Majhul sale

Q 21: Many times commodities are sold before being unloaded from vehicles to define their contents; what is the ruling on this?

A: If the commodities to be sold have different parts of different types and benefits and if seeing some of them is not sufficient to identify the rest, selling them while they are accumulated is not permissible. This is because the parts of the sold commodities should be identified and checked, as one of the conditions of sale is that the sold object should be known by the two contracting parties and they should see all or some of its parts so as to identify the whole item. This is so provided that the parts are similar to each other. The foregoing does not apply to components which are embodied in the main item or (Part No. 13; Page No. 87) that can be overlooked either because of their smallness or the difficulty of distinguishing and identifying them such as cotton which is stuffed in furniture, jubbahs, and so on. Moreover, this includes all commodities that can be identified through a means which is sufficient regarding Salam sale (sale with advance payment); this means may replace seeing the commodity with regard to the sale of commodities concerning which Salam is permissible by seeing - such as measured, weighed, counted, and planted items. Consequently, unawareness of the sold item is uncertainty and deception that invalidate and nullify the sale. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.