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Charging more for a requested souvenir

Fatwaa ID: 1463

asalamualaikum wrwb

If someone asks you to purchase an item for them while you are traveling overseas, and bring it back for them and they will pay you, is it allowed to make a profit on the item and not inform them of the profit?

for eg. if the item was purchased on sale for $50 but the market price of it is $75, can the person who requested it be bought be told to pay $75, without being told that it was bought for 50. (a lie would not be uttered but it would be said ‘you owe $75)

jazakumullah Khair for guidance

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

In principle, when someone asks you to purchase an item for them, they are generally appointing you as their representative (wakeel). You are purchasing on their behalf. Thus, you cannot make a profit by charging them an extra amount for the item. You must give it to them for the cost price. However, you are entitled to charging them a wakaalah or service fee. This however must be expressly agreed on prior to the purchase. You may not hide the fee or include it in the price of the item.

This is different from you purchasing an item on your own capacity and then selling it to them for a higher price without them appointing you as their representative. In such a case, you may make a profit. They should not have the impression that you are purchasing on their behalf. You must be clear in your discussions. Similarly, they are not obligated to purchase it from you in this case.

If a friend or family requests for something, do it as favor for the sake of Allaah Ta’aala. Not everything is about hustling and making money off others. Be truthful and sincere. Enjoy and strengthen your bond with them.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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