Subject : Islamic Ruling on a Supplier's Agreement with Several Individuals to Sell his Merchandise
Fatwa Number : 3837
Date : 03-12-2023
Classified : Transactions & Marketing
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

A medical book is sold in the market through a distributor. I contacted the manufacturing company, and they said, "There is no exclusive distributor for the book, and you can buy and sell it as you wish." Is it permissible for me to sell the book? Does this fall under the  meaning of the Hadith which states: "One of you must not sell (his own goods) when his brother has already sold (his goods)", or is it considered legitimate competition?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

In principle, buying and selling are based on mutual agreement. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will" {Al-Ma`idah, 29}. Additionally, the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "(Indeed, transactions are based on mutual consent)" {Transmitted by Ibn Majah}.

The answer to the presented issue can be categorized into two scenarios:

1-If there is no exclusive agreement between the first importer and the supplier-in a specific country-and there is no exclusive agency, there is no Shariah objection to contracting with the same supplier for importing and selling their goods. Since the basis of the transaction is mutual consent, there is no Shariah prohibition for the second importer to sell the goods at a price different from the first importer. The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "leave the people alone, Allah will give them provision from one another." {Transmitted by Ibn Hibban}.

2-If the first importer has obtained an exclusive agency from the supplier, and the second importer approaches the supplier to convince them to terminate their contract with the first importer and enter into another contract with them, this is considered Haram (prohibited) according to Shariah. This is because it creates enmity among Muslims. The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "Do not envy one another, and do not inflate prices for one another, and do not hate one another, and do not turn away from one another, and do not undercut one another in trade, but [rather] be slaves of Allah and brothers [amongst yourselves]." {Transmitted by Muslim}.

In conclusion, if there is no exclusive agreement between the first importer and the supplier-as understood from the above question-there is no objection for the second importer to bring the goods and sell them at a price they find appropriate. And Allah the Almighty knows best.





Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.