Can I Stay at Hotels That Serve Pork and Alcohol?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question:

Is it permissible/ok to stay at star hotels (for holidays), knowing most of them serve pork or have alcohol on their menus? And it is very, very difficult to be sure if these hotels use separate utensils for pork, etc.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. May Allah bless you for your concern for the permissible. This is at the heart of seeking mindfulness (taqwa) of Allah Most High, which is a key to guidance and good. Fuel this concern with a commitment to seek knowledge–for clarity, confidence, and facilitation, without undue hardship or difficulty.

It is permissible to stay in hotels that have some haram offerings because the service you’re paying for–staying in a hotel room–is permissible.

If one has a choice, one chooses what is most wholesome and upright–but our religion gives us practical guidelines to live the high values and principles of our religion.

The General Principle: The Primary Purpose and Your Intent
In general, it is permitted to buy any product or pay for a service if (a) the primary purpose of the product or service is permissible; and (b) your intent is to use it in a permissible manner, without fear of falling into the impermissible. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Hamawi/Ibn Nujaym, Hashiya al-Ashbah]

Beyond this, you aren’t held responsible to secondary elements and possible impermissible uses; and this isn’t considered from assistance in sin.

Making Wholesome Choices
When there are ready alternatives, it is recommended to choose the ones free of the impermissible and blameworthy–and disliked, if these ready alternatives are feasible, to choose the ones with the impermissible elements.

In all this, one dislikes the impermissible and keeps far away from it.

What About the Utensils?
The washing of the cutlery washes away any filth from impermissible food or drink. Thus, the cutlery is pure (tahir). Doubts are to be ignored. The Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) said, “Those who go to excesses ruin themselves.”

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center