Can I Buy Gold or Silver Online?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I recently invested in gold and silver and purchased silver bullion through a reputable online website. The process involved placing a buy order and an immediate email reply containing details for transferring the money within one banking day for transaction processing.

Due to my lack of awareness, I transferred the money several hours later. The processing took approximately one day, and now they are holding the purchased items in trust until I can personally collect them.

Is this type of transaction permissible in Islam? I have recently become aware that such transactions should ideally be immediate. Please advise on what actions I should take.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

According to the Shafi’i School (and most scholars), the transaction you described is not permissible.

Contemporary scholars, such as the erudite Contract Law Specialist Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani (may Allah preserve him), hold that such transactions are permissible (with conditions) and Allah knows best.

While the majority view is more prudent, we advise you to consider adopting the contemporary view in this case to avoid potentially severe financial loss, and Allah knows best.

Buying and Selling Gold and Silver

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Gold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, and salt for salt – like for like, equal for equal, and hand-to-hand; if the commodities differ, then you may sell as you wish, provided that the exchange is hand-to-hand.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi]

The Shafi’i School’s Conditions for the Trade of Gold and Silver (Currencies)

Based on the above and other Prophetic narrations, if gold is exchanged for silver (or another currency), their amounts may differ, but the following conditions are obligatory:
(a) that the exchange be immediate;
(b) and that the properties exchanged must be in the respective possession of the buyer and seller before they part company. [Misri, ʿUmda Al-Salik]

The Opinion of Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani (Allah preserve him)

According to Mufti Taqi, “As for the exchange of disparate currencies, like the Pakistani Rupee for Saudi Riyals, based on an analogy of the opinion of Imam Muhammad (Allah have mercy on him), deferment is permitted therein as well. This is because paper money (which is a constructed form of currency), if it were sold for a different currency, such as silver coins (dirhams), it is permissible for the transaction to involve both the exchange of different quantities as well as deferment in taking possession, on condition that possession of one of the two commodities is taken at the time of finalising the exchange.” [‘Uthmani, Fiqh al-Buyu‘]


To avoid this scenario and align your practice with the view of most scholars, try to facilitate your transactions according to their conditions. Where observation of the stricter majority view is challenging, the opinion proffered by Mufti Taqi (Allah preserve him) remains a sound legal recourse, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), where he taught.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Shaykh Muhammad Awama, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has been the Director of the Discover Islam Centre, and for six years, he has been the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has fifteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic podcast, education, and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy Prophetic living and fitness.