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Selling an Item Given by the Government for Free

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: After telling my neighbor I would sell his wheelchair for him, I just realized that it might not be okay because he said he got it free from the government. He doesn’t need it anymore and just wants to store it up if he can’t sell it. Would it be permissible for me to help him in this sell?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

If your neighbor owns the wheelchair, they would have the right to dispose of it as they wish. The principle is that the one who owns something has the right to dispose of what they own–such as through selling or gifting. [Mawsuli, Ikhtiyar; Majalla]

However, it would appear to be wrong and unethical to acquire such benefits with the mere intention of resale–unless this is accepted by the government or charity. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever cheats is not of us.” [Muslim and others]

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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