Purchasing goods on Salam and Istisnaa’

Question:

Assalaamu Alaikum.

I wanted to know if it is permissible to open a print on demand store on a site called redbubble.com where people can post pictures of their designs on different products on the store and if someone places an order for a particular product, only then, the store will actually print the design on the product and deliver it to the customer.

I read the conditions of bayus salam in Bahishti Zewar and I have some doubts regarding the order fulfilment timings and payments on redbubble.

I have copied and pasted a condition of bayus salam from Bahishti Zewar here:
“The person must specify the time of taking delivery which must be a minimum of one month. That he will take the wheat after one month on a particular date. It is not permissible to stipulate a period less than one month. He can stipulate more than one month irrespective of how much more it may be. However, he must clearly state the month, day and date so that there is no dispute and the person does not say that he will not give it you immediately and you demand that you want it immediately. Therefore, stipulate everything before hand. If the person does not specify the month, day and date, and instead says that once the
crop is harvested you must give it, this will not be valid.”

1.I wanted to know if redbubble.com says the a product that was ordered on 20th March 2022 will be delivered between so and so date, Example, between 7th to 11th April 2022, will it adhere to the conditions of bayus Salam?

2. If a customer purchases a product which is for example $10, and if he/she buys it in installments will the earnings be permissible for me?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Salam is a sale where the price of the subject matter is paid in full at the time of the contract’s execution while the delivery of the subject matter is deferred to a future date. It is not necessary that the subject matter exist, and be owned and possessed by the seller at the time of the Salam’s execution as is the customary requirement of a standard sale, provided it meets the other criteria specific to it. However, it is a condition that in Salam, the price must be paid at spot.

Redbubble.com offers the option for customers to make qualifying purchases now and pay for them in four payments made every two weeks over a six-week period without interest.[1] Therefore this will go against the requirements if Salam.

Since the item will only be printed after ordering, and the full price is not required to be paid upfront, this transaction will fall under the rulings of Istisnaa’.

Istisnaa’ is a transaction used to acquire an asset manufactured on order. It may be executed directly with the supplier or any other party that undertakes to have the asset manufactured.

There are usually two parties involved in an Istisnaa’ contract; the Istisnaa’ requestor, or orderer, and the manufacturer. An Istisnaa’ takes place when one party agrees to manufacture a product for another party at a specific price. This agreement involves an exchange of an offer and an acceptance which completes the contract.

Istisna Essentials

  1. Cash, goods and usufruct may serve as the Istisna price..
  2. Istisnaa’ price may be paid at the time of contract execution, in fixed installments over the contract’s term or as a lump sum at the end of the contract’s term.
  3. The Istisnaa’ price is mutually agreed upon between the Istisnaa’ requestor and manufacturer at the time of contract execution.
  4. The Istisnaa’ price may not be established on a cost plus profit basis like a Murabaha but as a lump sum[2].

Both issues mentioned in the query will be permissible under the rulings of Istisnaa’.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net


[1] https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/4405644777236-FAQs-Afterpay-Clearpay

[2] Ethica Handbook of Islamic Finance pg187