Is It Permissible to Sit at a Table or in a Restaurant Where Alcohol Is Served and Consumed?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: 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?

Answer: It is sinful to accompany people of open sin and transgression unless one intends to prevent them or reproach them in that sin. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

The Western Context

In the western context, though many things that the 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 by excusing one’s self 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

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch