THE SALE OF IMPURE OBJECTS IN 4 MAJOR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.

There’s a huge confusion arise when a Customer with an intentions to trade in Impure Goods (Raw/Manufactured) reach at the representative desk of an Islamic Financial Institution or a Bank and due to difference in opinion from classical four Major jurists and the situation become more alarming when a Shariah representative of one bank approve the transaction and other’s disapprove it. Taking into the consideration the aforementioned scenario I tried to figure-out the the difference in opinion so that this article become equally beneficial for both people with or without Shariah background.
The Hanafi’s.

The Hanaf?s ruled that the sale of wine, pork, dead animals, and blood are not concluded, since such items are not goods eligible to become property.

They see no harm in the sale of manure since it is useful in increasing the fertility of land, thus becoming a good. It is permissible to sell mixed items such as oil that is contaminated by impure substances. They allow the sale of carnivorous animals such as dogs, leopards, lions, tigers, wolves, cats, etc. This follows since dogs and similar animals are goods that are legally useful in protection and hunting. Also, the sale of insects, snakes, and scorpions is allowed if they can be useful. Also, it is valid to trade in contaminated objects and use them for purposes other than food (e.g. dying, painting, lighting a place other than a mosque). An exception is the fat of a dead animal, which is not valid to use.

The general rule in Hanafi school is this:

Any item that can be used legally to derive a benefit is valid to sell.[1]

This follows since such items were created for the benefit of mankind, the evidence being the verse:

“It is He (Allah) Who hath created for you all things that are on earth” .[2]
The Maliki’s.

The Malik?s ruled that the sale of wine, pig, and dead animals is not concluded due to the Had?th narrated on the authority of Hazrat Jabir (R.A.) :

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Allah and his Messenger have forbidden the sale of wine, dead animals, pigs, and idols. It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how about the fats of dead animals, which are used for painting ships, polishing leathers, and lamp oil?’ He said: ‘No, this is forbidden’.” Then, the Messenger of Allah said: “May Allah punish the Jews, when Allah Almighty forbade the fats of dead animals for them, they melted them and sold them, thus consuming their price unlawfully”. [3]

The sale of a dog is not concluded in their school despite its purity, whether it is a hunting or guard dog, since its sale has been forbidden. They (Maliki Jurists) cite the Had?th :

“The Prophet (SAW) forbade the price of a dog, the dowry of a prostitute, and the gratuity paid to a soothsayer”.[4]

However, Sahnun said: “I sell it and perform pilgrimage with its price”.

The sale of items that are tainted with impure objects is not concluded if the contaminated item cannot be purified. Examples are oil, honey and ghee in which impure objects fell. However, a tainted object that may be purified, e.g. a dress, is valid to sell.

Also not concluded is the sale of items that are intrinsically impure, e.g. the manure of animals whose flesh is not permissible to eat, and the feces, bones, and skin of a dead animal. However, the manure of cows, sheep, camels, and similar animals, is permissible since it has uses in fertilizing land.[5]
The Shafi’s and Hanbali’s.

The Shafi?s and Hanbal?s ruled that it is not valid to sell pigs, dead animals, blood, wine, and similar impure objects. Their proof is the Had?th of the Messenger of Allah (SWT): “Allah and His Messenger (SAW) have forbidden the sale of wine, dead animals, pigs, and idols”.[6] Another proof is the need to avoid impure objects and not get near them, and sale is a means of getting near them.[7]

It is not valid to sell a dog even if it is trained due to the above mentioned Had?th :

“The Prophet (SAW) forbade the price of a dog …”.

It is not valid to sell items that do not have a valid use, such as insects, carnivorous animals that cannot be used in hunting such as lions and wolves, and birds that cannot be eaten and cannot help in hunting (e.g. vultures and crows). All of those items do not have a use and thus do not have a value. Consequently, taking a financial compensation for such items would be consuming wealth illegally, and paying such a compensation would be stupidity. It is not valid to sell tainted objects that cannot be purified, such as vinegar and fats.

However, it is valid to sell tainted objects that can be purified such as dresses. It is not valid to sell refuse and similar impure objects. [8 ]However, the Hanbal?s allowed the sales of pure refuse such as droppings of pigeons and animals whose meat is permissible to eat.
Conclusion.

The Hanaf? and Zahir? jurists render valid the sale of all impure objects that have a use, except the ones where an explicit prohibition exists. Their proof is the general rule that the permissibility of sale is a function of possibility of using the objects. As for the Malik? and Shafi? jurists, and the most common opinion in the Hanbal? school, they do not allow the sale of impure objects. Their ruling is based on the general rule that the validity of sale is a function of purity.

References:

[1] Al-Kasaan? (Hanaf?), vol.5, (p.142 onwards), ’Ibn Al-Humaam ((Hanaf?), vol.5, (p.188, vol.8, p.122), Al-Fiqh Ul Al-Madhahib Al-Arbaa (vol.2, p.231 onwards).

[2] (Qur’an [2:29]).

[3] Narrated by the authors of the six books (Sahah Sit’ta), as well as Ahmad, and Malik in Al-Muwat’ta on the authority of Hazrat Jabir Ibn Abdullah, ’Ibn Al-’Atheer Al-Jazar? (, vol.1, p.375), Al-San’an? (2nd printing, vol.3, p.5).

[4] Narrated by the Authors of the Six Books, and ’Ah.mad on the authority of ’Abu-Masud Al-Ansaar? (R.A) – Uqba ibn Amir, Al-Shaukan? (, vol.5, p.143), Al-Hafiz. Al-Zayla? (1st edition, (H. ad?th), vol.4, p.52).

[5] Hashiyat Al-Dusuq? (vol.3, p.10 onwards), Al-Hat’tab Ul Matni Khal?l (vol.4, p.258 onwards), Ibn Rushd Al-Haf?d ((Malik?), vol.2, p.125), Ibn Jauzay ((Malik?), p.246).

[6] Al-Bukhar? and Muslim narrated it thus with a singular object, other narrations state “Allah has forbidden”, and others state “Allah and His Messenger have forbidden”.

[7] There is a method in the Shafi? school for exchanging impure objects that can be used. This method is the abandonment (literally: lifting of hands raf Ul-yadd), thus the seller says: “I have lifted my hand off this object for so much”.

[8] Abu Ishaaq Al-Sh?raz? ((Shafi?), vol.1, p.261), Al-Khat?b Al-Shirb?n? ((Shafi?), vol.2, p.11), ’Ibn Qudamah (, vol.4, pp.251,255 onwards), Mar? ibn Yusuf (1st printing (H. anbal?), vol.2, p.6 onwards), ’Usul Al-Buyu Al-Mamnua’a (p.41).

Leave a Reply