The narration that forbids selling goods which are not possessed is like this:
From Hakim Ibn. Hizam: I came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “Someone comes to me and wants to buy something that I don’t have at hand. So I buy it from the market and sell it to him. (What do you say to this?)” The Messenger of Allah answered, “Don’t sell something that you don’t have.” (Tirmidhi, Buyu’/Commerce, 19; Abu Dawud, Buyu’/Commerce, 60)
In the narration, the reason of the prohibition for selling goods that are not at hand is protecting the customer. In e-commerce, all of the features of the goods are presented in detail. The customer buy the right to obtain the goods eventually when the payment is made. The customer also has a right to return the goods in case of a disinformation or defect. So the risks which are implied in the narration do not have a chance to occur. These reasons make e-commerce legitimate.
Assoc. Prof. Servet Bayındır