Praise be to Allah, Alone, and peace and blessings be upon he whom no Prophet will come after. The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' read what was submitted to His Eminence the Grand Mufty from His Eminence, the judge of the Summary Court
`Abdul-Rahman ibn Muhammad Al-Suhaybany,
that was sent to the Committee from the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars numbered (3563), dated 28/6/1417 A.H where His Eminence asked the following question: "Some gold sellers submitted a request for Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) to us in our region on gold lease, for they sell gold (Part No. 15; Page No. 79) and exchange it for its full value at the same session, but they make a condition that they lease the gold instead of selling it, so that when buyers come to return the gold, they take the whole sum they paid for buying it, and what is to be deducted is the value of the lease only, they justify this by saying that most of the people in the region buy gold for high prices, then return it after a while and sell it for a loss. They have claimed that on leasing the gold, they will be able to get the whole paid sum when they sell it back, which makes it easy for them, for the value of lease is much less than the selling loss. And they asked us to advise them in this regard, for they mentioned that some shop owners tend to do this act. I hope that Your Eminence would advise us so that we can all benefit from this". After asking His Eminence about the status of gold whether it is jewelry or bars, He replied as follows, "We notify Your Eminence that the leased gold is jewelry, and the aim of the lease is to help people pay a little sum in return for the lease, instead of paying a large sum in purchasing the gold, for most of the nomads pay very large sums in buying gold, one of them says 'Instead of buying this gold that costs me a lot and is not used except during wedding days, I can lease it - as jewelry - for two weeks, then return it to the gold shop owner after paying its price (Part No. 15; Page No. 80) in full, so that when I return it to him (i.e. the gold owner), he gives me back the money I paid him, and only deducts the value of lease that was previously agreed upon, by this I shall not be entangled in paying large sums.'"
A: After the Committee has studied the request, it replied:
The basic principle is the permissibility
of leasing silver and gold jewels in return for money or others for a fixed term and value, where the person borrowing returns the jewelry after the term of the lease expires. It is also permissible to take a mortgage for this. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.