What Is Considered Buying and Selling in Islam?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra


What is considered buying something in Islam? Is the exchange of money necessary to be considered buying?


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

In Islam, the essence of buying (and by corollary, selling) is the mutually agreed-upon exchange of a good that carries value from the seller for a given price from the buyer, under legal guidelines.

The transaction is enacted through an offer made by either of the two parties and a subsequent acceptance by the other party, whether the offer and acceptance were made explicitly or understood customarily (like a price tag, swiping a card, etc.).

The price of the good or service need not be in the form of modern money, but it can be an item that is a store of value, namely gold and silver, or represent value.

If it is not a store of value in itself nor representative of one (ex. a currency), but merely another good in itself, it would be considered a barter agreement and not technically called a sale. However, the same principles of mutual agreement and offer/acceptance would apply. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.