#48: Selling Flowers for Other Religion’s Religious Ritual

Question:

What is the ruling of selling flowers for the praying ritual of another religion?

Answer:

Islam ruled the activity of trade (buying and selling) between Muslims and non-Muslims. Among the evidences for this is a hadith from Aisyah radhiyallhu ‘anha:

اشْتَرَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ يَهُودِيٍّ طَعَامًا بِنَسِيئَةٍ، وَرَهَنَهُ دِرْعَهُ

“God’s Messenger bought some grain from a Jew to be paid at a specified time, and gave him a coat of mail of his as a pledge.” [1]

Imam al-Nawawi presented two opinions in madhhab Syafie regarding the ruling of a Muslim selling something to someone of whom he is sure will use it for sinful matters. The first opinion, al-Ruyani cited from the majority of Syafi’iyyah scholars that it is a severely makruh but not prohibited. The second and most sahih opinion is emphasized by Imam al-Ghazali in al-Ihya’ and other Syafi’iyyah scholars. [2]

The evidence for this is the statement of Allah SWT:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [3]

From Abdullah bin Umar radhiyallhu ‘anhuma, Rasullullah PBUH said:

لُعِنَتْ الْخَمْرُ عَلَى عَشْرَةِ أَوْجُهٍ بِعَيْنِهَا وَعَاصِرِهَا وَمُعْتَصِرِهَا وَبَائِعِهَا وَمُبْتَاعِهَا وَحَامِلِهَا وَالْمَحْمُولَةِ إِلَيْهِ وَآكِلِ ثَمَنِهَا وَشَارِبِهَا وَسَاقِيهَا

“Wine is cursed from ten angles: The wine itself, the one who squeezes (the grapes etc), the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who consumes its price, the one who drinks it and the one who pours it.” [4]

Hence, it is haram for a florist to sell flowers when it is specifically sold for the ritual of other religions. Moreover, shirk towards Allah SWT is the gravest of sins. However, if he doesn’t know, then it is fine. If he cannot avoid the transaction, he can taklid to the weak opinion which states that it is makruh. The proceeds from the trade should be donated for the benefit of the general public or those in need, in line with the statement of Rasullullah PBUH:

يَا مَعْشَرَ التُّجَّارِ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ وَالإِثْمَ يَحْضُرَانِ البَيْعَ فَشُوبُوا بَيْعَكُمْ بِالصَّدَقَةِ

“O people of trade! Indeed, the Shaitan and sin are present in the sale, so mix your sales with charity.” [5]

Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari, no.2096.

[2] Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhazzab 9/353.

[3] Surah al-Maidah: 2

[4] Narrated by Ibn Majah, no.3371.

[5] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (no.1208) from Qays bin Abi Gharazah RA, with a hasan sahih sanad.

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