7 Selling And Other Transactions
Something to be aware of is that describing a transaction or contract as “permissible” indicates its validity. It does not necessarily indicate that everything related to the contract is lawful. This is in contrast to actions, where “permissible” indicates lawfulness.
7.1 Types of Sales
A sale, linguistically, is exchanging one property for another property. Its technical definition in fiqh is exchanging one property that is subject to disposal for another property that that is subject to disposal, with an offer and an acceptance, in a manner that has been permitted for it to be done. An exchange can involve items or services. For example, someone might sell a stick of gum for ten cents, or do laundry for someone else for a week in exchange for a book. In the first example we exchange a physical item for a physical item; in the second we exchange a service for a physical item.
The textual foundation for sales is from the Quran. Allah Most High says, “…But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest [ribā]…,” [Q2:275].
Throughout the rest of this book, there will be more emphasis on integrals. These integrals are the essential elements that must be present for an action, contract, or transaction to be valid. Each integral has conditions that must be fulfilled for the integral to be considered present. These integrals and their conditions are usually the very first things to look at whenever we have a real-world event and want to identify what it corresponds to in the Sacred Law, and its status. The integrals and conditions also help us focus on what features of a real-world event are legally significant.