Q 3: Is it permissible to
sell dates that are still on palm trees for an indefinite period?
It is only permissible to sell dates on their palm trees if they are not to be paid for by dates; however, money is acceptable. If the price is not to be paid in cash, the sale must be for a fixed period of time and the dates must be ripe. (Part No. 14; Page No. 88) That is because if the sale is not set for a definite period, it may fall under a Gharar sale (fraudulent transaction where details about the sold item are unknown or uncertain). Allah (Exalted be He) says:
O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down.
It is not permissible to sell dates for dates due to the inequality of amounts except in the case of the Bay` Al-`Araya (a type of sale in which the owner is allowed to sell the fresh dates while they are still over the palms by means of estimation, for dried plucked dates) according to its well-known conditions. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.