20421: Is it permissible to rent from kaafirs?


Is it permissible for a Muslim to rent property from a non-Muslim? In the US, there are more non-Muslims than Muslims. Unfortunately, they hang crosses, display statues, in or on their property, etc. We rented property to hold a wedding. The rooms we rented and will use have no haram images. However, the owners have things displayed in the building. These items make me uncomfortable but our community is large and Muslims have not yet established businesses for this purpose. We encounter the same problem in renting out an apartment.(We also see these images in public schools, hospitals, etc.) The owner may display things on his part of the property but the tenant is free to display halal items on the portion they rent. I want this wedding to be an example to a people that have for the most part abandoned separate weddings. I cannot afford for it to be a bad example.

Praise be to Allaah.  

It is permissible for a Muslim to rent property from a non-Muslim; the same applies to all other permissible dealings, such as selling, buying, depositing items as security on loans and others. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions used to do business with the Jews and others, and when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, his shield was deposited as security with a Jew for thirty saa’s of barley. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2759. 

If the rented party hall is free from haraam images, it does not matter if the owner puts any such thing or any other bad thing in his own private section. 

The Muslims should strive to get their own place for such occasions, on condition that it be set up for segregation of men and women, and that it is not too far from a mosque, so that the people can pray in congregation when the time for prayer comes. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question: 

Those who live in kaafir countries, such as America, Britain, etc, have dealings with the kuffaar. What is the ruling on that? 

The shaykh replied: 

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, his shield was deposited as security for a loan with a Jew. What is forbidden is to take them as close friends. As for buying and selling, there is nothing wrong with that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) bought some sheep from an idolater and distributed them among his companions. Rather what is haraam is to take them as close friends, love them and support them against the Muslims. But if a Muslim buys from them, sells to them, or deposits something with them, there is nothing wrong with that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) even ate the food of the Jews, and their food is permissible as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them”

[al-Maa'idah 5:5] 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah, 19/60 

We ask Allaah to help you to do that and to help you to do what you want of obeying Him and avoiding disobedience. 

And Allaah knows best.

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