#219: Buying Gold by Post


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it permissible to buy gold by post? The reason is I’ve paid for it and the gold will arrive later due to the postage process. Hope for an explanation.


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

All trade and transactions are permissible in syara’, however, there is a type of trade that one should pay attention to which involves ribawi items (items considered as usury if their trade doesn’t follow the guidelines of syara’) to avoid getting involved in usury.

Gold is a ribawi item and it is obligatory for us to be cautious in its trade as narrated in a hadith from ‘Ubadah bin al-Somit RA, where the Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:

الذَّهَبُ بالذَّهَبِ، والْفِضَّةُ بالفِضَّةِ، والْبُرُّ بالبُرِّ، والشَّعِيرُ بالشَّعِيرِ، والتَّمْرُ بالتَّمْرِ، والْمِلْحُ بالمِلْحِ، مِثْلًا بمِثْلٍ، سَواءً بسَواءٍ، يَدًا بيَدٍ، فإذا اخْتَلَفَتْ هذِه الأصْنافُ، فَبِيعُوا كيفَ شِئْتُمْ، إذا كانَ يَدًا بيَدٍ

“Gold is to be paid for with gold, silver with silver, wheat with wheat, barley with barley, dates with dates, and salt with salt, same quantity for same quantity and equal for equal, hand to hand (i.e. payment being made on the spot). If these classes differ, sell as you wish as long as payment is made on the spot.” [1]

The author of the book al-Fiqh al-Manhaji [2] stated: During the trade that involves two types of items that contains the elements of usury of different types however has the same reason of usury (for example, both are in the form of currency or food), the trade must fulfil two conditions to make the trade valid and free of elements of usury:

  • The akad is through lani. The akad is made in cash or immediately, which means the akad doesn’t specify a certain duration for the item to be handover even if the period of time is short.
  • The handover of the item must happen at the place of the akad.

In this situation, both items don’t necessarily have to be of the same value. Moreover, it is permissible to sell a mudd of wheat with two mudds of barley, or a gram of gold with five grams of silver.

With this akad, all the process following it is valid. However, it is on the condition that no certain period for the handover or receiving of the item to happen at the time.

The evidence for this case is a hadith from Ubadah RA stated previously:

فَإِذَا اخْتَلَفَتْ هَذِهِ الأَصْنَافُ فَبِيعُوا كَيْفَ شِئْتُمْ إِذَا كَانَ يَدًا بِيَدٍ

“If these classes differ, sell as you wish as long as payment is made on the spot.” [3]

What is meant by items in this hadith are ribawi items stated in other or similar hadiths. The meaning of the items which classes differ in this hadith is the items used as payment in the trade is not the same as the item sold.

What is meant by “sell as you wish” is you are permitted to do trade with the items and they are not of the same type of items and it is not conditioned for the items to be the same.

According to the above question, we are inclined towards the opinion that states such transactions shouldn’t be performed. The reason is one of the conditions of trade for ribawi items in the form of gold is the obligation of taqabudh, handing over of both items involved in the transaction at the same time before both parties go their separate ways in the akad ceremony. This is to avoid riba nasiah. The handover can be done through hukmi such as using a proxy or hissi which is through physical handover. Al-Barra’ bin ‘Azib and Zaid bin Arqam once asked Rasullullah PBUH regarding the ruling of currency exchange. The Prophet PBUH answered:

إِنْ كَانَ يَدًا بِيَدٍ فَلاَ بَأْسَ، وَإِنْ كَانَ نَسَاءً فَلاَ يَصْلُحُ

“If it is done hand to hand there is nothing wrong with it, but if it is done on credit then it is not right.” [4]

We also advise to avoid seeking khilaf in this matter. Use one’s warak (piety) and move towards a certain, safe, correct and accurate standing. We end with a hadith from Abu Dzar RA and Muaz bin Jabal RA, where Rasullullah PBUH said:

اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ، وَأَتْبِعِ السَّيِّئَةَ الحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقِ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ

“Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people.” [5]

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] Narrated by Muslim (1587)

[2] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 6/72

[3] Narrated by Muslim (1587)

[4] Narrated by al-Bukhari (2060).

[5] Narrated by al-Tirmidzi (1987) and Ahmad (21392)