Haraam or Halaal Goods

Is it permissible to buy and sell cell phones with built-in cameras?

A cell phone even with a built-in camera is an item of valid use. The sin of misuse is on the user. It is permissible to buy and sell such cell phones just as it is permissible to buy and sell guns and knives. Those who wrongly use these instruments are responsible for the sins.

Question:

Is selling cigarettes permissible?

Answer:

Just as it is not permissible to sell poison, so too is it not permissible to sell cigarettes.

Question:

A house was bought with money won in a lottery. What is the position of such a house according to the Shariah?

Answer:

The money won in a lottery is haraam. The house bought with the haraam money is likewise haraam. Living in such a house is also haraam. The house has to be sold and the money compulsorily given to charity without a niyyat of thawaab.

Some people use dead chickens as bait to catch fish. What is the Shariah’s ruling? And what about selling such bait?

Dead chickens are carrion. It is not permissible to feed carrion to even dogs. It is not permissible to use carrion as bait to catch fish. Selling carrion is haraam. The money acquired from such sales is haraam.

In our town I have undertaken to administer the Qabrustaan. Can I levy a charge
for digging the graves, etc. ?

It is permissible to charge for digging the graves.

Is it permissible to sell such cosmetics which are harmful for the skin?

It is not permissible.

Is it permissible to sell dolls and toys of human and animal images to non-Muslims?

It is haraam to sell such toys to even non-Muslims.

Question:

Is it permissible to sell lawful items such as brown bread, brown sugar and malt when it is known that these items are being bought to brew liquor?

Answer:

It is not permissible to sell any items to anyone if it is known that the purpose is for committing haraam.

Question:

I have a cartage business. The church sometimes orders sand and stone from me. Am I allowed by the Shariah to supply the church?

Answer:

It is not permissible to supply and assist in any way a church or temple.

Question:

Is it permissible for a Muslim bookshop to sell the commentary of Yusuf Ali and the tafseer of Maudoodi?

Answer:

It is not permissible to sell these books. To sell these baatil books is to aid in the propagation of kufr.

Question:

A person writes novels and children’s story books and sells these. Is his earning halaal?

Answer:

If the writings consist of anything haraam, e.g. pictures, immoral stories and the like, the earnings derived from the sale of such books will not be halaal.

Question:

Muslim bookshops generally sell all types of Islamic books. Books of deviates, of Shiahs, Qadianis, Ghair Muqallideen and the baatil commentary of Yusuf Ali, etc. are sold. Is it permissible to sell such books?

Answer:

It is haraam to sell books which propagate kufr. Such books ruin the Imaan of ignorant and unsuspecting Muslims. The earnings derived from the sale of such books are not permissible.

Question:

In some mosques Islamic magazines and newspapers are sold. I am given to understand that this is not permissible. What is the ruling of the Shariah?

Answer:

Trade of any kind whatsoever is not permissible within the Musjid precincts. Newspaper selling (regardless of whether these are Islamic papers) is trade and trade is disallowed inside Mosques. The Mutawallis (Trustees) of the Mosques concerned are dutibound to put an end to such un-Islamic practices.

Question:

What is the ruling on buying and selling jackal skins, elephant skins, etc.?

Answer:

All skins, besides the human skin and the pig skin, are permissible for trade, etc. provided that these have been treated if the skins were taken from such animals which were not slaughtered in accordance with the Shariah method. Hence, the skins of wild animals which have not been slaughtered (Zabah) are Taahir (Paak or pure) after these have been treated. If the animal is slaughtered in accordance with the Islamic method of Zabah, then the skin will be TAAHIR even before treating. Trade in such skins is therefore Jaaiz (permissible).

Question:

I have a grocery shop in an African area, and I have customers who buy malt, brown bread, brown sugar and yeast with which they brew beer which is alcoholic. Is it lawful for me to sell these items when I know that they make alcohol out of it?

Answer:

Brown bread, brown sugar and yeast are perfectly Halaal items which are wholesome to consume, hence lawful to to sell. Their “misuse” is not your concern. According to the Shariah, goods which are Halaal to consume, are Halaal to sell and buy. We are not so sure as to what this “malt” is. Please inform us if this “malt” is a substance used ONLY to ferment alcohol; in its present state (the state when you are selling it) is it alcoholic? Or is it a substance like any other grain which could be misused to ferment alcohol? If it is something which is used ONLY in alcohol production or if in its present state it is in itself alcoholic, then trade in it would not be permissible. However, if it is a wholesome food substance like other grain (for example), then trade in it is undoubtedly permissible. And, Allah knows best.

Question:

Is trade in musical instruments, e.g. guitars, musical records, pianos, etc. permissible in Islam?

Answer:

Islam does not permit buying or selling of musical instruments as this constitutes aiding and abetting a crime.

Question:

Is it permissible to sell empty liquor bottles to liquor breweries?

Answer:

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) denounced all the agencies involved in liquor manufacture. The Qur`aan Shareef prohibits the aiding of sin. Since it is known that the bottles sold will be used for no other purpose but for bottling liquor, a Muslim must not engage in this sale transaction.

Question:

Is the money derived by selling empty bottles to liquor producers Halaal or Haraam?

Answer:

Such a sale in Fiqh is described as ‘Jaaiz ma’al karaahat’. In other words the sale although valid is sinful. The money will not be Haraam just like the money obtained by selling during the Jumuah Salaat duration is not Haraam although it is sinful to continue with trade once the Jumuah Azaan is sounded.

Question:

Is it permissible to sell canned meats (which are Haraam for Muslim consumption) excluding pork to non-Muslims?

Answer:

Meats which are Haraam for Muslim consumption are termed “maitah” (carrion) in the Shariah. It is Haraam to sell such meats to even non-Muslims. It is also Haraam to feed dogs with such “carrion” according to the Shariah.

Question:

Many people use creams for brightening their complexion. Many of these creams contain Haraam ingredients. Is it permissible to trade in such Haraam creams?

Answer:

People should be satisfied with the complexion willed to them by Allah Ta`ala. It is the result of a gross sense of false inferiority inherited from imitating and aping the ways of the Kuffaar that people (and even Muslims) feel dissatisfied with their natural complexions. It is not permissible to trade in creams containing impure and Haraam matter.

Question:

Can we sell animals fats like lion fat, tiger fat, crocodile fat, etc. sold by muti shops?

Answer:

It is not permissible to buy or sell meat or fat, the eating of which is not permissible. Haraam meat and fat according to the Shariah is not fit for consumption by even dogs, hence, a Muslim is not allowed to feed even dogs on what is Haraam.

Question:

Is it permissible for a Muslim to rear guard dogs for purposes of trade?

Answer:

Although permissible for this purpose, it is not adviseable, especially since according to Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullah alayh) it is not even permissible. Furthermore, dealing in dogs will have a negative moral impact on a man’s character. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade even sitting on the skins of wild animals, e.g. tigers and cheetahs. The Angels of Rahmat do not enter a place where dogs are kept.

Question:

A friend of mine has some stolen goods in his possession. He has realised the evil of his doings and is genuinely repentant. Will it suffice if he distributes the stolen goods to the poor?

Answer:

With regard to all Haraam wealth or property in one’s possession the Shariah decrees that it is obligatory to firstly endeavour to locate the rightful owner of the goods. If the owner has died, the goods have to be restored to the rightful heirs of the deceased. If restoration of the goods in this manner to the rightful owners is not possible then same should be given to the poor. But it should be remembered that the goods must be given to the poor with the Niyyat (intention) of “elimination of Haraam” and not with the intention of “donation to obtain Thawaab”, for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said that “charity given with Haraam is like washing clothing with urine”.

Q. Is it permissible to sell church skirts? These are skirts used specifically for worshipping in church.

A. Selling ‘church’ skirts is like selling grapes. If the grapes are procured for the purposes of selling to a winery, then it will not be permissible. However, if a winery comes to a market and purchases grapes, it will be permissible to sell the grapes to him. What the customers do with the products is not the liability of the seller. Similarly, if a person sells a knife being aware that the customer is purchasing it to commit murder, then it will not be permissible to sell the knife to him. This rule applies to all permissible products, e.g. batteries, radios, malt, brown sugar, etc. It is permissible to sell timber to anyone. But it is not permissible to enter into a contract to sell timber to an entity which will use the timber to make crosses, or television sets for example. The same rule applies to the church skirts. If the skirts are made specifically for church use, and are not used for normal wear, then it will not be permissible to stock and sell them since this would be I’aanat alal ma’siyat (to aid in sin and transgression). However, if the skirts are for general wear, not specifically for church wear, then such skirts may be sold to anyone even to church people. But it will then too not be permissible to specially supply a church organization with such skirts. And Allah knows best.

Q. Someone gave me a free ticket. Is it permissible to sell the ticket?

A. If the ticket you are referring to relates to a haraam function, e.g. sports, then you have to tear it up and throw it away. It is haraam to aid and abet in the commission of sin. If the ticket pertains to a halaal matter, e.g. a bus ticket, a plane ticket, etc., then you may not make a profit on it. The profit will not be halaal. You can only give it away free or sell it for the price you had paid.

Q. Is it permissible for Hanafis to sell prawns to Shaafi’s?

A. It is not permissible.

Q. Is it permissible to sell Zam Zam water?

A. It is permissible to sell Zam Zam water.

Q. A Muslim wants to import condoms for selling. Is it permissible to sell condoms?

A. It is not permissible for Muslims to sell these instruments which are primarily used for zina (fornication) just as it is not permissible to sell grapes to a winery. It is not permissib le to impor t and dea l in such shaitaani items.

Q. Is it permissible to sell TV antennas and nail polish?

A. It is not permissible to sell nail polish and TV antennas. Aiding in sin and transgression is haraam. The Qur’aan Majeed unequivocally prohibits aiding in sin.

Q. Is the money derived from selling fireworks halaal?

A. It is haraam to sell fireworks. The income too is haraam.

Q. Are fireworks permissible? If not, will it be permissible to sell fireworks to non-Muslims?

A. Fireworks are haraam. Fireworks and the festivals associated with them are acts of satanism, tashabbuh bil kuffaar (emulating the kuffaar) and waste of money. Those who indulge in waste, according to the Qur’aan, are the “brothers of the shayaateen” (brothers of the devils). It is haraam to sell items of satanism to even non-Muslims.

Q. Is it permissible to use headless mannequins to display garments?

A. Both types of mannequins with heads and headless are not permissible.

Q. Is it permissible for a Muslim pharmacist to sell birth-control pills at random to the general public?

A. It is not permissible for a Muslim pharmacist to sell birth control items to the general public. He may sell such items which are not injurious, and only to such persons who have a true need. Furthermore, the male pharmacist may not sell such items to females. Their husbands or mahram males should purchase for them. It is haraam to sell to unmarried persons.

Q. Is it permissible for males to sell lingerie to females? And, is it permissible to sell such lingerie on which lewd/sexy inscriptions appear?

A. It is not permissible for males to sell lingerie to females nor vice versa. Females may sell such items to females. If lewd/sexy terms are inscribed on the lingerie, it will be haraam to sell to unmarried females.

Q. I work for a business selling wigs which are made from artificial as well as real human hair. Is my income halaal?

A. It is not permissible to manufacture and sell wigs. It is worse if human hair is also used. You should look for alternative employment. The salary too is not permissible. You are aiding in sin and transgression.

Q. Is it permissible to open a stall/bazaar near to the place of worship of the kuffaar on occasions when they gather for their religious festivals?

A. It is not permissible to open a bazaar near to the places of worship of kuffaar on occasions of their festivals. Such action is tantamount to aiding kufr and shirk.

Q. I am a printer. Is it permissible to print flyers advertising tattooing?

A. The Qur’aan Majeed unequivocally prohibits aiding in sin and transgression. Those who assist in transgression in any way whatsoever are categorized with the sinners. It is not permissible to print flyers, etc. advertising tattooing. Tattooing is haraam. The Hadith describes it as “the writing of shaitaan”. The money earned from such flyers, etc. is also haraam.

Q. Is it permissible to sell African muti?

A. It is not permissible.

Relevant Material

Principles of Business
(Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi)