Owning a Supermarket Business Whose Products Contain Pictures
Fatwa No: 434638

  • Fatwa Date:31-12-2020 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 17, 1442
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Question

Is it halal to own supermarket business as the products contain pictures of animate and human beings on them?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is nothing wrong with owning a store with goods that feature such images, and this is for two reasons. First, these images have become too widespread to be avoided. Accordingly, one will not be held accountable for that matter given the hardship involved in avoiding it. It is well known that hardship begets ease. Also, whoever buys these products does not actually buy them for the sake of such images because they are not intended in and of themselves. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said regarding the ruling on keeping magazines and newspapers that contain images, only for the purpose of acquiring information and gaining benefit: “I hope that there is nothing wrong with that given the hardship and inconvenience involved (in avoiding it). Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {… and He has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.} [Quran 22:78] These images are not the target of the buyer or the reader, and they are unimportant to him.” [End of quote]

Second, these images may come under the heading of images that are disrespected because the cans and products featuring them are thrown away in the trash after being used. Jurists held that owning such images is not disliked. Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah reads: “There is nothing wrong with owning images that are treated with disrespect, according to the opinion of the majority of scholars, as is the case when they are on the ground in carpets spread out on the floor or beddings and the like.

The Hanbali and Maaliki scholars as well held that they are not disliked. However, the Maaliki scholars said: ‘In this case, it is permissible but contrary to what is more preferable. They explained the distinction made in this regard between the images that are raised high and hung up (treated with respect) and those treated with disrespect. They underlined that if the images are hung up or put in high places, they would be venerated and be similar to idols in this sense. As for those placed on the floor and the like, they are not similar to idols in this sense because idol worshipers erect their idols and worship them, and they do not treat them with disrespect.’” [End of quote]

Allah Knows best.

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