Is It Permissible To Sell a Property That May Partly Be Used To Sell Unlawful Goods?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I’m a surveyor who acquires property for grocery stores across the UK. My role is to identify the property, negotiate the terms, and then work with our solicitors to complete the lease.
Once complete, I hand it over to departments who work towards launching the store and need to gain knowledge/involvement in selecting products, marketing, or anything non-property-related.
The stores are then used to distribute household goods, food, and beverages. The sale of alcohol, tobacco & unlawful foods is also sold. Despite having no part or awareness of the product choice, I am accustomed to this practice. Please advise on the permissibility of my role.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.
If there is no specific unlawful practice (like advertising unlawful products and services, for example), procuring and selling properties to grocery stores is permissible, mainly because their primary business is permissible, and Allah knows best. We are not accountable for the sins of others except to the extent of our intentional facilitation or involvement therein, and Allah knows best.
General Accountability of Sin
In general, one has no control over the actions of others and will not be held accountable by Allah for their deeds. Allah Most High says: “And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” [Quran, 6:164]
Accountability for Enabling Sin
If our actions, knowingly and intentionally, directly enable or facilitate sinning for others, we incur a share of the blame. Allah says: “Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a share in the reward, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a share in the burden. And Allah is Watchful over all things.” [Quran, 4:85]
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others will have his reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed therein will bear his and the follower’s burden (of sin) without detracting from their burden.” [Tirmidhi]
This applies regardless of whether the initiator lives and Allah knows best.
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.