Ask the Scholar

Ulama’s Fatwa on Boycotting Israeli and American Products

16/07/2009

Recently, there has been much hue and cry concerning boycotting American and Israeli products. Could you please furnish me with a comprehensive and detailed Fatwa concerning the issue?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, thank you for the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations.

Indeed, it has been proven beyond doubt that boycotting American and Israeli products is an effective weapon against those who usurped the land of the wronged and forcibly drove them out of the land of their ancestors for no reason.

Here below, we will try our best to furnish you with a comprehensive answer regarding boycotting the Israeli and American products.

Sheikh Al-Qaradawi’s Fatwa regarding the issue:

“When it comes to dealing with the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians), we should differentiate between two main points:

Muslims are not allowed to indulge in any form of dealings with the militant Jews who tend to wage war against Islam and Muslims with every tooth and nail. What do we expect from those who occupied our lands, violated the sanctity of the Sanctuaries, and continue their brutal profaning against all that which is Islamic in broad daylight?!

Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: “Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong doers.” (Al-Mumtahanah: 9)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “Fight the Kuffar with your hands, with your money and with your tongues as well (i.e. denouncing their aggressions against Muslims)

The choice of peace is no longer practicable for us Muslims, regarding this issue, especially with many obstacles hindering its course. Hence, we have no any effective weapon but to boycott the US and Israeli products. That is why it is obligatory upon Muslims to boycott the Jews economically, culturally and politically.

In addition, boycott should be extended to encompass those warring factions from among the People of the Book such as the Serbs, Americans who attack Muslims, Hindus as well as those who relentlessly wage war against Islam or even support those who wage war against Muslims.

Coming to the second greater segment of the People of the Book (i.e. Christians) and others as we have stated above, we can say that if they are at swords drawn with Muslims, then all their products have to be boycotted.

However, if they are at peace with Muslims, then there is nothing wrong with exchanging imports and exports with them but under the condition that such form of trade be limited to that which is lawful only. Allah Almighty says:“Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo ! Allah loveth the just dealers.” (Al-Mumtahanah: 8)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have dealt in trade with the Kuffar who signed peaceful treaties with him.”

Focusing more on enhancing the economy of Muslim Ummah, the late Azharite scholar and the head of the Sunni Egyptian Institutions in Egypt, Dr. Fu`ad Mukhaymar, may Allah shower mercy on his soul, states the following:

“No doubt that the brilliant and innovative minds of Muslims will never stop pulsating and inventing that which is new and beneficial.

The weakness that has crept deep in the body of Muslim Ummah does not justify our backwardness. Rather, every committed Muslim ought to spare no pains performing any job he is entrusted with perfectly in order to help push forward the economic progress.

Muslims should pay attention to the carefully-studied plans implemented nowadays by industrial countries who shower Muslim countries with the necessary tools for manufacturing cars, for examples, as well as other equipment in various branches.

With this crafty scheme, they amass the money of Muslims, which is smoothly transferred into their countries and make their economy thrive at the expense of the economy in Muslim countries. The issue finally culminates in major economical, social and military dilemmas that become difficult to solve.

That is why I call upon every Muslim and Muslimah to pay attention to such a vicious scheme. They should encourage national industries and be eager to consume nationally manufactured products. With this, all our economic problems will come to a halt, Islamic economy will thrive once again, and living standards will increase in Muslim countries.

We can not ignore the fact that our current war is not only restricted to military actions but it includes economical aspects as well. Economy is the life-blood of modern life. Without strong and powerful economy, diseases will be rampant and poverty will spread more and more. It is incumbent upon us all to be aware of those schemes and co-operate with one another for the betterment of our future.

Also, it the duty of Muslim governments to create job opportunities for people who used to work in the factories supervised by non-Muslims in Muslim’s homelands. We cannot ignore that those casual labors will be less paid, if this later alternative is taken into consideration, but the issue will be easy for them to accept if they consider it a form of Jihad that is exerted for the sake of their religion and homelands.”

Dr. As-Sayed Nuh, the prominent Azharite scholar, and professor of Hadith in Kuwait University, concludes:

“We should differentiate between what we call Daruriyyat or necessary needs, and Tahsiniyyat or luxuries.

If the products that Muslims tend to buy are from the second category (i.e. they are Tahsiniyyat), then it is better to forgo them irrespective of whether those products are American, European or even national products.

However, if some Muslims find themselves weak and have strong desires to buy goods belonging to Tahsiniyyat category, then they should not buy from those who support the Jews and Zionists who occupy Palestine and kill the innocents, demolish houses, plunder money, violate the honor of people and profane the sanctity of sacred places in an attempt to bring the progress of the Muslim Ummah to a virtual standstill. It is well known that America plays the greater role in supporting those Jews and Zionists.

Here, I can conclude that it is prohibited to buy the products manufactured by the Jews and Zionists as well as those who directly back them.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “He who helps the enemy to kill his (fellow) Muslim brother with half a word (i.e. with the least form of support), will be brought before Allah on the Day of Resurrection with this phrase written between his eyes: “(He) has no space in Allah’s (encompassing) Mercy.”

Finally, we should not underestimate the impact of economic boycott on the enemy. Some of us may think that the little goods boycotted may not affect the enemy’s strong economy.

Our basic principle is not to lend any form of support to those who help kill Muslims. It’s worthy mentioning here that Egypt, for example, has played a greater role in boycotting the products of the enemy to the extent that the institutions boycotted were forced to shut its branches in Egypt and left the country without return.”

If you have any further comments, please don’t hesitate to write back!

May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.

 

 

Group of Muftis