Saturday 9 Thu al-Hijjah 1445 - 15 June 2024
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Ruling on working as a real estate agent in Western countries

Question

My husband works as a real estate agent in the United States. Is this job permissible?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

The basic principle is that it is permissible to work as a real estate agent, selling or renting out properties and receiving payment for that from both parties or one of them, unless the agent is helping clients in doing something that is haram, such as acting as a middleman in buying, selling or renting a place for selling alcohol, dealing in riba, gambling, selling musical instruments, singing and dancing, and the like. If the agent is aware that the purpose of the deal is haram, it is not permissible to help in that in return for a fee or otherwise, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty} [al-Ma’idah 5:2].

Helping or cooperating in what is haram also includes helping someone to find a property, knowing that he is going to buy the property with a riba-based loan from the bank or otherwise. Helping him to find the property is making it easy for him and helping him to go ahead with something that is haram. But if the real estate agent is not aware of that, then there is nothing wrong with him [helping the client to find a property]. Similarly, if he has already taken out a riba-based loan and the money has become available to him, then there is nothing wrong with helping him to find a property, because if someone borrows money on the basis of riba, it is permissible for him to buy real estate or anything else – even though he is sinning by dealing in riba – so there is nothing wrong with helping him to do something that is permissible.

Please see the answer to question no. 22905 .

For information on the ruling on acting as a broker or agent, please see the answer to question no. 45726 .

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A