contingent on a future event is void. For example, 'A' tells 'B' on 1st January that he will sell his car on 1st February to 'B', the sale is void because it is attributed to a future date.

Types of Sales

Following are the common types of sales

  • Bai Musawamah: It refers to normal sale in which cost price is not known.
  • Bai Murabaha: It refers to a sale in which cost and sale price is known to the buyer.
  • Bai Muqayada: It refers to barter sale excluding currency sale.
  • Bai Surf: It refers to the sale of gold, silver and currency.
  • Bai Salam: It is a kind of sale in which payment is spot while the delivery of the good is deferred.
  • Bai Istisna: It refers to such sale in which commodity is transacted before it comes into existence. It is basically an order to manufacture.
  • Bai Muajjal: It refers to such sale in which payment is delivery is spot while payment is deferred but cost is not known.

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