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Miscellaneous / Selling items that may be used in an unlawful manner

Selling items that may be used in an unlawful manner

publish date : 2014-11-27 | Views : 2555
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Is it permissible to sell women attires in non-Muslim countries to uncovered women? بيع ما قد يستعمل في الحرام

All praise is due to Allah alone, and may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

To answer your question, we say while seeking the success from Allah:

The scholars differed on the ruling of selling something that will be used in an unlawful manner such as the case of selling grapes to someone to be used in making alcohol, or wood to someone who wants to use it to make musical instruments or crosses or sculptures. The two views of scholars are given assuming the seller knows for a fact that the sold goods will be used or will most likely be used in unlawful manner.

The first view states that it is forbidden to sell these goods. This is the view of the majority of scholars from the Maliki, Shafi, Hanbali and Dhaheri schools. From the proofs used to support this view is the statement of Allah, the Most High, (interpretation of the meaning): {Do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Quran 5:2].

The second view states that this kind of transactions is permissible. Ibn al-Mundhir reported that this is the view of al-Hasan, ‘Ataa’, al-Thawri who said: ‘Sell your items to whoever you want so long as the items are lawful to sell”, and Abu Hanifah whose view limited it to items that are not essential for the sin. As for selling items to be used in forbidden activities such as selling arms during times of conflicts calamities and trials, he viewed it as disliked but his two main students disagreed with his view and stated that such transactions are disliked in all cases, which is also one of the views reported in the Shafie Madhab. The evidence of this view is that the general rule is that all transactions are lawful as Allah, the Most High, said (interpretation of the meaning): {But Allah has permitted trade} [Quran 2:275] and stated that the sin lies on the shoulder of the buyer because Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): {And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another} [Quran 6:164].

However, it appears to me that the most correct view is that it is forbidden, which is the view of the majority. This is because the general rule that all transactions are lawful cannot be used in this context because knowing that the transaction will lead to something forbidden make it no longer applicable since the transaction is no longer a normal one. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy to mention that the severity of ruling differs from one case to another, meaning the more likely the transaction will lead to something unlawful is more forbidden than a transaction that is less likely to something forbidden. It should be noted that the belief of the seller is what it counts in this transactions i.e. if the seller or renter believes that the transaction will lead to something unlawful, then it becomes forbidden to proceed with it even if the buyer believes it is unlawful and regardless of the religion of the buyer because the ruling is concerned with the seller not the buyer. This ruling is applicable in the lands of Muslims and non-Muslims too.

Your brother,

Prof. Khalid al-Musleh

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