Q&A Fatawa

Does the Al-Qalam Scholars Panel supervise or certify the zakat policies of National Zakat Foundation?

Q:  Does the Al-Qalam Scholars Panel supervise or certify the zakat policies of National Zakat Foundation? ‎الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب A: The Al-Qalam Scholars Panel (Al-Qalam) does not currently supervise or certify the zakat policies of National Zakat Foundation (NZF). The supervisory relationship between Al-Qalam and NZF existed from 2012 until 2016 […]

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Do I have to pay zakah on money that I have only had in my possession for 2 months?

Q: Do I have to pay zakāh on money that I have only had in my possession for 2 months? I am a retired government servant and receive a pension. Besides this, the only other source of my income is rent I receive from a house. I live in another house which I own. I […]

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Does Zakah need to be paid on maternity pay that may need returning?

Q: Does Zakah need to be paid on maternity pay that may need returning if one can’t go back to work and hence has been kept aside? الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب A: Once maternity pay is received the recipient becomes owner of the same.  As it is not a loan it will […]

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Can we use zakat fund to pay off university fees?

Q: Is it permissible for someone to give zakat to a student to pay their uni fees, if that student does not possess nisab, and lives at parent’s home, who pay for all living expenses. Also can people of a family pay zakat into a trust fund to be used for uni fees for their […]

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Do students have to pay zakah on money from a student loan, if they have it in their possession?

Q: Do students have to pay zakāh on money from a student loan, if they have it in their possession? For e.g. a person took out tuition fee loan and maintenance loan (not grant) which roughly comes to about £6000. From that, £3000 is automatically taken by the university i.e. tuition fee which leaves a […]

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Can Zakat be given to those who have been in an accident and need an emergency life saving operation?

Q. Can Zakāt be given to those who have been in an accident and need an emergency life saving operation? Can this fall under the category of ‘debtors’ as the individual needs to pay this money for the operation in order to survive? الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب A. Zakāt can be given only if […]

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Is drop shipping permissible?

Q: I’m looking to start an online store insha-Allah. There is one model which is pretty common now, which you would offer a product to the customer but you haven’t purchased it yet from the manufacturer. Once your customer places an order for your product you would then purchase it from the manufacturer and get them to send it to the customer. Commonly known as drop shipping. Is this permissible, as you don’t take possession of the product? I have heard mixed opinions on this: some say it is not allowed; others say it is allowed if it is done as a SALAM and with certain conditions. What are these conditions if allowed? What are your thoughts on this issue? Jzk for your time and effort.

A: الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

12th Shaʿbān 1438 | 9th May April 2017

There are two principal issues of concern in the current practice of drop shipping.  The first relates to the sale of what one does not own and the second relates to the sale of what is not in one’s possession.

As for the first issue, this may be overcome by using a salam contract between the online retailer and the customer [as identified in the question] for which the basic conditions are as follows:

  • The contract is definite without an option to rescind.
  • The product is properly specified.
  • The product is a fungible.
  • The contract is not for a specific item.
  • The product is available in the market at the time of contract and, at the very least, at the time of delivery.
  • The delivery of the product is deferred.
  • The price is properly specified.
  • The price is paid up in full at time of contract.
  • The date and place of delivery are known.
  • The product is not replaced with a different product.

However, the online retailer must first take possession of the product acquired from the manufacturer/wholesaler, either in person or by proxy, before the ownership of the retailer is complete.  Whilst a salam contract may be contracted for what is not in one’s possession or ownership or what does not as of yet exist, it does not obviate the need for the online retailer to take possession of the product in order to effect proprietary transfer.[1] Therefore, the question remains as to how the retailer secures possession.  In most cases, the manufacturer/wholesaler will be at a different location from the online retailer and so possession in person is not an option.  This leaves only the option of possession by proxy. In a normal [non-salam] sale, whilst the manufacturer/wholesaler cannot be the proxy in his primary role as the vendor, he can be proxy subordinately under the instruction from the online retailer to deliver the product to the customer.  Thus, under a normal sale, when the manufacturer/wholesaler forwards the product to the customer on behalf of the online retailer, the online retailer will be deemed to have secured possession of the product subordinately.[2]  However, this does not hold true under a salam contract as, in the latter case, the salam contract alone does not effect proprietary transfer of a specific item but rather only confers the right to receive a non-specific item.  Thus, the online retailer cannot appoint the manufacturer/wholesaler an agent to deliver the product to the customer as the specific product is not the property of the online retailer.[3]  This leaves only the shipping company.  However, the shipping company has a contractual relationship with the manufacturer/wholesaler and not with the online retailer.  Thus, it does not appear possible to argue that the shipping company is proxy for the online retailer due to which the possession of the online retailer is realised.  However, if the process is adjusted so that the shipping company has a contractual agreement with the online retailer to receive the product on behalf of the online retailer and then deliver it to the customer, then this can be valid.  The possession of the shipping company will conclude the salam contract after which it will be charged to deliver the product to the customer.

https://www.shopify.co.uk/guides/dropshipping

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt

Chair, Al-Qalam Shariah Panel

Continue reading “Is drop shipping permissible?”

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Can someone stuck in a ribā-based loan give voluntary charity, or do they need to pay off the ribā-based loan first?

 Q: Can someone stuck in a riba-based loan give voluntary charity, or do they need to pay off the riba-based loan first, given that is a duty, and thereafter resume with giving voluntary charitable donations? الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب   A: One who has taken a haram loan or a conventional mortgage should […]

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If one has given their Zakah in advance for forthcoming years and on the anniversary realises this amount was above his actual Zakah total, can one consider this surplus amount to be a Zakah payment for subsequent years?

Q: If one has given their Zakah in advance for forthcoming years and on the anniversary realises this amount was above his actual Zakah total, can one consider this surplus amount to be a Zakah payment for subsequent years?   الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومنه الصدق والصواب A: If a person has donated their Zakah in advance either […]

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Can charities be considered as al-amileen?

Q: Can charities be considered as al-amileen? If so, what percentage of Zakat may be used for administration costs, and what activities may be considered “administration”   الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب A: Aamileen, as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are the state appointed officials who collect zakat on behalf of the ruler who […]

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Is a person who has an Islamic Home Purchase Plan able to deduct any future rental installments due to the bank from their zakatable assets?

Q:Is a person who has an Islamic Home Purchase Plan able to deduct any future rental installments due to the bank from their zakatable assets? الجواب حامدًا و مصليًا و منه الصدق و الصواب A: The client cannot deduct rental payments for future periods from his zakatable assets. Only those payments that have fallen due […]

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Can student loans be taken off as a liability for zakah purposes?

Q: Can student loans be taken off as a liability for zakāh purposes?  Is a Student Loan added to ones zakāh liability section as a whole in every zakāh year until it is paid off unlike most deferred payment loans such as mortgages, where only the coming 12 months instalments will be added in the […]

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