Question 79 : Assalaamualaykum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh
If some food vendors join together. They said this is a charity project.
They put the food up for sale and some percentages of their profit will be given to the appointed charity. So the food vendors will get their cost and some profits recovered.
Is it allowed?
Is it included in term of buying/selling with 2 aqad/contracts or 2 prices?
Please clarify this issue.
Jazaakumullaahu khayran wa BaarakAllaahu feekum.
Answer : Sale Partially for Charity
Alhamdulillah Wassalatu wassalam alaa rasulihil-mustafa
First way, a haram way:
Selling goods whereby the sellers advertise to the public that a specified or unspecified share of the sale price or profit will be given to charity is not permissible according to what I understand of the Fiqh. The reason this is not permissible is firstly that the person selling is seeking his own profit by enticing the sense of charity to help needy people yet using that for the seller’s own profit. This itself is immoral as it is personal benefit exploiting the plight of the needy. Furthermore, the buyer is paying the money for two things – to acquire the sale item and to help the charity in need. This is one of the forms of two contracts in one where one is conditional upon the other which the Prophet (s.a.w) forbade in different hadith with different expressions conveying a meaning that includes a prohibition of one contract conditional upon another. The wisdom in this is to prevent exploitation and manipulation of the buyers by getting them to accept one contract in one form mainly because they are primarily interested in the other contract in its form. The fact that one part is charity or bestowal does not make this permissible, rather, so long as the charity part is conditional upon the profit making part, it actually makes it more of a manipulation that is forbidden in hadith of doing two contracts in one and hadith about doing one contract with another as a condition.
Note that in Islam there is a sale contract where by two sides bargain to get the best for themselves. Then there is another called hibah which is to grant/bestow ie charity or gift. Both of these are different contracts and the bestowal should not be made a condition for sale, firstly due to the two types of hadith referred to above and secondly because it is using public’s desire of charity to make self profiting sale which goes back to the first point again.
Second way, a halal way:
Can this be done in a halal way?
Answer is yes it can. The people may want to benefit a charitable cause that people are not inclined to give charity for. So a set of businesses can come together and sell one of their products and give 100% of its price (not just the profit but the entire price) to the charity. Alternatively, they can buy a third independent party’s product in which they themselves have no monetary benefit to get, then sell that product and give the purchase price to the independent person from whom they bought it and give the remaining profit to the charity. These two ways the sellers do not entice the people to buy for sake of charity to another source nor for their (ie seller’s’) own profit. Rather the whole sale is for generating money for charity. The businesses doing this may well get some non monetary benefit in form of generating good will towards them in the hearts of the public for doing something charitable, and this is fine since the immediate sale’s profit is not for themselves but it is purely for the charity.
Third way, another halal way:
Yet another halal way of doing this is for the businesses to do the sale and keep the intention of charity a secret among themselves and not inform the potential customers about it. This way the customers buy purely for sale of the product for its own merits with a price suitable for it and it is a normal sale and not one contract conditional upon another.
Final Point – The Three hadith Plus the Main Thing:
This case was one of selling something for our profit promising to the potential customers that part of its price or profit is going to be given to charity amd we saw this is haram and the reason for it. THE MAIN THING we realise from all of this is that a sale must be done for the merits of the sale item with a price for its own virtue, and no seller should exploit people’s sense of charity to make it conditional upon the people giving him a profit. The hadith where in  the Prophet (s.a.w) “forbade two sales in one” (authentic hadith)  the hadith that he (s.a.w) forbade a sale and a condition (authenticity debatable),  the hadith that he (s.a.w) “forbade two conditions in one sale” (authentic hadith), and  the hadith wherein he (s.a.w) “forbade a sale and credit (salaf/salam contract),” (authentic hadith), these four hadith and similar ones, some of the great scholars understood from these Texts from the Prophet (s.a.w) a variety of cases fitting them and what is mentioned above is one case that some of the greatest scholars and Imams of all time understood it, ie prohibition of one contract conditional upon another where there is a sale for profit. And the wisdom is to prevent obvious exploitation and injustice (dhulm).