I am looking to start a clothing business that will sell Unisex lounge-wear to customers and I need several questions answered before I proceed. Firstly, is it permissible to sell Unisex clothing to people as most people are not Muslim and may not wear them properly? The items will be track-pants, t-shirts, and other apparel made from 100% cotton.
Secondly, is it permissible to source merchandise for sale from countries that oppress Muslims? Despite looking for reliable alternative suppliers, I have only found companies in China willing to work with us and I am wondering what the ruling would be on this topic since the Muslims in China are oppressed.
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Permissibility of Selling Clothing
Yes, it is permissible to sell the clothing you described. The way it is worn by the people who purchase it is not in your hands, and you are not accountable for it. The clothing is normal, and it is assumed it will be worn in a normal way.
It is superior to trade ethically, where one’s trade does not fund and support unethical practices. This practice would be considered ihsan, excellence in conduct, and “indeed, Allah loves those who are excellent [in conduct]” (Qur’an, 2:195) This, however, is not an obligation, as the trade on its own is permissible.
One should, however, actively try to avoid dealing with companies known to exploit the poor and vulnerable where possible.
The company in China may not have anything to do with the mistreatment of the Muslims there. It would be permissible to trade with them.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.