Ordering items for someone who refuses to accept it after it arrives

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: A lady (non-Muslim) wanted to order some dress samples through me and promised to pay the amount. Although I was not interested, as it is not what I do; yet, she insisted, so I managed some how and got those samples through someone else and also paid the custom clearence from my own pocket.

The lady in question decided to stop the business due to some medical condition and when the samples arrived, she refused to take them saying that she did not like those. I still had to pay the person who arranged those, who actually tried his best to give nice pieces. It was not possible for me to return those samples neither was it possible for the person who arranged those to sell them. Somehow this lady paid me an insufficient amount to which I again added some more from my pocket and gave to the person who arranged those.

I did not know that the lady will put me in a chaotic situation where my own money and goodwill will go. So now I am trying to sell those dresses at least to get rid of them.

My question is “should I return the money to that lady in case I succeed to sell them” or I am allowed to keep it as per Islam, to recover my own cost”? Personally I feel that I should give her even if I do not sell those, so that she does not get a bad impression of Muslims. 


A: After you have recovered your costs through selling the dresses, then the remainder dresses should be returned to the lady.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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