Is it permissible to sell autographs of famous people?

Is it halal to sell an autograph of a famous athlete?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

In order for a sale to be valid, the fuqaha’ have stipulated that the sold item should be something beneficial. It something is of no benefit, it is not valid to sell it, because it has no value, as there is no benefit in it; his taking money for it comes under the heading of consuming wealth unlawfully.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Selling that in which there is no benefit is not permissible.

End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 31/224

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (4/174):

It is not permissible to sell that in which there is no benefit. End quote.

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (29/148):

The fuqaha’ are of the view that it is permissible to sell birds whose flesh may be eaten, such as pigeons, small birds and so on, because there is some benefit in it. As for selling birds that are not eaten or used for hunting, such as Egyptian vultures, kites, ostriches and crows, that are not eaten, it is not permissible to sell them, because there is no benefit in them and they are of no value, so taking money for them comes under the heading of consuming wealth unlawfully and spending money on them is foolishness. End quote.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Our companions said: It is permissible to sell books of hadeeth, fiqh, Arabic language, literature, permissible poetry that is of benefit, books of medicine and mathematics and so on, in which there is some permissible benefit. Our companions said: and it is not permissible to sell books of kufr because there is no permissible benefit in them; rather they must be destroyed. The same applies to books of astronomy, magic, philosophy and other kinds of forbidden and false knowledge, and selling them is invalid because there is no permissible benefit in them. End quote from al-Majmoo‘, 9/304

What is meant by value that is connected to the benefit is the monetary value of the sold item.  Continue reading

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