The following question and answer by Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo attendees of the Dow Jones University Courses on Islamic Investement.
Question:: You have detailed the screening process for investing in the equity market. What about Supermarkets Companies.... they do sell haram meat including pork and sell wine. Therefore would these be excluded or the profits be regarded as a small percentage of their income and therefore acceptable.
Secondly, a slightly varied form of investment. Suppose I own a property, can I rentit out to a conventional Bank or a Supermarket?
Answer: The primary business of supermarkets is the sale of groceries. Even so, the saleof wine and beer, and of pork and pork products, accounts for a significant part of theirincome. It is for this reason that supermarkets will not make an acceptable Islamicinvestment. On the other hand, a gas station with a small market attached to it, onein which beer and wine are sold, may become an acceptable investment because the primarybusiness is the sale of gasoline, and the revenues from beer and wine are minimal incomparison. Nonetheless, every effort must be made to purify your profits from the beerand wine business. If you own the gas station as a franchise, then you may have the rightto exclude the sale of beer and wine, and sell only soft drinks. This will be the bestsituation. If not, then you will be responsible for purifying the impure income by deductingit and distributing it to the poor and needy, as we explained in Lesson Six. The same willbe true if you buy stock in such a business.
The answer to your other question is that it is not lawful from a Shari`ah perspectiveto lease property to a conventional bank or a supermarket or to any other concern whoseprimary business is prohibited. If, however, you lease the property to a concern (like agas station) whose primary business is acceptable, but which derives additional incomefrom the sale of prohibited items, like beer, then such a lease will be acceptable; andthe sin will be the responsibility of the one who commits it.