Is Drinking and Serving Alcohol Equally Sinful?
The Dietary Shari‘ah
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

I have a question regarding drinking alcohol. Is it not allowed in Islam to sit and serve in company of the people who are drinking alcohol even when you are not drinking yourself? This situation is faced by many of the Muslims living abroad in non-Islamic countries.


We must know that Islam sees a crime and support in carrying out the crime as equal. There is virtually no difference if you drink or if you only serve to your friend to drink. To my mind, the latter crime is more heinous and despicable since it sets the other person at ease and makes him comfortable with his crime. It is for this reason that the Holy Qur’ān has warned us not to help each other with evil but what is good and righteous.

Cooperate with each other in matters of piety and obedience; and do not cooperate with others in matters of sin and transgression. (5: 2)

However, there are two aspects to the question that you have put forth. In the first instance, a person may be doing what you have mentioned of his own accord. And in the second, he may have been placed in such a situation out of compelling circumstances. Although in both cases, it is not desirable to extend your help in any manner, it is hoped that the Ever Merciful Creator will surely make allowances for the person related to the second category. He should keep praying to the Lord to help him and provide him with an alternative. This prayer and his consciousness of evil will help retain his faith and also the wish to tread the right path.

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