Two types of Intermediary in Trading
What is the ruling for working as an intermediary?
We could divide intermediary into two types:
The first type: The owner of merchandise came from outer region, and the intermediary welcomed him before he entered the region where that intermediary lives. The intermediary then said to the merchandise owner, “You don’t know the market price here. Leave your merchandise to us so that we can sell it for you with a higher price than the price you’ve set.”
This type of intermediary is not allowed because it is included in what-so-called “talaqqi jalab” (welcoming the seller who come from outer region), which the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- has prohibited. And what meant by the Prophet, according to Ibn Abbas, is that one is not allowed to be an intermediary for sellers who come from outer region.
The second type: The merchandise owner came from a similar region with the intermediary, and the intermediary is willing to work for anyone who wants to use his service, thus the strongest opinion from some scholars in this matter is that he is allowed to do so. For example, the seller or merchandise owner didn’t have a time to sell the goods he wanted to sell, or he was troubled in doing so, then there was an intermediary who was willing to help him sell the goods; this practice is lawful according to the strongest opinion.
If the intermediary asked for fee from the merchandise owner and the buyer, then the ruling is according to the agreement beforehand, and whether or not there was a transparency in it, because the Prophet said that whether a transaction being blessed or not depends on whether or not it contains transparency in it.
If the intermediary was open and explained the truth to both the owner and the buyer, thus they knew that he got fee from both sides, then what we consider as the strongest opinion here is that in general, it is alright to do so.
This answer by Sheikh Dr. Sulaiman ar Ruhaili could also be heard at minute 53:11 to 55:19 in the following link:
Author: Ustadz Aris Munandar, MPi
Article of www.Syaria.com