Engineering Firm and Defence Sector


I just completed a placement with an aerospace engineering company. Total company defence revenue amounts to 36% with rest being from civil and energy. The actual department or sector of the company I was working in (engines and things) has 33% of revenue going to defence.

I’ve got no clue if the work I was doing this year would go towards civil or defence as it was a general kind of research project. But the thought just sort of occurred to me now. I lean towards more civil but I’m actually not too sure.

I watched your halal job talk and read your post about the halal banks and I just wanted to ask your view on my following reasoning. The research project was essentially creating specialised ducting for engines to improve performance.

Regarding intrinsic permissibility of the job:

  • A job intrinsically involved with the prime purpose and intention in creating weapons or war planes, for a company that may be involved in selling said weapons to people who harm muslims, would be haram.
  • However I would say my job title in the placement was simply to be a research engineer. Inherently, research and designing ducting for engines is permissible. Hence I would say the job is intrinsically okay.

From the material I have understood the following 3 cases:

  • Initrinsic halal job in an intrinsic halal business = halal
  • Intrinsic halal job in intrinsic haram business = Dispute.
    • Permissible from Imam Abu Hanfia’s view.
    • Impermissible in Imām Abū Yūsuf and Imām Muḥammad (depending on to what extent the intrinsically halal job supports the haram business. Cleaner vs IT tech). But either way should still be avoided.
  • Intrinsic haram job in an intrinsic haram business = haram.

Question arises in what determines intrinsic permissibility as whole. If the company had 60% revenue from defence would you say this as a business entity is haram like a bank. What is the threshold that puts a business into being viewed like a bank (majority haram business) vs viewed like Tesco (minority haram business) when it comes to its activity in haram things?

Would the remuneration of this company therefore be impure due to it’s percentage revenue from defense?

What would the liability of an individual be should the research project be used in a defense case over a civil in a ‘for what and whom’ analysis. Is a person responsible for a knife he sells to an individual who goes on to murder someone, provided as a seller, he had reasonable reason to think the knife could be used for haram activity.

Jazakallah Khayr.


May Allah bless you.
Scholars usually look at the overall majority of company’s source of income, its sector, and its overall business activities, to determine if a job is halal or not.
However, I am not aware of an agreed percentage which they use as guideline. For example, some scholars might look at 51% of the source of revenue to say if a job is halal or not. But, for others, 51% might be too low.
Also, for years, British Muslims were employed in only a few sectors which probably did not require an extend analysis to set up guidelines either.
Usually, it is pretty obvious to give a ruling, when you have to look at jobs in supermarkets, restaurants, casinos.

In regards to working for a company in the defence sector. Many would say that it should be avoided, as at this time, many weapons made in the UK, are used against innocent civilian Muslims abroad.
However, one may argue that the defence sector is an important one for many Muslims who depend on the protection of the British army at home, and abroad too.

I am not in a position to debate for the moral case surrounding this topic. However, I do not think that income received from a role in the defence sector is haram.

And Allah knows best!

Jazakallah Khayr. Thank you very much for the response! May Allah bless you.