Halal and Ethical Trade Practices

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

Question: I’m planning on starting a skincare company/selling skincare products (creams, cleansers, etc). My plan is to work with a private manufacturing company to produce these products. I want to make sure the money I earn from this business won’t be haram.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Halal and Ethical Trade Practices

As long as your products do not contain any haram impure ingredients, and you and the companies trade ethically, your product and income will be halal. Do your best to maintain high standards in everything you do and give some of your proceeds to charity. You’ll find baraka in the project insha’Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Indeed, Allah loves it when any of you does something that he does it well.” (Tabarani)

May Allah grant you success in all your endeavors.

Abdul-Rahim

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.

 

Is it Correct to Accept Money From an Illicit Source?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalaamu Alaikum, If someone lent somebody halal money and the person returns the money from a haram source. Is it okay to accept that money?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Yes, you can take the money from them. In general, when someone acquires money we don’t look at the actual banknotes. We look at the money that is in his possession, some of which could be from a halal source. You can assume that the repaid to you was from an alternative halal source. (Usmani, Fiqh al Buyu’)

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us, “Love for people what you would love for yourself.” (Ibn Majah) Being safe from the punishment for such activities is something everyone would want for themselves. Therefore, if you think it will make a difference, try advising this person in a gentle, understanding manner.

You never know, maybe your words will have a positive effect on them. Regardless, you should pray for such a person to be given the ability to get out of that situation.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Car Accident and Fraudulent Claim

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Years ago I was in a car accident. My guardians made a fraudulent injury claim at the time. What should I do?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

You would need to return the money which you received as a result of the claim to the company that made the payment. If you are unable to find the company, you can simply donate the money to any charity or poor person with the intention of getting it out of your possession. (Usmani, Fiqh al Buys’)

Returning Wrongfully Taken Property

Any property which has been wrongfully taken, such as through lying and deception, must be returned. It is a condition for the validity of one’s repentance that one does do. (Nawawi, Raiyad al Salihin)

The money can also be returned anonymously or via an alternative means. For example, one could purchase a gift voucher from a company one owes money to and not use it. Or if money is owed to an individual one could just place it in an envelope and post it to them.

The point is to return the right to the owner. Sometimes, if the matter was discussed with the owner, he would just forgive the right. If that is the case then nothing needs to be returned.

It’s better to deal with matters in this life before the next, where the only available currency is deeds which one has sent ahead. Imam Sha’rani suggested regularly performing a particularly good deed and donating its reward to anyone one has wronged. This ensures the matter is covered one way or another. (Sha’rani, al Kawkab al Shahiq)

May Allah facilitate the matter for you in the best of ways.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Working With Non Halal Food

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is it permissible to deliver non-halal foods? I am considering working as a food delivery driver. This may involve having to deliver food and drink such as pork and alcohol.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

My dear brother, I pray you are well.

Assisting in Sin

This issue returns to the fiqh principle of assisting in sin. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the actual form of employment is permissible. Whoever the food or wine got to would ingest it voluntarily, through personal choice – which you are not responsible for. (Zayla’i, Tabyin al Haqa’iq)

However, given that Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad – the most prominent students of Imam Abu Hanifa – and the other three schools of fiqh consider it impermissible, it would be superior for you to seek alternative forms of employment.

It is better for your source of income to be a profession that all of the righteous mujtahid imams agreed on. This would be better for your relationship with Allah if it is something that is achievable in your situation.

Please refer to our archived answers on assisting in sin.

The Virtue of Asking

May Allah reward you abundantly for making the effort to ask before accepting the job. This is one of the implications of the verse ”Ask those who know the reminder if you do not.” (Qur’an,16:43) Doing so ensures that you have a sound answer to present on the Day of Judgement, and you have the reward of others who benefit from the answer.

May Allah reward you with the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. 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 with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Prayer At Work

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

I am looking for an intership or a job in a accounting firm. I was told it was very difficult to pray in such firm. 
I would like some advice to pray on time in such environement. Should I ask at the job interview that I want to pray? Or is it better to looking for a job in an another company and leaving accounting firm?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatuLlah,

No, if this is a job which you need or would like, work on getting the job in the interview. Once you have the job, you can raise the issue of prayer. Everybody takes breaks during the work day, and breaking for the prayer is no different. Ask Allah Most High to facilitate your affairs, and to strengthen you.

Please see the following answers which answer your question in detail: How Can I Pray on Time With My Very Busy Job and Very Long Hours? 

And Allah Most High 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.

Is It Permissible to Open a Cyber Lounge?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat answers the question if it is permissible for Muslims to open a cyber lounge as a business.

 

Question:

Peace upon all of you with God’s mercy and blessings.

I am trying to make better decisions in life and improve myself. I recently rented a store with a friend and been thinking about making it a cyber lounge located in California, where people can come and play videos games or surf the internet, repair computers, have some drinks(not alcohol)/snacks and socialize. I understand video gaming can be addicting and cause disconnect from reality if played for long hours, at the same time I think it’s fine to have some entertainment for 2-3 hours a day so video games wouldn’t be harming in that manner and I might be wrong. Another thing is that video games nowadays are turning into a sport, I don’t know what to make of that, those players game as if it’s a regular job, I used to be one of them, nowadays I play a few hours a week for entertainment or don’t play at all.

From my own experience, I definitely see the negatives from gaming for long hours in my self and with others and will not argue with it, at the same time I can see some positives from it. For example, when I used to go to cyber lounges as a kid, I made a lot of friends, we socialized, we started doing outside activities and sports together and plan recreational trips, we prayed together (not extensively but at least we tried), some video games make the brain think like chess players or even better especially strategy games, people play chess and no one says it’s “BAD” and its still considered a game, some video games are similar and could require even more strategic planning than chess because there are a lot more options to think about than chess has so why is chess fine if someone plays it for long hours and no one talks about it?

I want the work that I do in this life to be beneficial for people, the after life, and of course acceptable by God.

I appreciate any help you can provide on this subject and your time for reading my question.

 

Answer:

Wa ‘alatkum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Assisting in Sin

It is permissible for you to pursue this project. Essentially you will be charging people for using the facilities you provide. what they do is their choice – so you would not be assisting in sin. (Salah Abu all Hajj, al Bayan). If, however, you do see someone accessing inappropriate content, or playing a game with such content you should address it.

Helping Others Do Good

Having said that, it would be a tremendous act of service to your community if you made the place a haven from the societal problems the youth – especially young men – are faced with. Make the establishment a place where they can come to relax, avoid bad company and activities, and socialise in general.

Don’t allow any drugs, smoking, or other impermissible activities to take place there. Provide an ample prayer area, wudu facilities, and activities for the youth to engage in. Many of the youth simply don’t have anywhere to go to hang out with their friends – and if their is such a place it usually has many bad influences there.

You could also co-ordinate with local scholars and have some open Q&A sessions, or something else which engages people. Doing so would be a great help to your community, and an act of charity for yourself.

Other Avenues Of Helping People

Look for other means to help people, and see if you can incorporate that into the project. How about using part of the building to run MMA or Archery classes? If need be you could try and get the community to subsidise what you do. The need is there, and if you ask Allah and make a sincere intention to please Him and serve the umma of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, you’ll see the fruits.

May Allah facilitate all matters which please Him for you.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Receiving Funding from a Commercial Bank

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about receiving start-up funding from a bank that deals in riba.

I am a revert to Islam doing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and have been given a project in my field of study by a start-up (let’s call it X). X works in the domain of Computer Science. The owner of X is told that if you complete this project, we may get you funds to start your own company.

X is funded by a bank and, Insha Allah, if I am able to complete the project and be able to start my company, which would be of course dealing with Computer Science, then it will also be funded by the same bank dealing in riba.

Is it permissible for me to go for that startup even if my company-to-be will be doing halal work but will be funded by a riba-earning bank?

Jazak Allah khayr for answering.

Yes, it is permitted to accept funding and remuneration from a conventional bank, particularly when it is an institution which isn’t required to follow the dictates of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Among the primary sources of capital for a bank is the cash deposited by its customers. Common interest payments or usurious transactions (riba) would normally form only a portion of the money a bank has at its disposal.

Normally, two matters would dictate the permissibility of employment: (a) the line of work itself, and (b) the source of remuneration. When both matters are acceptable, the line of work is deemed lawful.

(Mufti Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu‘: 2.1027/1033)

Please also see Bank Employment When is it Permissible? and Is It Permissible to Work on the Projects of a Riba (Usury) Based Bank? and Working for a Company Providing IT Solutions in Un-Islamic Markets.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Is Margin Trading Permissible?

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a question on the legality of margin trading.

Can you please confirm if margin trading is permissible? This is where you predict if the market will go up or down by using leverage positions.

Thank You.

I pray you are well.

Margin trading is not permissible for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it entails entering into a interest-bearing contract with the broker. “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed the one takes interest, the one who gives it, the one who writes [the contract], and those who witnesses it.” (Muslim)

Also, the use of leverage positions, as done in Forex, is problematic as this process uses instruments, such as options and futures, which fundamentally contradict the nature of a sound, Shari‘a-complaint contract. (Mufti Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyuʿ).

It is better to ask Allah to open the doors of halal provision for you; you’ll be saved from the problems that rain down on people to deal with interest.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Diya for Car Accident Resulting in Death

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about paying blood money and expiation due to the accidental death of someone.

If a Muslim is involved in a traffic collision which results in the death of an individual is he liable for diya and kaffara?

Usually, if a person unintentionally kills another, he is expected to pay the blood money (diya) and perform the expiation (kaffara). The former would commonly be paid with assistance from family members (‘aqila) over a period of time. However, there is some detail here depending on the nature of the accident, who did it and where it occurred.

Allah Most High says: “It is not lawful for a believer to kill another except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer unintentionally must free a believing slave and pay blood-money to the victim’s family – unless they waive it charitably…” and towards the end of the verse, “Those who are unable, let them fast two consecutive months – as a means of repentance to Allah.” (Sura al-Nisa 4:92)

Given the sensitive nature of the topic, I’d suggest consulting a local, reliable scholar with the specifics of the situation.

(Usmani, Buhuth fi Qadaya al-Fiqhiyya al-Mu‘asira (1.297); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar)

Please also see The Punishment for Murder: Reconciling Verses 4:93 and 4:116.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam, Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Working in Car Dealership That Offers Financing

Ustadh Salman Younas answers a question on the permissibility of working for a car dealership that at times offers financing for purchases.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I had a question regarding working in a car dealership. I would be selling cars and earn base salary plus commission. The people buying the cars may pay all cash, or may finance and sometimes it is zero percent interest. But sometimes they have to pay interest, even though I believe it is not as often as zero percent financing. Please let me know insha Allah.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Generally, the job of selling cars as an agent would be permitted. Thus, the money you earn from your work in a car dealership would be licit specifically when the majority of income the company is earning is through permissible means.

The major issue with your working in a car dealership is the assistance you may have to provide for obtaining an interest-based loan. This would include overseeing the signing of the contract, filling it out, signing it, and so forth.

As Mufti Taqi Usmani states, this would not be permitted and would fall under the hadith where the Prophet, blessings upon him, strongly rebukes not only the receiver and giver of interest, but also the one “who has written the interest.”

As such, this element of your job must be avoided. You may, for example, ask someone else to do such paperwork. If you cannot avoid it, you should try and seek work that will not have you engaged in such interest-based dealings. This does not have to be done immediately.

You can continue working in your current job until you find a reasonable alternative. But you should seek God’s forgiveness and hate the interest-based nature of the work in your heart.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.