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Is It Permissible for a Career Coach to Help People in Getting Sinful Jobs?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

If one has a business as a career coach and clients develop an interest in jobs like (standard) banking or brewing beer or the like. How can I handle this? Am I allowed to support them on their way towards their personal goal in these cases? Do I have to express my dislike of the choice?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Directly assisting someone in committing a prohibited action is strictly prohibited (haram). [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah Most High says, “Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment.” [Quran, 5:2]

That said, it is not permissible for you to advise, encourage, or facilitate someone getting a job the main activity of which is a unanimously prohibited action.

Unanimously Prohibited Jobs

Jobs whose main activity is unanimously prohibited amongst the scholars are not as many as one may think. The basis of most employment opportunities in developed countries is permissibility.

Examples of unanimously prohibited occupations are:

  • Killing or physically harming innocent people with no right
  • Production and sale of wine or other intoxicants
  • Directly transacting in usury or misappropriated wealth
  • The committing, production, or sale of pornographic material/content
    Etc…

Indirect Assistance or Jobs With Scholarly Difference

If one were to indirectly assist another finding a job that is prohibited or directly assisting in a job that the scholars differed upon – is not strictly prohibited, but rather disliked unless there is a need or other religiously sanctioned excuse.

Examples of this are:

  • A shipping company that may ship wine or other impermissible products
  • A cashier at a place that sells some impermissible items (such as a grocery store)
  • A computer engineer for a Non-Islamic compliant bank Etc…

Summary

If your job does entail you to do any of the prohibited actions above and you are able to switch jobs without putting yourself in great hardship, it is advisable to do so. If, however, your job doesn’t necessitate any of the above prohibitions and one is able to avoid directly assisting in sin, the job is permissible. If the job does entail prohibited actions but one is unable to switch jobs without falling into great hardship, one would follow the following advice which we learned from our blessed teacher, al-Habib Hasan al-Hadi:

“If one is unable to get out of a sinful job (the circumstance is discussion was a bank employee dealing with usury), they should minimize the extent of their direct assistance as best as possible. He mentioned examples like putting their applications at the bottom of a stack or the like-obviously in the case that they don’t have full discretion to refuse a client.”

See this link for more details:
What are the principles of work and assisting in Sin? [Video]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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