A brewery produces alcoholic and some non alcoholic products, their income is all mixed in one (meaning sales derives from Alcoholic items are used to purchase raw material to make the non alcoholic products vice versa.)
A Muslim operates a bar and sells alcoholic and non alcoholic products, his income is also mixed up.
Please explain why it is that the brewery’s non alcoholic products are halal, while the bar owners earnings are haram when in both cases the incomes are joined together?
As Salaamu Alaikum,
When a Muslim owns a bar then his entire income or at least the majority of it comes from haram earnings. It is generally believed and accepted that food/drinks and other eatables will be provided by using such monies, hence, it will not be permissible to partake of food etc. provided by the bar owner.
With respect to companies that sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, then base on proper accounting and business practices, it is generally believed and accepted that sales from the non-alcoholic beverages will be re-invested into the same, while sales from the alcoholic beverages will be re-invested into producing alcoholic drinks. Based on the fact that a large company produces both halal and haram products, it is difficult to say that the company may use monies derived from haraam products to make halal products. What is generally practiced is that the income derived from certain products are ‘used-back’ into the making of the same products. In this case, one will therefore look at the contents of a product to see if it is halal or not to consume.
In the case of the bar, the entire sale or its majority is unlawful. The major income of the owner is derived from only unlawful sales and he then uses this to entertain others. A company does not entertain others, it makes products and then sells these. If the company owner invites Muslims to entertain them by providing foods/drinks, it will not be permissible to accept this invitation.
In the case of companies that provide products and services for others, one is required to look at the contents of the products. Their products are made for the purpose of ‘Sale’ and so, the main concern for a Muslim consumer is to ensure that the products are free from unlawful ingredients/substances. The main concern is not about the capital they use to invest in their companies. If this is the case, then it will be difficult to purchase anything from any company, since the majority of them use monies from the bank which they must pay heavy interest upon. It is also evident that many or almost all supermarkets (except a very few owned by Muslims) sell unlawful products in their supermarket. They sell alcohol, wine, alcoholic beverages, pork and pork products, corned beef that are not halaal etc. etc. There is a long list of products being sold, which are unlawful for Muslims to consume. Yet, with this, Muslims are allowed to purchase from these supermarkets and it should not be thought that they (the owners of the supermarkets) are using the income of the unlawful products to invest in the halal products. This should not be a concern, because when some thing is offered for sale, a Muslim must ensure that the item itself or the contents/substances used in it (in the case of foods/drinks etc.) are halal. In this case of being entertained and given food etc., a Muslim is required to ensure that the food is halal, as well as, the source of it. It should also be noted that just as it is permissible for a Muslim to purchase a soft drink/soda from the Muslim who owns a bar, so too it is permissible for a Muslim to buy non-alcoholic beverages from the company. Similarly, when a Muslim is prohibited from eating from the Muslim who owns a bar, so too, he is prohibited from eating from the owner of the brewery company.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan