Is it a sin to sell something to somebody that will use it in a bad way?
Submitted by on Fri, 08/09/2017 - 09:02
Dear Brother / Sister,
- The general principle in Islam is as follows: It is haram to be a means of committing a sin knowingly.
In other words, “If a seller knows that the buyer is going to commit a sin with the thing he buys, it is haram for him to sell that thing.” (see Ibn Hajar, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2/270)
“…Help ye not one another in sin and rancour…” (al-Maida, 5/2)
The verse above underlies this fact.
Acting upon that principle, the scholars gave the following examples regarding the issue:
a) It is haram to sell grapes to a person who is going to produce wine.
b) It is haram to sell a weapon to a person who is going to cause mischief among Muslims.
c) It is haram to sell a chalice to a person who is going to drink wine with it.
d) It is haram to sell a knife or a similar weapon to a person who is going to use it to waylay.
e) Some fatwas of Ibn Hajar al-Haytami regarding the issue are as follows:
- It is haram to sell musk to an unbeliever who is going to spread it on his idol to beautify it.
- It is haram to sell an animal to a non-Muslim who is going to kill it with a method that is outside normal slaughtering. (see al-Fatawa, 2/270)
f) One of the reasons that renders halal haram is bad intention and bad purpose. Therefore, it is haram to sell weapons at times of mischief. It is haram to sell weapons to unbelievers. It is haram to sell weapons to a person who is going to use it illegitimately. (see al-Mawsuatul-Fiqhiyyatul-Kuwaytiyya, 1/107)
- However, according to Hanafi madhhab, “The form at the time of selling something is essential.”
Accordingly, it is permissible to sell grapes to a person who is going to produce wine. For, at the time of selling, the grapes, which are sold and bought are halal. That it will be changed and transformed into wine later does not affect the grapes’ being halal at that time.
Similarly, it is permissible to sell weapons at times of mischief to the people of business. For, what is a sin and haram is not the weapon itself but using it illegitimately.
However, it permissible without karahah to sell the grapes mentioned above but to sell weapons like that is makruh. For, grapes become a means of sin after their present form is changed but the weapon is used as a means of sin with its present form. (see W. Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami, 3/580-581)
It means the statements in the question are in compliance with this.
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