Permissibility of selling to the one who offers a higher price
Fatwa No: 2484

  • Fatwa Date:9-5-2011 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 6, 1432
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I work in a humble center that provides computer services. One of the activities of the center is to sell computers and similar things such as printers. Every now and then, we receive requests for price lists regarding selling and installing these sets. We also learn by some means similar prices that are offered by other institutions or companies that are submitted to the same company. Thus, we offer lower prices, without causing the company any loss, in order to get the bid, as sometimes there is more than one competitor or only one. Is what we do impermissible as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, says: "It is impermissible for a believer to outbid his brother." If our center previously intended to offer lesser prices, should we refrain from submitting our bid in order not to do what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade us from doing?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.


What you mentioned in your question is not considered outbidding, but it is like taking more than one offer as what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did. It was narrated on the authority of Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, once asked: "Who buys these (two items)?’ One man said, ‘I would buy them for one dirham,’ and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Who offers a higher price?’ He said this twice or thrice." [At-Tirmithi: Hasan]

As for trying to know the offers presented by others in order to offer lesser prices, if you know this without spying, it would be alright. However, if you obtain this information through spying, this will be impermissible as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do not spy} [Quran 49:12]

Allaah Knows best.

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