Is it permissible to carry a pig in return for a price?
In the Qur’an, hadith and fiqh (Islamic Law) books, pip is accepted as “naceesul ayn” which is called as “hindir”. That is to say, every part of it is nacis (dirty, unclean). In any way one should not use it. It, absolutely makes dirty where it touches, falls (for example in a well), and salivates. And it cannot be clean although having been slaughtered like other animals. One cannot eat its flesh, use its parts and benefit from its skin.
The explanation of the Qur’an is very clear on this matter. In the chapters of the Qur’an such as the chapter of Baqarah, verse number 173; the chapter of Maidah, verse number 3; the chapter of An’am, verse number 145 and the chapter of Nahl, verse number 115, it is informed that pork is nacis and eating pork is haram (forbidden).
The meaning of the verse in the chapter of Baqarah is as follow:
“He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, - then is he guiltless...”
In the chapter of An’am it is informed that this animal (pig) is nacis. The meaning of that verse is as follow:
“Say: ‘I find not in the Message received by me by inspiration any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine,- for it is an abomination - or, what is impious, (meat) on which a name has been invoked, other than Allah's’.”
Both to eat and sell the things that mentioned in the verse are forbidden (haram). Muslims are absolutely abstained from doing these things.
In this case, the statements of Our Prophet (peace be upon him) shows certainty.
Cabir bin Abdullah narrated that:
“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) during the year of conquest said as follow:
‘Doubtlessly, Allah and his Prophet made forbidden to sell alcohol, dead animal, pig and idols (Buhari, Buyu, 102; Muslim, Musakat, 71; Tirmizi, Buyu, 60).
When explaining that hadith, Imam Navavi makes this explanation:
“The wisdom and reason of why selling dead animal, wine and pig is forbidden is because they are nacis. Thus, that judgment includes all of the nacis matters. There are agreement of Muslims about the case of the prohibition of selling dead animal, wine and pig.”
Thus, wherever and at whichever country a Muslim is, to eat pork and both to sell it or the productions that made of pork is forbidden. It is not permissible to benefit from it. Because, the principle of “forbidden is forbidden at everywhere” is an important base of Islamic law. For this reason, Muslims should provide their needs in a lawful and permissible (halal) way. Because the circle of halal is enough for pleasure, there is no need to commit haram.
Is it permissible to carry a pig in return for a price?
In the present fiqh (Islamic Law) books, although we have not come across any conditions concerning with that issue, there are similar fatwas (Islamic religious law) and opinions. For the transport services were not common in the past comparing with nowadays.
Now, we will mention about some fatwas which will enlighten this matter:
If one employs someone to have carried wine, according to Imam-i Azam, the money that person gets for this carrying is halal, but according to Imam-i Muhammad and Ebu Yusuf, it is not permissible. And, if a non-Muslim who is among the People of the Book rents a Muslim’s animal or ship in order to carry wine, the money Muslim gets according to Imam Azam, is permissible, however, according to Imameyn [Two Imam, generally in the Hanafi School books, “Imameyn is used for Imam Ebu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad. And sometimes, it is used for Imam Azam and Imam Shafee (May Allah give peace and blessings upon them)], it is not permissible.
Although it is not seen in application, there is a fatwa in our books as follow:
A Muslim may get a price in return for herding pigs. That is the opinion of Imam Azam, but according to Imameyn, it is not permissible (Fatava’Hindiyye, 4:449-450).
However, we should comment different points of that case:
It is much more important for a Muslim who lives abroad to live the moral of Islam in social relations by comparison to a Muslim who lives domestic. Since non Muslims who are in abroad see Islam directly in personality of Muslims, so their (Muslims’) good moral may conduce to their salvation.
Badiuzzaman (may Allah give mercy on him), says that, if we experience the moral of Islam ourselves and serve as a model, other religion member may accept Islam with their communities and points the necessity of the responsibility of presenting Islam correctly. Islam lawyers describe the country of non-Muslims as “daru’l harb”. And they set forth different opinions on subject of arranging the relations of Muslims and non-Muslims who live in these countries together.
A Muslim’s getting interest (riba) from a non Muslim, selling alcohol and pork to a non-Muslim and also gambling on condition of certain winning is based on the basis of explanation which is “Since these acts are lawful for non-Muslims, so Muslims’ benefiting from this lawfulness may be complied partially as a act of plunder.”. That opinion is permissible according to Imam Azam and Imam Muhammad. However, according to Imam Shafee, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Azvai, Ishak and among Hanafi school, most of Islamic religion lawyers including Ebu Yusuf, such a superstitious and peccable agreements and trades are not permissible and they say that a Muslim should experience the moral of Islam wherever he is!
So, the most suitable one is the opinion of majority!
As a matter of fact, all of the world countries including Muslim countries base their relations on a universal peace. Muslims can go to non-Muslim countries and can live in these countries safely. And there is no question of a situation such as a war. Thus, the conditions that Imam Azam based his fatwas on are not present in present days. As there is no a situation such as a war, so there is no a case such as plunder, too. And also basically, Qur’an and Sunnah (the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad, which form a basis for much of Islamic law) do not permit harams except for an absolute necessity. When there is no vitalness, haram is haram at every where.
Therefore, if sum up, we can say that: At the present time, wherever a Muslim lives in the world, s/he is obligated to live the rules and moral of Islam. A trade that being held between two Muslim which is not permissible should be the same during a trade that being held between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.
Therefore, a Muslim who lives in a non-Muslim country (except for absolute necessity) should not get interest and sell something that Islam makes forbidden such as alcohol, pork, dead animal etc... And the majority of scholars’ opinions are in this direction.
However, if we pay attention to the fatwas mentioned above, it can be said that, according to Imam Azam, getting a price in return for carrying alcohol and pig is permissible; but, according to Imameyn and other interpreters of Islamic law is not permissible, it is forbidden.
Unless an absolute necessity, a Muslim should not work at such jobs.
Resources: Mehmed Paksu, Meseleler ve Çözümleri 1 (Issues and their Solutions), Nesil yayınları, İstanbul, p. 135-138; Süleyman Kösmenei (Solutions for Issues of Nowadays), Yeni Asya Yayınları.
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