The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Books » Islamic Laws

Chapter ten » Conditions relating to the commodity and the payment in exchange → ← Chapter ten » Unlawful (ḥarām) transactions

Chapter ten » Conditions relating to the seller and the buyer

Ruling 2091. There are six conditions that must be fulfilled by the seller and the buyer [in order for the transaction to be valid]:

1.
they must be of the age of legal responsibility (bāligh);
2. they must be sane (ʿāqil);
3. they must not be foolish with finances (safīh); i.e. they must not spend their wealth in futile ways;
4. they must have an intention to buy and sell. Therefore, if, for example, someone jokingly says, ‘I sell my property’, the transaction is void;
5. they must not be compelled by anyone [to carry out the transaction];
6. they must, respectively, be the owners of the commodity being sold and the payment made in exchange.

The rulings pertaining to these conditions will be explained below.

Ruling 2092. A transaction carried out with a non-bāligh child who acts independently in the transaction is void except with regard to things that have little value and with which it is normal to transact with a non-bāligh child who is able to discern between right and wrong (mumayyiz). If the transaction is carried out with his guardian (walī) and the non-bāligh mumayyiz child only says the formula (ṣīghah)(1) for the transaction, it is valid in each case. In fact, if the commodity or the money belongs to someone else and the child sells the commodity as the agent (wakīl) of the owner or buys something with the money, the apparent (ẓāhir)(2) ruling is that the transaction is valid even though the mumayyiz child may be independent in having disposal over the commodity/money. Similarly, if the child merely acts as an intermediary for delivering the money to the seller, the transaction is valid even if the child is not mumayyiz because in reality two bāligh people will have transacted with one another.

Ruling 2093. If a person buys something from or sells something to a non-bāligh child when transactions with such a child are not valid, he must return the commodity or the money that was taken from the child – in the event that it was the property of the child – to his guardian. If, however, it belonged to someone else, he must return it to its owner or obtain the owner’s consent. In the event that he does not know who the owner is and does not possess any means of identifying him, he must give the thing he acquired from the child to the poor on behalf of the owner as radd al-maẓālim.(3) And the obligatory precaution is that in order to do this, he must obtain permission from a fully qualified jurist (al-ḥākim al-sharʿī).

Ruling 2094. If a person carries out a transaction with a mumayyiz child when transactions with such a child are not valid, and the child destroys the commodity or the money that he gave him, he can claim it from the child’s guardian or from the child himself after he becomes bāligh. And if the child is not mumayyiz or he is mumayyiz but does not destroy the property himself but rather it is destroyed while it is with him, albeit as a result of his negligence or dissipation, he is not responsible (ḍāmin) for it.

Ruling 2095. If a buyer or a seller is compelled to carry out a transaction but then consents to it after the transaction – for example, he says, ‘I consent’ – the transaction is valid. However, the recommended precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-mustaḥabb) is that the two parties should say the transaction formula again.

Ruling 2096. If a person sells someone’s property without his authorisation, the transaction is void if the owner does not consent to its sale and does not subsequently authorise it.

Ruling 2097. The father and paternal grandfather of a child, and also the executor (waṣī) of the father or the executor of the paternal grandfather of a child, can sell the property belonging to the child. And in case none of them are alive, a just (ʿādil) jurist (mujtahid)(4) can also sell the property of an insane person, an orphan child, or a missing person, if a matter of primary importance necessitates it.

Ruling 2098. If a person usurps some property and then sells it and thereafter the owner of the property authorises the transaction, the transaction is valid. The thing that the usurper gives to the buyer and its usufruct from the time of the transaction belong to the buyer. The thing that the buyer gives and its usufruct from the time of the transaction belong to the person whose property was usurped.

Ruling 2099. If a person usurps some property and then sells it with the intention that the money acquired in return belongs to him, in the event that the owner of the usurped property authorises the transaction, the transaction is valid. However, the money belongs to the owner, not the usurper.

(1) See Rulings 2107 and 2108.
(2) For practical purposes in jurisprudential rulings, expressing an ‘apparent’ ruling equates to giving a fatwa.
(3) Radd al-maẓālim refers to giving back property – which has been unrightfully or unknowingly taken – to its rightful owner, or if that is not possible, to the poor as ṣadaqah on behalf of the rightful owner.
(4) A mujtahid is a person who has attained the level of ijtihād, qualifying him to be an authority in Islamic law. Ijtihād is the process of deriving Islamic laws from authentic sources.
Chapter ten » Conditions relating to the commodity and the payment in exchange → ← Chapter ten » Unlawful (ḥarām) transactions
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français