Buying Gold Jewelries Using Cheque
Is it permissible to use cheque that could be cashed at certain bank for buying or selling goods? For information, the nominal written on the cheque could be cashed entirely at the appointed bank. This matter most when the buyer couldn’t bring cash money at the time he or she wanted to buy things, and the seller too couldn’t accept the amount of money from the buyer if he or she bought several gold bullion, because sometimes the amount reached millions of riyal, thus he is worry over his own or his money’s safety.
It is alright for them to do so, since transaction by cheque resembles cash in ruling, if the cheque has been legalized by the bank.
And guidance is with Allah, peace and prayer of Allah may always be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and companions (See: Majmu’ Fatawa al-Lajnah ad-Da’imah, 13/493, in fatwa no. 9564).
As for other commodities than the six commodities, it’s ruling is still been debated among the scholars, whether or not it is included in ruling of usury in trading, just as the six commodities, or not.
The scholars who adapted literal method in understanding hadith (zhahiri), such as Ibn Hazm and friends, believed that the rules of usury merely applied on the six commodities mentioned in the hadith, not on the others. Based on that, they stated that others than the six commodities can be exchanged in any ways, cash or by debt, by adding the weight of one commodity over other, or by similar weight. (See: “al-Muhalla” by Ibnu Hazem, 8/468).
As for majority of the scholars, among them are the scholars from the four madzhab, they stated that the ruling of usury in transaction can be applied on other commodities that have similar role / position as the mentioned ones.
However, they held different opinions on the shared definition between the six and others commodities:
The first opinion: The reason behind the application of rules of usury in gold and silver is because the commodities are weighed, whereas the rest four commodities are measured. Hence, the rules of usury in transaction should also be applied on every commodity that is traded by being weighed or measured. This is the opinion of Hanafi and Hanbali scholars. (See: “al-Mabsuth” by as-Sarakhsi, 12/113 and “Bada’ius Shanaa’i” by al-Kasany 4/401, and “al-Mughni” by Ibn Qudama).
The second opinion: The reason behind the application of usury rules on gold and silver is because both are tools of transactions, whereas the other four commodities is because those are staple food that could be stored. Hence, the rules of usury should be applied on everything that may serve as tool of transaction, whether it is made from gold and silver or other that that. Also for every staple food that could be stored, such as rice, corns, sago, and others; the foods should adopt usury rules on it too, by analogical basis (similarity) with the six commodities mentioned in the hadith. This is the opinion of Maliki scholars (See: “ al-Muqaddimat al-Mumahhidaat”, 2/13 and “Bidayatul Mujtahid”, 7/182-183).
The third opinion: The reason behind the application of usury rules on gold and silver is because both are tools of transaction, whereas the other four commodities is because those are foodstuffs. Hence, the rules of usury should be applied on every thing that could be consumed, whether it serves as staple food or not. And this is the opinion of Shafi’i scholars and one opinion of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (See: “al-Bayan” by al-Umraany 5/163-164, “Raudhatut Thalibin” by an-Nawawi 3/98, “Mughnil Muhtaj” by as-Syarbini 2/22, “al-Mughny” by Ibn Qudama 6/56, and “al-Inshaf” by al-Murdawi 12/15-16).
The fourth opinion: The reason behind the application of usury rules on gold and silver is because both are tools of transaction, whereas the other four commodities are foodstuffs that are measured or weighed. Hence, foodstuffs that are sold by counting it, shouldn’t got usury rules applied on it. And this is the third opinion narrated from Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, and this is the opinion strengthened by Sheikh al Islam Ibn taimiyya. (See: al-Mughni by Ibn Qudama 6/56, asy-Syarhul Kabir by Abul Faraj Ibn Qudama 12/12, and al-Fatawa al-Kubra 5/391).
The fifth opinion: The reason behind the application of usury rules on gold and silver is because both are gold and silver (such reason or ‘illah, in ushul fiqh (basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence) disciple is termed as ‘illah qashirah, that is a meaning that merely exists on things mentioned in indication, or in the term of qiyas/analogy is named as al aslu/the basis), whether it functions as tool of transaction (hence, both are analogized with all tools of transaction widely known to men, and today, banknotes and coins are the replacer of dinar and dirham, thus it adopt the ruling applied on dinar and dirham) or not, whereas for the rest four commodities, the reason is because those are measured or weighed foodstuffs. And this is the opinion of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Sholeh Al Uthaymeen (See: “asy-Syarhul Mumti”, 8/390).
The five opinions above have it’s own reason and indications, and the scholars of jurisprudence discipline have explained about it in lengthy discussion, together with scientific discussions that they had written on their works. Thus, in this occasion, I wouldn’t mention each opinion’s indications, but I will just mention the indication of the opinion that I consider as the best among these opinions, and that is the fifth opinion.
As for the indication that the reason of the application of usury rules on gold and silver is because both are gold and silver itself, whether both serve as tools of transaction or not, is a hadith below:
عن فضالة بن عبيد رضي الله عنه قال : اشتريت يوم خيبر قلادةً باثني عشر ديناراً، فيها ذهب وخرز، ففصلتها فوجدت فيها أكثر من اثني عشر دينارا، فذكرت ذلك للنَّبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم فقال: لا تباع حتى تفصل.
وفي رواية: ثم قال لهم رسول الله للنَّبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم (الذهب بالذهب وزنا بوزن) رواه مسلم
On the Day of Khaibar, I bought a necklace for twelve dinar, which contained gold and pearls. I separated them and I found more than twelve dinar in it. I mentioned that to the Prophet and he said: `It should not be sold until they are separated.’’’
In another narration it is mentioned that: “Then the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said to his companions, “Gold for gold should be equal in scales.” (Narrated by Muslim)
In this story, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- established the rules of usury in transaction on the gold material of the necklace, whereas necklace is jewelry and not tools of transaction.
This understanding is further strengthened by the hadith:
عن عبادة بن الصامت رضي الله عنه قال: نهى رسول الله صلّى الله عليه و سلّم أن يباع الذهب بالذهب تبره وعينه إلا وزنا بوزن والفضة بالفضة تبرها وعينها إلا مثلا بمثل، وذكر الشعير بالشعير والتمر بالتمر والملح بالملح كيلا بكيل فمن زاد أو إزداد فقد أربى. رواه النَّسائي والطَّحاوي والدَّارقطني والبيهقي وصححه الألباني
“`The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- forbade us to sell gold for gold, whether it is in blocks or dinars, unless it was equal in scale, and silver for silver, whether it is in blocks or dirhams, unless it was equal in scale. And he also mentioned about selling wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, salt for salt, unless it was equal amount for equal amount, like for like. Whoever gives more or takes more has engaged in usury,’’ (Narrated by An-Nasa’i, ath-Thahawi, ad-Daraquthny, al-Baihaqy, and classed sahih by al-Albany).
As for indication that the reason of the application of rules of usury on the other four commodities is because those are weighed or measured foodstuffs, is a unification of various indications regarding this matter, and among those is a hadith from ‘Ubada Ibn Shamit -may Allah be pleased with him- above, and the saying of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- below:
الطعام بالطعام مثلا بمثل. رواه مسلم “
“Foodstuffs (sold) for foodstuffs, should be like for like.” (Narrated by Muslim)
And a saying of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- below: ,
لذهب بالذهب والفضة بالفضة والبر بالبر والشعير بالشعير والتمر بالتمر والملح بالملح مثلا بمثل، سواء بسواء، يدا بيد، فمن زاد أو استزاد فقد أربى. (رواه مسلم)
“Gold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, salt for salt, like for like, hand to hand. Whoever gives more or asks for more, he has engaged in usury.”(Narrated by Muslim)
By combining several indications above, and also other indications that aren’t mentioned here, we can conclude that the existence of the four commodities as weighed or measured foodstuffs is the reason behind the application of usury rules in it. Hence, every foodstuffs that is sold by being weighed or measured, should got the usury rules applied on it. And Allah knows best (for those who’d like to know the scholarly explanations above this matter, please refer to the books of Islamic laws of every madzhab).
Author: Ustadz Dr. Muhammad Arifin Badri, M.A. –may Allah preserve him–
Article of www.syaria.com