Commerce: Partnership with Non-Muslims

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

1. What are the guidelines for forming a business partnership with a non-Muslim?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

In partnership, a non-Muslim is generally dealt with like a Muslim. Be careful to learn the fiqh of trade properly BEFORE getting into business, lest you fall into the haram. The scholars say, “It is not permissible to enter the marketplace [in business, or even as a consumer] unless one knows the halal and haram [of trade].” [al-Durar al-Mubaha, al-Nahlawi]

In the absence of other references, the internet version of the translation of the Ottoman commercial law code, al-Majalla, is worth a read, as well as materials on

2. Would it be permissible to, say, open a restaurant (serving halal food) in which alcohol is sold but the profits are divided such that the non-Muslim partner’s share incorporates all the profit from the alcohol and the Muslim partner’s share of profits is entirely from the halal business?

This is absolutely not permitted. Partners “share” all property and earnings of a partnership. As such, it would be haram for the property [which includes all items of sale] and earnings of a simple partnership to be haram.

3. What about having a restaurant in which alcohol is not sold but diners are allowed to bring in their own alcoholic beverages and drink on the premises?

It would not be allowed to let diners bring in alcoholic beverages, or to allow them to drink them on one’s premises, because it is a munkar, and allowing it to happen within one’s own property or domain is haram.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) warned, “Verily, you must command the good and forbid the evil. Otherwise, it will be that you call upon Allah and He grants you not.”

And he said, “Verily Allah is Pure, and does not accept other than the pure.”



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