Selling Unripe Fruit (Ahadith 1262 – 1264)

Bismillah.

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 563:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had forbidden the sale of dates till they were good (ripe), and when it was asked what it meant, the Prophet said, “Till there is no danger of blight.”

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 564:

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had forbidden the sale of fruits till they were ripe (free from blight).

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 565:

Narrated Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu):

Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) forbade the selling of fruits until they were ripe. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) added, “It means that they become red .”

It is not permissible to sell fruits before their condition is known, according to scholarly consensus, because it is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that that is forbidden.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade selling fruits before their condition is known, and he forbade both the seller and the buyer. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2194) and Muslim (1534).

So it is more appropriate that it is not permissible to sell fruits before they appear. The scholars are also unanimously agreed that this is forbidden.

The reason why it is forbidden to sell fruits before their condition is known is the fear that the crop may be destroyed and stricken with blight before its condition is known. Fruits are often destroyed before their condition is known, and it is proven in the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you think that if Allaah withholds the crop, why would you regard your brother’s wealth as permissible?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1488) and Muslim (1555).

What is meant by their condition becoming known is when the fruit first appears and becomes fit to eat. It does not mean when it is fully ripe. Hence it says in the hadeeth, “until their condition is known” and it does not say, “until they become fully fit to eat.”

Muslim (1536) narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade selling produce until it is fit to eat, and according to another report, until it is ripe.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (11/150):

Its condition becoming known has to do with a change in the produce, so it varies from one type to another. Despite the differences between them, it comes down to one thing which they all have in common, which is when it is fit to be eaten. End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (4/33):

The guideline is when it can be eaten and becomes palatable, because when it reaches that point it can be benefited from, but before that it cannot be benefited from except with difficulty, When it reaches that point of ripeness, it is less likely to be affected by blight. End quote.

But some exceptions may be made to the ruling that it is haraam to sell crops until their condition is known, in which case it may be permissible to sell the crops even though they are not yet fit to eat.

1 – When the fruits are sold along with the trees. This is permissible, whether the condition of the fruits is known or not, and there is no difference of opinion among the fuqaha’ concerning this, because the sale of the fruit in this case is connected to the trees, and the basic principle according to the scholars is that rules may be relaxed when an item is sold along with another item, but not when it is sold on its own.

2 – The fruits may be sold before their condition is known so long as the purchaser cuts them down straight away, and does not wait until they ripen. This sale is valid according to scholarly consensus, and the scholars gave the reason that the prohibition on selling before the condition of the fruits is known is due to the fear that the fruits may be destroyed by blight before they are picked, but there is no risk of that if they are cut down straight away.

The condition of cutting them down straight away applies in some cases where the fruits may be used before they ripen, such as if they may be used as animal feed and other ways of benefiting from them.

Read full post on IslamQA here.

As for zakah on unripe fruit, read this.

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About Yumna

Bukhari Blogger | Student and teacher of the Qur'an | Studying BAIS from IOU.

Posted on December 20, 2012, in iLook and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. tuinshi nasution

    i want to ask, i forgot where i read about

    riba (usury) in dates fruit/ grain/(primary consumption) exchange. same commodity, the small quantity of high quality dates, exchange with, big quantity of lower quality dates…..and then prophet Muhammad shallallahu ‘alaihi wassalaam forbid Bilal radhiallahuanhu do the exchange until….i forgot the words……(i … about this, riba in different quality-quantity of same commodity)

    im sorry if this already explained in earlier posting

  2. Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    Are you referring to this hadith or of similar nature?

    Bashair bin Yasir reported on the authority of some of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) among the members of his family among whom one was Sahl bin Abu Hathma that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) forbade buying of fresh dates against dry dates and that it is Riba and this is Muzabana, but he made an exemption of ‘ariyya (donations) of a tree or two in which case the members of a family sell dry dates and buy fresh dates for eating them.

    Sahih Musim, Book 10, Chapter 14, Number 3687

  3. Muzabana is the exchange of fresh fruits for dry ones in a way that the quantity of the dry fruit is actually measured and fixed, but the quantity of the fresh fruit to be given in exchange is guessed while it is still on the trees (Mishkat, 2710). The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) has forbidden this exchange because the quantity of the fruit on the trees cannot be definitely Determined and the transaction is just a leap into the dark.

  4. tuinshi nasution

    wa ‘alaikumussalam, its similar nature of hadith. thank you to all….alhamdulillah. i got the hadith again. (the commentary for the hadith below is not my comment)

    5b. From Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurayrah: A man employed by the Prophet, peace be on him, in Khaybar brought for him janib [dates of very fine quality]. Upon the Prophet’s asking him whether all the dates of Khaybar were such, the man replied that this was not the case and added that “they exchanged a sa [a measure] of this kind for two or three [of the other kind]”. The Prophet, peace be on him, replied, “Do not do so. Sell [the lower quality dates] for dirhams and then use the dirhams to buy janib. [When dates are exchanged against dates] they should be equal in weight.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Buyu, Bab idha arada bay’a tamrin bi tamrin khayrun minhu, Volume 3, Book 38, Number 499; also Muslim; Muwatta, #31.12.20 and Nasa’i).

    5c. From Abu Sa’id: Bilal brought to the Prophet, peace be on him, some barni [good quality] dates whereupon the Prophet asked him where these were from. Bilal replied, “I had some inferior dates which I exchanged for these – two sas for a sa.” The Prophet said, “Oh no, this is exactly riba. Do not do so, but when you wish to buy, sell the inferior dates against something [cash] and then buy the better dates with the price you receive.” [Muslim, Kitab al-Musaqat, Bab al-ta’ami mithlan bi mithlin, #3871; also Musnad Ahmad].

    First, notice the discrepancy between two hadiths about the same incident. In the first one there is no reference to riba at all, while the second one specifically makes a connection to riba. Also, the wording is quite different. In the first one, it says: “Do not do so. Sell [the lower quality dates] for dirhams and then use the dirhams to buy janib. [When dates are exchanged against dates] they should be equal in weight.” In the second one, it says: “when you wish to buy, sell the inferior dates against something [cash] and then buy the better dates with the price you receive.”

    Obviously, even though the narrators are apparently quoting the Prophet, they are actually narrating an incident in their own words. There are other reports of the same incident that don’t make any connection with riba at all.

    I had in the Prophet’s [store] one mudd [of dates]. I found better [dates] being sold at one sa’ for two sa’s, so I bought it [the better quality] and bought it to the Prophet. He asked, ‘from where have you got it, Bilal? I said I bought one sa’ for two sa’s. He said: ‘return it and bring back to us our dates.’ [Suhail, p. 55, quoting Sunan al-Darimi, Vol. 2, #257]

    Some juicy dates were presented to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet’s dates from [his own orchard] at Al-‘Ula were of the dry kind. He asked: ‘where from have you got these dates?’ People replied: ‘we have bought one sa’ of this with two sa’s of our dates.’ He said: ‘don’t do it. It’s not right. But sell your dates and buy of this according to your need.’ [Suhail, p. 55, quoting Sunan an-Nasa’i bi shar’hi as-Suyuti, Kitab al-buyu, Vol. 7, #272]

    So, what these hadiths are really about and why other hadiths of the same incident end without any reference to riba? As Allama Suhail explains: “[The above] hadith ends there. The reason for that order is obvious: the Holy Prophet lived a very simple and frugal life, even the flour for his bread was not sieved. Then how could he tolerate that just for the sake of gratification of the palate, two sa’s of dates be exchanged with one sa’ of better quality dates. Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dihlawi, too, has mentioned the same reason for non-permissibility of [this type of transaction, namely] muratalah.” [p. 55]

  1. Pingback: Selling Unripe Fruit – Who Suffers the Loss? (Hadith No. 1898) | iLookiListen

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