Can the owner of an online business directory allow businesses with haram activities, such as alcohol shops or hotels with a bar, to register for free? And would it be permissible to generate revenue from them by allowing them to advertise on the website?

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Can the owner of an online business directory allow businesses with haram activities, such as alcohol shops or hotels with a bar, to register for free? And would it be permissible to generate revenue from them by allowing them to advertise on the website?

I own an online business directory. So, all kinds of businesses register there and people searching for any kind of products & services come there to find their need.  My question is:

  • a) Is it okay to register a business that is haraam in our school of thought (eg. pork shop or alcohol shop)
  • b)  Is it okay to register a business, part of whose offerings are haraam in our school of thought (eg. a hotel that has a bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol or a desert safari that has belly dance included)
  • c) My revenue comes not from registering, but from paid advertisement from businesses. Can I accept paid ads from the above two categories?
Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 1 year ago

A Muslim should avoid the aforementioned type of business as it violates the following Qur'anic principles:

1) The duty of enjoying good.

2) The duty of forbidding evil.

3) The prohibition of spreading corruption on earth.

It may be argued that non-Muslims do not hold the same values of Muslims and therefore there would be no harm in allowing them to keep their businesses. However the Qur'an also commands Muslims to invite others to do good by saying "Let there arise out of you a community inviting to good..." (3:104). This in addition to the fact that some Muslims may be influenced to partake such kind of business. It follows that it is not in the best interest of Muslims to permit haram transactions under their allowance and supervision and it should be avoided. 

With prayers for your success.

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