Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent Muslim economist and counselor, states the following: “The OIC Fiqh Academy, in 1412H, resolved that Futures in commodities are not permitted in the Shari’ah. The reason is that they do not fit under any type of Shari’ah-recognized sales contract, as both the price and item sold are deferred. Besides, they are mostly (some 97% as the Academy was told) unreal in a sense that they end up with a reverse transaction and reaping a price differential only.
The resolution issued by the OIC Fiqh Academy continues to say that if futures are reorganized on the basis of As-Salam-type sales contract, they become permissible. In Salam only the delivery of the item is delayed to a specific date and the full price is paid at the time of the contract. The Salam is a real contract meant for delivery on maturity.”