We are businessmen who buy [products] from wholesalers and we sell them piece by piece. Our question is: there are some shoes, socks, and clothing that have a trademark. This trademark symbolizes the goddess of victory according to the Greeks. Is it allowed to sell this product? This is because some people say this trademark is for the quality of the good and we buy and sell it for the quality of the good. Whereas others say if we sell it, then we sell shoes because it the trademark is debased.
”By Allah, if there is on it a symbol [that represents] gods or idols or what is like that, then it is not allowed for a person, whether it be on shoes or other than shoes, as long as it symbolizes idols. If these are simply suspicions or opinions, then this not considered.
On it is a check mark symbol. It is referred to as Nike.
In any case, the real issue is not whether the intend of this [symbol] is such and such. This is not necessary. Some people nowadays [say], everything has a cross. Everything is a cross. Every two intersecting lines, they say is a cross. The Iraaqi bucket [used to fetch water], who says this is a cross? The issue of everything being attributed to that which is not correct and prohibited the people from it, then this is incorrect. However, if it is well-known that this trademark is something evil, then it is not allowed for a person to use this. Likewise the cross. If something has a cross, it is not allowed for a person to buy it or use it. Except if it is rubbed off. Likewise, the merchandise if it is rubbed off and something is used to remove it [the symbol], then there is no harm.
It is well-known that the check mark symbol is a symbol and name of that of a god. Does it take the same ruling as the cross in that it should be removed and rubbed off?
Shaikh: By Allah, if it comes that this is the creed of some people, then yes. It becomes similar to the cross of the Christians.
[Sharh Tirmidhi no. 420]
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
How would one come about getting rid of Nike apparel though? It doesn’t quite seem appropriate to give them to the masakin (poor).
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ رَأَى النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَىَّ ثَوْبَيْنِ مُعَصْفَرَيْنِ فَقَالَ ” أَأُمُّكَ أَمَرَتْكَ بِهَذَا ” . قُلْتُ أَغْسِلُهُمَا . قَالَ ” بَلْ أَحْرِقْهُمَا
‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr reported:
Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) saw me in two clothes dyed in saffron, whereupon he said: Has your mother ordered you to do so? And I said: I will wash them. He said: But burn them.
[Saheeh Muslim no. 2077]
Imam Shawkani rahimahullah mentioned in Nayl al-Awtaar that it is detested to burn any clothing that can benefited from by another. However, the Prophet ordered Abdullah to burn the clothing, meaning it is recommended. However, after that, he encouraged him to give it to his wife because women could wear it. In this situation, Muslims and non-Muslims are not allowed to wear Nike and it is haram to donate prohibited clothing to Non-Muslims as Imam Nawawi rahimahuallah argues in Sharh Saheeh Muslim under Hadith no. 2068. This is because the non-Muslims are also legally responsible in the Shariah. So the clothes can simply be destroyed or the Nike mark removed and the clothing used.
And Allah knows best
~ Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan