[Q-ID0654] Can I rent my building to someone will use it as a shop to sell Alcohol or Pork?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: We live in the U.K. and here it is sometimes the case that our Muslim brothers rent out their shops and alcohol is sold in these stores. I wanted to ask how is it to take this rent. It’s not harām, is it? Also, if the person renting out knows that such and such a person is definitely going to be selling alcohol in my store, as this kind of thing is usually stated in the contract, then how is it in this case to accept this rent while one has knowingly given this store to someone who sells alcohol. Also, can one rent out their house to a Jew?

Questioner: Bakr from UK

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

The goal for the store owner is the actual rent, thus it is permissible for the store owner to give the store on rent, even if the one renting sells alcohol or pork; this is his own action, and he himself is responsible for this action, but it is totally halāl for the store owner to accept this rent. Likewise, when the store owner knows for a fact that the tenant will be selling alcohol or pork, his purpose is still the rent, thus it is halāl for him to accept it. However, he should be mindful as to not have the intention that I am giving the store to sell alcohol or pork, rather to actually give it for the purpose of the rent. If the incorrect intention is in mind, that one is giving the store on rent to sell alcohol or pork, then this person will be sinful with such an intention. However, it cannot be comprehended from a Muslim that they would have such an intention and harm their own selves in this manner, just for the sake of it.

Similarly, it is permissible to give one’s store on rent to a Zoroastrian, Christian or Jew, even if they make a place of worship there, or alcohol is sold, etc because this rent is in exchange of being able to make use of i.e. benefit from the property, and this is absolutely halāl; this will not be regarded as aiding a sin, just as it is stated in al-Hidāyah,

“(وَمَنْ أَجَّرَ بَيْتًا لِيُتَّخَذَ فِيهِ بَيْتُ نَارٍ أَوْ كَنِيسَةٌ أَوْ بِيعَةٌ أَوْ يُبَاعُ فِيهِ الْخَمْرُ بِالسَّوَادِ فَلَا بَأْسَ بِهِ) وَهَذَا عِنْدَ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ لأَنَّ الْإِجَارَةَ تَرِدُ عَلَى مَنْفَعَةِ الْبَيْتِ، وَلِهَذَا تَجِبُ الْأُجْرَةُ بِمُجَرَّدِ التَّسْلِيمِ، وَلَا مَعْصِيَةَ فِيهِ، وَإِنَّمَا الْمَعْصِيَةُ بِفِعْلِ الْمُسْتَأْجِرِ، وَهُوَ مُخْتَارٌ”

“There is no problem in renting out a house for a fire temple, church or liquor shop to be set up in it, as the rent obtained is in lieu of the use of the house. Thus, the payment of rent is obligated once the house is handed over (to the tenant), and there is no sin in this. The sin is the action of the tenant for which he himself is responsible.”

[al-Hidāyah, vol. 4, pg. 470]

In a similar manner, while responding to a question regarding whether it is correct or not for a Muslim to give his store on rent to sell alcohol/for a liquor business, Sayyidī Alā Hazrat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, upon whom be endless mercies, states in the answer that the purpose of a Muslim giving a property on rent is the actual rent, and actions are upon intention. How can such a person give it with the intention that there be the selling of alcohol or pork; thus, in the above case, the rent is halāl for such a person, and thus may consume this money; there is no problem in this. Yes, he who includes a harām intention, he himself will be sinful (but the rent itself will not become harām). In summary, the wage itself is not harām if not in exchange for sinful activity; this is the actual meaning of the Hanafī quote,

“یطیب الاجر وان کان السبب حراما کما فی الاشباہ وغیرھا فاحفظ فانہ علم عزیز فی نصف سطر، وﷲ تعالٰی اعلم “

“The wage will be pure, even if the cause is harām, just as it mentioned in al-Ashbāh, etc. Keep this in mind; this is dearly precious knowledge in just half a line.”

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-ID0654] Can I rent my building to someone will use it as a shop to sell Alcohol or Pork?

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