Can muslim sell pork, alcohol?
Submitted by on Thu, 19/03/2009 - 06:31
Dear Brother / Sister,
Pig is accepted as dirty in all aspects in Islam. It can not be used in any way. If it touches to a clean object, if it falls into a well, or if some water of its mouth pours onto an object, it makes that entire thing dirty. It can not be eaten; its meat or skin can not be used in any way.
Quran states this clearly. In the verse 173 of surah (chapter) of Baqarah (The Cow), verse 3 of surah of Maidah (The Food), verse 145 of surah of Anam (The Cattle), and verse 115 of surah of Nahl (The Bee) pig is stated as dirty and forbidden to eat.
In the surah of Baqarah Allah says:
"He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
In the surah of Anam it is stated as:
"Say: I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat of except that it be what has died of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine-- for that surely is unclean-- or that which is a transgression, other than (the name of) Allah having been invoked on it..."
As it is forbidden to eat these things in the Quran, selling them is also forbidden. Muslims are definitely discouraged from these things.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah transmits from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
"Rasul (messenger) of Allah said in Mecca in the year of the conquest that:
No doubt that Allah and His messenger forbade the selling of drink, unclean animal, pig and idols." (1)
When commenting on this hadith (saying or tradition of Prophet Muhammad) Imam Nawawi says:
"Filthy animal, wine, and pig are forbidden to sell because they are najis (ritually unclean). Because of this, this rule is valid for all najis objects. Selling of filthy animal, wine, and pig is accepted as forbidden by ijma (consensus of the Muslim community) of Muslims."
So it is forbidden for a Muslim to eat, use or sell products of pig whatever country he is in. The rule of “Haraam (legally forbidden by Islamic law) is haraam everywhere” is an important principle in Islam. Therefore Muslims should provide their needs from halaal (permissible in Islam) means. Halaal means is enough for needs and pleasure, no need to go haraam.
Is it ok to transport pig for money?
We could not find an exact rule for this because in the past there was no transportation like today’s. But there are similar situations.
Let us tell about those similar fatwas (religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar) on the subject:
If someone hires a person to have wine transported, according to Imam Azam Abu Hanifa it is halaal for the worker to get money in return of this service, but according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf it is not halaal. And if someone from Ahl al Kitab (followers of the book, the Jews and the Christians) hires a Muslim’s animal or ship to carry wine; the money which the Muslim gets is halaal according to Imam Azam Abu Hanifa, but not halaal according to Imamain.
Though it was not seen in practice, there is a fatwa like this too:
A Muslim may get money for herding pigs. This is Imam Azam Abu Hanifa’s view, but according to Imamain it is not permissible. (2)
And we should consider different aspects of the subject too:
For the Muslims in a non-Muslim country it is important to care for their behaviors, because non-Muslims may get affected from them positively and can reach to the true message of Allah. Thus they are responsible for a correct representation of Islam.
Islamic scholars who consider a non-Muslim country as Dar al-Harb (house of war) state various views on the relationships between the Muslims and non-Muslims living in a non-Muslim country.
Imam Azam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad states that it is ok for a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country to get interest from non-Muslims, to sell drink and pork to non-Muslims and even to gamble with them if it is certain to win; since these acts are legal for the non-Muslims, and Muslims’ benefiting from these acts can be considered as some kind of ganimah (treasure won in war). But according to Imam Shafi, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Awzai, Ishaq, and many scholars from Hanifi school including Abu Yusuf, these kind of acts are not permissible in any way because Muslims are bound to Islamic rules not only in Muslim countries but everywhere!
And most reasonable and proper view is this majority’s one.
Besides today there is an accepted global peace between the countries. Muslims can go and live in peace in the non-Muslim countries. And there is not a war situation. Therefore the circumstances which Imam Azam Abu Hanifa take into account in his fatwa are not present. When there is no war, no ganimah is in question!
Actually Quran and sunnah (acts and deeds of Prophet Muhammad) does not permit haraams except for a vital necessity. When there is not a necessity haraam is haraam everywhere.
So if we summarize we can say that: A Muslim is responsible for living Islamic morals and laws wherever he/she is. If a trade is forbidden between two Muslims, it should not be considered permissible between a Muslim and a non-Muslim either.
So Muslims living in non-Muslim countries should not take interest, sell drink, pork or anything Islam forbids. Most of the scholars express this.
Even though earning money from the transportation of drink and pork is permissible according to Imam Azam Abu Hanifa, it not permissible too according to other scholars.
So Muslims should not work in these kinds of jobs unless it is a vital necessity.
1. Bukhari, Buyu: 102; Muslim, Musaqat: 71; Tirmidhi, Buyu: 60; Ibn Maja, Tijara: 11.
2. al-Fatwa al-Hindiyya, 4:449-450.
3- Mehmed Paksu, Meseleler ve Çözümleri 1, Nesil yayınları, İstanbul, p. 135-138; Süleyman Kösemene, (Günümüz Meselelerine Çözümler), Yeni Asya Yayınları.
Questions on Islam
- Is it permissible to sell alcoholic drinks to non-Muslims in Dar al-Harb?
- Is it permissible to carry a pig in return for a price?
- Is it permissible to work in a place where alcoholic drinks are served and sold?
- Is it permissible to gamble in non-Muslim countries (in dar al-harb)?
- Is it permissible to work in a bank in a non-Muslim country?
- Is it religiously permissible to draw interest in Dar-ul Harb?
- Are violation of personal rights in question between Muslims and non-Muslims living in Europe / foreign countries?
- Is it haram to receive and give interest in dar al-harb? Is interest permissible in non-Muslim countries?
- What does determine one country whether is an Islamic country or not?