Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I am a Muslim convert living in Napa Valley. I am the co-executive director of a children’s theatre. Recently, our fundraising efforts have begun to include events that may contain alcohol which is very congruent (unfortunately) with the culture here.
As a Muslim, I have been taught that I cannot have anything to do with alcohol. Suppose the theatre board decides to create a fundraising arm within our bylaws that can receive donations from events where alcohol is present (donated by our board members or provided by another source). Should I recuse myself from all fundraising meetings and activities? Including attending events where alcohol is present.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not sit at a table where wine is being drunk.” [Ahmad]
Based on the Prophet’s teaching above (may Allah bless him and give him peace), it is unlawful for a Muslim to knowingly and willingly partake in, support, or promote an event where they expect to be amidst alcohol drinking, let alone contamination, and Allah knows best. Therefore, recusing yourself from such events would be best if you have a choice.
Keeping Away from the Dubious
Nu‘man Ibn Bashir (Allah be pleased with him) relates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say: “Indeed, the lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear. Between them are unclear matters that most don’t know about. So whoever avoids the unclear has safeguarded their religion and honor.
And whoever falls into the unclear falls into the unlawful. This is like a shepherd who grazes their flock around a sanctuary, such that it is feared that these folk will end up trespassing.
Indeed, every king has a sanctuary, and Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions.
Indeed, in the body is a morsel of flesh that, if sound, the entire body is sound; if corrupted, the entire body is corrupted. Indeed, it is the heart.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
The scholars tell us, “In the lawful, there is complete sufficiency from the unlawful.”
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.