Business Question: Gazumping in property - halal or haram?

Salaam, I was hoping for some clarity about gazumping. I feel uncomfortable considering it but wanted to know if it is halal? I know it is legal in the UK. Would appreciate a response from a mufti, jazakallah khair

Wa alaykum salaam,

Gazumping is not permissible. The Prophet warned against such a practice.

Ibn 'Umar (ra) related that Rasul-Allah (saw) said, ‘‘A person should not enter into a transaction when his brother is already making a transaction (for that item) and should not make a proposal of marriage when his brother has already made a proposal except when he gives permission.’’

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Jazakallah khair.

Could “brother” be in reference to Islamic brother, or is it applicable to any individual? Jazakallah khair

It can be applied to anyone as the emphasis is not on the person, rather the action.

The Islamic texts always make references to others as brothers/sisters to highlight that we all should treat each other with love, kindness and respect each other.

Alhumdulillah! Jazakallah khair

Jzk khayr Mufti saab. Also Bukhari has a hadith without “akhi” terminology:

Allah’s Apostle forbade (1) the meeting of the caravan (of goods) on the way, (2) and that a residing person buys for a bedouin, (3) and that a woman stipulates the divorce of the wife of the would-be husband, (4) and that a man tries to cause the cancellation of a bargain concluded by another. He also forbade An-Najsh (see Hadith 824) and that one withholds the milk in the udder of the animal so that he may deceive people on selling it.

Out of interest, wasn’t there some discussion in ahadith around the Jewish tribes charging/not charging one thing to their own, but differently to others?

Also, interested to hear if you’ve come across any differences of opinion on this - or are majority of scholars in agreement this applies uniformly to Muslims and non-Muslims?

Assalalmu Alaykum.

Can I just clarify if my scenario would be considered gazumping. There is a property on the market that is proving to have lots of views. The estate agent has advised that someone has matched the asking price a day before my second viewing (I don’t know if that is true or not). If i then go in and make an offer above the asking price would I be considered as gazumping someone. I do not know if the seller has agreed the other offer or whether he has been advised not to accept incase I go in for a higher amount?

Wa alaykum salaam,

Has the seller accepted the offer of this bid? It all depends on whether the seller has accepted the bid.

Jazak’Allah Khair for your response.

I will ask the estate agent tomorrow the exact status. I was only told that someone has already made an offer which meets the guide price and the estate agent said that if I was interested then I would have to at least match the offer.

From the way that you have asked the question are my below scenarios correct and only option 3 would be permissible:

  1. They have verbally accepted an offer and so if I was to make an increased offer then I would be gazumping and therefore it is haram.

  2. They have formally acknowledged the offer by email and are either at the start of the legal process all the way up to the day before the contractual exchange. If I was to put in an increased offer at any point of this stage then I am gazumping and thus it is haram.

  3. They have received an offer but are willing to listen to other offers. I can then put in an offer even if it is above the marketed value. This is permissible.