Nasihah (Advice): Honesty in trade
Sayyiduna Hakeem ibn Hizaam Radiyallahu anhu reported that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The two parties to a transaction have the option (of cancelling it) until they part. If they are honest and disclose any defects, their transaction will be blessed, but if they lie and conceal defects the blessing of their transaction will be erased.” [Sahih Muslim]
Question and Answer:
- A week before Eid, we selected our Qurbani sheep. The sheep were not paid for. One of the sheep selected died and the farmer asked us to pay for the said sheep. Is this correct?
(Question published as received)
- As a general rule, an offer and acceptance conclude a purchase and sale agreement between the seller and purchaser. However, theseller remains responsible for any damage or loss to the item sold to the purchaser before the purchaser takes actual possession or constructive possession (by having access or control) of the item.
Thus, in the enquired case, if the seller and purchaser did not conclude the transaction and one of the sheep died, the loss of the sheep is the responsibility of the seller and not the purchaser.
If the seller and purchaser concluded the transaction of the sale of Qurbani sheep but the purchaser did not have actual possession (by having the sheep in his possession) or constructive possession (by having the option to take the sheep from the farm), the loss of the sheep is the responsibility of the seller and not the purchaser.
In that case, the sale of the sheep is void. The purchaser may choose another sheep for Qurbani but the seller does not have the right to ask the purchaser to bear the loss of the dead sheep. (Durarul Hukkaam 2/180)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Mufti Moosa Salie
(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.)
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
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Durban, South Africa
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