Is it permissible to buy & sell Asda supermarket shares?

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Question:

I work as a pharmacist in Asda. As I have been working in the pharmacy for 3 years I was given bonus in form of Asda shares, which I can either buy or sell. Is it halal for me to sell the shares as although I only work in the pharmacy, Asda as a supermarket do sell alcohol?

Please advise on this matter about buying and selling shares.
Jazakallahu khair

Answer:

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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Although there exists a difference of opinion among contemporary scholars with respect to the validity of share trading, there is a leeway to trade in shares.

However, one of the fundamental requirements to invest in a company is that the primary business of the company must not violate the laws of Sharī’ah.  Therefore, it is not permissible to acquire the shares of companies providing unlawful financial services like interest or insurance.  In addition,  it is not permissible to acquire the shares of companies which manufacture, sell or offer alcohol and Harām meat, or are involved in gambling, illicit and shameful activity etc.[1]

Thus, you should abstain from investing in a supermarket which sells alcohol, a large quantity of Harām meat, pork, lottery tickets, pornographic material and illicit photographic material.

You should sell the current shares you own in the company.  However, you should dispense the proceeds in charity in equivalent to the ratio of the impermissible activities from your shareholding.

This information can be obtained from the balance sheets, profit and loss accounts from the company’s annual report.

And Allah Ta’ālā Knows Best

Mufti Faraz Adam al-Mahmudi,
www.darulfiqh.com

Concurred by,
Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
www.fatwa.ca

 


[1] Introduction to Islamic Finance p143

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