We are a group of custodians on a building and its assets which are given as endomwnent whereas someone wanted to buy one of them (a fridge) for 50 Jd. Are we permitted to sell it or the price limit has to be set earlier by a trust-worthy expert to ensure having the best price? What is the legal method to sell them or to sell any asset affiliated with the above endowment?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.
In principle, selling, donating and inheriting an endowment is impermissible, since Abdullah Ibn Omar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:" Umar bin Khattab got some land in Khaibar and he went to the Prophet (PBUH) to consult him about it saying, "O Allah's Messenger (PBUH) I got some land in Khaibar better than which I have never had, what do you suggest that I do with it?" The Prophet (PBUH) said, "If you like you can give the land as endowment and give its fruits in charity." So `Umar gave it in charity as an endowment on the condition that would not be sold nor given to anybody as a
present and not to be inherited, but its yield would be given in charity to the poor people." [Agreed upon].
As for the assets used within the endowment .i.e. the carpets and fridge whereas a difference can be outlined by separating the ones that were set as an endowment in the first place and the ones given as a donation or bought by the endowment administrator without being intended as endowment. In the first case, selling them is impermissible save if they were worn out or are no longer of benefit, in this case selling them is permissible and in return similar sound ones must be bought in return of the price of the sold ones. In the second one, selling them is permissible so long as the interest of the endowment itself requires so.
In this regard, Al-Imam Anwawi (May Allah have mercy on his soul):" Worn out straw mats, dry rot wood or if the curtains of the Kabah are of no benefit nor beauty, in this case the permissibility of selling them is of two opinions, the most correct one is: Selling them is permissible in order to avoid losing them or narrowing the place itself with no benefit." Afterward, he added:" Our opinion is issued on the basis only if the above assets were endowments, but if they were bought by the guardian or given by a donor and accepted by the former, then selling them is permissible when required according to the preponderant opinion as they being possessed in this case." [Omdatt At-Talebin Wa Omdat Al-Mofteen vol. 5 pp.357].
Therefore, if the fridge was given as endowment then selling it is impermissible save if it had malfunction and became of no use. However, if it was given as a donation for the interest of the endowed building or bought by the guardian but not intended as an endowment then selling it is permissible so long as the interest of the endowed building is observed, then selling it is permissible because the disposal of any extra assets or the ones of no use by the endowment administrator is to based on the interest of the endowment itself; thus, selling it lesser than its actual price is impermissible and the same applies on selling it with it the same price only if someone paid more than its actual price. Finally, Pricing must be done by trust-worthy expert. And Allah knows best.