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Last Updated: 2010/03/28
Summary of question
Is it permissible to serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants in the west?
I am 37, have 2 daughters and have been living in Brussels for 25 years. I have bought a house with the help of a bank and other fees. My question is about my work. I have been working in a restaurant in Brussels as a waiter for 11 years. I serve alcoholic beverages to western men and women. As a Muslim with all the expenses I have, I ask you first to tell me if this situation is acceptable or not, because I think about it and can't decide. Secondly, what about the money I earn? What is my position in the Islamic world? What will the consequences be for my life and my children if there are any?
Concise answer

The dignity of Muslims around the world depends on their adherence to their religion’s laws and devotement to Islam, and they must strive to remain committed to the pact they have made with Allah (swt).

Some of the maraje’ have stated that if it is possible, one must change his/her job, or at least work in another part of the restaurant, but if finding another job is very taxing, you can continue your current one to the extent that is necessary and sufficient.[1]

In any case, it is haram to serve haram food and alcoholic beverages to others and the wage given in exchange for such is haram, unless there is a great need and necessity for the job and its pay. Therefore, in other than certain extenuating circumstances where one has no choice but to continue the job, such a job is haram. Also, if you can, it is better to observe precaution as much as possible in this case, because of the negative impacts haram money or food purchased with it can have on the soul.

[1] See: Question 5066 (website: 6208) (Working in a place where alcoholic beverages are served).

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