Can a Muslim Work at a Store That Sells Haram Meat?

30 August, 2020
Q Is it permissible to work as a cashier in grocery and food stores where a small section of haram meat are sold?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- It is the duty of every Muslim to earn his livelihood through lawful means.

2- In case of extreme hardship, the rules of Shariah may be relaxed to meet the needs of people in times of dire necessity.

3- If you are able to find a job other than working at a store that sells haram meat, it will be good and far better for you.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

If you have the choice to get another job, then go for it; otherwise, you don’t have to worry; since it is not something you have control over.

Such jobs are unavoidable while working in a predominantly non-Muslim country, so it is difficult to be precise in such matters.

However, at the same time pray to Allah to forgive you. We are told in the Qur’an, “Allah does not charge a soul with more than it can bear”. (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Furthermore, we are ordered to pray to Allah, “Lord! Do not charge us with more than we can bear! Pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy upon us.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Having said this, however, I must also suggest that along with making lots of istighfar (seeking forgiveness), you should also give as much charity as you can afford, in order to expiate for your sins, for Allah says, “Verily, good deeds do wipe out bad deeds.” (Hud 11:114)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.