Effect of Haram Food and Haram Earnings

Jaabir (Radiyallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, "No meat (i.e. person) that was nourished with haraam will enter paradise. Every meat (i.e. person) that was nourished with haraam is more deserving of the Fire." (Musnad Ahmad, Daarami, Baihaqi; Mishkaatul Masaabih pg. 242, Qadeemi)

Abu Hurairah (Radiyallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, "Verily, Allah is Pure and He only accepts pure, and indeed Allah commanded the Believers what He commanded the Messengers. He said: O Messengers, eat of the pure things and perform righteous acts. Verily, I am Well-Aware of what you do. And He said O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided you with, and give thanks to Allah if Him it is that you serve. Then the narrator of the hadith says: Then he (i.e. the Prophet) made mention of a man who is constantly in journeys and has dishevelled hair and dusty appearance (due to constant journeys for performing acts of righteousness such as Hajj, Umra, seeking knowledge etc.) and he raises his hands towards the sky saying "O my Rabb. O my Rabb". But his food is from haraam. His drink is from haraam. His clothes are from haraam. He is nourished from haraam. How can it (his prayer) be accepted?" (Muslim; Mishkaatul Masaabih pg. 241, Qadeemi)

Ibn Masood (Radiyallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, "A slave (of Allah) who acquires haraam wealth and gives charity from it, it is not accepted from him. If he spends from it, he does not have any blessing (barakah) in it. If he leaves it behind him (i.e. he dies) it will be a means of taking him to the fire (of Hell). Verily, Allah does not wipe out evil deed with evil deed; instead, He wipes out evil deed with good deed. Indeed, the repulsive does not wipe out the repulsive." (Musnad Ahmad, Sharh As-sunnah; Mishkaatul Masaabih pg. 242, Qadeemi)

Mulla Ali Qaari (Rahimahullah) while explaining "Verily, Allah does not wipe out evil deed with evil deed" writes, "It means that giving charity of the haraam wealth is evil and Allah does not wipe out evil deeds with evil deeds. In fact, some of our scholars have said that whoever gives charity of haraam wealth and thereby hopes to receive rewards, commits an act of kufr. And if the poor person (who received the haraam wealth) knows (that it is haraam wealth) and yet he makes dua for him, he (also) commits an act of kufr." (Mirqaatul Mafaatih: 6/23, Maktaba Rasheediya)

From the abovementioned ahaadith, the seriousness of acquiring haraam wealth becomes clear. And from the passage cited above and the hadith before it, it becomes clear that by giving away the haraam wealth in charity, one is not absolved of the sin. Therefore, by you selling the car and donating or giving away the money, the problem will not be solved.

What must you do to rid yourself of the burden of the sin?

You must either return the money that you acquired unlawfully back to the rightful owners, or you must seek their pardon. If the original owners have died, then you must return the money to their heirs (or seek their pardon). If the haraam money was such that its owners are unknown (such as in the case of interest money or money attained through gambling), then you must give away the amount in charity without the intention of receiving rewards.

You must do the above immediately, as there is no guarantee of life. Along with that, you must also do sincere tauba (repentance). Your tauba will not be valid without giving the money back to the rightful owners or seeking their pardon if it is possible to do so. (See: Ar-Rasail Az-Zainiya pg. 372, Darus Salam)

Remember that the issue of unlawfully taking others rights is not a small issue that can be ignored; instead it is a grave issue. Consider the following hadith:

Abu Huraira (Radiyallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has said, "Whoever has committed a wrong against his brother in regards to his honour or anything else, should get it settled today, before the time comes when there is no Dinar or Dirham (i.e. the Day of Judgment). If he has good deeds then it will be taken away from him according to the extent of wrong he committed (and given to the wronged). If he does not have any good deeds, then the bad deeds of the other person (i.e. the wronged) will be given to him to bear." (Bukhari, hadith 2269)

Also, do not think that committing an act of injustice against a Non-Muslim is not a big deal. In fact, the Jurists have expressly stated that committing an act of injustice against a Non-Muslim is more severe than committing an act of injustice against a Muslim. That is because a Non-Muslim who was wronged, on the Day of Judgement, will not let go of his right and forgive the Muslim (as he cannot receive any rewards in lieu of it) and he will instead firmly demand his right so that the Muslim may be punished along with him. The Muslim who unlawfully took the wealth of the Non-Muslim cannot give him his good deeds to pay him back (as Non-Muslims cannot receive good deeds) and therefore the sins of the Non-Muslim (besides the sin of kufr) will be given to the Muslim and he will be punished for it. Hence, one should not think that taking the rights of a Non-Muslim is not a big deal