Q62: What is the ruling on depositing
money in banks sponsored by Muslim and non-Muslim governments,
with the stipulated condition of receiving interest?
A: Depositing in banks of non-Muslim countries
is permissible in every case, even if it is under the stipulated
condition of obtaining interest. As for depositing in government
banks of Muslim countries under the stipulated condition of obtaining
interest, then it is prohibited. But, if it is without this condition,
then the issue is free of interest (riba) but it is not
permissible to spend the acquired money without referring to al-hakim
al-shar'i or his representative. (FM, p. 405)
Q63: Is there a difference here between
the principal and interest which the banks (in Muslim countries)
give to the depositor?
A: No, there is no difference between
them. One is not permitted to spend from anything taken from
government banks in Muslim countries except by referring to al-hakim
al-shar'i or his representative. (FM, p. 405)
Q64: If I know that the bank will give
me interest even without stipulating the conditions, is it permissible
for me to deposit in a savings account that takes the form of
A: Yes, it is permissible, as long as
you do not stipulate the conditions of interest. (FM, p. 406)
Q65: Is it permissible to take interest
from unbelievers, especially for those who live in their countries?
A: Yes, apparently one is allowed to take
interest from the unbelievers, whose property is not honored.
God knows best. (MMS, p. 27, Q49)
Q66: A national bank (in a Muslim country)
offers a project to its clients in which a person deposits a sum
of money in the order of 1,000 dirhams as a deposit which can
be withdrawn at any time. It announces that after a period of
time, a lottery will be drawn and the bank will grant a specific
gift to the investors. Is it permissible to deposit with this
A: Depositing with the condition of a
gift is usury and therefore prohibited. By condition is meant
to make the deposit with the requirement that the bank should
give the gift. But the mere knowledge that the bank will grant
it (gift) does not harm the permissibility of investing and the
lawfulness of the granted gift. God knows best. (MMS, p. 36,
Q67: A person does not own a house
to reside in. Is it permissible for him to borrow from government
banks with interest for the purpose of building his own house?
A: It is not permissible to borrow with the condition of interest for any reason, but it is permissible to take the money from it (bank), though not with the intention of a loan, and to legitimize its spending by referring to al-hakim al-shar'i or his representative. (FM, pp. 406-7)
Q68: Some banks distribute cards free of charge or for a defined price such that:
1. It is possible to withdraw any amount
from the bank without interest except for service charges for
the bank machine.
2. If he (user) delays repayment by
a month, then he is charged interest under the title of "late
payment" and similar items.
What is the ruling for this in the event
where repayment is delayed or otherwise?
A: There is no objection to withdrawing
the amount with the intention of "unknown owner"
(majhul al-malik), and not as a loan; it can be corrected
by obtaining permission as mentioned in response No. 69 (see next
page). The person's knowing that the bank will demand
repayment of the principal and interest does not impair this,
and when the bank requests it (repayment), it should be made to
it. (MMS, p. 31, Q61)
Q69: Do you not give your followers
(muqallids) a general authorization to dispose
of and deal with "unknown owner's" property,
and other transactions in it, by taking possession of the money
from government or jointly-owned (private and government) banks
without having to refer to al-hakim al-shar'i
or his representative to rectify it, for the ease and facility
for the believers? May Allah support and honor you.
A: Yes, we have allowed the believers
-- may they succeed in attaining the Exalted Allah's
pleasure -- to accept, through legal means from government
or jointly-owned institutions, by taking possession of it (property)
on behalf of those commissioned among the poor with the intention
of performing acts of charity upon them (the poor). Then, they
(the believers) can own it for themselves. This applies to salaries
and the like. As for interest and the like, they are allowed
to own half of it along the lines outlined, on the condition that
they give in charity (sadaqah) the other half to the religiously-devout
poor. (MMS, pp. 32-33, Q65)
Buying and Selling Shares
Q70: What about buying and selling
the shares of incorporated companies or others?
A: It is permissible to buy and sell shares
of any kind of corporation on the condition that the transactions
of this company do not engage in prohibited activities such as
dealing in intoxicants or interest (riba). (FM, p. 408)
Q71: What about insurance policies
for people on their life or for other unforeseen events or for
properties such as airplanes, cars, ships, or for fire or drowning,
A: All of them are valid and there is
obligation on both parties. (FM, p. 409)
Q72: If the phrase "rights of
publication are reserved to the author or publisher" is
written on some publications, is it obligatory to abide by the
content of this phrase? And with the supposition that it is mandatory,
is it permissible to print them (publications) if public welfare
or religious betterment depends on it?
A: Abiding by it (the phrase) is not obligatory,
but it is preferable to seek permission, especially from the author.
God knows best. (MMS, p. 28, Q55)
Q73: Property that I find in public
places like the street, market, airport, train station, harbor
or taxi and whose owner I am sure there is no possibility of finding.
A: Give it to charity on his behalf.
(FM, pp. 420-21)
Q74: What if a child finds a big sum
of present-day currency?
A: If there is no particular description
that would make it possible to find its owner and return it to
him, then the guardian of the child is permitted to take it and
keep it for him. Otherwise, it is obligatory to find out who
(the owner) is as I mentioned to you in a previous dialogue.
(FM, p. 421)
Working, Selling or Presence
in Places that Sell Non-Ritually Slaughtered Meat, Alcoholic Beverages
Q75: Is it permissible for a Muslim
to cook that which was not slaughtered in the Islamic manner,
knowing that he has no connection to selling or serving it? What
is the ruling with respect to serving food that is ritually impure
[not slaughtered in the Islamic manner] or conveying it to non-Muslims?
Is there a difference in this between pork and other things?
A: There is no objection to cooking that
which is not slaughtered in the Islamic manner or serving it to
those who regard it as lawful. However, it is problematic to
sell it to them. But there is no objection to taking the money
in return for the Muslim seller's relinquishment of his
right over it (foodstuff). Alternatively, by rescuing (istinqadh)
it (i.e. money from a non-Muslim). As for pork, it is problematic
to serve to those who regard it as lawful and without a doubt
disallowed for sale. God knows best. (MMS, pp. 12-13, Q8)
Q76: Is it permissible for a Muslim
to work in a restaurant that serves meat that is not slaughtered
in the Islamic manner?
A: Its permissibility is not unlikely
in the case where it is being served to one who considers it lawful.
Rather, it is absolutely (permissible) as long as the status of
the meat is made known to him, if there is a possibility of influencing
him to avoid its consumption. If not, it is not obligatory.
(MMS, p. 23, Q36)
Q77: Is it permissible to work in a
restaurant that serves pork and alcoholic beverages? If it is
not permissible, does the ruling also apply to washing dishes
and similar things there?
A: Serving alcoholic beverages to others
is prohibited even if the one to whom they are served considers
them lawful. It is the same for washing dishes if they serve
the purpose of drinking alcoholic beverages in them or serving
them (the dishes) to the drinker. The permissibility of serving
pork to someone who considers it lawful is not unlikely although
selling it is without a doubt disallowed. And a Muslim hiring
himself out for a forbidden task is rendered invalid and the taking
of wages for this is prohibited. There is no objection to taking
possession (of money) in return for work done as a means of rescuing
it from someone whose wealth is not honored. (MMS, p. 22, Q34)
Q78: Is it permissible for a Muslim
to work in shops that sell alcoholic beverages or in places of
entertainment without serving alcoholic beverages or doing other
forbidden things, such as cleaning dishes or arranging the chairs
and similar activities?
A: This is not permissible in shops that
sell alcoholic beverages and, based on obligatory precaution,
he should refrain also from places of entertainment. (MMS, pp.
Q79: Is it permissible for a Muslim
to work in a grocery store that sells alcoholic beverages in one
of its corners if his job is only that of a cashier?
A: It is permissible to accept the value
of (commodities) other than alcoholic beverages, and likewise
the value of alcoholic beverages, if both the buyer and seller
are non-Muslims. (MMS, p. 25, Q44)
Q80: What is the ruling on the wages
that a worker claims from these kinds of restaurants? Are they
considered to be from property that is mixed with the unlawful,
as it in fact is; or are they considered lawful for the worker
since the wages are for lawful work?
A: With regard to wages that a Muslim
receives from non-Muslims in return for work that they (non-Muslims)
consider lawful, the ruling is that they are lawful even if he
has acquired them through unlawful transactions according to our
shari'ah, so long as these (transactions) are lawful
for them (non-Muslims), like selling alcoholic beverages and pork
to non-Muslims. And these kinds of wages are not considered to
be mixed with the unlawful on which khums is obligatory.
(MMS, p. 23, Q37)
Q81: Is it permissible for a Muslim
to be present in gatherings where alcoholic beverages are served?
A: Eating and drinking in these gatherings
is prohibited. As for mere presence, its prohibition is based
on obligatory precaution. There is no objection to it if the
aim is to prevent others from reprehensible actions, if one is
able to do so. (MMS, p. 25, Q43)
Q82: Selling the meat of inedible animals like rabbit to those whose school of law (madhhab) permits its
A: It is permissible. (FM, p. 412)
Q83: Is it permissible for a person
to buy from shops owned by Hindus if he knows that their owners
help their community against the Muslims?
A: It is not permissible if this contributes
in their aggression against the Muslims. God knows best. (MMS,
p. 18, Q20)
Imported Meat, Fish, Cheese and
Q84: Is it permissible to eat, buy
and sell imported chickens from Muslim countries on which is written
the phrase "slaughtered in the Islamic manner"?
A: It is permissible for you to eat, buy
and sell them as long as you do not know that they were not slaughtered
(in the Islamic manner), whether the previously mentioned phrase
is written on them or not. (FM, p. 413)
Q85: And if these (chickens) are imported
from non-Muslim countries and written on them is the phrase "slaughtered
in the Islamic manner"?
A: It is not permissible for you to eat
them if you are not confident that they have truly been slaughtered
in the Islamic manner and not just claimed to be. (FM, p. 413)
Q86: The bodies of some types of fish
are not fully covered with scales. Is it permissible to eat them?
A: Yes, it is permissible for you to eat
them if they have but a single scale. (FM, p. 414)
Q87: Is it permitted for us to eat
canned fish imported from some European countries and America
when we are not absolutely sure of its lawfulness from two perspectives?
First, we are not sure of the presence of scales, although the
name of the fish indicated on the can wrapping is from those that
have scales. The exporting countries for these types of canned
items follow the strict laws enforcing the agreement between the
item description on the packaging and the actual contents of the
can. Second, we do not know about the certainty of its (fish)
having been captured outside the water alive or of its having
died in the fishing net. However, it is known that such fish
are caught by modern fishing vessels which allow the extraction
of the fish from the water in a live state, and it is very rarely
mixed with any dead (fish).
A: If one can be confident as to its lawfulness
-- even with the two observations above -- then one
is permitted to eat it; if not, it is not permissible. (FM, p.
Q88: What about imported cheese from
non-Muslim countries, if I do not exactly know the way it was
made and its ingredients?
A: It is permissible for you to eat it.
(FM, pp. 413-14)
Q89: (In the case of) imported cheese
from non-Muslim countries, if it is known to contain rennet (anfahah)
from a calf or a young goat, or an animal enzyme, is it permissible
to consume it?
A: There is no objection if it contains
the first two, and likewise for the third (animal enzyme) if it
is consumed; unless it is known that it was taken from one that
was not slaughtered in the Islamic manner. God knows best. (MMS,
p. 17, Q18)
Q90: Gelatine substance is normally
made from the bones of a cow. If it is taken from animals not
slaughtered in the Islamic manner, with the knowledge that it
is not permissible to eat it, is it ruled to be ritually pure
for external usage?
A: Yes, because the bone is from the part
in which life does not dwell; therefore, it is ritually pure,
even if it were from a dead (animal). God knows best. (MMS,
p. 36, Q75)
Meat from Muslim Markets
Q91: Here there are many restaurants
in the Muslim markets that offer meat to their customers.
A: It is permissible for you to eat their
meat. (FM, p. 414)
Q92: . . . even without asking the
owner of the restaurant about it?
A: Yes, it is permissible for you to eat
it and there is no need to ask the owner of the restaurant about
it, just as there is no need to ask about the religion of the
employees in the restaurant. (FM, p. 414)