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Shaykh al-Luḥaydān on Commercial Boycott of Countries That Allow Mockery of the Prophet and Whether Agreement of the Ruler Is Required

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Saturday, Nov 04 2023
Filed under Miscellaneous

The issue of boycotting the goods of non-Muslim engaged in aggression, mockery and the likes has been discussed by the scholars and broadly speaking, boycotts are announced, organised and coordinated by the rulers in order for them to be on a scale that is effective, and it is not for subjects to call for these types of boycotts. Trade with Jews, Christians and Polytheists is permissible, so long as it is not in relation to things that support the non-Muslims in their harm and agression towards the Muslims, and this permissibility applies even during war.

However, if individuals, or companies involved in commercial activity wish to boycott certain suppliers, when the sanctities of the religion are violated out of protective jealousy for Islām, its Prophet and its symbols and outrage at violation of sanctities, then they may do so, and in the view of the Shaykh, they do not need the agreement of the ruler, as these are individual actions stemming from protective jealousy and not calls and announcements of general, universal boycott.


Esteemed Shaykh, last year there was some commotion regarding the [making of] cartoons of the Prophet (عليه الصلاة والسلام) in mockery of him (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Muslims all across the world were moved by anger due to this affair, and then the [call to] what is called boycotting [of goods] was spread. Speech regarding this has returned once again in Sweden and perhaps the brother’s question previously was about that matter, about the new cartoons, in mockery of the Prophet (عليه الصلاة والسلام), [asking for] direction for the Muslims who felt harmed because of the harm [intended for] the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). In response is what some call to, which is that every nation or company that is involved in that [allowing or distributing these cartoons], to boycott them. Some hold that boycotts are not done except with agreement of the ruler.

Shaykh al-Luḥaydān (رحمه الله) replied:

This is not correct.

Yes, merchants [business people] are able to withhold from importing such and such merchandise, or such and such products, or such and such automobiles, due to outrage against the state in which the [lofty] station of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is violated, without you placing any limit for that.

So for example, Sweden, it is not a large country, yes, and various products are made, the people are able to do without them by [turning to] Pakistani products, yes, or Malaysian or other countries, Islāmic or non-Islamic.

Yes, it is befitting that merchants have protective jealousy for the Prophet of Guidance (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

As for when it is said that this is freedom of press and freedom of opinion, then we say that this is also freedom of our trade [to trade with whom we wish], of our workers, our international companies, in their vastness, it is their right to be angry for the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), to be angry for his religion, the religion of Islām.

And it is not expected from them or accepted from them that they hear and see without boldly embarking [upon action] in this situation, and we are waiting by Allāh’s permission.

Note: There are videos circulating of Settler Jews chanting “Muḥammad is dead” and statements of vulgarity and abuse against the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Upon that, if a Muslim wants to personally boycott goods and services of companies and businesses about whom it is established and known that they donate for the cause of these Jews who revile Islām and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and kill, harm and abuse Muslims because of their religion, then out of protective jealousy for Islām, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Muslims, he may choose not to personally buy such goods and services. This is a personal thing and every Muslim is encouraged to adopt such a policy, this is what is indicated in the speech of Shaykh al-Luḥaydān as it relates to merchants, but there is nothing to stop the general Muslim in exercising his protective jealousy out of love, loyalty and aid of the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Note: What Muslims do these days of calling and announcing general, universal boycotts and imposing this upon the generality of Muslim populations, until even calls for boycotting of franchises of well known brands in Muslim countries, where all the proceeds actually benefit the Muslim owners and employees (and who may give charity from these profits to Muslim causes), these types of calls are based on ignorance and lack of comprehension of realities and benefits and harms.

In another recorded statement of Shaykh al-Luḥaydān (رحمه الله) he is asked a question about buying Jewish goods of quality, the Shaykh responded by saying that buying from non-Muslims is permissible, Muslims have not been prohibited from buying goods from Jews or others.

But what is the point of this, the Shaykh asked, when we do not rectify ourselves, and we are weak in worship and obedience, which is the cause of our weakness and humiliation?

He (رحمه الله) mentioned the ḥadīth of humiliation of this ummah when it deals in ʿīnah transactions and other sins and the ḥadīth of the disbelievers inviting each other over the Muslims like diners inviting each other to eat from a plate, because Muslims have been humiliated and are like the froth on the ocean, plagued with love of the world and fear of death, leading to the awe that once used to be in the hearts of the disbelievers to be removed.

These affairs have their causes, so boycotts are not the solution when the humiliation and domination of enemies are imposed and inflicted upon the Muslims by Allāh (عز وجل) Himself.

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