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Rufai Oladimeji
, Nigeria.
Question

I am buying online on "eBay", and after I
agreed with the seller on the price of a
merchandize I faced some problem with
delivery. Then I checked the price with
another seller I found it cheaper by $30. In
this case can I leave the first seller or I have
to stick with him? I mean is it considered as
a bounding contract with which I have to
fulfil same as in face to face contract in
selling and buying?

Fatwa:
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the
Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, and that Muhammad
is His Slave and Messenger.

If the sale took place through the internet
and there was an agreement and consent
between you and the seller, and the sale
contract was valid, then you are obliged to
abide by the terms of this sale and you are
not permitted to invalidate it unless you
conditioned to choose either to accept or
refuse, or that the seller refused to sell you
the product. The Fiqh Islamic Committee in
its sixth conference held in Jeddah, K.S.A.
issued the following report: 'If the contract
takes place between two absent people who
are in different places, and no one can see
the other personally and does not hear his
voice, and the means of communication
between them was in writing, or letter or an
intermediary [messenger]; this applies to
telephone, telex, fax and computer screens,
then in such a case the contract is
concluded when the consent and agreement
of the other party arrives to the sender.'
If the contract takes place while both parties
can hear each other, like through the
messenger [internet] then it appears that the
contract becomes bondable when the
conversation finishes.
Therefore, if you had concluded the contract
with the seller with the above means, then
you are obliged to abide by the terms of the
contract and you are not permitted to
invalidate it unless you conditioned in the
contract having the choice to invalidate it.

The Prophet said : "The buyer and seller
have the choice to invalidate their contract
as long as they do not depart from each
other." [this departure differs from one
situation to another, and from one
circumstance to another, for instance if one
is in person with the seller, his departure is
when he leaves the place of the contract,
and if one is concluding the contract
through the phone, his departure is when he
puts the phone down, and so forth…]
Finally, it should be noted that if the sale is
concluded through the internet, while seeing
the product or having its description to an
extent that there is no deceit or cheating,
then the contract is valid. However, if the
contract is done without seeing the product
or having it described then the scholars,
may Allah have mercy on them, differed in
relation to its permissibility. The Shaafi'ee
and Hanbali schools are of the view that it is
not valid, because Abu Hurayrah, may Allah
be pleased with him, said: "The Prophet
forbade the sale in which there is deceit or
cheating ." Meanwhile, the Hanafi school are
of the view that it is permissible while
confirming that the buyer has the choice to
see the product. However, the Maaliki
school, is of the opinion that it is
permissible on the condition that the buyer
conditions having the choice. It appears,
Allah Knows best, that the first opinion is
the closest to the evidence, i.e. that it is not
valid, as is the opinion of the Shafi'ee
school.

Allah Knows best.

www.islamweb.net/en/article/155010/choice-to-invalidate-the-sale-contract-conducted-via-internet

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