What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Which jobs are permissible here in the U.K. and which are impermissible. Can you solve my problem because some people say that it is impermissible to work in Tesco, and some also say that it is impermissible to work in Asda. Some also say that it is impermissible to work in a chicken factory, so in this case, what job are we meant to do. If one tries finding a lawful job, then one finds out later on that the owner was involved in harām actions, and was probably paying wages with unlawful money. So what is the ruling for us in such case?
Questioner: Many people from the UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
I will request the general rule of thumb, which is actually the answer to thousands of issues like this. There are two types of jobs:
- One in which a person is involved in impermissible tasks. Such as the task involving the selling of unlawful meat or alcohol to a Muslim, or the giving and taking of usury [interest], or even receiving it, etc – all of these come under the responsibility of the person involved. This type of job is harām, even if the income of such a person is paid solely from a halāl source, even such halāl wealth is harām for this person.
- The other which itself is permissible to do, however the one paying the wages receives harām wealth. So, if one knows that the wage which is being giving is, in essence, harām wealth, then taking this is also harām. However, it is very difficult to ascertain whether such money has come from a harām source. Though if the harām wealth of the owner is mixed along with any of his halāl wealth, or the harām wealth has changed to halāl, in the sense that he gave the harām wealth to someone, and in exchange for this, he took some other wealth. Then if the owner paid the wage using this exchanged money, then it is permissible for you to take this from him. However, if it was actually harām wealth which he gave you, but you were unaware of whether it was harām or halāl, then your taking this is still permissible.
Just as Sayyidī Alā Hazrat Imām Ahmad Razā Khān, upon whom be infinite mercies, states that there are two types of employment. One is that which itself involves impermissible tasks, such as working somewhere which involves the giving & taking of usury [interest], making note & taking account of it, asking for it; he is responsible for all of these. Such a job is harām itself, even if such person is paid from solely a halāl source. This halāl wealth is also harām for this person [to take] as well, and is harãm wealth, thus harām upon harām.
The other is that particular job is, in essence, permissible, but the one paying the wages is someone who receives harām wealth. The ruling in such said case is that if one knows that whatever is being paid is, in essence, harām wealth, then unless it is exchanged, mixed, or used up [and thus replaced with halāl wealth], it is harām to take, otherwise it is permissible.
“قال محمد بہ ناخذ مالم نعرف شیئا حراما بعینہ”
“Imām Muhammad, upon whom be mercy, has stated that as long as we don’t know something is harām in essence, then we will choose this opinion; it is narrated as such in Hindiyyah from Zhahīriyyah.”
[Fatāwā Hindiyyah, vol 5, ch 2, pg 342]
Sayyidī Alā Hazrat Imām Ahmad Razā Khān, upon whom be countless mercies, has also stated in another place that if one has a job which itself entails permissible tasks, then it is permissible. Such a person should not take wage in which there is the involvement of usury [interest]. However, if it is a case of mixed money or it is not known [whether it is harām or not], then one may take this. Likewise, one may use the money of an unknown source in aid of a masjid or madrasah, more so in the case when the most part is halāl.
[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 19, pg 524]
The basis to the answer for all of these matters is what Imām Muhammad, upon be mercy, has stated, that until one does not come to know that the wealth I am about to receive is in essence harām, or mixed/exchanged with other [halāl] wealth, then it is impermissible to take from such, otherwise it is permissible. Just as it is stated in Fatāwā Hindiyyah,
“اخْتَلَفَ النَّاسُ فِي أَخْذِ الْجَائِزَةِ مِنْ السُّلْطَانِ قَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ يَجُوزُ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ يُعْطِيهِ مِنْ حَرَامٍ قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى وَبِهِ نَأْخُذُ مَا لَمْ نَعْرِفْ شَيْئًا حَرَامًا بِعَيْنِهِ، وَهُوَ قَوْلُ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى وَأَصْحَابِهِ”
“Scholars have differed over taking a wage, etc from a king, sultan, etc; some have said it is permissible so long as one does not come to know that it is actually harām wealth from which he gives from. Imām Muhammad, upon whom be mercy, states that when we don’t know something is harām in its essence, then we will choose this opinion.”
[Fatāwā Hindiyyah, vol 5, ch 2, pg 342]
So you can in fact find out the ruling regarding your employment for yourself from the principles mentioned above.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0656] What kind of jobs are permissible to work here in the UK?