What is the Islamic definition of trade?

I understand that Zakaat is not paid on Diamond jewelry, as long as the diamonds are not bought for trading purposes:

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Gold is the thing on which zakaah is due; as for precious stones and diamonds, no zakaah is due on them unless they are for trade purposes.

That extract is from a fatwa on http://islamqa.info/en/ref/20057.

So my question is, what is trade according to islam? Is something considered trade based on intention? Is it not based on intention? What happens if you intend to buy diamonds for non trade purposes, but end up having to sell it due to financial reasons, is that considered trading? Is trade based on time scale, i.e. if you buy something and sell it within a year, that is trade, but if you sell if after a year, that is not trade?

Therefore, I honestly have no idea what Islams definition of trade is, does anyone here know?

  • helpful articles Trade & Commerce in Islam and Islam and Fair Trade Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 12:19
  • 1
    hm... trading to me is: the job of a person who buys and sells goods and merchandises. And naturally one can trade (sell) for financial reasons. Do you want an answer about trading or about selling diamonds because of financial reasons within a year after buying them?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 6:39
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    The question here is more concerned about zakat not about Islamic trade. So edit the question to clarify. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


I think by the links you have provided it is clear that if you have something and your intention is not to sell it but to use it yourself, than its not for trade purpose, same as if i buy a house, and live in it, i have bought it to use it not for trading purpose, although in future i might need to sale it for some reason, but it is not my intention for now. And i am not waiting that its price gets high and i sale it, if i have some intention like this, than my intention is of trade.

from your link: The scholars of the Standing Committee said – in a fatwa that covers more than was mentioned in the question –
The fact that zakaah must be paid on coins – whether gold or silver – has been proven in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and by scholarly consensus. Trade goods are not sought in and of themselves, rather what is sought through them is coins, whether gold or silver. Matters are judged according to their purpose, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions.” Hence zakaah is not due on a slave who is acquired as a servant, or on a horse that is acquired to be ridden, or on a house that is acquired to be lived in, or on a garment that is acquired to be worn, or on chrysolite, rubies, coral etc that are acquired for use as adornments. But if all of these or similar things are acquired for the purpose of trade, then zakaah must be paid on them, because the purpose behind them is to acquire gold and silver coins or whatever is used in their place… Based on this, whoever withholds zakaah on whatever trade goods he has is sinning…

And i should also make it clear, that i doubt this view on zakaat on diamonds etc is not due, but as of this link, and your question, above is the answer.

Allah knows best

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