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Is Dropshipping Permissible?

Answered by: Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji

Question:

I heard that drop shipping (sale of products that we do not own ) is prohibited. If we have a small stock (to secure .) and we do dropshipping on these products in stock.

=> example: when the person “A” orders on a site “B” (which has a small stock) and it is the supplier “C” who will send the product … (therefore classic drop shipping) if the person “A” has a reception problem then Site “B” will take some of its stock and send to person “A”

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Answer:

The common methods of drop shipping are not permissible due to the seller selling a product that is not in their possession.1 This prohibition is due to the Hadith where The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who buys foodstuff should not sell it till he has received it.”2

However, dropshipping may be permissible if the rules of Bayus Salam are adhered to. This can be done by the seller or his agent taking possession of the item before selling it.

Bayus Salam is not valid, according to Abū Ḥanīfah, may Allah have mercy on him, except when seven conditions are stated in the contract:

  1. Known genus
  2. Known category
  3. Known description
  4. Known amount
  5. Known duration
  6. Knowledge of the amount of capital (ra’s al-māl), when that which the contract applies to, like the measured, weighed or counted [commodities], is according to that amount. 
  7. The designation of the location wherein he will [deliver] it when transport and supply are due from him.3

If these conditions are adhered to, it will be considered Bayus Salam and permissible.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 Fiqhul Buyu’, Page 1152, Volume 2, Maktabah Mariful Quran, 2015

2 Sahih al-Bukhari 2133

3 Mukhtasar al-Quduri, Page 160, Mustafah Publishers 2016

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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