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Working for Non-Muslims Designing and Constructing Temples

 
Question:
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatulla Ya Sheikh, The construction industry in India and other parts of the modern world present some challenges to the Muslim Architect and Engineer.I have a Question which has 3 parts that are closely inter linked. 1) As an architect, when the Non Muslim client (Hindu) asks the Muslim to design a temple room for them in their residential design where they will most definitely partake in Idol worship and disobedience of Allah ; Is it permissible for a Muslim Architect to go ahead and co-operate with them?Is it therefore Permissible to make a living by designing/Planning/Building Churches and Temples?2) Similarly, can the Muslim architect and engineer help his Non Muslim client in designing and constructing a Casino or a Bar or a Riba Based bank when he fully well knows that Major sin will take place once the building is completed? I have read your Fatwa No 82832 and have derived a lot of benefit from it Alhamdulillah, however when I share it with my Muslim colleagues in India, they dismiss it totally saying that your fatwa is not applicable in India and only applicable in Muslim Countries. And some of them call me extreme and misguided. 3) Similarly, What is a Muslim Architect to do who lives in a non Muslim country, and almost all his clients ask him to design and construct a temple room or a Bar in the building project? If he does not co operate with them, he will be left with very little or no work as an Architect.
Answer:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The scholars held two opinions regarding the ruling on such work: the opinion of the majority of the scholars, which is stated in the Fatwa you referred to, and the opinion of Imaam Abu Haneefah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, is that of permissibility. He said: "There is no sin in this work itself; rather, the sin is in the actions of the employer. The Hanafi scholars stated in their books that it is not prohibited for a Muslim to work in constructing a church or carry alcohol (intoxicants)."

There is no doubt that, for several considerations, it is better to follow the opinion of the majority of the scholars. Nonetheless, situations of necessity and need have their own rulings.

Our advice to you is to consult local scholars in your community directly; they are more aware of the reality of life there and are more able to identify the apt manner to apply the relevant religious rulings.

Allah Knows best.

 

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