Marriage and Dealing Contracts
Chapter 1 Knowledge Before Action
Allah commanded us with things, and we must comply with what He commanded. Every accountable Muslim has the obligation not to engage in anything until he knows what Allah ordained as lawful or unlawful about it. Allah made the selling (bay^) lawful and the usurious gain (riba) unlawful. The Islamic law (Shar^) defined the selling with the definite article to indicate the lawfulness of only the selling which satisfied the integrals and conditions and not any selling per se. One must learn the aforementioned if one wants to sell or buy or else one will consume the usurious gain (riba), whether or not one wanted to do so.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: <<The truthful tradesperson shall be assembled on the Resurrection Day with the prophets, the highly-ranked righteous Muslims (siddiqun), and the martyrs.>> This is because of what this person faces when struggling with himself and his desires, in subduing his self to conduct contracts according to the Islamic law. The threat of Allah to punish those who violate His Laws is known.
Among the remaining contracts are: the renting of things and hiring people’s services (ijarah), trading with another person’s money for profit sharing (qirad), putting up collateral (rahn), commissioning another to do something (wakalah), deposits for safekeeping (wadi^ah), lending something for use (^ariyyah), partnership (sharikah), and tending (watering, weeding, etc.) grapes or dates for part of the crop (musaqah). One must also observe their conditions and integrals.
Chapter 2 Marriage Contract
One must be exceptionally cautious in verifying the conditions and integrals of the marriage contract for fear of what will result if any of these were not satisfied. The Honorable Qur’an referred to this by the saying of Allah in Surat Tahrim, Ayah 6:
which means: [O you who believed, protect yourselves and your families from Hellfire which is fueled by people and stones.] ^Ata’ Ibn Abi Rabah, may Allah raise his rank, explained this ayah as: [To learn how to perform the prayer and fasting, how to sell and buy, and how to marry and divorce.]
Chapter 3 Usurious Gain (Riba)
It is unlawful (haram) to do, consume, take, write down, or be a witness to usurious gain (riba). The riba comprises the following:
1. Selling gold for silver and silver for gold, gold for gold; or silver for silver–whether coined or not, made into jewelry, the ore itself, or other than that–with the condition of postponing the payment;
2. Selling the aforementioned items with the buyer or seller leaving one another before exchanging the payments;
3. Selling gold for gold or silver for silver with inequality in weight;
4. In the case of selling food for other food: It is not lawful to sell one type of food for another, such as wheat for barley, if one includes the condition of postponing the payment or if the buyer or seller leave one another before exchanging payments. In the case of similar types of food, such as wheat for wheat, one must avoid the aforementioned two conditions along with inequality. Hence, it is not lawful to sell barley for barley if there is inequality in volume, or the condition of postponing the payment is included, or the buyer and seller leave one another before exchanging payment.
Chapter 4 Some Rules of Selling (Bay^)
It is unlawful (haram) to sell:
1. What one has not received;
2. Meat for living animals;
3. The debt for another, such as for one to sell what “Zayd” owes him to “^Amr” for a price to be paid after a month.
4. What one does not own or is not authorized to sell;
5. What one did not see. According to a saying of ash-Shafi^iyy, if the merchandise was described, then this selling would be allowed;
6. What cannot be delivered;
7. What has no benefit;
8. What is not owned by one, such as the free person and unowned land;
9. The unknown;
10. The najas-filthy materials, such as blood;
11. Every intoxicant;
12. Unlawful articles, such as the tunbur, (a musical instrument which resembles the lute);
13. The lawful (halal) and pure article to whom you know will disobey Allah with it, like selling grapes to the one who will make alcohol out of them and a weapon to the one who will assault people with it;
14. Intoxicating substances;
15. The defective article without showing its defects.
The selling by and to the non-accountable is invalid, so the selling by the insane and non-pubescent is invalid. According to the school (madhhab) of Imam Ahmad, the selling by and to the child who attained the age of mental discrimination (mumayyiz) is allowed (if permitted by his guardian).
According to some scholars, it is also invalid to sell anything without exchanging an appropriate verbal format from both parties. According to others, the mutual consent of both parties is enough.
* Useful information:
* It is invalid to divide the inheritance of a deceased person or to sell the inheritance until the debts and the will have been fulfilled. Something may be sold to pay off a debt or fulfill the will. The expenses of performing Hajj and ^Umrah on behalf of the deceased must be taken out if the Hajj and ^Umrah were obligatory on him and he did not perform them. The inheritance is like a collateral held for that purpose. This is similar to the case of a slave who stole an amount of one-sixth of a dirham (daniq); selling him is invalid until what is due on him has been paid–unless the creditor gives permission to sell him.
* After establishing the price, it is unlawful (haram) for one to weaken the desire of the buyer or the seller with the purpose of selling to the buyer or buying from the seller. If this act is done after the contract has been conducted and during the period of choice of canceling the sale, it is more sinful.
* It is unlawful (haram) to buy food when it is expensive and needed in order to hoard it and sell it later for a higher price.
* It is unlawful (haram) to bid a higher price for an article in order to deceive another.
* It is unlawful (haram) to separate the female slave from her child before the child is at the age of mental discrimination (mumayyiz).
* It is unlawful (haram) to lie, cheat, or betray in measuring articles by volume, weight, arm length, or count.
* It is unlawful (haram) to lend money to the buyer with the condition to sell him cotton, for example, at a higher price for the sake of the loan. It is unlawful (haram) to lend money to the tailor or any other hired person with the condition to hire that person for less than the going rate for the sake of that loan. It is unlawful (haram) to lend money to the farmers with the condition the farmers sell the loaners their harvest at a slightly lower price.
Many other dealings of the people of this time, are also unlawful (haram) i.e., they are Islamically illegal. Hence, the one who seeks the reward from Allah, subhanah, and his safety in the Hereafter and in this life, must learn what is lawful (halal) and what is unlawful (haram) from a scholar who is pious, sincere, and caring for his Religion. Seeking the lawful (halal) is obligatory upon every Muslim.
Chapter 5 Supporting Dependents, Including One’s Wife
The one who is solvent is obligated to support his poor parents and grandparents even if they were able to earn their living. He is also obligated to support his descendants, i.e., his children and grandchildren who are poor and cannot earn their living or who are non-pubescent or who are unable to earn their living because of some ailment.
The husband is obligated to support his wife and pay her marriage payment (mahr). If he divorces his wife without a reason from her, he must give her a gift (mut^ah).
The owner of slaves and animals must support them, must not charge them with more work than they can bear, and must not beat them unjustly.