Is it permissible to sell alcoholic drinks to non-Muslims in Dar al-Harb?

The Details of the Question
Is it permissible to sell alcoholic drinks to non-Muslims in Dar al-Harb?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There is no information about the issue in the fiqh books that are available but there are similar fatwas and views. For, transportation was not so common in the past.

We will mention some fatwas that will shed light on the issue:

If a person hires someone to carry wine,the money the person earns through carrying wine is halal according to Abu Hanifa but it is not permissible according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf.If a non-Muslim from the People of the Book hires the animal or ship of a Muslim in order to carry wine, the money the Muslim gets is halal according to Abu Hanifa but it is not permissible according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf.

Although it is not seen in practice, the following fatwa exists in fiqh books:

A Muslim can get money for herding pigs. This is the view of Abu Hanifa; it is not permissible according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf. (2)

However, it is necessary to take various aspects of the issue into consideration:

It is more important for the Muslims living abroad to practice Islamic ethics in their social relationships than the Muslims living in an Islamic country. For, the non-Muslims living abroad see Islam directly in the lifestyle of Muslims and the high ethics of Muslims can be a means of guidance for non-Muslims.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi says, "If we can serve as models by practicing Islamic ethics, the members of other religions can become Muslims in groups." Thus, he points out that a person will be held responsible if he does not represent Islam truly. 

Islamic fiqh scholars define non-Muslim countries as “darulharb”; they put forward different views related to the arrangement of relationships between Muslims living in those countries and non-Muslims. 

It is permissible for a Muslim to receive interest from a non-Muslim, to sell non-Muslim alcoholic drinks and pork, to gamble if it is certain that he will win according to Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad because those deeds are legitimate according to non-Muslims and because it can be justified for a Muslim to benefit from this legitimacy based on the decrees about booty; however, according to the majority of fiqh scholars including Imam Shafii, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Awzai, Ishaq and the Hanafi scholar Abu Yusuf, a Muslim has to act in accordance with Islamic decrees no matter where he is; therefore, they do not regard such wrong contracts and transactions permissible. 

The most appropriate one is this view of the majority.

For, the countries of the world including Islamic countries live based on the state of a general peace. Muslims can enter non-Muslim countries by permission and live in those countries in safety and security. The state of war is not in question. Therefore, the conditions that Abu Hanifa bases his fatwa on are not in question today. There is no war; therefore, there will be no booty in question.

In fact, the Quran and Sunnah do not allow haram things unless there is an obligation. Haram is haram anywhere unless there is an obligation.

To sum up, we can state the following:

"Today, Muslims have to live based on Islamic decrees and ethics no matter where they are. A deal/transaction that is not permissible between two Muslims is not appropriate between a Muslim and a non-Muslim either."

"Therefore, the Muslim living in non-Muslim countries must not receive interest and must not sell anything that is rendered haram by Islam like alcoholic drinks, pork and carrion (unless there is an obligation).” The view of the majority of the scholars that is away from doubts is like that.

However, when the fatwas above are taken into consideration, it can be said that it is permissible to get money by carrying alcoholic drinks and pigs according to Abu Hanifa but it is haram, not permissible, according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf, and other mujtahids.  

A Muslim must not work in such places unless he is obliged to.


1. Bukhari, Buyu: 102; Muslim, Musaqat: 71; Tirmidhi, Buyu: 60; Ibn Majah, Tijarat: 11.
2. al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, 4:449-450.
3. Mehmed Paksu, Meseleler ve Çözümleri 1, Nesil Publications, İstanbul, pp. 135-138; Süleyman Kösemene, Günümüz Meselelerine Çözümler , Yeni Asya Publications.

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