When Am I Assisting Someone in Sin?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I have run into some times of what seemed to be assisting with sin, am I correct?

  • Taking a video of a sister without a hijab, and she wants to post it.
  • Feeding a sister’s cat her haram cat food while she was away
  • Helping my brother remove a stain from a shirt with a picture of an animated image on it.
  • If cat food is haram simply because the sale of haram meat is forbidden, would feeding the cat the food itself be supporting her in the sin of purchasing it?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

General Principle

From a previous answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani(may Allah protect him):

“If the job one is doing oneself is halal, then one’s income is halal. If there is incidental haram in it that is not through one’s own direct activity— then this does not vitiate permissibility. However, it would be from praiseworthy piety to avoid matters where one’s halal work has obvious haram uses.”

Detailed Answers

  • It is permissible to take a video of a human being. The choice of the sister to unveil herself in front of the camera and to put it online is incidental and is not the direct result of your help. Thus this does not vitiate the permissibility to take a video of the sister. Please see: What is the Ruling on Taking Photographs of Humans?
  • It is permissible to purchase cat food and feed it to a pet cat. Thus there is no issue for you to feed a cat haram meat. Please see: Is It Permissible to Purchase Cat Food?
  • It is permissible to help someone remove a stain from a shirt. The forbidden picture on the shirt is incidental and is not the direct result of your help. Thus this does not vitiate the permissibility to help your friend. Please see: What Are the Principles of Work and Assisting in Sin? [Video]

Caution

Caution is extremely praiseworthy in these situations.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body, there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it is whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” [Bukhari]

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.