20 Muharram 1423 AH
4 April 2002
Question: Are we allowed to buy items from Israeli sources,
even though this money may be used to help the Jewish "war
Answer by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:
It is Jihad to liberate the Islamic lands from those who
attack or conquer them. These are enemies of Islam. This
Jihad is an absolute obligation and a sacred duty; firstly
on the people of that land. If the Muslims of that land
can't offer sufficientresistance, then Muslims of neighboring
countries are obliged to assist. If this is still not sufficient
then all the Muslims of the world must assist.
Palestine is the land of the first Qiblah of the Muslims,
the land of Isra' and Mi`raj, the land of Al-Aqsa and the
blessed territory. The conquerors are those with the greatest
enmity to the believers, and they are supported by the strongest
state on earth - the USA, and by the world Jewish community.
Jihad is obligatory against those who take land and expel
the inhabitants, spill the blood, violate the honor, destroy
the houses, burn the fields, and corrupt the land. Jihad
is the first obligation of all obligations, and the first
duty of the Ummah. Muslims are commanded to do this, first
those from the land in question, after that their neighbors,
and finally all Muslims. We must all be united against the
aggressors. We are united in Islam, including unity of belief
in the Shari`ah, unity of belief in the Qiblah, and also
united in pain and hope. As Allah Almighty says: "Verily
this Ummah of yours is one Ummah." (Qur'an, 21:92).
Allah Almighty also says: "Surely the believers are
a single brotherhood." (Qur'an, 49:10). There is a
Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him,
that states: "The Muslim is the brother to the Muslim,
he can't oppress him, he can't give him up, he can't let
him down." [Transmitted by Muslim].
Now we see our brothers and children in Al-Aqsa and the
blessed land of Palestine generously sacrificing their blood,
giving their souls willingly in the way of Allah. All Muslims
must help them with whatever power they have. (See the Noble
If people ask in the name of religion we must help them.
The vehicle of this support is a complete boycott of the
enemies' goods. Each riyal, dirham
etc. used to buy
their goods eventually becomes bullets to be fired at the
hearts of brothers and children in Palestine. For this reason,
it is an obligation not to help them (the enemies of Islam)
by buying their goods. To buy their goods is to support
tyranny, oppression and aggression. Buying goods from them
will strengthen them; our duty is to make them as weak as
we can. Our obligation is to strengthen our resisting brothers
in the Sacred Land as much as we can. If we cannot strengthen
the brothers, we have a duty to make the enemy weak. If
their weakness cannot be achieved except by boycott, we
must boycott them.
American goods, exactly like "Israeli" goods,
are forbidden. It is also forbidden to advertise these goods.
America today is a second Israel. It totally supports the
Zionist entity. The usurper could not do this without the
support of America. "Israel's" unjustified destruction
and vandalism of everything has been using American money,
American weapons, and the American veto. America has done
this for decades without suffering the consequences of any
punishment or protests about their oppressive and prejudiced
position from the Islamic world.
The time has come for the Islamic Ummah to say "NO"
to America, "NO" to its companies, and "NO"
to its goods, which swamp our markets. We are eating, drinking,
wearing and riding whatever America produces.
We must all be
united against the aggressors. We are united in
Islam, including unity of belief in the Shari`ah,
unity of belief in the Qiblah, and also united in
pain and hope. As Allah Almighty says: "Verily
this Ummah of yours is one Ummah." (Qur'an,
`Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "You have
three enemies; your enemy, the friend of your enemy, and
the enemy of your friend". The USA today is more than
friends to our enemy; they would destroy themselves for
Israel. The world wide Muslim Ummah numbering 1.3 billion,
could cause pain to the USA and its companies by boycotting
them. This is an obligation of our religion, and the way
of Allah. Every Muslim that buys "Israeli" or
American goods, when there is an alternative from other
countries is committing a haram act. They are clearly committing
a major sin, which is a crime against Allah's law, which
invokes punishment from Allah, and the contempt of the people.
Our brothers in "Israel" and America are forced
to deal with them and buy their products. Allah does not
ask you to do what you can't do; only what you can.
Allah says: "Fear Allah as much as you are able."
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "If
I order you to do something, do however much you can".
Muslims in America must work with companies who are least
hostile to Muslims, least allied to the Zionists. Boycott
Zionist companies as much as you can.
Arabs and Muslims must boycott all companies that are biased
towards Zionism and support Israel, whatever the national
origin of that company (e.g. Marks and Spencer), and anyone
like this who supports the Zionists and helps the "Israeli"
state. The boycott is a very sharp weapon, used in the past
and recently. It was used by the pagans in Makkah against
the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and
his companions. It caused great harm to them; they even
had to eat leaves. It was also used by companions of the
Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to fight against
the pagans in Madinah. In recent times we saw nations use
boycotts in their struggle for the liberation from colonialism.
A famous example is Gandhi who asked the vast Indian nation
to boycott English goods, which was very effective. A boycott
is in the hands of the nation and masses alone. Governments
can't force people to buy goods from a particular country.
Let us use this weapon to resist our national and religious
enemy, and make them know we are still alive, and that this
Ummah will not die, God willing. The boycott has many different
effects; it renews the education of the Ummah in how to
liberate themselves from enslavement to other people's taste.
They encourage us to be addicted to these things of no benefit,
indeed they cause us harm. The boycott is a demonstration
of Muslim brotherhood and unity of the Ummah. It is our
duty to say we are not going to betray our brothers, who
make sacrifices every day. We will not participate in making
profits for our enemy. This boycott is a lesser resistance,
which will help the greater resistance carried out by our
brothers in the land of Messengers, and the fortified frontier
of Jihad. If every Jew in the world thinks himself a soldier,
supporting Israel as much as he can, surely every Muslim
using his very soul and wealth is a soldier to liberate
Al-Aqsa. The least [the Muslim] can do is boycott his [the
enemies'] goods. Allah says: "Oh you who believe, you
are protectors of each other. If you don't do this there
will be great division and corruption.
Our sisters and
daughters, who control the houses, have a role to
play in this matter, which may be more important
than the role of the man, because women supervise
the needs of the house, and buy what must go inside
the house. She is on hand to guide the boys and
girls. She plants the Jihadic spirit in the children,
and educates them in what they must do for their
Ummah and its causes, and what they must do to the
Ummah's enemies, especially in the area of boycott.
When the children understand this they will carry
on the boycott enthusiastically, and later will
lead the parents.
If the consumer buying Jewish or American goods is committing
a major sin, surely the merchant buying these goods and
acting as an agent is the greatest sinner. Even if the company
works under a different name, they know they are deceiving
people. The Muslim Ummah all over the world is being asked
to demonstrate its existence, and show its desire to protect
what is sacrosanct. The Islamic Ummah must know who are
its allies, and who are its enemies. The Ummah is forbidden
to give in to weakness, and depression, and accept the tyrannical
peace, which the Zionists want to impose.
Allah says: "Don't be humiliated and ask for peace,
while you are on the Uppermost and Allah is with you."
[Qur'an, 47:35]. Our sisters and daughters, who control
the houses, have a role to play in this matter, which may
be more important than the role of the man, because women
supervise the needs of the house, and buy what must go inside
the house. She is on hand to guide the boys and girls. She
plants the Jihadic spirit in the children, and educates
them in what they must do for their Ummah and its causes,
and what they must do to the Ummah's enemies, especially
in the area of boycott. When the children understand this
they will carry on the boycott enthusiastically, and later
will lead the parents.
I ask all the believers in Allah, Christians and others,
and all the free and noble people in the world to stand
beside us, and support the right and truth against falsehood,
and justice against injustice. Help to victory the weak,
who are being killed every day in the way of Allah, protecting
the Noble Sanctuary.
Also, I request the workers of the Arab and Muslim countries
around the world to support the Palestinians in the their
just cause, and show their anger by demonstrating against
the powerful tyrants, by disturbing their businesses as
much as they can. Finally I ask the wise, reasonable and
experienced in every country to organize cells to build
a boycott, to create alternatives and avoid the negative
things, and carry on educating the masses, until the word
of truth is raised up and falsehood is destroyed. Surely
it will perish.
"Say 'work', surely Allah will see your work and His
Messenger and the believers, you will return to the Unseen
world and witness, and you will know what you were doing."
"This Fatwa is based on the proofs of the Book and
Sunnah and Consensus of the Ummah." Allah Almighty