Should She Get Rid Of The Money That
She Got From Doing Haraam Work?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
For about six years I used to work in factories
related to foreign companies. Men and women were
mixing and of course we talked and joked together and
saw haram things happening between men and women,
especially during the night shifts. I was receiving my
salary monthly. I left this work about two years ago.
But I still have some things I bought using those
salaries, like a sewing machine I bought to sew women
clothes. I did not care if they are modest clothes or
not. I used to just sew what ever they ask me for. Now
I repented to Allah, the exalted, and stopped doing
My question is: what is the ruling on the salaries I
received from that work? And what is the ruling on the
things I bought using that money? What shall I do
regarding those things, like the sewing machine, some
gold and some furniture?
Please guide me to Allah's satisfaction. I want my
repentance to be totally pure.
Praise be to Allaah.
We praise Allaah for having guided you to repent, for
the best thing that a person can do in this world is
to turn sincerely to Allaah. When Allaah wills good
for a person, He opens the door to humility to him,
and makes him see his faults, ignorance, wrongdoing
and transgression of His limits, and softens his
hearts so that he may repent, pray for forgiveness and
regret his sins and shortcomings.
Your work in a mixed environment and manufacturing and
producing things that may be used in haraam ways was
one of the haraam things which are forbidden by
Islamic sharee'ah so as to protect religious
commitment and to protect Muslim societies, in
adherence to the limits set by Allaah, so as to
venerate His laws and in acknowledgement of His might,
may He be glorified and exalted.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Waabil al-Sayyib (p. 32):
As for the signs of being serious about keeping away
from forbidden things, they are: keeping away from
things that could lead to it, and avoiding all means
of drawing close to it, such as the one who flees from
places in which there are images that lead to fitnah
(temptation), for fear of being tempted by them, and
giving up things with which there is nothing wrong for
fear of things that are wrong, and avoiding excessive
indulgence in permissible things for fear of falling
into that which is makrooh, and avoiding people who
commit sin openly or regard it as good and promote it
and take it lightly and do not care about what they do
of sin, for mixing with such people is likely to incur
the wrath and anger of Allaah, so no one mixes with
them except the one whose heart is lacking in respect
for Allaah and His sacred limits. End quote.
Sewing immodest women's clothes – for those who will
wear them for sinful purposes and use them to cause
fitnah (temptation) – is a haraam action, because it
is helping with evil. What the Muslim must do is
respect the sacred limits of Allaah and not accept to
be a means of Allaah being disobeyed or agree to be
one of the helpers and troops of the shaytaan.
Ibn Taymiyah said in Sharh al-‘Umdah (4/387):
Any garment that it is thought most likely will be
used for sinful purposes, it is not permissible to
sell it or sew it for the one who will use it for
sinful purposes. The same applies to everything that
is basically permissible, if it is known that it will
be used for sinful purposes. End quote.
He also said, in Majmoo' al-Fataawa (22/141):
If he helps a man to disobey Allaah then he is
sinning, because he has helped in sin and
transgression. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) cursed alcohol, the one who
squeezes (the grapes, etc), the one for whom it is
squeezed, the one who carries it, the one to whom it
is carried, the one who sells it, the one who buys it,
the one who pours it, the one who drinks it and the
one who consumes its price.
Most of these people, such as the one who squeezes
(the grapes, etc), the one who carries it and the one
who pours it are helping in drinking it. Hence it is
forbidden to sell weapons to one who will use them in
unlawful fighting, such as fighting the Muslims or
fighting in fitnah (civil war). End quote.
Ibn Hazm said in al-Muhalla (7/522):
It is not permissible to sell anything to someone who
will certainly use it to disobey Allaah and the
transaction is null and void,
Such as selling anything that may be squeezed or
pressed to one who will certainly use it to make
alcohol, or selling a slave to one who will certainly
mistreat his slaves, or selling weapons or horses to
one who will certainly use them for aggression against
the Muslims, or selling silk to one (a man) who will
certainly wear it, and so on with regard to all
things, because Allaah says (interpretation of the
"Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue,
righteousness and piety); but do not help one another
in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily,
Allaah is Severe in punishment"
The transactions that we have mentioned are obviously
helping in sin and transgression, and annulling them
is helping in righteousness and piety.
If no such thing is certain then the transaction is
valid, because it is not helping in sin, and if the
purchaser disobeys Allaah after that, then the sin is
on him. End quote.
It says in al-Mawsoo'ah al-Fiqhiyyah (2/73):
It is not permissible to practise a profession that
leads to haraam or that may help in committing haraam,
such as tattooing, because that is changing the
creation of Allaah, or recording riba, because that is
helping to consume people's wealth unlawfully, and so
on. End quote.
One of the conditions of repenting from haraam wealth
is getting rid of it, by spending it in the interests
of the Muslims and on various charitable causes.
Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo' al-Fataawa (22/142):
The one who accepts payment for haraam things, such as
payment for those who carry alcohol, or payment for
the one who makes a cross, or the fees of a prostitute
and so on, should give it in charity and repent from
that haraam action, and giving that payment in charity
will be an expiation for what he has done. It is not
permissible to make use of these payments because they
are evil wages. End quote.
It says in al-Furoo' (2/666), by Ibn Muflih:
In the case of haraam wealth, what must be done is
repentance and getting rid of it immediately. End
What you must do is work out how much you earned from
sewing clothes for immodest women, then give it to the
poor and needy in the hope that it will expiate your
As for the property that you have acquired from
working in that factory – including the sewing machine
– you do not have to get rid of it, because the reason
why it is haraam is not directly connected to the
original work, rather it is because of the mixing that
accompanied it, which has nothing to do with the
original work, unless the factory's work was haraam in
the first place, such as manufacturing alcohol,
cigarettes or haraam machines, in which case you would
have to get rid of the wages that you took from it.
If you are in difficulty and you cannot get rid of all
the money that you acquired from sewing haraam
clothes, then there is no sin on you if you keep what
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo' al-Fataawa
If this prostitute and this wine-maker have repented
and they are poor, it is permissible to give them as
much of this money as they need. But if he is able to
engage in business or do a handicraft such as weaving
or spinning, he should be given enough to serve as
capital (to set himself up in business). End quote.
And Allaah knows best.