Category: Business Matters
Fatwa#: 39237
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Dec 23,2017

Title: BLBP subsidiary Protonex

Question

Asalamo-alykom,

Dear Scholar.

I pray this email finds you in the best of health and I pray that Allah Most High Most Great unities the ummah under Islam, ameen.

My question relates to the stock market.

In 2011 I purchased shares in an alternative energy company (Ballard power systems, BLDP). Their activities were to do with the production of fuel cells for usage in buses and other generally permissible areas. My interest was solely in this business.

However, many years later BLDP purchased a company that was engaged in providing fuel cell products (no weaponry but power products for communications) to the US army and also for commercial application. More specifically, “protonex Technology Corporation has deployed thousands of portable power solutions to the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, SOCOM, and National Guard, as well as to commercial and government-funded institutions, such as the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Innovators in fuel cell design, and the inventors of the modern Intelligent Power Manager, Protonex continues to provide solutions to power problems for the military, scientific and commercial communities.”

Being very saddened by the purchase of this subsidiary by BLDP,  I raised my concern ( via email) to the relevant people but no action was taken.

My question is: Is it permissible for me to continue holding my investment in BLDP as my interest are only to do with the part my original investment bought ( i.e fuel cell products for  buses and other generally permissible things)? If I sell my investment I have disadvantaged myself as I have been a long term owner and sentiments towards fuel cells for buses is beginning to change in a positive way, Alhumdulillah. Further, my circumstances are such that i am not in a position to find work in the outside world as I suffer from schizophrenia. But if I need to let go of BLDP, Alhumdulillah I can.

I do acknowledge that Protonex may be an area of concern but because it is a subsidiary company of BLDP I am able to calculate the income coming in from Protonex and give all this income to charities such as Islamic relief that help innocent  people in countries that are impacted by military actions.

Your advice on this matter would be much appreciated, Jazak-Allah khair.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

At the outset we apologise for the belated reply. The matter was under research and consideration.

You express concerns about BLBP subsidiary Protonex. Protonex manufactures military aids which could be used in unjust causes.

Allah Ta’ala says:

ولَا تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ‌ۚ

Translation: And do not help one another in sin and transgression. (Surah al-Maidah – Ayah: 2)

Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam advised

إذا حاك في صدرك شيء فدعه) شرح الطحاوية - ط دار السلام (ص: 346)

 رواه الحاكم "1/ 14"

Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “When there is doubt in your heart (regarding an issue), leave it (that issue).”

You may consider two options.

  1. Sell your shares in Ballard and invest elsewhere.
  2. 2.    Maintain your shares in Ballard and dispose of the dividends from Protonex and interest earned by giving it in Sadaqah to the poor and needy. 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Anas Sharieff Qasmi.

Student Darul Iftaa

Hyderabad,India.

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

http://www.ballard.com/about-ballard/our-history

Discourses of Islamic finance by Mufti Ebrahim Desai. [207-8]

 

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