Unlawful earnings: People with unlawful earnings; eating their food

Q654 :Is it permissible to eat food offered by Muslims whose known sources of income fall within the range of either forbidden or suspicious? Do people who work in banking or life insurance and those who are known to take bribes fall in this category?

A654 : If you know for sure that the earnings of a certain person come largely from forbidden sources, then you should not eat his food or accept his presents. But, then, how can you tell? A Muslim does not allow himself to pass judgments on other people without having all the facts available to him. At the same time, a Muslim does not take much notice of hearsay, but bases his attitude on information of which he is certain. Hence, it is very difficult to establish the legitimacy or otherwise of people's income. It is true that some people are unscrupulous about the ways they earn their money. Nevertheless, a substantial portion of their income comes from legitimate sources, such as their salaries for their work or their profits from business. If you are invited for a meal by such a person and you feel that maintaining good relations with him is beneficial in the sense that you may be able to influence his attitude to make it more in line with Islam, then you may accept his invitation. You should not forget that it is perfectly permissible to accept an invitation by a Christian or a Jew when their income could include a portion which comes from sources which Islam does not approve.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )