Date : 27-04-2010

Question :

We are a marketing company that imports tea where the producer randomly prints the production and expiry dates on the packs for routine and administrative purposes. Unlike canned food or meat, tea doesn`t expire; therefore, consuming it is harmless. Is it permissible to repackage the imported packs then sell them to avoid deceiving consumers? This is knowing that the tea is fit for consumption, just like any other herb. May Allah reward you.

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

It is forbidden to tamper with the expiry date of a product, because doing so is an act of deception, lying and fraud. Allah the Almighty says, "O ye who believe! Fear God and be with those who are true (in word and deed)."{At-Tawba, 119}. In addition, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, "Whoever cheats us isn`t one of us."{Related by Muslim}.

Moreover, tampering with expiry dates is harmful to the health of consumers since all food products have an expiry date and can`t remain edible forever. In fact, leniency in this serious matter will definitely inflict public harm although the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, "There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm."{Related by Ibn Majah}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.