Concerning the dealing in counterfeit trademark goods | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
Skip to Content
Friday 18 Rabî` Ath-Thânî 1442 H - December 04, 2020 G

Fatwa n° 359

Category: Fatwas about financial transactions – Selling

Concerning the dealing
in counterfeit trademark goods

Question:

The phenomenon of fraud in commercial transactions became widespread, to such an extent that a lot of importers take original goods to China where they manufacture similar goods and put them in boxes similar to the original ones, to be marketed as original goods. Is this considered as a violation of the rights of others? And what is incumbent upon the one who possesses such goods? May Allah reward you.

Answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.

It is incumbent upon the Muslim to be truthful, and he must observe truthfulness as a moral behavior outwardly and inwardly. When he deals with others, he must be truthful and should neither deceive nor betray them. Further, the Muslim is not expected to cheat others in any case. This is because truthfulness completes his faith and makes his religion perfect. Allah عزّ وجلّ said:

﴿يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ [التوبة: 119]

The meaning of the verse:

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are truthful (in words and deeds)﴿ [At-Tawba: 119].

This transaction is not permissible, because it entails a violation of the property of others without their permission. Moreover, lying to people, cheating them and contradicting Waliy Al-Amr (1) are ignoble qualities that harm the Muslims. An ignoble quality is not the behavior of the Muslim, and does not at all constitute his attribute. Allah عزّ وجلّ says:

﴿وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡذُونَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِ بِغَيۡرِ مَا ٱكۡتَسَبُواْ فَقَدِ ٱحۡتَمَلُواْ بُهۡتَٰنٗا وَإِثۡمٗا مُّبِينٗا[الأحزاب: 58]

The meaning of the verse:

And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear (on themselves) the crime of slander and plain sin﴿ [Al-Ahzâb: 58]. He عزّ وجلّ says also:

﴿وَلَا يَحِيقُ ٱلۡمَكۡرُ ٱلسَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهۡلِهِۦۚ [فاطر: 43]

The meaning of the verse:

But the evil plot encompasses only the one who makes it﴿ [Fâtir: 43].

Furthermore, the Muslim is closer to the good and far from the evil, so he must avoid the evil and should not cooperate in it; Allah عزّ وجلّsays:

﴿وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلۡبِرِّ وَٱلتَّقۡوَىٰۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٰنِۚ [المائدة: 2]

The meaning of the verse:

And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 2].

Therefore, whoever sells these counterfeit goods as they are, is neither faithful [in his advice] nor a trustworthy person; the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said: “Return the deposit to the one who entrusted you, and do not betray the one who betrayed you” (2).

The one who possesses these goods must inform the purchaser of their state if he wants to buy them. He must also -after getting rid of the merchandise- refrain from dealing in them. Indeed, the Muslim has to fear Allah and follow the ways of lawful earning, because fearing Allah and pleasing Him is the reason for which Allah عزّ وجلّ will facilitate his business. Allah عزّ وجلّ says:

﴿وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُۥ مَخۡرَجٗا ٢ وَيَرۡزُقۡهُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَحۡتَسِبُۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَٰلِغُ أَمۡرِهِۦۚ قَدۡ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدۡرٗا ٣ [الطلاق: 2-3]

The meaning of the verse:

And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set measure for all things﴿ [At-Talâq: 2-3].

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers on Safar the 1st, 1427 H.

Corresponding to March the 1st, 2006 G.

 


(1) The general governor, the leader of the Muslim country. Translator’s note.

(2) Narrated by Abû Dâwûd (3535) and by At-Tirmidhî (1264) from the hadith of Abû Hurayra رضي الله عنه. The hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Silsilat Al-Ahâdîth As-Sahîha” (423).