Is It Permissible to Sell Grapes to a Winemaker?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is it permissible to sell grapes to a winemaker? I have a business that sells honey and recently a customer told me that they are using the honey to make mead. This is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water.
Can I still continue to sell him honey?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, it is permissible to sell grapes to a winemaker, and the proceeds of such a sale would be lawful. The same applies in the case of honey.

This is according to the principle of Imam Abu Hanifa who stated that the sin does not arise from the action of the seller, in this case, so he has no direct connection to the buyer’s subsequent actions. But given the indirect assistance therein and difference of opinion on the matter, it would be superior to avoid it, if reasonably possible, and as long as it doesn’t entail breaking any laws of the land you’re in. Otherwise, you should hate the unlawful (haram) in your heart, and thank Allah Most High for the blessing of a lawful income.

[Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, with Ibn ‘Abidin’s Gloss: Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (5.250)]

Please also see this answer.

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.