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Ruling on Renting out Property to be Used as a Market and the Like

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
Is it permissible to rent out properties to be used as markets, hotels or tourist facilities that offer unlawful products or services?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Different companies offer different services: lawful, unlawful and a mixture of both.

Accordingly, the ruling on renting out property to those companies relies on the nature of the services they offer. Companies which offer unlawful services or whose services are mostly unlawful, renting out property to them is unlawful as well. Whereas, it is lawful to rent out property to companies that offer lawful services.

As for companies which offer a mixture of lawful and unlawful services, such as restaurants and hotels, if there is a clause in the rental contract that directly stipulates offering any of the unlawful services, then that contract is unlawful because every means that leads one to commit what`s unlawful is itself unlawful. In this regard, Allah, The Almighty, says, "Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah. for Allah is strict in punishment."{Al-Ma`idah, 2}.

But, if no such clause was included in that contract, then it is valid since, basically, that company offers lawful services, and if any unlawful service was offered, then it`s burden will be shouldered by the one who had offered it. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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