On Buying Products from Countries in which Muslims are Being Oppressed

I buy and sell products online and I found that most of the products I was buying are produced in countries in which Muslims are being oppressed. Should I continue buying from these countries?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Unfortunately Muslims suffer oppression both in non-Muslim countries and in Muslim countries. If you know for certain that your money will be used in acts of disobedience to Allah or that it will benefit individuals or companies known to be engaged in this oppression then these transactions must be avoided. If that is not the case, then you are permitted to buy products from those countries. The Prophet ﷺ allowed some trade with Mecca to continue even though the disbelievers of Quraysh were oppressing the Muslims. When the Companion Thumamah bin Uthal prevented caravans from carrying food to Mecca, the Prophet commanded him to allow them to do so.


Advice on Electronic Currencies

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

  • What do you say about investing in electronic currencies?

These are one of the tricks and ploys that have been used to delude people who are hoping to make some money. They have no basis in the Sacred Law and the end result in investing in these currencies will not be good.

Continue reading Advice on Electronic Currencies

On Using Interest Payments

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What should I do with interest payments that have accumulated in my bank account?

You should give the money to the poor and needy or some public project such as repairing roads, providing medication for the sick or feeding the poor. You cannot use it yourself or consider it your property. When you give it, it cannot be considered charity but you will have the reward of preserving it and using it in a way that pleases Allah.

On Attending Gatherings in which Forbidden Musical Instruments are Used

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can we attend gatherings in which forbidden musical instruments are used?

If there is scholarly consensus that they are forbidden then there is no way we can attend. If the scholars differ over whether they are permissible or not, we should assess what benefit there is in attending. If there is a great benefit to be had in attending, we can overlook the fact that the scholars differ over the permissibility of these instruments. If there is no great benefit to be had, it is better not to attend.

On Listening to Music

Answered by Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Is it permissible to listen to music?

This depends on the instrument which is being listened to. If it is an instrument which the sacred texts forbid, such as the mizmar (a flute which has a reed) then it is impermissible to listen to it. If it is an instrument which is not prohibited, such as a daff (tambourine) or a nayy (hollow flute) then it is permissible, although there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding the nayy.

On Consuming the Food of Muslims with Unlawful Income

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

Is it permissible to eat the food of Muslims who have some unlawful income from selling alcohol or other prohibited things?

It is permissible as long as you do not know for sure that the food has been purchased with money from an unlawful source and you know that they have income from lawful sources. However, it is better out of scrupulousness to avoid eating such food.

On Leaving Dubious Earnings for the Sake of Allah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

I work in a restaurant which serves alcohol. I run the finances so I do not actually handle the alcohol. I am looking for another job but it is not easy. What should I do?

Try to leave that place as quickly as possible for if someone leaves something for the sake of Allah, Allah replaces that thing with something better. It is obligatory for you to avoid handling the alcohol, as you are doing. However, as the hadith informs us, Allah’s curse falls upon the one carrying the alcohol and the one to whom it is carried, as well as the one buying it and the one selling it. Since you are running the finances you are at risk of being included in that curse. So leave that place as quickly as possible and Allah will open to you a door to obtaining provision. I advise you to recite Surat al-Waqi`ah every day and to read one hundred times:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِين

Lā ilāha illAllahu-l-Maliku ‘l-Haqqu ‘l-Mubin

There is no god but Allah, the King, the Real, the One Who makes things manifest.”

I also counsel you to read one hundred times:

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ اللهِ العَظِيم أَسْتَغْفِرُ الله

Subhanallahi wa bi hamdihi, subhanallahi-l-`Azim, astaghfirullah

Transcendent is Allah, and praise be to Him; transcendent is Allah the Almighty; I seek the forgiveness of Allah.”

The best time to read this is before praying the two sunnah rakats of Fajr. These are some of the best means of attaining provision. Having taqwa is another means. Allah says: If someone has taqwa of Allah, He gives him a way out and provides for him from (sources) he could never expect.

The manager of a hotel which served alcohol once met Shaykh Muhammad Mutawalli al-Sha`rawi. The Shaykh advised him to leave the hotel immediately but the manager complained that he had debts to pay back. The Shaykh mentioned this verse:

If someone has taqwa of Allah, He gives him a way out and provides for him from (sources) he could never expect.

Then he said:

“Did Allah mention taqwa first or the way out first?”

He said:

“He mentioned taqwa first.”

You want a way out before having taqwa. You have to have taqwa first, and then Allah will give you a way out.”

The Shaykh’s words had a profound effect on the man, and he duly left the hotel. After a short time he was asked to manage a hotel in Medina. To this day, thirty years later, he is managing that hotel next to the Noble Sanctuary. His affairs were taken care of due to his taqwa.

The Ruling on Eating Meat in the West

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

I live in the US and I have heard different fatwās regarding the permissibility of eating meat from restaurants here. What is the best path to take?

There is no problem in eating meat from an animal which is known to have been slaughtered by a Muslim or by a Jew or a Christian (as long as they fulfill the conditions mentioned by the scholars, who differ on the issue).

Allāh says:

The food of the people who have been given the Book is permissible for you and your food is permissible for them.1

If it is not known whether the meat is from an animal that has been properly slaughtered then we should avoid it and not be lax on the issue. Meat is assumed to be impermissible to eat (and this is especially true in non-Muslim lands) unless one is reasonably certain that it has been slaughtered according to the Sacred Law. Muslims should work together to provide places where animals can be correctly slaughtered and then the meat should be distributed to specific shops and restaurants. This is already being done in some European countries and some states in America. We also find that some non-Muslims prefer to eat this type of meat because they find it more wholesome and more healthy, and this is the truth.

There are many types of seafood and vegetables which act as alternatives to meat. Allāh says: It is He Who has made the sea subservient, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender.2 There is thus no need for Muslims to eat meat which is either impermissible to eat or dubious as it will damage the state of their hearts.

1 Al-Mā’idah, 5:5.

2Al-Naḥl, 16:14.