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FAQs & Fatwas

Can I advertise for Businesses that Sell Beer and Pork?

Asalamu alaykum,

“I run a magazine service that advertises for local businesses in my community. These businesses sell alcohol and pork. Is it allowed for me to advertise for them since I’m not the owner of those businesses and charge them fees for my efforts?”

The Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Scholars hold that it is not allowed to involve yourself in such transactions due to the overwhelming number of texts that forbid, and in some cases, curse those who involve in transactions involving alcohol. There is a clear principle in Islamic Law that states, “When Allah or His Messenger [sa], curse something it is forbidden.”

Imam al-Dasuqi in Sharh al-Saghir states, “It is not allowed for one to rent his home to those who will use it for……..selling intoxicants.” Something similar was also mentioned by Ibn al-Qudama in al-Mughni. Thus, your renting add space to others in order for them to invite to the forbidden is a similar situation and involves making potential profit off of it. The Prophet (may Allah be pleased with him) cursed ten types of people in relation to intoxicants……”the one who profits from it.” Thus, it is not allowable for you to do so, nor to advertise with people whom you know sell such things.

The same applies to pork products. The Prophet said, “Allah is pure an only excepts what’s pure.” and Allah says, “And cooperate together towards righteousness and avoiding sin, and do not cooperate in evil and transgression.” (5/2) Based on that verse the scholars stated, “It is not allowed for a Muslim to assist in the disobedience of God nor the destruction of what is permissible.” There are some scholars who hold it allowable to do so since they consider the West dar-al-Harb based on the position of some Hanafis. However, as Dr. Wahba Zuhayli, Dr. Salah Sultan and others have shown, this opinion is weak and not supported by textual authority. Inshallah, by selling the permissible and avoiding the forbidden, Allah will bless your wealth, raise your stations and put satisfaction in your heart.

If you are in a dire situation, please contact me and we can discuss this further.

SDW

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship.

Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010 and his website, www.SuhaibWebb.com, was voted the best “Blog of the Year” by the 2009 Brass Crescent awards.

Suhaib Webb has lectured extensively around the world including in the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, North Africa and North America. Upon returning from his studies in Egypt, Webb lived in the Bay Area, California, where he worked with the Muslim American Society from Fall 2010 to Winter 2011. He currently serves as the Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center (ISBCC).

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  • Asalamualaikum wrt,

    MashaAllah, may Allah exchange for him something better in return. Whoever gives something up for Allah, He will replace it with something better.

    May Allah help us to obey Him, and reward the scholars who teach us to fear Him and have taqwa.

    Allah knows best.

  • Assalamu Alaykum wr wb,

    I could get the same problem. i am unemployed and get financial support from the state while i attend a program for unemployed academics in management. The ones who organize this program offered me a job in marketing field- it is city- and tourism marketing. Well, i wanted to work..but i did not think about the offer long enough and have just agreed to it. A day after I did realize that this job could include also advertising- like making a guide for tourists who wanna eat and drink in pubs, restaurants or whatever. Well, i do live in GERMANY- a non-muslim country. What do germans eat and drink? For what do i have to advertise? Pork and beer/wine!!! Advertising Hilton Hotels is not like advertising Budweiser- right? My brain or better said my heart was in action..Finally, I told them that i do not want to do this job on phone..But the contract is already done and they warned me to cut the financial aid…I told the responsible officer that i cannot advertise for alcohol and pork stuff..So she said that they will think about giving me a different task in this public organization (town council -city marketing). Is it permissible to work for them although i do not assist in advertising for haram stuff? I actually do not really know what they are going to offer me- maybe support for cultural activities like arts and sports ..something what is not linked with promotional activities for business operating with interests, gambling, pork, alcoholic drinks and fornication. The city charges taxes on these and even on dog keeping – tax quota related on quantity. allahu knows best.

    The woman who had the conversation with me was quite upset when i told her that i am a Muslim (alhamdulillah). She made the indirect proposal to me to leave Germany. She said i do pay taxes in this country and that i have to obey on the rules according german job office. She also told me that Muslims do always have problems in the job ..e.g. a man is not allowed to work with a woman. But i told her that is not true and did not argue further on islam. ((she is a doctor/teacher..she is intellectual..she can read..so read the quran and do not follow your nafs!!! (that is what i thought at the momentoO))…she was upset and without tolerance- not a good situation for explaining islamic shari3a. i just agreed on working there but i am already looking for a better job..insha allah i will find a better job. is it permissible to make du3a for getting a job? i know –i got tested with this incident by allah-right?..have i done something wrong?
    wa salam brothers and sisters

  • As-salaam aleikum, Imam Suhaib. May God reward you well for all the help you give us every day, for your sincere and effective love and care, for which I am thankful. You wrote this three years ago, and insha’allah readers understand you well. But just in case, I point out that substituting “excepts” for “accepts”, quite common and easy to do, actually nearly reverses the meaning.

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