Fatwa: # 18111
Category: Worldly Possessions
Country: South Africa
Date: 16th July 2009

Title

Marketing products in an unislamic way

Question

I would like to ask a question pertaining to perfumes. When I went back to my home country, I received a few assorted perfume samples as well as full bottles of perfume as gifts from family/friends. Most of them had normal names, though some had names like 'Seduction' while others had names of singers like 'Britney Spears' and 'Shania Twain'. Is it permissible to use such perfumes, especially if one did not buy them oneself but received as a gift? In the same context, what about using razors like Gillett Venus, where the official tagline that goes with the name is "Gillette Venus: Reveal the Goddess in You with Venus"? Also, what would you say about men using perfumes/deoderants that advertise themselves as being enticing and seductive toward women?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

In principle, if a company markets its product in an un-Islāmic manner, it does not make using the actual product impermissible.  However, if through the purchase or consumption of such products one becomes inclined towards the wrong that is marketed, then it would not be permissible to purchase or consume such products. 

For example, if a company markets a perfume using the name of a musician, then it is permissible to purchase and use that perfume as long as one does not fear any inclination towards the musician or music.  Similarly, if a company markets its product as being seductive, either by labeling its product as such or by advertising it, then it will not be permissible to purchase and use it with the intention of or desire to be seductive, except towards one’s spouse.  Rather, if one purchases it solely for the actual product itself, not for the harām advertised, then it will be permissible.

When there are alternatives present, it would be praiseworthy to avoid those products that market themselves in an un-Islāmic manner.  It does not befit a Muslim that musicians or other harām be advertised in his/her home, even without the fear of inclination towards it. 

And Allah knows best

Wassalaamu `alaykum

Ml. Abrar Mirza,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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