Fatwa: Can I Sell Haram Items to Non-Muslims?

This is iA the most comprehensive resource for this question on the internet.

We present views from IslamQA, Islamweb, Dar Al Ifta, and Seekers Guidance, then our resident expert Mufti Billal Omarjee presents his views, and finally IFG present a commercial perspective on the matter.

View One: IslamQA

It is not permissible for a Muslim to sell wine (or any other intoxicating substance) to non-Muslims, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Verily when Allaah forbids something, he forbids its price”

(i.e. forbids earning money from it). The Prophet also cursed ten types of people relating to the issue of wine, among them the one who sells it. In addition, selling it would be assisting and abetting people in sin and transgression, and Allaah the Almighty has said (interpretation of the meaning):

…and do not aid and abet one another in sin and transgression. (al-Maa’ida 5:2)

It is incumbent upon you to advise those who have fallen into this evil among the Muslims, that he should repent to Allah the Most Glorified and desist this practice.

Source: here

View Two: Dar Al Ifta

Hanafi scholars have permitted engaging in corrupt contracts with non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries provided they willingly consent; these include selling alcohol, pork and the like.
This ruling is applicable to the case in the above question. They based their opinion on many evidences from the Sunnah which include the following:

  • Makhul (one of the Successors) narrated in a hadith mursal (i.e. a hadith in which the narrator between the Successor and the Prophet is omitted from the chain of transmission) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no riba [usury] between Muslims and the people living in non-Muslim countries.” [Reported by Al-Shafi’ in his book Al-Umm vol. 7, p. 359, al-Zayla’i in Nasb Al-Raya vol. 4, p. 44, Ibn Hajar in Al-Diraya fi Takhreej Ahadith al-Hidaya vol. 2, p. 158 and Ibn Qudama in Al-Mughni vol. 4, p. 47.
    Commenting on the hadith, Ibn Qudama said, “The authenticity of this hadith is not established and it could be a command to prohibit usury between Muslims and others”.

  • When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon) expelled the Jewish tribes of Bani Qaynuqa’ and Bani al-Nadhir (from Medina) they said that the Muslims owed them some debts which were not due at that time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told them, “Lower [the debts] and make haste” i.e. write off the debts and accept an immediate discounted payment. It is known that this form of transaction among Muslims is considered riba, so it is invalid.

  • While in Mecca which was a non-Muslim country at that time, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) wrestled Rukana, a disbeliever for a third of a sheep on each time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) defeated him three times and generously returned the sheep. Abu Dawud reported the original story in vol. 4, p.55, al-Tirmidhi reported it in vol. 4, p.247 without mentioning the sheep, abu Dawud mentioned the sheep in his Hadiths Mursal in vol.1, p.235 and others.

  • Ibn 'Abbas and others (may Allah be pleased with them all) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said in Khutbat al-Wada [the sermon delivered on his Farewell Pilgrimage]: “All riba of the Jahiliya [the pre-Islamic period] are null and void and the first to be abolished is that of al-'Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib.” Al-'Abbas converted to Islam after he was captured in the battle of Badr and later returned to Mecca which was still a non-Muslim country. In Mecca, he dealt in riba—the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) knew of this and did not prohibit it. Therefore, the hadith proves the permissibility of dealing in riba in non-Muslim countries. It was only after the conquest of Mecca that riba was prohibited.

  • When Allah Almighty revealed His words: “A.L.M. The Romans have been defeated—in a land close by: But they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs will soon be victorious” [Qur`an 30:1-3], the disbelievers of Quraysh asked Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), “Do you believe that the Romans will be victorious?” 'Yes," he replied. They said, “Will you bet on it?” He replied in the affirmative. When Abu Bakr informed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) of this, the Prophet told him, “Go back to them and raise the bet.” When the Romans defeated the Persians, Abu Bakr won the bet and the Prophet approved of it. This was before the Muslim conquest of Mecca.

Scholarly opinions

Due to the above evidences and others, Mohammed ibn al-Hassan said, “If a Muslim enters a non-Muslim country under safe conduct, there is no harm if he takes their money through any means with their approval.”

  • Al-Sarkhasi said, "There is no riba between Muslims and the people of non-Muslim countries. Abu Hanifa and Mohammed Ibn al-Hassan (may Allah have mercy on them) permitted selling one dinar in exchange of two in non-Muslim countries based on the hadith narrated by Makhul. The money he takes from them from selling unslaughtered dead animals or by wagering is lawful to him according to Abu Hanifa and Mohammed (may Allah have mercy on them). The opinion of the two imams is the established opinion of the Hanafi School of Jurisprudence.


To conclude, Abu Hanifa and Mohammed Ibn al-Hassan—unlike Abu Yusuf—have maintained the permissibility of engaging in corrupt contracts with non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries.
The inquirer is entitled to follow the opinion of Abu Hanifa and Mohammed Ibn al-Hassan (may Allah have mercy on them) since the principles of the Shari’ah permit him to do so. Scholars have stated that it is permissible for a legally responsible person to follow the opinion of the scholars who permit something upon which there is a scholarly difference of opinion, if the opinion of those who prohibit it may impose difficulty upon him. They said, “Whoever is afflicted with something controversial may follow the opinion of those who permit it.”

Source: here

View Three: Seekers Guidance

No, you cannot gift it to others. Rather, you should dispose of it in a safe manner.

The legal maxim states, “what is prohibited to acquire is prohibited to give [to another].” Essentially, just as you cannot do something unlawful (haram), you cannot directly assist another person in doing the unlawful.

Allah Most High says, “Help one another to do what is right and good; do not help one another towards sin and hostility.” [5.2]

[Zarqa, Sharh al-Qawa`id al-Fiqhiyya]

Source: here

View Four: Islamweb

We are not aware of any such Fatwa (the one you are referring to). Selling what is forbidden to non-Muslims is also forbidden since even non-Muslims are also addressed by the rulings of Shariah for the verse: {Every person is a pledge for what he has earned, Except those on the Right, (i.e. the pious true believers of Islâmic Monotheism); In Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another, About Al-Mujrimûn (polytheists, criminals, disbelievers, etc.), (And they will say to them): “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer their Salât (prayers). "Nor we used to feed Al-Miskin (the poor); "And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allâh hated) with vain talkers. "And we used to belie the Day of Recompense.}[74:38-46].

The above verse proves that they would be punished on neglecting the prayers and other obligations.

We did not come across any Fatwa of Sheikh al-Islam in this subject as you mentioned. But what is reported about him by his pupil Ibn al-Qayyim is that he said, ‘I and some of my companions passed by some Tatars who were drinking alcohol. One of my companions disapproved of their act, and I did not agree with his action. I said to him, Allah made alcohol forbidden because it prevents the person from the remembrance of Allah but in the case of these people it prevents them from killing innocent people, enslaving them and from taking their property’.

Source: here

Mufti Billal Omarjee view:

To follow.

The IFG view:

This is purely a fiqhi matter and as such we do not express our view on it. We personally would not sell haram items to non-Muslims.

Commercially - it is very possible to make a good living without resorting to selling haram items.