Praise be to Allah.
Ruling on giving Fatwas without knowledge
It is not permissible for anyone to issue Fatwas concerning the religion of Allah without knowledge. It is essential to understand the seriousness of doing that, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are 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 Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” [Al-`Araf 7:33]
So it is not permissible for anyone to say, this is lawful and that is prohibited, if he has no sound evidence to that effect. Allah 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 Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper.” [An-Nahl 16:116]
Is selling pork prohibited?
Selling pork is prohibited whether it is sold to a Muslim or to a non-Muslim. The evidence for that is as follows:
- Allah 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 a dead animal or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of pork; for that surely, is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering.” [Al-An`am 6:145]
And the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us an important principle when he said: “When Allah forbids a thing, He (also) forbids its price.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 3488; classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Ghayat Al-Maram, 318)
- It was narrated from Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say when he was in Makkah at the time of the Conquest: “Allah and His Messenger have forbidden the sale of alcohol , dead meat, pork and idols.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, 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 prohibited.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews, for when Allah forbade them animal fat, they melted it down and sold it, and consumed its price.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 1212 and Muslim, 1581)
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“With regard to dead meat, alcohol and pork, the Muslims unanimously agreed that it is prohibited to sell all of these.
Al-Qadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This Hadith 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 Hadith.” (Sharh Muslim, 11/8)
Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after quoting the Hadiths about the prohibition on alcohol:
“The conclusion we may draw from all these Hadiths is that whatever Allah has forbidden us to make use of, it is also prohibited to sell it and consume its price, as is stated clearly in the Hadith: “When Allah 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 prohibited ways. These fall into two categories:
- 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 Allah, 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.
- Things which are to be used and which will be used up. If in the majority of cases a thing is used for prohibited purposes, then it is prohibited to sell it. For example, it is prohibited 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 put 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 prohibited to sell these things.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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 prohibited.” (Jami` Al-`Ulum wal-Hikam, 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?
“It is not permissible to deal in foods and other things that Allah has forbidden, such as alcohol and pork, even if one is selling them to non-Muslims, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah forbids a thing, He also forbids its price.” And because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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.” (Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah, 13/49)
Is there proof that it is permissible to sell to non-Muslims?
With regard to the questioner saying, “selling pork to non-Muslims is not prohibited, and there is no text in the Quran or Sunnah that says that it is prohibited to sell it to non-Muslims”, this is not correct.
We have quoted above evidence from the Quran and Sunnah, and have stated that the scholars are agreed that it is prohibited to sell pork. The general meaning of the evidence indicates that it is prohibited to sell it to Muslims and non-Muslims 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 non-Muslims, 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 Allah has forbidden it?
Similarly, the questioner’s saying that “pork existed at the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah 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 Allah be upon him) should have cursed the one who does it. Rather it is sufficient that he forbade it or stated that it is prohibited, as he forbade the sale of pork.
With regard to your taking this money, now that you know that it is prohibited, 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 prohibited actions. Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.
With regard to the money that you took before you found out that it is prohibited, there is no sin on you, in sha Allah. Allah 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 Riba , shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge).” [Al-Baqarah 2:275]
We ask Allah to granted you a lawful and blessed provision.
And Allah knows best.