Q&A (Fatwa)

#413: Business Transactions with Haraam Wealth


” Salaam alaikum,
I need an answer to this situation :-
I ‘ve a client that i render landscaping and decorative concrete projects for, lately I was told he engages in 419 to earn his living. Can I still engage myself in business transactions with him?”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh


The majority of the fuqahaa hold that the hukm of money changes whenever it changes hands. That is because money is not haraam by itself but haraam by its earning.

This means that if you purchase a stolen property from some, there is nothing haraam in the property by itself. However there is sin in purchasing it and that is because by so doing, you are encouraging the thief in his theft.

For this reason, the Fuqahaa hold that dealings with such a person is of three kinds:

A. That which you are sure he earned by way of Haraam.

Majority of the Ulamaa hold that this is particularly haraam because you, by so doing, encourage him in his haraam earning.

This means that if you are certain that this particular money he wants to use in buying a property from you is gotten from haraam means, then for you to transact with him on this is haraam.

However, this is not the case at times of necessity.

B. That earning of his that you are either doubtful of or lacked knowledge of.

The ruling of this, according to majority of the Ulamaa is permissibility while others hold that it is Makruh. This is due to the Hadith of Hasan Ibn Ali – radiayallaahu anhuma –

“Leave that which Puts you in doubt to that which does not put you in doubt”

3. That part of his earning that you are certain is of Halaal.

Some of the Ulamaa still hold that it is discouraged to go into dealings with him on this category of his wealth. Reason is that distancing from such a person is what is expected of a believer. However, there is nothing haraam in it.

We must all realize that these classifications are not reasons for us to be negatively suspicious of Muslims or to think evil of them.

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i – rahimahullaah – said in ‘Al-Umm’:

“We do not like transacting with him who most of his wealth is earned from usury or haraam sources of sales or who earned his wealth from robbery and pillage. But if a man transacts with such a person then I do not declare his transaction as legally void because such people could possess other wealth that are halaal. And we do not decisively declare any of such transactions Haraam unless for that which a man purchases of direct haraam or with a directly haraam wealth…”

In like of this said many of the Fuqahaa, rahimahumullaah such as Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar among the Shaafi’is and Ibn Qudaamah Al-Maqdisi among the Hanbalis.

Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali – rahimahullaah – said:

“And the Prophet – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – and his Companions used to transact with the amushrikun and the People of the Book despite their knowledge of the fact that they do not entirely distance themselves from what is haraam. So, if their is uncertainty in it, then it is of those doubtful things and scruplousness demands abandoning it.
Sufyan said: I am not inclined to take it. Abandoning it is more inclining to me.’
Az-Zuhri and Mak’hul said: there is nothing wrong in taking from it as long as he is not certain that that particular wealth us Haraam. If he doesn’t know that particular wealth to be haraam, then there is no clarity in it and nothing wrong in taking it.
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal mentioned this in one of his verdicts.
Is’haaq Ibn Raahawayh hold the position narrated to be held by Ibn Mas’ud, Sulayman and other than them, granting a dispensation (rukhsah) in that regard.
Same is the position held by Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin from who was narrated the permissibility of taking from what was known to have been remitted from usury and gambling. This was quoted from him by Ibn Mansur.”

That is a summary of what the Ulamaa have said in this matter.

Concerning your own situation, we advise you not to transact with such a person due to the harm that may reach you from such a relationship.

Allāhu A’alam.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

📚 IslamNode


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