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I am an ex-pilot. Allah Ta’ala has saved me from the calamity of this profession. In response to a question, Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen of Isipingo Beach issued the fatwa of permissibility. I fail to understand how the profession of a commercial pilot can be permissible when it is saddled with multiple evils and sins. Please view these factors and let me know if the fatwa is correct or have I misunderstood something. I have queried the fatwa, but even after many months no response has been forthcoming from the Mufti Sahib. 

In my letter to the Mufti sahib, I explained as follows:

As a pilot for a commercial airline, the duties amongst others are as follows:

1. A pilot, according to his company policy has to transport alcohol that is consumed on the flight. My concern is the following hadeeth:

Abu Dawood (3674) and Ibn Maajah (3380) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who squeezes (the grapes etc.), the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who carries it and the one to whom it is carried.”

Is it a sin or not to transport the alcohol in the work that the Muslim chooses for himself as his career?


2. As a Muslim pilot he is compelled to wear the tie, a symbol of the cross of the christians. Will this not affect the level of Iman of a person?

Is this a sin or not? Is wearing the tie not a sin?


The hadeeth that comes to mind that he who imitates a people will be resurrected with them.


3.   As a Muslim pilot he is forced to wear his trousers below the ankles. This is company policy whereas according to the hadeeth  Rasulullah (sallalahu  alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said that the part of the garment which is below the ankles will be in the fire of hell.


Is it a sin or not for the Muslim pilot to keep his pants below the ankles for this work that he chooses to do? Is wearing the pants below the ankles not a sin?


4. As a Muslim pilot he has to work with female pilots and sit alone with her in a locked cockpit, for many hours, and also sleep alone with her in the same crew rest on board the plane where these females have no shame and change in front of the Muslim pilot. Whereas Rasulullah sallahau laaihi wasallam is reported to have said:


Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1862) and Muslim (1341). And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1171)

'Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram present, for the third one present will be the Shaytaan.” (Ahmad)


“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. immorality, a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him)” (al-Isra’:32)

“Hayaa’ (modesty) is a branch of faith.” (Bukhaari)


Is this a sin or not then to be alone with a woman in the work that the Muslim chooses for himself as his career? And sleep with her alone in the crew rest room on the plane? This is compelled by company policy.


5. As a Muslim pilot he controls the power of the entertainment system where hundreds of passengers are faced with the public tv screens and their own personal screens showing movies, dancing half-naked women, music as well as the possibility of playing games of chance and other sins on these in flight entertainments systems.


Is it a sin for the Muslim pilot to put on this entertainment system that allows the passengers to become involved in sin? The hadeeth that comes to mind is that he who initiates something evil will get the sin of all those who took part of it?


6. As a Muslim pilot he controls the power to the galley/ kitchen power where haraam food is cooked and served to the passengers.

Does he get the sin for putting this power to the galley where this food is then cooked, almost all of the food being haraam?


7. As a Muslim pilot his working hours or life and environment is spent mostly or almost exclusively in the company of non-Muslim males and females. This can be for days or many hours in a day.


Is this a sin or not to choose such a work where he will spend most of his time with non-Muslims when he has other choices to earn his rizq? Especially when our pious elders teach us that to become closer to Allah Ta’ala one needs to remove oneself from a bad environment. But in this instance until retirement a Muslim pilot will be in this bad environment.


Considering all of the above is it permissible for a Muslim to work as a pilot for a commercial airline?


Lastly knowing full well that our rizq is written, it is dependent upon us how we earn it, whether in a halaal or haraam way. It is the base desire or nafs that prompts a Muslim become a pilot.

Should a Mufti or Aalim not look at the whole situation and advise whether Muslims should be pilots or not? Or should a Mufti only say it is permissible? Thereby opening the door for the Muslim pilot's Iman to be weakened and his morality to be ruined?


The writer has been a pilot, been exposed to all of the above and witnessed the effect of the Iman being attacked. Notwithstanding the many very possible haraam activities that are committed by the pilot mentioned above in a career that is chosen almost always only for one’s base desires and nafs. With no consideration of whether it will affect one’s Imaan or take one closer or further from Allah Ta’ala, how can a Mufti say that it is permissible to become a commercial pilot? Despite the numerous evils of this profession, many Muslims look up with respect to a pilot, Na-oozubillah!

Should we not discourage or close the door for the Iman of any Muslim to be weakened by strongly discouraging our Muslim youth from going into such careers? Giving a fatwa of open permissibility opens many problems later on for the pilot and his family. In my opinion an Aalim or Mufti should be encouraging and guiding towards a career or job where taqwa and closeness to Allah Ta’ala can be gained, not this job as a pilot that takes one further away from the Deen and Allah Ta’ala.


There was no compelling Shari need or necessity for a Muslim to put himself in this ‘brave’ job environment. Is it then permissible to say it is ok for Muslims to become pilots and work in such an environment? If the answer is yes, please let me know why, Jazakallah.


SUMMARY of the evils of the pilot’s job

Trousers below ankles

Wearing the tie

Without a topee

Eating from utensils from which pork is also served and alcohol drunk

Company of the kuffaar for long hours and days (staying almost the entire life in bad company)

Sitting alone and sleeping alone with females in a confined and locked secluded environment

Transporting alcohol

Controlling the power to the haraam music, half-naked women on movies videos, photography etc.

Controlling the power that makes the haraam food hot which is served to passengers


According to a study from the University of Valencia Scientists say that just five minutes alone with an attractive female raise the level of cortisol in man .Cortisol is the body's stress hormone which is produced by body under physical or psychological stress and has been linked to heart disease. Researchers in the study tested 84 male students by asking each one to sit in a room and solve a Sudoku puzzle. Two strangers, one male and one female, were also in the room. When the female stranger left the room and the two men remained sitting together, the volunteer's stress levels did not rise. However, when the volunteer was left alone with the female stranger, his cortisol levels rose. Researchers believe that chronically elevated cortisol levels can worsen medical condition and can disrupt almost all of the body’s processes. This puts the human at increased risk of numerous health problems, including: Heart disease, Sleep problems, Digestive problems, Depression, Obesity, Memory impairment and to Worsening skin conditions, such as eczema.


Allah Almighty says: (Say O Muhammad "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual contact, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly {Sûrat Al-A’râf - The Heights (The Walls with Elevations) -verse33}.

“Being alone with” (khalwah) refers to when the man and woman are in a place where no one can see them.

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: Does khalwah (“being alone with”) refer to when a man is alone with a woman in some house, far away from the eyes of people, or does it refer to any situation in which a man is alone with a woman, even if they can be seen by others? They replied: What is meant by the “being alone with” (khalwah) that is forbidden in sharee’ah is not only when a man is alone with a woman who is not his mahram in a place where they cannot be seen; rather it also includes situations in which he is alone with her in a place where she can converse with him and he can converse with her, even if they can be seen by other people, but their words cannot be heard, whether that is out in the open or in a car or on the roof of a house, and so on. That is because khalwah has been forbidden because it is the harbinger of zina and the means that leads to it. So everything that could lead to that, even making an arrangement to do that later, comes under the ruling of physical khalwah or being alone in a place where they cannot be seen.

(End of the ex-pilot’s letter)



One need not be a Mufti or an Aalim to understand the extremely simple issue of working as a commercial pilot. The plethora of haraam factors with which this career is bedeviled renders this job absolutely haraam. The zina factor alone is more than adequate to confirm the hurmat of this job which involves the pilot in fisq and fujoor night and day for the rest of his life.


The fatwa of the Darul Uloom is shockingly erroneous. To say the very least, the Mufti had not applied his mind when he blurted out:

Q: Is it permissible for a man to work as a pilot even though they serve alcohol in the plane?

A: It is permissible provided this profession will not prevent him from his Deeni obligations and responsibilities, and he will be able to protect and safeguard himself from strange women and he is quite confident that he will not get involved in sins (whether minor or major).

And Allah Ta'ala knows best.


To safeguard and protect one’s shame and purity in the evil, immoral satanic environment in which lewd kuffaar female preponderate is normally impossible. And, even if it be hallucinated that it is possible, it remains haraam to work in such an environment of fisq and fujoor. Instead of closing the avenue of fitnah and fasaad, this mufti with his corrupt fatwa has opened a wide avenue for zina, fisq and fujoor. It is never permissible to become a commercial pilot.


The kuffaar glamour in which this career basks is meant exclusively for the kuffaar. Muslims should not be impressed by such satanic glamour which leads directly to Jahannam. Warning us of the satanism and disaster of hankering after the false glamour and glitter of the lifestyle and ways of the kuffaar, Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:


“Never cast your eyes with desire) at the glamour of this worldly life which We have bestowed to the various groups among them (the kuffaar) in order to cast them into trial. The Rizq by your Rabb is better and more enduring.”

(Taha, Aayat, 131)

17 Ramadhaan 1438 – 12 June 2017


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