Unlawful Goods and Services

The following are categorically prohibited and unlawful substances or business activities:

  • alcohol
  • tobacco
  • pork and pork products
  • conventional financial services (banking, insurance, etc.), i.e. those trafficking in interest

There is a wider range of views and greater scope for consideration of facts with respect to the following business activities:

  • defense and weapons
  • entertainment (hotels, casinos, gambling, cinema, pornography, music)

‘For example, some scholars take the position that defense and weapons are permissible so long as they do not include weapons of mass destruction. Other scholars take the position that not all entertainment and not all cinema is offensive and impermissible, only those involving pornography or indecency, and that not all hotel equities are impermissible, only those in entities that sell alcohol for human consumption.’


Source: Dow Jones Islamic Market Index fatwa (1998) as analyzed by Michael JT McMillen, Islamic Finance and the Shari‘ah (Riverstone Publishing Group 2013), 167