Istisna – Time of Delivery
As pointed out earlier, it is not necessary in istisna that the time of delivery is fixed. However, the purchaser may fix a maximum time for delivery which means that if the manufacturer delays the delivery after the appointed time, he will not be bound to accept the goods and to pay the price.
In order to ensure that the goods will be delivered within the specified period, some modern agreements of this nature contain a penal clause to the effect that in case the manufacturer delays the delivery after the appointed time, he shall be liable to a penalty which shall be calculated on daily basis. Can such a penal clause be inserted in a contract of istisna according to Shariah? Although the classical jurists seem to be silent about this question while they discuss the contract of istisna, yet they have allowed a similar condition in the case of ijarah. They say that if a person hires the services of a person to tailor his clothes, the fee may be variable according to the time of delivery. The hirer may say that he will pay Rs. 100/- in case the tailor prepares the clothes within one day and Rs. 80/- in case he prepares them after two days.
On the same analogy, the price in istisna may be tied up with the time of delivery, and it will be permissible if it is agreed between the parties that in the case of delay in delivery, the price shall be reduced by a specified amount per day.
- Available with the kind permission of Skeikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani