Option contracts that are known nowadays in the international stock market are innovated contracts that do not belong to any category of the known contracts of the Shari`ah. Bearing in mind that such contracts do not involve a benefit or a financial right that can be substituted for, they are considered prohibited in the eyes of the Shari`ah.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research, states the following:
The Nature of the Contract
Option contract means “substitution for commitment to sell something well defined, or buying it at a specific price during a certain period of time or at a certain time, either directly or through an agency that guarantees the rights of both parties.”
Its Ruling in Terms of Shari`ah
Option contracts, as they are dealt with nowadays in the international stock markets, are innovated contracts that do not belong to any category of the known contracts of the Shari`ah.
Since the contract does not involve a fund, a benefit, or a financial right that can be substituted for, the contract is impermissible in terms of the Shari`ah; and as such contracts
are initially impermissible, they are impermissible to circulate
Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, adds: These options are created (i.e. artificially fabricated) for the purpose of trading only, and hence they do not represent anything in the real world although they can be exercised and people make profits and losses out of their trading. They are market-created and formalized by the market authorities but they are not real. That is why the resolution of the ECFR called them “financial rights that are not amenable to be exchanged according to Shari`ah.