Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I own a watch that has “Michael Kors” written on it. In my country, these words symbolize a cross within Christianity. Despite searching for these words in English dictionaries, this connotation seems unrecognized. I am still determining the appropriateness of wearing this watch.
Is it advisable for me to get rid of it? Would it be acceptable for me to give it to someone else?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
In this case, The watch’s name does not affect its permissibility, and Allah knows best. The permissibility of products with names that may have associations with other religions or deities should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The primary consideration in Islamic jurisprudence is the content and intention behind using such products, and Allah knows best.
What’s in a Name?
Regarding the brand name “Michael Kors,” the permissibility would depend on the intention and context. The brand name refers to a person’s name rather than a religious association or promotion.
However, had there been a clear intention to promote or identify with Christian beliefs, purchasing/supporting it would be problematic. Allah knows best.
Avoid the Doubtful
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that Islam greatly emphasizes avoiding anything that might lead to confusion or ambiguity regarding one’s faith. If there is a widespread association in your country or culture between this brand and a non-Islamic belief, such that you would be subject to criticism or stir trouble, opting for names and products free from such associations is advisable, especially when wholly lawful alternative options are available.
Acquiring and owning brand-name goods is not inherently impermissible. Still, it is worth noting that Muslims should be conscious of supporting and promoting brands representative of values foreign to Islam, including materialism, capitalism, wastefulness, extravagance, covetousness, and love of worldly possessions.
Allah says: “The enjoyment of (worldly) desires—women, children, treasures of gold and silver, fine horses, cattle, and fertile land—has been made appealing to people. These are the pleasures of this worldly life, but with Allah is the finest destination.” [Quran, 3:14]
May Allah guide us all towards what is pleasing to Him and grant us clarity in matters of faith and practice.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.