Is It Permissible for Us to Purchase Mystery Leftover Food Bags?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


In my country, an app allows you to purchase leftover food from cafes, restaurants, and other establishments. You pay around 4€ for a mystery bag containing food that the shop chose. They vaguely describe the food, such as cakes and bagels, but when I buy it, I have no idea how much or what exactly is in it. I like the idea of food being sold rather than thrown away, but does this transaction involve any uncertainty (gharar)?

Are these mystery bags forbidden? These bags are usually filled with items worth much more than the 4€. One scholar told me that if the uncertainty of a transaction does not cause a dispute between the parties, the transaction is not invalid under the Hanafi madhab because what makes the uncertainty forbidden is that it causes a dispute. Can I make a purchase?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health.

It would be permissible to buy such types of mystery food bags. This is not deceptive uncertainty (gharar). The buyer vaguely knows what is inside the bags, i.e., food. As these types of sales are widespread and do not lead to any dispute, it will be a valid purchase. [Marghinani, al-Hidaya; Ali al-Nadwi, al-Qawaid al-Fiqhiyya]

Transactions Archives
What Is Considered Buying and Selling in Islam?

Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersGuidance?

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.