Can a person sell a car which is in the custody of the traffic department?

  • 07 Mar 2013 08:24:18
  • Norway


Can a person sell his car which is in the custody of the traffic police department. He doesn’t have the amount to release his car. The buyer agrees to buy his car for 40,000 for example if it is in a sound condition or pay less if the condition is not sound. He pays the traffic department a fine of 5000 to release his car and finds his car in a sound condition. Now he pays the seller 35,000 because he has already paid 5000 to release his car. Is this transaction valid?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Our understanding of the specific contract in reference is as follows “Can a person sell his car which is in the traffic police department to another person for 40.000. The purchaser will pay the 5,000 fine to the traffic department as part of the purchase price. The total purchase price will be 40,000 if the car is in a sound condition. However, if the car is not in a sound condition, the price may be lowered. Is this transaction valid?”

The above transaction is not Shariah Compliant for the following reasons:

1. Gharar (Future Uncertainty/Speculation)

Shariah prohibits any transaction which has an element of Gharar (future uncertainty). Therefore, the above transaction is not Shariah Compliant since the transaction is based on a future contingency or uncertainty, i.e. releasing of the car by the traffic police department.

2. Jahalah Fahishah (Major Obscurity)

Shariah prohibits all transactions which have any element of severe/major obscurity. Therefore, the transaction in reference is not Shariah Compliant since the purchase price of the vehicle is not fixed and certain. The purchase price might be altered in the event that the vehicle is not in a sound condition.

3. Sharth Fasid (Invalid clause)

According to Shariah, unreasonable conditions that go against the inherent elements of a sale are prohibited. Therefore, the above transaction is not Shariah Compliant since the purchase of the car is dependent on the payment of the 5.000 fine to the traffic police department.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

(Mawlana) Ismail Desai
Student: Darul Ifta

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