Questions & Answers 6

Some governments offer social security benefits to their citizens as long as one does not find a job. Is it permissible for them to continue receiving these benefits, even after they have found work and have not informed the department concerned about it? Question:
It is not permissible for them to accept the benefits except after informing the competent authorities in those countries about it. Answer:
Is it permissible for a Muslim to steal from non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries? And is it permissible for him to cheat them in methods that are common among themselves in order to acquire their property? Question:
It is not permissible to steal their private or public property, or vandalize it if that leads to tarnishing the image of Islam or Muslims in general. Similarly, it is not allowed to steal, even if it does not lead to that [i.e., tarnishing the image of Islam or Muslims] but is considered as perfidy and violation of the guarantee given to non-Muslims indirectly when one asked permission to enter or reside in their country. And it is forbidden to breach the trust and violate the guarantee in regard to every person. Answer:
Is it permissible for a Muslim to give false information to government agencies in Europe in order to gain monetary and non-monetary privileges and benefits through their lawful means? Question:
It is not permissible because it is lying; and what has been mentioned is not a justified reason [for lying]. Answer:
In the West, it is possible for a person to open a variety of current accounts with high or low interest rates equally without any difficulty in both the cases. Is it permissible to open accounts with high interest rate with the understanding that the person will not demand the interest, if the bank denies it to him? If it is not permissible, is there a solution that would allow them to open such an account knowing well that they, in their heart, are seeking the best interest? Question:
They are allowed to open the account in the bank and it is [also] permissible for them to deposit in it with the condition of earning the interest, if the bank is financed by non-Muslim governments or people. Answer:
Banks in the West give loans —known as mortgage— to those who do not have enough money to buy houses; this is to be paid back in [weekly or monthly] instalments with a high rate of interest. Is a Muslim allowed to use this facility? If it is not permissible, is there a solution in your view for someone who claims that he needs the mortgage to buy his own residential house and does not possess enough money to pay for it? Question:
It is permissible to take the money from the bank that is financed by non-Muslim government or private funds but not with the intention of loan. The knowledge that the bank will sooner or later force him to pay the capital as well as the interest does not affect [the lawfulness of] his taking the money. Answer:
Some governments are committed to providing housing for the needy under specific circumstances. Is it permissible for a Muslim to buy a house in which he resides for a short time (so that he will not be liable for khums [on that house]), and then he gives it out on rent so he can then go and live in a house subsidized by the government? Question:
Khums is not waived from a house just by living in it for a short while without actually being in need of it, as has been presumed in the question. Answer:
Some trading and manufacturing companies get loans from private or state banks in Muslim countries and also from other [non-Muslim] institutions with the condition of interest; and they also earn interest on the deposits they leave in those banks. Are we allowed to buy shares from these companies or be partners in their ventures? Question:
If the partnership with them is like participating in their interest-bearing activities, it is not allowed. However, if Muslims own the company and it receives interest from the banks of non-Muslims, there is no problem [in buying its shares or partnership] from this perspective. Answer:
Some governments and some companies in non-Muslim as well as Muslim, countries deposit the salaries of their employees directly into their accounts in the banks. The employee does not get the money in his hand, although he can withdraw it whenever he wants. Now, if the statement of his account shows that the money has surpassed his annual expenses, is khums obligatory on it? Question:
Khums is obligatory in what has surpassed his annual needs, except in the case of a government employee in a Muslim state that deposits his salary into a state or private bank. In the latter case, khums would not be obligatory on the salary that has been deposited in the bank until he [physically] takes possession of it with the permission of the mujtahid* Then the salary will be included in his income of that year and khums will become obligatory on what is in excess to that year’s expenses. Answer:
A Muslim took a loan from another Muslim. After a while the market value of that amount goes down. How much should he pay back to the creditor? The amount that he got as loan or its equivalent in the market value at the time of payment? Does the rule differ if the creditor is non-Muslim? Question:
He has to pay the same amount that he got as loan; and there is no difference whether the creditor was Muslim or non-Muslim Answer:
Is it permissible to invest in companies who deal in part, in intoxicanting drinks without the possibility of separating one’s investment from that of the others in that line of production? Question:
It is not permissible to participate or deal in the production of intoxicanting drinks. Answer:
A Muslim builder or contractor is approached for building a place of worship for non-Muslims in a non-Muslim country. Is it permissible for him to accept that job? Question:
It is not permissible because it involves promoting the false religions Answer:
A Muslim calligrapher is approached for preparing a billboard promoting intoxicanting drinks, or for an all-night dance party, or for a restaurant that serves pork. Is it permissible for him to accept these jobs? Question:
It is not permissible because it involves advertising indecent acts and promoting immorality. Answer:
Is it permissible to buy goods from companies that allocate part of their profits to supporting Israel? Question:
We do not allow that. Answer:
A Muslim buys a building but does not know that it also contains a pub whose lease he cannot terminate [before its expiry]. Then he finds out the fact. (a) Is it permissible for him to receive the rent of the pub from the lessee? (b) If it is not allowed, is it permissible for him to receive the rent with the permission of the mujtahid? Or under other pretext? (c) If we assume that he knew about the existence of the pub before buying the building, is it permissible for him to buy that building knowing that he cannot terminate the lease of the pub owner? Question:
a) It is not permissible for him to receive the rent in return for renting that place as a pub. (b) Since he owns the right of rent of that place for permissible use, he is allowed to take (from the money given to him as rent for the pub) an amount that is his right. If the lessee is non-Muslim, the owner can take the money but not as rent [for the pub]. (c) It is permissible for him to buy that building, even if he knew about the above-mentioned lessee and that he cannot terminate that lease. Answer:
Is it permissible for a Muslim business owner to employ non-Muslims in his business even though there are Muslims who need jobs? Question:
On its own terms, it is permissible; but based on the demands of Islamic brotherhood and the rights that Muslims have over one another, it is better to choose Muslims over non-Muslims as long as there is no problem in it. Answer:
Is it permissible to work as salesman or cashier in shops that sell pornographic magazines? Is it permissible to deal in these kinds of magazines? Is it permissible to print them? Question:
None of these [activities] is permissible because they aim at promoting forbidden acts and propagating immorality. Answer:
A Muslim works in a non-Muslim country, in a private office, or in a government office, or on contract for a specific project where he is paid by the hour. Is it permissible for him to waste some hours or work negligently or intentionally delay the job? Does he deserve the full wages? Question:
This is not allowed; and if one does it, he is not entitled to full wages. Answer:
Some Muslims deal in the manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an which they import from Muslim countries. Is this permissible? If the obstacle in selling is the law that forbids selling the Qur’an to non-Muslims, is it possible to overlook this condition so that the deal may be legitimate? If it is permissible, how do we bypass this condition? Question:
We do not allow this since it is detrimental to the [intellectual and cultural] heritage of the Muslims and their resources. Answer:
Is it permissible to deal in manuscripts, art works, and Islamic artifacts by importing them from Muslim countries with the purpose of selling them at high prices in, for example, European countries? Or is this considered ruinous to Islamic heritage, and therefore not permissible? Question:
We do not allow this for the reason mentioned earlier. Answer:
During some nights the clubs are filled with their non-Muslim customers who usually get drunk, and come out looking for restaurants to eat their meal. Is it permissible for a Muslim to work in such restaurants to serve permissible food to drunkards and sober customers alike? Is it a sin, if that permissible food helps in decreasing the effect of intoxication or other similar effect? Question:
On its merits, there is no problem in this.