RULING ON WORKING AS A WEB DESIGNER

Praise be to Allaah.

There isn’t any field in which shayataan doesn’t spread evil or make it as such that a person commits sin 90 percent of the time. As such, Muslims are becoming confused as to what is haram and halaal. Also, it has become very difficult for them to earn halal living, purify their earnings and avoid any haram elements in them. Allaah is watching the pious and He is sufficient for His believing slaves. He sees that they want to obey Him and hate to disobey Him, and He will reward them and grant them forgiveness.

In Islam, the principle of permissible business and trade is that it should not be means or lead to something by which Allah is disobeyed. It must not be a way to fall into sin or haram. When Islam forbids a thing, it also forbids everything that may lead to it or help with it, and Islam enjoins blocking all the means that lead to it.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]

A Muslim is required to refrain from every sin and act of wrongdoing and help others to refrain also.

According to the majority of scholars, it is not permissible to sell your items to the one who will put it to the wrong use. Like it is not acceptable to sell grapes to the winemaker, or sell the means of gambling to the gambler, or a house or land to the one who will use it to make a temple or church or any place of haram activities, or selling of wood to the one who will make a cross of it or the selling copper to the one who will use it to make a temple bell. The same rule applies to everything else. If you know what use your product will be put to, then do not sell it to that person.

If the seller, designer or producer is certain that what he designs will be used for haraam purposes, it is not permissible for him to sell it or produce it. The same ruling applies if he thinks that is most likely, even if he is not certain.

However, if there is doubt and a person is not aware as to what use the buyer will put the thing into then it is not haram to sell the item to him or design it and the sin will fall on the one who uses it for haraam purposes.

It is not permissible to sell anything to the one who will use it for any haram purpose. Like selling something to the one who can manufacture alcohol from it, or selling a slave to the one who will mistreat him, or selling the weapons or horses to the one who will use it against the muslims is not permissible because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]

The kinds of transactions that we have mentioned are obvious kinds of cooperating in sin and transgression, without going into detail, so annulling them is cooperating in righteousness and piety.

If no such thing is known for certain, then the transaction is valid, because it is not helping in sin. If the purchaser disobeys Allaah after that, then the sin is on the purchaser only and not on the seller. End quote.

Al-Muhalla (7/522).

The same rule applies to the work of web designing. If one knows that the website will be used to promote the evil in society and knows its purpose then it is haram to sell that website to that person. Examples of such can be riba-based banks, immoral pictures and videos, selling haram things like alcohol, pork, cigarettes, music etc. It is not permissible for a web designer to build a website for the purpose of haram and take part in the evil that the person intends to spread with it.

But if you do not know the purpose of the website or the reason for which the website is being built then there is nothing wrong in that. Or if a person knows that the website will be used for beneficial purposes then there is nothing wrong with that, even if the owner will include some haraam things in it, because the rulings of sharee’ah are based on what is most likely to be the case and not on rare instances.

And Allaah knows best.