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

Question & Answer » Buying & Selling

1 Question: What is the Islamic law about buying a car on installments? Many auto companies and authorized car selling agencies sell new and used cars on installments. Thus, when customers go to buy those cars, the companies refer them to certain institutions such as banks and insurance companies. The companies get back the capital as well as the interest in monthly installments stretched over a number of months or years. If someone fails to pay his installments on time, the company overcharges the defaulter. The interest rate is determined on the basis of certain important factors such as the client's turnover, amount of income or timely-repayment of installments. The amount of interest generally paid is 4%, 3% or 5% or more or less. What is the Islam law with regard to buying a car on monthly installments keeping in view the foregoing details?
Answer: If the loan providing companies first buy the cars from the agencies and then sell them to customers on installments with some increase (interest) as part of the prices of the cars, the transaction is in order. Indeed, if a penalty is imposed due to a customer failing to make payment on time, it is forbidden (harām).
And if it means that the companies or agencies themselves sell the cars to customers, and in return the loan providing company gives the price of the cars to their manufacturers or agencies, and receives more money on installments from the customer, it is forbidden.
2 Question: What is your ruling on buying and playing lottery tickets and other such games of chance?
Answer: It is not permissible.
3 Question: What is your opinion on business and dealings with individuals or even companies, which are hostile to Islam and the Muslim nation? Can we buy their products if we know that they are supporting – either directly or indirectly – the oppression of Muslims?
Answer: It is not permissible in the said supposition.
4 Question: I am running a store and I have non-Muslim customers who want me to sell them alcoholic drinks. Can a Muslim buy and sell intoxicating alcohol to non-Muslims?
Answer: It is not permissible to buy and sell alcohol.
5 Question: What is the fatwa about selling meat of a dead animal to non-Muslims.
Answer: If it has any halal benefit, there is no problem in selling it.
6 Question: My question is related to selling and consumption of ice-cream containing less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol. I purchased an ice-cream business and now I am finding out that some of the ice-cream syrup contains less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol. That syrup is then used to make ice-cream.
My question to you is: Can I (a Muslim) sell or eat this ice-cream made from syrup that contains less than 0.5% of ethanol type of alcohol?
Answer: If it is not intoxicating, there is no objection in it; you can buy and eat it.
7 Question: I know there is a company which is helping Israel monthly. What is the fatwa about working in such a company and purchasing its products?
Answer: There is no permission as to dealing with Israeli products and products of companies which are known to be supporting Israel in an effective way.
8 Question: Can a Muslim buy or sell wine or pork to non-Muslims? What is the fatwa on the income one gets by doing such a job?
Answer: It is not permissible to sell these things and the income is not halal.
9 Question: Is it permissible to buy a carving or statue of a totally naked human being, male or female? Is it permissible to buy a carving or statue of an animal and hang it for decoration?
Answer: There is no problem in the second [case of the animal]; as for the first case, if it is [considered a way of] promoting indecency, it is not allowed.
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