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f:381 -    Selling flats before their construction
Country : Hyderabad, India,
Name : submittername
Question:     There are many localities coming up in the outskirts of the society.  Huge apartment houses are being constructed.  Usually what happens is that even before the apartments are constructed, they are sold off and a lot of money is being earned this way.  Is it permissible to sell things, which are not yet ready in this manner?
Answer:     Those things about whom there is a custom that they are usually prepared on order like clothes, shoes, roti (bread) etc., their sale and buying is permissible, even though these things may not be ready yet.  I the terminology of the Shariah, these dealings are called “Istisna’a”.  

For these dealing, it is necessary that the kind, type, quantity and quality of the thing being ordered be made clear.  As given Radd Ul Muhtaar, Vol. 4, Pg. No. 632:

Translation:  The meaning of “Istisna’a” is to prepare something to order.......  Among its conditions are that the kind, type, quantity and quality of the thing being ordered be clearly expressed and there is a custom in the society that the thing is usually ordered in this manner.  

If in the sale of the flats, the quality of the construction, the design of the flat, particular flats, floors, direction the flat is facing, etc. and other matters, which ought to be clarified beforehand are clearly expressed, then selling and/or buying them before their construction is complete and accepting money for this is correct, as after this degree of clarification, the danger of quarrels, etc. is reduced.  

And Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) knows best.  

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri,
[Associate Professor of Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder/Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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