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The Islamic Validity of Drop-shipping

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

I spoke with a Mufti on the phone and was asked to send the questions in written format for a proper response. The questions are below and relate to the salam transaction conditions which must be met to make drop-shipping permissible.

  1. The delivery of the product must be deferred to a later time. How many days minimum does product delivery need to be deferred according to anafī fiqh?
  2. The date and place of delivery are known. Does an exact date need to be said or is delivered within 10 days OK?
  3. The contract must be definite without an option to rescind. If there cannot be option to rescind, are refunds and returns allowed on my site?
  4. The commodity must remain available in the market right from the day of the contract up to the date of delivery. What if the customer orders the last product in stock, is it acceptable or not, because the commodity is no longer available?

Do I need to tell customers it is a drop-shipped product?

Answer:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting Mathabah Institute.

Here-below are the answers to your questions:

  1. As long as the delivery is not on the spot, there is no required minimum time for delivery in the salam transaction.
  2. Having a specified accurate date for the delivery is an Islamic obligation. However, if the delivery is completed before the specified date, it is permissible.
  3. Yes, you may have a refund and return service on your website.
  4. If the commodity or product is the last one in stock, and the product will no longer be manufactured, then it is impermissible. If the product is not discontinued, then it will be permissible.
  5. Yes, it is islamicaly mandatory for you to inform the customer that the service you are providing is a drop-shipping transaction.   

(See: Jawharat Al-Nayyirah, Vol 1, Page 203, Al-Maṭba’ah Al-Khayrīyyah[1] and Mukhtaṣar Al-Qudūrī, Page 88, Dār Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmīyyah[2])

Only Allāh knows best.


[1] وَأَمَّا نَهْيُهُ عَنْ بَيْعِ مَا لَمْ يَقْبِضْ يَعْنِي فِي الْمَنْقُولَاتِ وَأَمَّا نَهْيُهُ عَنْ بَيْعِ مَا لَيْسَ عِنْدَهُ فَهُوَ أَنْ يَبِيعَ مَا لَيْسَ فِي مِلْكِهِ ثُمَّ مَلَكَهُ بِوَجْهٍ مِنْ الْوُجُوهِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَجُوزُ إلَّا فِي السَّلَمِ فَإِنَّهُ رُخِّصَ فِيهِ – كتاب الجوهرة النيرة على مختصر القدوري ج١ / ص ٢٠٣ص المطبعة الخيرية

[2] ولا يجوز السلم حتى يكون المسلم فيه موجودا من حين العقد إلى حين المحل ولا يصح السلم إلا مؤجلا … ولا يصح السلم عند أبي حنيفة إلا بسبع شرائط تذكر العقد جنس معلوم ونوع معلوم وصفة معلومة وأجل معلوم ومعرفة مقدار رأس المال إذا كان مما يتعلق العقد على قدره كالمكيل والموزون والمعدود وتسمية المكان الذي يوافيه فيه إذا كان له حمل ومؤنة وقال أبو يوسف ومحمد لا يحتاج إلى تسمية رأس المال إذا كان معنيا ولا إلى مكان التسليم ويسلمه في موضع العقد  – كتاب مختصر القدوري ص ٨٨ دار الكتب العلمية

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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