Ruling on giving charity to someone who sells alcohol
Fatwa No: 264811

Question

Assalamu'alaykum,My neighbour is an owner of a liqour store. His liqour store was burned in a fire and he is unable to do his business. It is permissible for me to donate some money to him to ease his burden?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

If you know or believe it is most likely that your neighbour will not use the money you will give him to do an act of disobedience to Allaah, then there is nothing wrong with helping him and giving him charity. It is permissible for a Muslim to give charity to a disobedient person, if he knows that he will not use it to commit what is forbidden. The permissibility of offering charity to the disobedient is confirmed by the Hadeeth reported by Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

A man expressed his intention to give charity, so he came out with charity and placed it in the hand of a woman who was a fornicator. In the morning, the people were talking and saying: charity was given to a fornicator last night. He [the giver] said, ‘O Allaah, praise You; [I gave Charity] to a fornicating woman!’ He, then, again expressed his intention to give charity; so he went out with the charity and placed it in the hand of a rich person. In the morning the people were talking and saying, 'Charity was given to a rich person.' He said, ‘O Allaah, praise You; [I gave charity] to a rich person!' He, then, expressed his intention to give charity, so he went out with charity and placed it in the hand of a thief. In the morning, the people were talking and saying, ‘Charity was given to a thief!’ So he said, ‘O Allaah, praise You ! I have given charity to a fornicating woman, a rich person and a thief!’ He was told, ‘Your charity has been accepted. As for the fornicating woman [the charity might become the means] whereby she might refrain from adultery. The rich man might perhaps learn a lesson and give some of what Allaah has given him in charity, and the thief might thereby refrain from committing theft.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his commentary of this Hadeeth: “The Hadeeth furnishes evidence that the charity given to a disobedient or a rich person is rewarded. There is a reward for showing kindness to every living creature. This is with regard tothe voluntary charity; as for the obligatory charity or Zakah, it cannot be paid to a rich person.” [Sharh An-Nawawi]

The Shaafi‘i book I‘aanat At-Taalibeen reads (about Zakah), "It can be paid to a disobedient person if it is known that it would not be employed it in committing forbidden acts; otherwise, it is impermissible.”

You should strive in advising him and reminding him about Allaah and the gravity of selling alcohol. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, cursed the ten people involved in activities related to alcohol: "The one who presses it, the one who requests it to be pressed, its drinker, its carrier, and the one it is carried to, its server, its seller, the one who consumes its price, the one who purchases it and the one it was purchased for." [At-Tirmithi]

Please, refer to Fatwa 90278.

Allaah Knows best.

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