What is the ruling on Inflating Prices?

Answered by our Shaykh, the ‘Allaamah, the Sincere Advisor, Abu ‘Abdirrahman Yahya bin ‘Ali Al-Hajoori – may Allaah preserve him –


Some people que up at petrol stations for a number of days in order to buy petrol and diesel, they then buy it at the advertised price and sell it at a much higher price even though the law of the country forbid this, so what do you say concerning this matter?


(The sheikh began by praising Allah, and sending peace and salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ), as for what proceeds:

The basic principle when it comes to buying and sellings things is permissiblity, so long as these things are lawful, due to the speech of Allah the Most High:

“وَأَحَلَّ اللهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا “
“Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba (usury).”
[Surha Al Baqarah, 275]

However, if a person enters into trading in order to inflate prices, then the Prophet ﷺ has said:

“من أدخل شيئا في أسعار المسلمين ليغلي عليهم كان حقا على الله أن يسكنه بعُظم من جهنم”
“Whoever causes inflation upon the Muslims, Allah the exalted will seat him in the center of the Hell-fire on the day of judgment.”
[This is an authentic narration]


This action (of Inflating prices) is breaking the laws of the country; i.e. laws which are not contrary to the Sharee’ah. And this is not appropriate, whether it be traffic laws or in the pricings of things which people are in need of. Although, there may be differences in prices of items generally, however – that which relates to the affairs of the people needs to be regulated in order to prevent disagreements, hardships and trials.

As for the narration:

“إِنَّ الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق وإِني لأرجو أَن ألقى ربي وليس أحدٌ منكم يطلبنني بمظلة بدم ولا مال”
‘Indeed Allah is Al-Musa’ir, Al-Qabid, Al-Basit, Ar-Razzaq. And I am hopeful that I meet my Lord and none of you are seeking (recompense from) me for an injustice involving blood or wealth.’

The meaning is not that it is forbidden to set prices, but this is from the stand point of wara’ (piety).

So we advise with abiding by what the one in charge of this affair has decided, and it is feared upon the one who goes against that being sinful due to two matters:

The first matter being that he is causing inflation in the prices, and this is not only a waste, but he falls under the threat mentioned in the previous Hadeeth.

The second affair is that he has opposed the authorities in a matter that has a benefit for the society.

So the advice is to adhere to the prices that have been set by the authorities.

But if the prices are not fixed by the authorities, then it’s allowed for a person to sell at a price that suits him and which will him earn a profit; a little or much.

But we advise to be gentle with the people when selling and in other than that, due to the saying of the Prophet ﷺ:

“ما كان الرفق في شيءٍ إلا زانه و لا نزع من شيء إلا شانه”
‘Kindness is not found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective.’

And due to his saying, peace be upon him:

“ارحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء”
“Have mercy for those on earth, and He Who is in the heaven will have mercy upon you.”

And with Allah is success.

Translated by : Abu Yunus Nassime ibn Yousseff Vernege-Fanus

Original source : http://www.sh-yahia.net/show_fatawa_1586.html