I work in a seaport and serve ships that are passing through. Most of these ships are foreign and the people working on them are non-Muslims. The company owner sells pork to these ships sometimes, then he distributes the profits of these sales to us employees and we accept it on the basis that selling pork to non-Muslims is not haraam, and there is no text in the Qur’aan or Sunnah that says that it is haraam to sell it to non-Muslims. And we cannot compare alcohol to pork because pork existed at the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and if he had wanted to forbid it and curse it he would have done so as he did with alcohol. But there are some people who made us doubt whether this money is halaal. Is it halaal or haraam?
If we do not participate in the sale, will it not matter if we take these profits if the company owner gives them to us like an act of charity? Do we have the right to accept charity when we know its origin? Is there any hadeeth in which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated clearly and unequivocally that it is haraam to sell pork to non-Muslims? Because pork is not haraam for the People of the Book.
It is not permissible for anyone to issue fatwas concerning the religion of Allaah without knowledge. It is essential to understand the seriousness of doing that, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al‑Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge”
So it is not permissible for anyone to say, this is halaal and that is haraam, if he has no sound evidence to that effect. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: ‘This is lawful and this is forbidden,’ so as to invent lies against Allaah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allaah will never prosper”
Selling pork is haraam whether it is sold to a Muslim or to a kaafir. The evidence for that is as follows:
1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of salcohol (pork); for that surely, is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering”
And the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us an important principle when he said: “When Allaah forbids a thing, He (also) forbids its price.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3488; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, 318.
2 – It was narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say when he was in Makkah at the time of the Conquest: “Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden the sale of alcohol, dead meat, pork and idols.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think of the fat of dead animals, for ships are caulked with it and animal skins are daubed with it, and the people use it to light their lamps?” He said: “No, it is haraam.” Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allaah curse the Jews, for when Allaah forbade them animal fat, they melted it down and sold it, and consumed its price.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1212; Muslim, 1581.
With regard to dead meat, alcohol and pork, the Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is haraam to sell all of these.
Al-Qaadi said: This hadeeth indicates that whatever we are forbidden to eat or make use of, we are also forbidden to sell, and it is not permissible to consume its price, as in the case of the animal fat mentioned in this hadeeth.
Sharh Muslim, 11/8
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said, after quoting the ahaadeeth about the prohibition on alcohol:
The conclusion we may draw from all these ahaadeeth is that whatever Allaah has forbidden us to make use of, it is also haraam to sell it and consume its price, as is stated clearly in the hadeeth: “When Allaah forbids a thing, He (also) forbids its price.” This is a general, comprehensive phrase which applies to everything which is intended to be used in haraam ways. These fall into two categories:
(i) Things which are to be used and will remain as they are, such as idols. The purpose for which they are used is shirk or association of others with Allaah, which is the greatest of all sins. We may add to that books of shirk, witchcraft, innovation (bid’ah) and misguidance, forbidden images, forbidden means of entertainment and also buying slave women who will serve as singers.
(ii) Things which are to be used and which will be used up. If in the majority of cases a thing is used for haraam purposes, then it is haraam to sell it. For example, it is haraam to sell pork, alcohol and dead meat even though they may – on rare occasions – be used for a permissible purpose, such as eating dead meat for those who are in extreme need, or using alcohol to stop oneself choking or to putt out a fire, or using pig hairs for beading, or making use of the hair and skin of a pig – according to those who approve of that. But because these are not the reason for which these things are produced, and the usual use for pigs and dead meat is to eat them, and the usual use for alcohol is to drink it, so no attention should be paid to these reasons, and it is haraam to sell these things.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicated this when it was said to him: “What do you think of the fat of dead animals, for ships are caulked with it and animal skins are daubed with it, and the people use it to light their lamps?” He said: “No, it is haraam.”
Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/415, 416
The Standing Committee was asked: Is it permissible to deal in alcohol and pork if one is not selling them to a Muslim? They replied: It is not permissible to deal in foods and other things that Allaah has forbidden, such as alcohol and pork, even if one is selling them to kaafirs, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah forbids a thing, He also forbids its price.” And because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who consumes its price, the one who squeezes (the grapes, etc) and the one for whom it is squeezed.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 13/49.
With regard to the questioner saying, “selling pork to non-Muslims is not haraam, and there is no text in the Qur’aan or Sunnah that says that it is haraam to sell it to non-Muslims”, this is not correct. We have quoted above evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and have stated that the scholars are agreed that it is haraam to sell pork. The general meaning of the evidence indicates that it is haraam to sell it to Muslims and kaafirs alike, because the evidence indicates that the prohibition on selling it is general in application, and no differentiation is made between Muslims and others.
Indeed, if we were to say that what is meant by the prohibition on selling it is selling it to kaafirs, that would not be far-fetched, because the basic assumption concerning the Muslim is that he would never buy pork: what would he do with it when he knows that Allaah has forbidden it?
Similarly, the questioner’s saying that “pork existed at the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and if he had wanted to forbid it and curse it he would have done so as he did with alcohol” is also not correct, because it is not essential for a thing to be forbidden that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) should have cursed the one who does it. Rather it is sufficient that he forbade it or stated that it is haraam, as he forbade the sale of pork.
With regard to your taking this money, now that you know that it is haraam, it is more befiiting for you to refuse to take it, especially since your taking it is like giving approval to what the company owner is doing. You have to advise him, denounce what he is doing and exhort him to give up these haraam actions. Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better than it.
With regard to the money that you took before you found out that it is haraam, there is no sin on you, in sha Allah. Allaah says in the verses in which He forbids riba (usury, interest) (interpretation of the meaning):
“So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribaa, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allaah (to judge)”
We ask Allaah to granted you a halaal and blessed provision. And Allaah knows best.