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Shaykh al-Albānī on Boycotting the Goods of Those Who Oppress and Kill Muslims

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Thursday, Nov 09 2023
Filed under Contemporary Issues

NATIONWIDE, STRATEGIC BOYCOTTS of hostile, aggressive nations, whether in wartime or outside of it, are decided and announced by rulers. This ensures that they are on scales that are effective, and that they do not return greater harm or that basic needs and necessities of Muslims are not compromised. However, outside of that—in the view some scholars—merchants (importers) and individuals may boycott the products of hostile non-Muslims who permit the revilement and abuse of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), or oppress and kill Muslims, out of protective jealousy for the Messenger and the Believers. In fact, they commend it, especially when alternatives are available from Muslim countries or Muslim producers.

This is while keeping in mind that the Sharīʿah has not declared unlawful trading with non-Muslims. Until even trading with the enemy during wartime, in relation to goods that are not used to harm Muslims or support aggression against them, the Sharīʿah has not declared this unlawful and has permitted it.

Shaykh al-Albānī (رحمه الله) made the following remarks in relation to the issue of whether meat slaughtered by non-Muslims (in this case meat imported from Bulgaria) is lawful or not:[1]

And another matter, I just said to one of our brothers who asked me, and we are asked this often, so people ask me till this day about Bulgarian meat. And in reality, I am amazed at people. [The issue of] Bulgarian meat, we have been put to trial with it for many long years. In all of these years, has the time not come for Muslims to understand the ruling on this Bulgarian meat? A strange matter.

So I say: You must have heard—[even if] you are in doubt about whether these animals are slaughtered upon the Islāmic way or are not slaughtered upon the Islāmic way—for you are not in doubt that they are slaughtering our Muslim brothers. There are Turks who have been established there for a long time, and they are being slaughtered like sheep.

Now if these Bulgarians slaughter these animals which we import with a slaugther that is [in accordance with] the Sharīʿah in reality, I say that it is not permissible for us to import [this animal meat] from them. Rather, it is obligatory upon us to boycott them until they refrain from slaughtering the blood of our Muslim brothers over there.

Sublime is Allāh, that feeling of brotherhood has died which the Messenger (عليه السلام) described that [they the Muslims] are a single body: "The example of the Believers In their mutual affection and mercy is like a single body. When one of its limbs complains [of pain, suffering], the whole body responds to it with fever and alertness."[2]

The Muslims have not returned to feeling the pains of their brothers, and thus, the Islāmic ties between them have been cut.

For that reason, the question: “Is it permissible to eat Bulgarian meat?” concerns them [more]!

Brother, you know that the Bulgarians slaughter Muslims there, and there is no difference between an Arab Muslim, a Turkish Muslim and an Afghani Muslim and so on. And the affair is just as He [Allāh] said: “Verily, the Believers are brothers (to one another).” (49:10).

Hence, if we are brothers, then it is obligatory for us to jealously protect each other and for us to grieve over each other’s [suffering], and not just be concerned about one’s food and drink only.

If we assume [the situation] that a person is not satisfied that Bulgarian meat is [considered to have come from a] dead animal, its ruling is like that of a dead animal, because it has been killed [first] and not slaughtered, we are not able to satisfy people with every opinion, because the people will “never cease to differ except those to whom your Lord shows mercy” (11:118) as has come in the Noble Qurʾān.

So when we are not able to satisfy people that these meats that come to us from Bulgaria, their ruling is that of the dead animal, yet [at the same time] do they not know that those Bulgarians are slaughtering our Muslim brothers there? Does this oppression and this painful transgression against our Muslim brothers not suffice [as a reason] to turn us away from this Bulgarian meat, even if it was lawful?

This should be sufficient and this is a reminder, for reminder benefits the Believers.

Arabic Text:

1. Silsilah al-Hudā wal-Nūr (no. 190)
2. Related by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

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