RENTAL INCOME FROM HARAAM

Please comment on the fatwa given by a Mufti. Is his fatwa correct?
Question
Who is acceptable to have as a tenant? There is a building for sale. The building is made up of a few shops. There are some general retailers which I have no issue with. There is a bottle store on site which I know is not acceptable and the agent has advised me that he can request the terms of the sale be that this store moves out. There is also an undertaker as a tenant as well as a company providing financial services which include interest.
Please advise if we can have the above as tenants.
Please also advise which businesses we can strictly not have as tenants.
Answer
A Muslim should always be conscious of halal income and distance himself as much as possible from alcohol, interest and other non-Shari’ah compliant sources of income. Ideally, we advise against having a bottle store or bank or (a company dealing with interest) as tenants. However in view of the practical difficulties of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries, our Akabireen have issued the fatwa on the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah Alayhi) permitting leasing out one’s property to a bottle store and a bank. However leasing out to an avenue that is completely immoral, for example a casino, is prohibited.
(End of the fatwa)
OUR COMMENT
We are in disagreement with the fatwa. While the mufti totally prohibits letting premises for a casino which he brands ‘completely immoral’, he fails to understand that interest and liquor are also ‘completely immoral’. In fact, both these evils are worse than a casino . R a s u l u l l a h ( S a l l a l l a h u a l a y h i wasallam) said that riba is worse than a conglomeration of 70 major sins, the lightest of which is like fornicating with one’s own mother.” In the Qur’aan Majeed, despite shirk being an unforgiveable sin, the only sin against which Allah Ta’ala declares war is Riba. We fail to understand by what stretch of Imaani logic does the mufti sahib believe that riba and liquor are not ‘completely immoral’. He has sought support for his convoluted permissibility by citing the Akaabir’s view which he claims is based on Imaam Abu Hanifah’s opinion. If he is a staunch follower of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh), then what is the view of this illustrious Imaam regarding letting premises for a casino? On the basis of what the mufti has claimed, there is no daleel for excluding a casino from the same view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh). The very same logic which Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) has employed for his opinion on the issue of letting premises for liquor applies to a casino as well. On what grounds has the mufti sahib differentiated? The argument of living in a non-Muslim country is trash. This does not halaalize such haraam deeds from which abstention is fully within one’s volitional power. There is no compulsion to hire premises for any haraam activity. Regardless of what the Akaabireen have said, the Qur’aan Majeed castigates following the views of the Ulama if these are in conflict with His commands. Thus, the Qur’aan, reprimanding Bani Israaeel for their nafsaani acceptance of the fatwas of their ulama, says: “They take their ulama and their buzrugs as gods besides Allah, and even Isaa, the son of Maryam.” The Qur’aan Majeed commands: “Do not aid one another in sin and transgression.” For practical life, this command is adequate. There is no need for the acquisition of any fatwa to override the Qur’aanic prohibition of I’aanat alal ma’siyat (aiding sin). The attitude of fishing for fatwas to override the Qur’aan and Hadith for the sake of the nafs and wealth is a satanic despicability, the consequences of which will not be escaped in Qiyaamah. The person who desires to purchase the property, in all probability is a multi-millionaire. There is no need for him to seek more wealth by venturing into haraam avenues. It is the bounden obligation of the mufti to advise the questioner of the importance of Tawakkul on Allaah Ta’ala. The mufti has the duty of informing the mustafti that Rizq is sealed and the one of greed will be deprived as mentioned by Rasulullah ( S a l l a l l a h u a l a y h i wasallam). Therefore, it is futile to mutilate the ahkaam with weird interpretations, Ulama obscurities and with the errors of seniors to appease the nafsaani desires of people.
The mufti should not acquit himself as if he is a secular lawyer. But the problem nowadays is that the focus of the muftis is on the dunya because they had acquired Deeni Ilm for the sake of the dunya, not for Allah’s Pleasure and not for the Maqaasid of the Aakhirah. This is one of the signs of Qiyaamah.
Citing pages of Fiqhi texts to portray erudition is laughable and stupid. It is devoid of benefit. The jaahil questioner cannot find the way to Allah Ta’ala in the maze of technicalities which is meant for students in the Madrasah. Authenticity for a corrupt view and answer is not gained by pages of Fiqhi Ibaarat designed to browbeat the juhala.
There will always be conflicts in this dunya between our worldly /nafsaani demands and the demands of the Shariah. The Mu’min in such cases should act according to Rasulullah’s command: “Seek a fatwa from your heart.” There is no need to resort to technicalities for extravagating permissibility for a few extra rands.
Furthermore, assigning the opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) to the academic realm, we say that the Fatwa of all Math-habs is on the opinion and ruling of Imaam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imaam Muhamamd (Rahmatullah alayh). If and when Allah Ta’ala grants us the taufeeq, the opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah shall be discussed in some detail. But we need to say at this juncture that it is satanically stupid and deceptive to cite an opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) in such a manner as to convey the satanic idea that I m a a m A ’ z a m (Rahmatullah alayh) condoned haraam, and that he exercised extreme latitutde in Shar’i matters. The mufti sahib rendered a great disservice to I m a a m A ’ z a m (Rahmatullah alayh) by opening the avenue for Haraam in the name of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) who was the paragon of Taqwa and Uloom, both zaahiri and baatini.

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