IslamQA

Can sample products given by companies be traded or used for personal use?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulfiqh.com

Question:

I am working as an intern doctor in a government hospital.  Here in our country, representatives from a pharmaceutical company do visit to doctors with their products to make acquaintance.  They visit with samples of drugs, pens, pads, literature, mugs, t-shirt etc.
My question is it allow to take these and use them for personal use or to sell them and use that money for personal expense?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, a person cannot transact and do with an item what he wants except after acquiring ownership of an item.
Ownership is acquired after the owner of the item relinquishes all his rights to an item and transfers the ownership of the item to another by way of sale or gifting etc.

With regards to sample products, one can only use them for oneself and sell them with the following two conditions:
1)    It is legal in your jurisdiction to trade in sample items
2)    The company of the product has transferred its ownership to you

Transferral of ownership can be understood by the following means:
1)    Clear mention by the previous owner
2)    The customary practice in samples being transferral of ownership
3)    Other signs which indicate the company has given you ownership

If it is unclear whether the company has granted you ownership or not, one should contact them and clarify whether they have granted you ownership or not.
 
And Allah Ta’ālā Knows Best

Mufti Faraz Adam,
www.darulfiqh.com

This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).

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