Selling Objects Containing the Cross: Is it Haram?

In the first place, we would like to highlight a very important fact. A committed Muslim always strives to earn his living through lawful and pure means. He tries his best to keep away from doubtful matters that jeopardize his iman (faith) and his conduct.

Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states the following: “The original ruling (al-asl) in sales in which one of the parties involved is a non-Muslim is permissibility so long as the object of the sale is lawful. There are two forms of sales that are considered a prohibited transaction, regardless of whether it’s between Muslims or non-Muslims. They are as follows:

1. What is prohibited in itself such as wine, pork, carrion, impurities, and so forth.

2. What is prohibited because of an accidental characteristic stipulated by Shari`ah.

It is thus clear that cards, presents, children toys and the like are originally permissible unless they contain something unlawful. So, if any of these things contain the Cross as a symbol or icon indicating the crucifixion of the Christ, peace and blessings be upon him, then selling them become unlawful. That is because the Christ was not crucified, according to the text of the Qur’an and because the Cross has become a religious implication that contradicts Islamic faith and principles; so it becomes impermissible for Muslims to sell it.

As for sweets or children toys or the like, which do not contain symbols or icons of religious implications or they do not contain words that are denied by our religion, selling them is permissible.”

Shedding more light on this issue, we would like to cite for you the following from the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence: “From the Islamic point of view, it’s forbidden for a Muslim to sell the Cross or to render his service in making it. If he is hired to make it, then he is not entitled to take the wage in return of his act. This is based on the general Shari`ah rule that prohibits selling unlawful matters, giving them in lease, or being hired to make them. Al-Qaliyubi states: “It is not permissible to sell statues or crosses even if they are made of gold, silver, or sweet. Moreover, it is impermissible to sell a piece of wood to someone when it is known that he will form it as a cross.”

Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah was asked concerning a Muslim tailor who sews a silk strap, includin
g a golden cross for a Christian man. Does that incur a sin? Are the wages taken in doing that Halal (lawful) or not? He answered: “If he (the tailor) helps (by his act) the Christian man to do a sin then he is sinful.” Then, he added: “It is not permissible to get involved in making the Cross either for wage or for free. Moreover, it is impermissible to sell idols or even to make them.” It is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Indeed, Allah has prohibited selling wine, carrion, pork, and idols.” It is also reported that he, peace and blessings be upon him, cursed statute makers. The maker of the Cross is cursed by Allah and His Messenger. So, whosoever takes the wage of an unlawful object such as carrying wine, making crosses, or prostitution, or the like he is obligated to give this wage to charity and to repent, seeking His forgiveness. His charity will serve as an atonement for his act. This is reported by Imam Ahmad and the disciples of Imam Malik and others.”