The lajnah were asked:
There is a man working in a newspaper in Egypt. He writes news and prepares paid advertisements in support to those who defy Allah and His Messenger. He works as an intermediary between the newspaper and people. He goes to merchants and urges them to advertise. They pay money for the sake of advertising their products in this newspaper. The revenues of these advertisements are used in supporting tyrant rulers. This person receives a ratio of these revenues in return for urging people to do that. Is the money he receives lawful? If this money is unlawful, can my brothers, sisters and I eat from these earnings? Moreover, my father has another income from another governmental job. The money he earns from this work is lawful.
Firstly: Working in serving those who defy Allah and His Messenger is not permissible because it a sort of cooperation in evil and transgression that was forbidden by Allah in His saying: Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. Secondly: The money earned due to cooperation with them in evil matters is unlawful. Thirdly: If the money earned by your father through working with those who defy Allah and His Messenger can be distinguished from other lawful gains, you are not permitted to eat from it. But if this money is mixed together and you can not distinguish between lawful and unlawful gains, you will be permitted to eat from it according to the soundest opinion of scholars. But you are recommended not to eat from it to be on the safe side, especially when the unlawful gains exceed the lawful ones. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
They were also asked the following question about it:
I hope from your Eminence an answer to my question and guidance for what is best for my worldly life and hereafter.
I am a employee in one of the media organizations which works in the field of journalism. That is: it produces issues and publishes newspapers and magazines specific to it. It also publishes newspapers and magazines for other organizations and it takes a payment for it. As you know, these newspapers have what is lawful and what is unlawful in them. From the examples of the permissible things: spreading local and national news for the citizen and resident to view what has happened in the local and national level. They also produce some purposeful articles for some books, just as they publish cultural information, medical information, [articles on] sports, and other than that from government advertisements and business advertisements. From the unlawful things: is publishing pictures of women, writings on women’s beauty and women’s fashion. Most times it is not with pictures, and they also have news about actors and actresses and other than that. As for the nature of my work, then it is the following:
I work in warehouses and I work to record what comes in and out from ink and rolls into specific records. Then I enter them into the computer and examine them. This is currently my work and after a month or so, I will move to the accounting department by Allah’s will, in financial management on account of my specialty.
O Eminent Mufti, am I sinful for working in this organization and is my salary unlawful? Direct me to what I should do. Am I from those who contribute to evil knowing that I do not have the ability to enter into editing [the material]?
May Allah reward you
“If what the questioner performs of work does not involve committing an unlawful affair directly or indirectly, then what he earns of wealth in exchange for his actions is lawful wealth. Even though it is more deserving that the questioner search for another job which is not contaminated with an impurity”
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan