When is it Allowed to Eat at Restaurants or Cafes That Sell Alcohol? – Shaikh al-Albani

Shaikh al-Albani rahimahullah said:

“…I believe that every Muslim, even in the lands of disbelief, is able to not sit at a table which alcohol is served. However, he is not able to not enter a restaurant or coffee shop [which serves them]. So then we say, Allah does not burden him with more than he can bear. So that which is necessary for the Muslim to observe always is that this [action] is evil and hated and he should hate it with the severest of hatred. This is from the angle of belief. Then from the angle of action, then he attempts to make differentiation even by last of affair. That is, it is possible to retreat to a place in the coffee shop or restaurant such that he does not sit with those who are drinking alcohol directly. However, with that, I imagine that there is space for a Muslim even in the lands of disbelief to lighten the affair. That is to look at the restaurant. Is the restaurant spacious such that there is space to retreat there, like in a corner far away from sharing a table with them? Or is the restaurant or coffee shop tight, crowded such that there is no differentiation from them in terms of what they are doing of haram. This is from the meaning of:

فاتقوا الله ما استطعتم

So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can


I believe the affair is clear?

Likewise, we heard that sometimes some companies, like the airlines, do not display alcohol to the passengers…”

[al-Mufarraqat no. 168]

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

Translator’s Note:

There are some coffee shops that now sell alcohol and will do so in the future, like Starbucks [see here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/starbucks-to-add-beer-and-wine-to-canadian-menu-1.2944863]. So this fatwa of the Shaikh rahimahullah is important in relation to both a restaurant and a cafe.

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