Attending Events Where Alcohol Is Served

Question and answer details
Abdur Rahman
Dear respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. I live and work in Australia and Alhamdulilah, we have plenty of facilities to practice Islam. There are many Muslim suburbs too, where masjids, halal shops, halal butcheries, etc., are around the corner.However, when it comes to work (most of the professionals and skilled workers) work in the city and mingle with or have many non Muslim friends and often they have parties, functions, BBQ, etc.Similarly, sometimes, we are invited for parties/events/functions at non-Muslim friends' houses too. In most of these functions, parties, BBQ, etc., alcohol, non-halal food, etc., are served. Though they understand our values/stand and most of the time they accommodate and make arrangements to cater to our needs/values, they will still be consuming alcohol, non-halal food, etc.The question: Is it allowed in Shari`ah to participate in such occasions so that we do not hurt their feelings/friendship? Jazakamullah Khair.
On Islam Shari`ah Researchers

Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother, thank you for your question that shows your interest to know more about Islam, to keep stick to its teachings and rulings and to carry out your religious duties.

First of all, let us thank Allah Almighty that Muslims in Australia can freely practice their religious duties with all the facilities you have mentioned. May Allah the Exalted grant you, and Muslims all over the world, ease in applying Shari`ah and practising their religion.

Second, let us state that Muslims are ordained not to consume the unlawful (haram) foods and drinks such as alcohol, pork, ham, etc.

Moreover, Muslims in the Muslim-minority societies are highly encouraged to participate in the social activities and to be as active and influential as they can provided that they keep stick to the rulings of Shari`ah. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an, “Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.” (Al-Mumtahanah, 60: 8)

As for the occasions where unlawful (haram) foods and drinks are served, there nothing wrong in participating in these occasions, as long as Muslims don’t eat or drink any of them. Also, a Muslim should not sit on a table on which alcohol—or haram drinks for foods—is consumed.

It is recommended in Islam not to hurt people’s feelings (e.g., by refusing their invitations) even if they are non-Muslims. Also, it may be a good chance through these occasions to show people the true Islamic morals and values. So, we advise Muslims who are invited to such occasions to attend them with this intention in order to show good practice of their religious duties.

Moreover, Muslims, in such communities, can create a common style for themselves; that is to say: they don’t drink alcohol and do not eat ham or pork. With the time passing, it would be recognized by most people that Muslims have a unique style in foods and drinks. So, if anyone wishes to invite some Muslims to such occasions, they would prepare special (halal) foods and drinks for them. This way, Muslims will follow the rulings of the Shari`ah and make good relations with the members of their community.

Allah Almighty knows best.