Working in a Café Selling Wine and Alcohol
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Saadia Malik

I have a friend in the UK. He is Pakistani and lives there with his family. The problem is that my friend’s family is unable to afford his college expenses as they help him in only with food and clothing. He has to pay his college fees, for which, he has tried his best to get a job. After a long struggle, the only one he has is in a café, which is selling wine and alcohol. Would it be harām (prohibited) for him to work in such a place, considering he has been unable to get a job any place else?


One cannot declare something as harām unless it is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’ān. The Word of Allah says that consumption of alcohol, as an edible, is harām, when taken in its intoxicating form. I would be trespassing my boundaries by telling you that it is harām for your friend to work in such a place. However, the Qur’ān (5:3) has directed us to not co-operate against evil if we are able to.

Thus your friend should only work in such a café if he has no other option. In case he has earnestly searched for other venues as seems to be the case, and it is out of utter necessity that he has accepted such an employment opportunity, I would sympathize with his circumstances, and on the same, keep reminding him to immediately shift to another job as soon as he gets one – without any delay.

In short, your friend should continue to work if it is a deciding factor between education or not, which is an important and valuable asset for every person, but as soon as he discovers a more desirable means of income, he should give up his current job. Meanwhile, he should pray and stay determined not to consume any amount of alcohol.

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