Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Is it permissible to sit at a table or in a restaurant where alcohol is served and consumed? Also, how do we apply this ruling in the context of western countries?
It is sinful to accompany people of open sin and transgression unless one intends to prevent them or reproach them in that sin. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
The Western Context
In the western context, though many things that Muslims do not partake in are common, we find that there are many alternatives. It is not farfetched to meet friends and colleagues at a coffee shop or a restaurant that does not serve alcohol.
One must use wisdom in these matters. For example, being the first to suggest the meeting place or, if necessary, excusing oneself in a very tactful manner. If one is frank and straightforward, with a respectable and dignified approach, it is usually taken well and with respect. For example, “Sorry, but as a Muslim, I would prefer we go somewhere where alcohol is not served.”
May Allah bless you
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.