Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


The Option of Sight under Islamic Shari'ah and its Applicability to Electronic Direct Purchase Administrative Contracts in the UAE

Author(s): Nayel Musa Alomran, Mean Mohammad Al-Qassaymeh

Electronic transactions are an important development to traditional commerce. People (including government entities), nowadays, buy goods without going to the traditional markets because they find their needs and buy them via the Internet. This development of commerce, which results from developments in communication technology, has proliferated and facilitated marketing across a wide range of stakeholders, some of which has resulted in deceit and cheating. This happens when merchants exploit the remoteness between their products and government departments by delivering goods which differ from those that have been agreed upon. Or, it may happen when merchants falsely describe their products. These methods of deceit and cheating are addressed in Islamic law by legislating the option of sight which gives the purchaser right to rescind the contract upon viewing the item. This analytical study discusses the appropriateness of the option of sight with administrative e-purchases in view of the fact that the government department usually sees pictures or videos of the item online. Hence, this study discusses whether or not electronic pictures and videos provide government departments with sufficient knowledge the about the item and, accordingly, trigger the option of sight.