I have a business of properties (such as real estate developer and property trading). In running it, I try to do transaction with minimum, even without payment in advance. For example, mr. A has land worth 1 billion, and by an agreement I buy it and should settle the payment in a certain time period. During that time, I try to resell the land to get some profit, while the certificate is still in A’s hand.
Is such transaction against the hadith which mentions that one shouldn’t sell things that are not in his possession?
If I based my practice on a hadith from ‘Aisha, which mentions that it is allowed to buy things with debt until a certain period of time, is it alright for me to buy and to pay it to it’s first owner?
(The question is included in the discussion of “Capital Money is not Everything”, Muslim Entrepreneur Magazine, issue 03, vol. 1/15 March 2009).
All praises be to Allah, peace and prayer may always be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
Brother Abu Fathan in Semarang, may Allah always bestows His graces and bliss upon you.
It is alright for you to buy a piece of land by debt, and resell it before you settle your debt. This law is applied as long as the first owner of that land has already handed it to you by emptying it from his belongings. That is because the contract of trading has a consequence of transferring the ownership of traded thing from seller to buyer and vice versa, the ownership of money from buyer to seller. This consequence directly applies after the contract being signed without time interval.
As for land certificates that are still in the hand of the seller, it causes nothing to this matter, as it may be considered as a mortgage of indebted payment.
Through this explanation, it is understood that your business is not against the hadith,
(مَنِ ابْتَاعَ طَعَامًا فَلاَ يَبِعْهُ حَتَّى يُقَبِّضَهُ) قَالَ اِبْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: وَأَحْسَبُ كَلَّ شَيْءٍ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الطَّعَامِ
“Whoever buys foodstuff should not sell it until he has received it in full.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “And I think that the law of everything is as foodstuff.” (Muttafaqun ‘alaihi)
Also the hadith,
عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ إِنَّ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ نَهَى أَنْ تُبَاعَ السِّلَعُ حَيْثُ تُبْتَاعُ حَتَّى يَحُوْزَهَا التُّجَّارُ إِلَى رِحَالِهِمْ
“From Zaid Ibn Thabit, he said, ‘Indeed the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- forbade selling merchandise where it were bought, before the merchants moved them to their places.'” ( Narrated by Abu Daud and Al Hakim)
The experts in jurisprudence has claimed that handing over the traded goods has different types, in accordance to the difference of the goods. If it is in form of property such as land, house, and the like, then the handing over method is by emptying the property and giving freedom to the buyers to use the property. If it is in form of moving goods, then the handing over method is by handing over the goods from the place of the seller to the buyer’s place.
As the summary, it is alright for you to resell the land you’ve bought, although you haven’t settled it’s payment.
And Allah knows best.
Author: Dr. Muhamad Arifin Badri, M.A.
Article of www.syaria.com