Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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Circumventing trade laws

I import medical appliances. Bid requirements stipulate that the country of origin of these appliances must be only Britain, U.S.A or Germany, even though China manufactures these appliances with the same quality but at much cheaper prices. An acquaintance who works in the same field informed me that I can circumvent the laws by transshipment i.e. buying the appliances from China and bringing them to the country through one of the countries stipulated in the tender requirements. This involves claiming a false country of origin. Please note that I will sell the medical appliances I import at a much lower price than those imported from Britain, U.S.A or Germany. What is ruling for this?

Answer

Islam prohibits fraud and deceit and considers this a deviation from Muslim ethics.
The Prophet [pbuh] said, "Muslims do not cheat one another; whoever cheats is not one of us" [al-Darqatni]. Islam stipulates honesty. Allah Almighty says,

O you who have believed! Fear Allah and be with those who are truthful [al-Tawbah, 119]; and That Allah may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the hypocrites if that be His will, or turn to them in mercy: for Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful [al-Ahzab, 24].

A person who participates in a bidding is required to comply by the stipulated conditions and is not to resort to circumvention. The Prophet [pbuh] said, "Muslims are bound by their conditions except those which prohibit something lawful or that which make lawful what is not" [al-Darqatni].

The Ruling
What the inquirer is doing is unlawful since it constitutes fraud.

Allah Almighty knows best.

 
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