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Fatwa: ‘Israeli’ dates are Haram to Buy & Sell

Fatwa on buying and selling ”Israeli” Dates and Agricultural Produce

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Israelis are among the world’s largest exporters of agricultural produce. According to a report by the WhoProfits Research Center, 40% of the dates they had grown in 2011 were exported with a profit of $265 million. Most date groves are located in the occupied part of the Jordan valley and Dead Sea area, with illegal settlements producing up to 60% of Israeli dates and up to 40% of those are exported. Over half of the world’s Medjool dates are grown in the occupied Jordan Valley.[1]

Ever since the seizure of Palestine in 1948, anti-Zionist movements and many Muslims have embarked on a peaceful campaign of economic boycott, seen as the ‘minimum’ one can do to pressure the Zionist government to halt its crimes and oppression. Many times this comes as a reaction to major transient events, whilst the on-going occupation is rarely considered enough of a reason for the boycott to persist, when weighed against the quality of products Zionist producers cultivate from the blessed land.

This is often justified by the premise that it is permissible to make purchases from the People of the Book, even during times of war. This is supported by various ḥadīth. However, the Palestinian cause is unique. Their land and rights have been completely and unrestrainedly stripped. A verdict also exists on the issue though it is unfortunately often overlooked.

The first to present this Fatwa was Sheikh (Dr) Ahmad al-Raissouni in 2010, a Faqih and authority in Islamic Fiqh (born in 1953 AD). The Sheikh is a founding member and vice president of International Union of Muslim Scholars. He is currently the Director of the Center for Studies and Research in Maqaasid in Rabat and has held this position since late 2012.[2] He also serves as a member of the Executive Council of the World Forum of Muslim Scholars, within the Muslim World League. His Fatwa has the support of numerous scholars who have also reviewed it and champion it from a legal Islamic perspective. I also endorse and support this verdict myself.

Summary of the Fatwa

The Fatwa declares that it is Harām (impermissible) to buy and sell dates imported from “Israel”, seeing as “these dates have been stolen from their original owners, the Palestinians”, indicating that purchasing these dates is a way of “supporting and funding the continuity of this theft.”[3]

Sheikh (Dr) al-Raissouni explains:

“Israeli dates are much alike all Israeli goods, both impermissible to possess, or to pay money for their possession. It is also impressible to trade with such goods. Thus buying (these dates) is Harām, offering it for sale is Harām, actually selling them is Harām and their profit is Harām.”

Two Underlying Reasons for the Verdict

This ruling addresses two fundamental reasons:

“The first of which is the fact that these dates have been wrongfully taken from their rightful owners (known as Ghasb in Fiqh). The Zionists [illegally, unethically and inhumanely stole] the land of Palestine, including its farms, its trees, water and its homes. Thus everything that is produced from it is stolen wealth, impermissible to be purchased from the one who usurped it.”[4]

“The second reason is that purchasing Israeli goods is a way of supporting and funding the continuity of [Israeli] theft [of Palestinian land], and all of the crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine and its surroundings. Those who give their wealth to the aggressor and thus empowers this aggressor [and aids them in continuing] in crime becomes a partner in this.”

Are they not ‘the People of the Book’?

Some retailers justify their selling of these dates because it is from ‘the food of the People of the Book’, the consumption of which has been permitted in the Qur’ān. In response to this, Sheikh (Dr) al-Raissouni says:

“this ruling has nothing to do with eating the food of the People of the Book, both of Christians or Jews, since it is permitted for a Muslim to eat the food of the Jews residing in Morocco, or any Muslim country, including consuming their sacrifice. Our statement is surrounding what we receive (of products) from these [occupiers] and aggressors, from that which they have stolen or of what they use to fund their theft and other crimes.”

The guilty brands

The following product names and brands are often obscured or guised by sellers. With this in mind, avoid them this Ramadan and throughout the year. Hadiklaim, the Israeli Date Growers Cooperative, “consolidates the activities of Israel’s largest and most advanced date producers” which include[5] those active in illegal settler plantations in the Jordan Valley and other occupied areas. Hadiklaim sells 70% dates from the Zionist entity. Its brand names include:

These are in addition to Shams, Delilah, Rapunzel, Bomaja and others, some of which imitate Arabic names and can deceive one into buying them with good intentions. The above are widely sold in most High street stores, with significant spikes in sales during the month of Ramadan.[6]

Dates are also supplied by Hadiklaim to mainstream supermarkets under their private brands including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s (Taste the Difference Medjool Dates), Tesco (Finest), Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons (M Signature Medjool Dates). Often these are labelled “produced in the West Bank”. These are not Palestinian dates, but those grown on Israeli plantations. It is essential that you check the label. Avoid dates produced or packaged in “Israel” or its illegal settlements. More information can be found on Friends of al-Aqsa’s website. [7]

The importance of this matter should not need stressing when we consider the vast majority of us consume dates when we break our fasts. Let it not be that we fast throughout the day from that which Allāh has made permissible, yet break our fasts with that which Allāh has made impermissible. Imagine the hunger and thirst you experience for the sake of Allāh, the patience one exhibits throughout the long, hot, summer days in the month of Ramadān; now imagine the reward for that being washed away because of our heedlessness in this grave matter of the violation of the rights of the creation of Allāh.

And Allāh knows best.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://www.whoprofits.org/sites/default/files/agricultural_export___flash_report_0.pdf

[2] http://www.raissouni.ma/index.php/2013-11-05-17-44-53/2013-11-05-17-45-30.html

[3] http://www.raissouni.ma/index.php/articles/107.html (Sheikh’s official website).

[4] Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah presents the ruling on purchasing goods that have been seized unlawfully. See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (29/276) and Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (29/323).

[5] http://www.hadiklaim.co.il/

[6] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/aug/04/israeli-dates-boycott-ramadan

[7] http://www.foa.org.uk/campaign/checkthelabel-dates/

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

17 comments

  1. Our Ummah needs to unite more than ever now on such issues. How more than half of the world condemns Zionists occupation of Palestinian lands , so why the followers of Allah can forget the gresome atrocities committed by the Israelis? That’s so shameful. It’s so Nobel of Sheikh to have issued this Fatwah, it’s a peaceful protest & condemnation, which has greatest impact on defending our Palestinian Muslims against the greatest offender Israel. May Allah instill fear of Himself in our brothers who for whom I pray for their guidance, they better consult Quranic injunctions too on these matters. It’s so clearly stated by Sllah (SWT) too.

  2. ABDUL MALIK IS SERIOUSLY WRONG WHEN HE NAMES COUNTRIES THAT HE CLAIMS WERE STOLEN FROM MUSLIMS. HIS KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY IS ABYSMAL. FOR EXAMPLE, SPAIN WAS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY BEFORE ISLAM WAS CREATED, INDIA (AND EAST ASIA) WERE HINDU THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE ISLAM WAS CREATED, AND ISRAELI JEWS WERE DRIVEN OUT OF THEIR HOMELAND BY THE ROMANS BEFORE THE RELIGION OF ISLAM EVEN EXISTED. HOW DID THE MUSLIMS APPEAR IN PALESTINE? BY MAGIC? SOME OF THESE COUNTRIES HAVE EXPELLED MUSLIMS, (EG GREECE, SPAIN, SERBIA, MACEDONIA) BUT ISLAM STILL OCCUPIES HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF SQUARE MILES OF LAND FROM INDONESIA TO MOROCCO, MOSTLY TAKEN BY FORCE, WHICH USED TO BE NON-MUSLIM. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH AND GET OUT OF THE CONQUERED LANDS YOU OCCUPY (OR AT LEAST MAKE THEM DEMOCRATIC). LONG LIVE THE ARAB SPRING.

    • Wel you say jews where driven out of israĕl by ROMANS.(not MUSLIMS) And you ask how did the muslims get into palestine….ever heard of conversion. Jews of that time didnt all stay jews many converted to islam. And others stayed jewish and lived peacefully next to muslims and christians etc…and your comment about practice what you preach how come the countries christians take over become 100% christian…. let me tel you, people are forced to become christian (not MUSLIM) or die.

      • Peaceful Believer

        You’re right ramo. John Simpson needs to do his homeworking and have his weetabix before putting pen to paper again. Lol

  3. Hi,

    Everyone, watch this: The Jews are not our enemy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exXVNF3solY

  4. The Kalahari Medjoul from Karsten Farms is NOT an Israeli product. It’s grown in South Africa.

  5. Haroon seedat

    Sheikh, doctor al haddad, how about making all products of indian origin haram.

  6. 1) How about products (such as fruit) from Spain? They are from lands which were illegally, unethically and inhumanely stolen from Muslims. The only difference is the greater passage of time from that theft. Other examples include products from India or any other land which was once settled and ruled by Muslims. What makes dates from Israel haram to consume, but oranges from Spain halal?

    2) Boycotting Israeli products further impoverishes the Palestinian Muslim employees and workers who depend on this work for their livelihoods. They queue at checkpoints to get to their work on date groves. We would be imposing further hardship on them by boycotting them. Has this consequence been taken into account in this fatwa?

    3) The Shaikh advocates a specific political action (i.e. boycott). This is from his own political analysis and ideas on how to respond to a specific political problem. However, he is saying that any person who goes against this political vision is committing haram and is sinful. This will not sit comfortably with most people.

    • Haroon seedat

      Fully agree with you , mate. This sheikh has firgotten tge plight of other muslims around tge word, cause they are not of arab origin.

    • Brother, your question is massively misleading and displays a sentiment similar to what you have accused the Shaykh without any proof.

      1) Ask yourself before drawing invalid comparisons; is Israeli settlement land stolen? If the answer is yes, then it falls under the ruling of stolen land including planting and building on it which you are free to read about in your spare time. Because essentially you are either denying that settlement land is stolen land, or saying that by my invalid comparison, something (you have not mentioned), makes Israeli settlements not fall under this category.

      Spain and IsraelI settlements are wholly different. The theft of the latter is firstly recognised internationally, and both parties, the appropriator and the victim are known. In the absence of the ‘thief’ the land has a rightful owner. Can the same be said about Spain? I thought not.

      2) Palestinian farmers are the ones demanding the boycott. Again, with a bit of reading you will find that they are closer to slave labourers who have found no option but to remain on their plantations and work for settles. Working conditions are dire and wages are on par slavery. In the absence of the settlements, the land is entirely the Palestinians to cultivate and plant themselves.

      3) The impermissibility of benefiting from stolen land is well known and is classically supported by Ijmaa’ (consensus). With this in mind, the Shaykh has not produced anything new, but stated the obvious. Something that may not settle well with owners of big businesses and those who have signed large contracts with Israeli producers, buy well, truth is worthier to be said.

      Wasalam

    • Thanks for the Hasbara AbdulMalik. Some of us were fooled.

    • abdarrah'man g.s.

      bismillah arrah’man irraheem.

      assalaamu’alaykum wa rah’matallah.

      Allah (swt) has commanded:
      “O you who beleive! Do not make haram the good things that Allah has made halal for you” (5:87).

      Every fatwa, and especially one that seeks to make haram something that has previously not been considered haram, must cite the exact passage(s) from the Qur’an, and the exact ahadith, with the grade of each, upon which the fatwa is based, as well as additional sources, evidences, arguments, and reasonings, that have led the scholar to make the fatwa.

      Thus can other scholars, and ordinary Muslims, see clearly whether the fatwa is Islamically sound, or not.

      In the information published above, I cannot see relevant passages from the Qur’an, nor ahadith, cited, nor can I see arguments and reasonings that derive from Qur’an and hadith, and culminate in the fatwa.

      Given the gravity of the fatwa, being one that seeks to make haram something that has not previously been considered haram (even though the consensus may have been that it was makruh (disapproved or even detestable)), I submit that these deficiencies make this fatwa Islamically unsound, and therefore invalid.

      And Allah knows best.

      wassalaamu’alaykum wa rah’matallah.

      • Has purchasing stolen products not previously been declared Haram?

        Or are you inventing specious arguments in the religion?

        Have some fear of Allah and a slightly deeper look than a surface level understanding of the application of something known in the Shariah at beginner level.

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