Date : 27-04-2010

Question :

Some traders change the label of origin for the goods imported from China to look as if they were imported from Malaysia. They do so in order to evade the relatively high tariffs imposed on the goods imported from China compared to other countries. What is the ruling of Sharia on this?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

It is known to all Muslims that cheating is forbidden and can`t by any means be justified. The evidence on this is that Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who takes up arms against us is none of us; and he who cheats us is none of us." [Muslim].

Consequently, changing of the country of origin by the above traders is forgery for cheating that inflicts harm on Muslim and non-Muslim purchasers, and this is forbidden. Moreover, customers may prefer to purchase a certain commodity because they trust the quality of goods produced by a certain manufacturer. Thus, the seller, be he a trader or an importer, must be honest, fear Allah and be keen on earning lawful money. This is in order to be one of those about whom the Prophet (PBUH) said: "The truthful, trustworthy merchant is with the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs." {Realted by Tirmithi}. Also, Allah the Almighty says {What means}: " O ye who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." {At-Tawbah, 119}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.