6. Revocation due to Unfairness | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei


6. Revocation due to Unfairness


Q1545. The buyer delayed the payment for the goods he purchased beyond the agreed date. As a result of market forces the goods price has gone up. Has the seller the right of withdrawal because of unfairness, or has he the right to do so because of the delay in paying on time?

A: The criterion, which could give rise to the right of revocation because of unfairness, is that such loss should be related to the unfair price on the date of sale, for example, selling the goods at such a knockdown price that it is unacceptable in the common view. As for the increase in the price after the sale agreement has been concluded, it is not a cause for such a right. Likewise, delaying the payment beyond the agreed date should not necessarily lead to exercising the right of revocation by the vendor.


Q1546. I sold a piece of land. When I told a friend of mine the price I sold it for, he told me that I had been aggrieved. Does this entitle me to the right of revocation of the deal due to unfairness?

A: You have no such a right unless it is proven that you sold the land at an unacceptably low price, i.e. much lower than that of the market value of the land, at the time of sale, and that you were unaware of its real value.


Q1547. Someone sold a plot of land on the understanding that it has a particular area. It transpired that the actual area of the land was much greater than the one declared at the time of sale. Has the vendor the right to demand extra payment for the extra area?

A: Should the selling be for the entire plot of land, on the assumption that it is of a particular area, only to find out later that it is more than what it was claimed to be, in which case the price should be higher, he has the right to revoke the agreement because of the unfairness that has been involved.

Should the land have been sold by way of a particular price for each square meter, the vendor has the right to demand payment for the extra square meters.


Q1548. An agreement between the seller and the buyer was signed on condition that the price of the goods be settled after a grace period to ascertain whether or not the price was unfair. Is this type of transaction legally valid? And if it is, has the buyer the right to revoke the agreement?

A: There is no harm in concluding the sale on the condition of delayed payment for checking if the price is unfair or not. However, the buyer has no right to revoke the agreement unless unfairness is proven.


Q1549. What is the ruling in the matter of a deal in which the wronged party is non-Muslim?

A: In the matter of having the right of revocation due to unfairness, there is no difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.


Q1550. I sold some property to a person. After I received the sale price and he took possession of the property, he claimed that he was unfairly treated and subsequently revoked the agreement. However, he refused to vacate the property and get his money back. Two years later, he claimed that he revoked the agreement insofar as half of the property is concerned, and demanded that I return half of the money to him. Is it permissible for him to own half of the property after he had revoked the entire sale due to unfairness?

A: The party, who claims to be unfairly treated, has the right to revoke the sale of the entire property and retrieve his money provided that such unfairness is proved. He has no right to revoke the sale in part. Nor has he the right to demand extra payment.


Q1551. Two people made a deal and committed themselves to abide by certain conditions. They wrote this on a piece of paper without official registration, undertaking that if either of them changed their minds, they should pay the other party a sum of money. Now that one of them has changed his mind, claiming unfairness, has he the right to revoke the agreement? And if so, should he comply with the condition?

A: Although the condition to pay a sum of money by the party who has refused completion of the sale is valid in itself and should be honored provided that it is stipulated in the contract or the agreement based on it, this does not include such cases in which the transaction could be revoked due to unfairness.


Q1552. One week after buying some property, I was convinced that I had been unjustly treated. I approached the vendor with a view to revoking the sale. He refused. The property remained at my disposal during which time its price has risen. There and then the vendor asked me to revoke the sale and vacate the property. I did not mind provided that he returned the money I paid for the property plus an extra amount to make up for the price appreciation. He refused. Can my initial request of the vendor to revoke the contract be considered a valid enough reason for that purpose? And can my accepting his proposal of revoking the contract and receiving the extra money be so too?

A: The mere approaching of one who has the right of revocation to the other party with a proposition to revoke the contract or just agreement of the former to return the sold property to the latter in return for an extra payment does not amount to a proper revocation of the contract. However, the revocation of the contract lies with the one who has such a right. It does not depend on the consent of the other party, nor the return of the thing sold. So, had you really revoked the contract, at the time when you found out that you had been unfairly treated, the revocation would have been legally valid. You should, therefore, have no right of disposal in the property and should have handed it over to the vendor.