Buying shares in a transport company
Is it permissible to buy shares in a transport company such as FirstGroup plc?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
It is permissible.
Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani writes, “In the light of the forgoing discussion, dealing in equity shares can be acceptable in Shariah subject to the following conditions:
(1) The main business of the company is not in violation of Shariah. Therefore, it is not permissible to acquire the shares of the companies providing financial services on interest, like conventional banks, insurance companies, or the companies involved in some other business not approved by the Shariah, such as the companies manufacturing, selling or offering liquors, pork, haram meat, or involved in gambling, night club activities, pornography etc.
(2) If the main business of the companies is halal, like automobiles, textile, etc. but they deposit their surplus amounts in an interest-bearing account or borrow money on interest, the shareholder must express his disapproval against such dealings, preferably by raising his voice against such activities in the annual general meeting of the company.
(3) If some income from interest-bearing accounts is included in the income of the company, the proportion of such income in the dividend paid to the share-holder must be given charity, and must not be retained by him. For example, if 5% of the whole income of a company has come out of interest-bearing deposits, 5% of the dividend must be given in charity.
(4) The shares of a company are negotiable only if the company owns some non-liquid assets. If all the assets of a company are in liquid form, i.e., in the form of money that cannot be purchased or sold, except on par value, because in this case the share represents money only and the money cannot be traded in except at par.” (Also refer to Fiqhī Maqālāt, 1: 144)
Allah knows best
14 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1444 / 2 July 2023
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir