Can a counter-party’s silence upon an offer be considered to be acceptance?

Question:

Can a counter-party’s silence upon an offer be considered to be acceptance?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 The Answer:

 The silence of the counter-party without any statement or action indicating to acceptance is not regarded as acceptance in commercial transactions[1].

The Fiqh (jurisprudence of the answer):

The Shariah has placed speech, writing and actions to indicate to the intent of a person. Without any verbal indication, written expression or action from a counter-party, their intent remains unknown. Thus, silence cannot be an acceptance in Shariah. Without both an offer and an acceptance, there can be no consensus ad idem or a meeting of the minds (Muwāfaqah) which is essential to form a contract.

And Allah Ta’ālā Alone Knows Best

Mufti Faraz Adam,
Shariah Advisor
Amanah Finance Consultancy

 

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[1] Al-Attasi, Sharh al-Majallah, Quetta: Maktabah Rashidiyya