Question # 178: Assalaamualaykum, Is not mentioning the truth the same as lying? If I’m selling something and the buyer asks me questions and I answer all of them truthfully but I don’t tell him anything extra which may be important, would it be wrong? For e.g. if I’m selling a car and it does not have original paint but the buyer never asks me about it and I don’t tell him about it, would I be lying/cheating or not?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The one who sells an item in which there is a fault must point out its faults, whether he is selling it to a Muslim or a disbeliever (kaafir), otherwise he will be deceiving and sinning. Hence, not mentioning the truth is equivalent to lying as Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The two parties to a transaction have the option (of cancelling it) until they part. If they are honest and disclose any defects, their transaction will be blessed, but if they lie and conceal defects the blessing will be erased.” Hence, in your case, if you do not disclose to the buyer that the car you are selling does not have original paint, to the buyer, whether he enquires or not, you are deemed to be lying.

Long Answer: The one who sells an item in which there is a fault must point out its faults, whether he is selling it to a Muslim or a disbeliever (kaafir), otherwise he will be deceiving and sinning.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The two parties to a transaction have the option (of cancelling it) until they part. If they are honest and disclose any defects, their transaction will be blessed, but if they lie and conceal defects the blessing will be erased.”

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “If they are honest” means, on the part of the seller with regard to the price and on the part of the buyer by paying off” and disclose any defects” means, disclose any faults in the price and in the goods for which it is paid, so it applies on both sides; the same applies to any shortcomings. The hadith shows that they will attain the blessing if they meet the conditions, which are honesty and disclosure of any defects, and the blessing will be erased if the opposite is the case, namely lying and concealment of defects. Will the blessing be given to one of them if he fulfils the conditions but the other does not? The apparent meaning of the hadith suggests it will. ( Fath al-Baari)

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni: “If a person knows that there is a defect in his goods, it is not permissible for him to sell them unless he discloses it to the purchaser. If he does not disclose it then he is sinning… The meaning of concealing faults is concealing them from the purchaser knowingly, or hiding them from him in such a way that the purchaser thinks there are no defects; both are deception which is haram.”

Al-Subki (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Takmilat al-Majmoo’: “The general prohibition on deceit referred to by the author (may Allah have mercy on him) [al-Raafa’i], his companions and al-Shaafa’i and the obligation of pointing out any defects includes cases where the purchaser is a Muslim or a disbeliever (kaafir)… The ahadith which forbid deceit and enjoin honesty are very many, and the ruling is known from shari’ah. Concealing faults is deceit.”

Hence, in your case, if you do not disclose to the buyer that the car you are selling does not have original paint, to the buyer, whether he enquires or not, you are deemed to be lying.

(The above reply is based on answer provided by Islamqa.info on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam