Purchasing without knowledge of the item and attaching the condition of non-return

Q: I know a person who imports goods from China. He is offering to sell one of his containers to me. The problem is, I don’t know what goods are in the container and if I buy it, I will have to sign a clause that I won’t be able to return it to him. Is this sale valid in Shari’ah?

A: It is necessary for one to have knowledge of the item he is purchasing. If he purchases something he did not see, Shari’ah gives him the option to cancel the sale upon seeing the item in the case where he is not satisfied with it, provided it is in the same condition it was sold to him. Hence, if you do not have any knowledge of what you are purchasing and the condition was attached that you will not have the option to cancel the sale, then this sale is a faasid (invalid) sale according to Shari’ah. One should refrain from dealing in this manner as this type of sale generally leads to many quarrels and misunderstandings taking place.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

من اشترى شيئا لم يره فله الخيار إذا رآه إن شاء أخذه بجميع ثمنه وإن شاء رده سواء رآه على الصفة التي وصفت له أو على خلافها كذا في فتح القدير (الفتاوى الهندية 3/57)


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)