A person building a house seeks the advice of his architect to design the interior of his house. Is it permissible for the architect to set up a business which would buy the product and resell it to the client at a profit? The client can choose the products from samples and catalogues and make the final choice. He would then order the product and either pay for it, or ask the client to deposit the money into the account of the business and then supply the items to the client. Of course, he would not like the client to be aware of his personal involvement in the business.
It is permissible for the architect to set up a business that purchases and sells products to his clients. The Shari?ah rules and the principles governing the set-up business will be according to the nature of the business, Buyoo (buying and selling), Shirkat (partnership), Dallaal (agency), etc. However, since the client depends and trusts the guidance of his architect, he should place the interest of his client above his personal interest and offer his honest and sincere guidance. Thereafter, if the client decides to make his purchases from the set-up business, the income from the purchases of the client will be Halaal for the architect.
It is not necessary but advisable that the client be informed of the architects involvement in the business. Honesty and transparency in dealings attracts the blessings and Barkat of Allah Ta’ala.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai