Q: I have a bridal dressmaking/tailoring business. Majority of the time it western girls who come to me and ask for bespoke wedding dress. Of course this means that most of these are revealing and sometimes they ask me to do sketches of this dress. Is this business permissible ?
1)Me tailoring or getting my tailors to make designs that are revealing.
2) knowing that it will be wore at a non Muslim wedding?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: There is a difference of opinion within our pious predecessors from amongst our jurists as to what constitute assisting in sin. The overwhelming majority of jurists, which includes Imam Malik, Imam al-Shafi’i, Imam Ahmad and, from the Hanafi School, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, consider the sale of what is customarily regarded to be assistance in sin to be prohibited. Imam Abu Hanifah, on the other hand, holds that if the object of sale is bespoke to unlawful practices then the sale of that item is not permitted. However, if the object of sale is not bespoke to unlawful practices but is used by an agent of volition for such, culpability for that does not pass to the seller. Only the agent of volition is culpable. Thus, where the sale of clothing is concerned, if: 1. the item of clothing is used only in a permissible way, such as abayahs for women or non-silk shirts for men, the sale of such clothing is permitted by consensus. 2. the item of clothing is used only in an impermissible way, such as silk shirts for men, the sale of such clothing is not permitted by consensus. 3. the item of clothing can be used in both a permissible manner and in an impermissible manner, such as clothes that reveal the areas of the body that must be covered in the presence of others or are tight and display the figure, a) and the seller knows or has a strong presumption that the buyer is going to use the clothes in a permissible manner, the sale of such clothing is permitted by consensus. E.g., a wife wearing seductive and revealing clothes in the presence of only her husband. b) and the seller has no idea how the buyer is going to use the clothes, the sale of such clothing is permitted by consensus. c) and the seller knows or has a strong presumption that the buyer is going to use the clothes in an impermissible manner, the sale of such clothing is not permitted according to the overwhelming majority of jurists. The majority of jurists consider this to be assisting in sin. However, Imam Abu Hanifa is of the opinion that the sin is not in the item of clothing itself but in the action of the agent of volition (buyer). Thus, only the buyer is culpable, not the seller. Notwithstanding, jurists of the Hanafi School have generally opined in accordance with the opinion of Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and the majority of jurists in this regard. In my opinion, this appears to be the strongest opinion that is supported by the proofs of Sharia and should be the normative position for Muslims living in the west. Recourse to the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa should be pursued only when the alternative position causes difficulty for the community as a whole. ففى المحيط البرهانى: وفى واقعات الناطفى: إسكاف أمره إنسان أن يتخذ له خفاً مشهوراً على زيى الفسقة أو المجوس ، وزاد له فى أجره لا أرى أن يفعل ذلك. وكذلك الخياط إذا أمره إنسان أن يخيط له ثوباً على زى الفساق … قالوا: وبيع المكعب المفضض من الرجال إذا علم أنه يلبس مكروه. (كتاب الكرههية والاستحسان ، الفصل 14 فى الكسب ، 8/62-63) وفى رد المحتار: وبيع المكعب المفضض للرجل إن ليلبسه يكره ، لأنه إعانة على لبس الحرام. وإن كان إسكافا أمره إنسان أن يتخذ له خفا على زى المجوس أو الفسقة أو خياطا أمره أن يتخذ له ثوبا على زى الفساق يكره له أن يفعل لأنه سبب التشبه بالمجوس والفسقة ا هـ (كتاب الحظر والإباحة ، فصل فى البيع ، 6/392) وفى خلاصة الكلام فى مسئلة الإعانة على الحرام: قلت: الظاهر أن مسألتى المكعب المفضض واتخاذ الخف والقميص الكراهة فيهما أشبه بقول الصاحبين بخلاف أبى حنيفة ، فإن عدم الكراهة أشبه بقوله ؛ لأن المعصية ليست بعين المكعب المفضض؛ لأن عينه ليست منكراً؛ وإنما باستعمال المحظور. وأما فى الخف والقميص ، فإن عمله ليس بمعصية ، وإنما المعصية بفعل فاعل مختار، فانقطع عنه. (ص 17) Bridal wear and wedding dresses are items of clothing that are worn in a particular context. i.e., they are used on the one occasion and generally in public. If you know or have a dominant presumption that your Muslim client is going to wear the wedding dress in a permissible manner, or you have no idea how she will wear it, then it is permissible for you to design, make and sell such dress to such client. However, if you know or have a dominant presumption that your Muslim client is going to wear the wedding dress in an impermissible manner, then according to the majority of jurists, it is not permitted to design, make and sell such dress to such client. However, if your client is non-Muslim, then according to the principles of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Mohammed, non-Muslim are not obliged by the dictates of Sharia in their own lands. It would appear that this opinion is particularly appropriate for Muslims living as a minority in non-Muslim majority countries. Thus, it is permitted for you to design, make and sell wedding dresses for your non-Muslim clients even if the dress is low cut and revealing. However, as other jurists such as Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i and, in one report, Imam Ahmad do consider that non-Muslims are obliged by the dictates of Sharia even in their own lands, it is obviously superior to avoid such.