Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 3 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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What is the ruling for selling gold in installments?

What is the ruling for selling gold in installments?

Answer


The prohibition of selling gold for gold and silver for silver on credit has been mentioned in several hadiths including the one of Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Do not sell gold for gold except for equivalent weight; do not sell silver for silver except for equivalent weight; do not increase one over the other and do not defer payment or delivery of goods" [Recorded by Bukhari and others].

Scholars are unanimous that if the exchanged commodities (where gain is unlawful and considered usurious) are different in kind but share the same ratio legis (illa) such as for instance, the ratio legis of gold and silver is their being monetary instruments, then such an exchange must be hand to hand. Deferment is prohibited whether it is stipulated in a contract or actually made.

Because they are manufactured, gold and silver jewelry are not considered mediums of exchange. Consequently, the ratio legis (their being monetary instruments) categorizing them as usurious commodities and which gives rise to the prohibition of inequivalency or deferment, is absent. They are therefore like any other commodity that is sold and bought for either immediate or deferred payment. It is known that a ruling revolves around the presence or absence of its ratio legis. This is the position of Ibn Taymiyyah, his student Ibn Al-Qayyim and others who stipulated that the jewelry must not be of the gold jewelry that has been specifically crafted for men and which is prohibited for them to wear without a dispensation. Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote in his book I'lam Al-Muwaqa'in: "Permissible jewelry becomes, by virtue of permissible craftsmanship, of the same class as clothing and merchandise and not of the same class as monetary instruments. It is for this reason that it is not zakatable. Therefore, no usury is involved when it is exchanged for monetary instruments, whether or not of the same kind, just as no usury is involved in the exchange between monetary instruments and all other kinds of commodities. By virtue of its craftsmanship, permissible gold jewelry has ceased to be a medium of exchange but has become a tradable object. Therefore, there is no sin in trading it against its kind."

The ruling

Based on the above, there is no legal objection to selling gold jewelry in installments. It is not obligatory to pay its price in cash at the time of the sale.

 
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