The Lajnah (Permanent Committee For Scholarly Research And Ifta’) were asked:
What is the ruling of Shari`ah (Islamic law) on selling the shares of joint stock companies, such as Saudi Public Transport Co. (SAPTCO), Qassim Cement Co., Saudi Fisheries Co. (SFICO) and other companies established by the state for the benefit of citizens? What is the ruling on selling the shares of these companies in cash? If it is permissible, what is the ruling on selling them in installments? A person, for instance, wants to buy a thousand collective shares for 160,000 Riyals. He pays 100,000 in cash, and the rest in the form of monthly installments for a year. Is this permissible?
If all or most of these shares are not in the form of money, but rather in the form of land, cars, buildings and so on, and they are known to both the buyer and seller, it is permissible to trade in them, whether in cash, on credit, or in installments, according to the general evidence on the permissibility of buying and selling.
May Allah grant us success.
May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman