Murabaha is a non-participatory mode of Islamic financing where the FIM sells the asset required by its client to the client on cost-plus profit basis. The asset is purchased by the FIM and carries the risk of any loss or damage to the asset as long as the asset remains under its ownership. Upon sale of the asset, the FIM is obligated to inform the client of the exact cost incurred in the purchase of the asset and the margin of profit incorporated in the sale price. Payment against the purchase of assets by the client may be deferred in which case it would become Muajjal. The selling price once agreed cannot be changed even when the client fails to pay on the agreed date.
BASIC RULES AND PRINCIPLES
Murabahah is a particular kind of sale where the seller expressly mentions the cost of the sold commodity he has incurred, and sells it to another person by adding some profit thereon.
The profit in Murabahah can be determined by mutual consent, either in lump sum or through an agreed ratio of profit to be charged over the cost.
All the expenses incurred by the seller in acquiring the commodity like freight, custom duty etc. shall be included in the cost price and the profit can be applied on the aggregate cost. However, recurring expenses of the business like salaries of the staff, the rent of the premises etc. cannot be included in the cost of an individual transaction. In fact, the profit claimed over the cost takes care of these expenses.
Murabahah is valid only where the exact cost of a commodity can be ascertained. If the exact cost cannot be ascertained, the commodity cannot be sold on murabahah basis. In this case the commodity must be sold on musawamah (bargaining) basis i.e. without any reference to the cost or to the ratio of profit. The price of the commodity in such cases shall be determined in lump sum by mutual consent.
Example (1) A purchased a pair of shoes for Rs. 100/-. He wants to sell it on murabahah with 10% profit. The exact cost is known. The murabahah sale is valid.
Example (2) A purchased a ready – made suit with a pair of shoes in a single transaction, for a lump sum price of Rs. 500/-. A can sell the suit including shoes on murabahah. But he cannot sell the shoes separately on Murabahah, because the individual cost of the shoes is unknown. If he wants to sell the shoes separately, he must sell it at a lump sum price without reference to the cost or to the profit.