Women engaging in trade

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 13, Page 20, Fatwa No.15901

Question: What is the ruling regarding a woman who trades (i.e. goes into business), whilst either in travel or residence?

Response: In principle, it is permissible for both men and women to trade whilst either in travel or in residence, for the general statement of Allaah:

{Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden ribaa}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 275].

And the saying of the Prophet ﷺ when asked: What trade is best? He said:

«The work which a man does with his own hands and all acceptable trade».

Also that which is confirmed is that when Islaam began, women used to buy and sell in modesty and used to protect themselves from displaying their beauty. However, if the woman’s trade requires her to reveal her beauty which Allaah has prohibited, such as her face, travelling without a mahram or inter-mingling with ajaanib (non-mahram) men in a manner that may cause fitnah, then this is not permissible for her to undertake (i.e. trade). Rather, it is obligatory she distances herself from that, since she is undertaking something which is haraam in striving to attain something which is permissible.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet ﷺ and his family and his companions.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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