Joining the army to become a mercenary

Q: I am 18 years old and will be completing my schooling this year. I am considering joining the army after I matriculate. Initially, after my training is complete, I will serve a certain amount of time in the army and may even be called upon to fight for the country (as is happening currently, where South Africa is fighting in certain other African countries).

My idea is that after some time, when I have sufficient training and experience, I will leave the army and become a mercenary (a soldier for hire). There is a great demand for mercenaries, especially in dangerous countries such as Iraq and other war-ridden countries like the African countries suffering from war lords, etc, and this profession is extremely lucrative.

Is this profession permissible in Islam?

A: It will be permissible if you are quite certain that the work that you will engage in is absolutely permissible and you will not be involved in any type of injustice, wrong and corruption, which is highly impossible. Personally we do not advise you to take up this profession because of the ambiance of the environment that prevails in the army.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

(ولا يجوز الاستئجار على الغناء والنوح وكذا سائر الملاهي) لأنه استئجار على المعصية والمعصية لا تستحق بالعقد (الهداية 3/303)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)