Ruling on Selling Newspapers and Magazines

26 Feb 2018 Ref-No#: 251

What is the ruling of selling Newspapers, magazines,etc which contains obscene material, gossip or other salacious material? The customers who will purchase these are mostly non Muslims.

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

If newspapers, magazines, etc are sold and bought with the express purpose and objective therein being the pictorial content thereof, and the literal content which is in there is simply of a secondary nature, then the sale and purchase of such material will not be permissible.

However, if the objective therein is precisely the literal content thereof, like the current news and other beneficial bits of information, then fundamentally such a sale and purchase will be valid as the pictorial content will simply be of a secondary nature in this case. Yes, one will be obliged to obliterate all such pictures or cover them whilst reading through such periodicals thereby saving oneself of the evil effects thereof particularly the misuse of the gaze which is a cause of serious spiritual retrogression.

Similarly, it is not permissible to buy or sell magazines which publish, promote or approve nudity, sexuality, profanity and other things which are strictly forbidden in Islam. Buying and selling magazines for lawful purposes such as news, information, medicine, education, technology, science etc is permissible.

The above ruling will be the same in the case of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

{Ref.: Fataawaa Mahmoodiyya vol. 5 pg. 107/8
Fataawaa Rahimiyya vol. 9 pg. 288/9
Jadeed Masaa’il ke Shar’I Ahkaam (Mufti Shafi)

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