Q & A

Mufti of Brunei_on alcohol

Fatwa_The Mufti of Brunei[1]

§ 7. Food: Attending functions where alcohol is served

  • Points:
  1. Islam is a sensible and peaceful religion.[2]
  2. There are recognised areas Islamic Law seeks to preserve, e.g. life, property, religion, the mind, lineage, good name, etc.[3]
  3. Alcohol is forbidden through explicit texts.[4]
  4. It is considered one of the major sins (al-kaba’ir).[5]
  5. No possibility in relaxing the strict rule on alcohol.[6]
  6. There are many implications connected to the ruling on alcohol[7] which include:


    • Drinking it.
    • Pressing it.
    • Requesting it to be pressed.
    • Carrying it.
    • Requesting it to be carried.
    • Serving it.
    • Requesting it to be consumed.
    • Selling it.
    • Buying it.
    • Requesting it to be bought and sold.
    • Utilising the money from it.
    • Storing it
    • Owning it.[8]

Thus, sitting down or being present near alcohol is expressly forbidden.

  1. This is made explicit in wording by the following narrations:[9]


Narration 1:  

من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فلا يشرب الخمر من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فلا يجلس على مائدة يشرب عليها الخمر

“Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should not drink wine and whoever believes in Allah and the last day should not sit on a table where alcohol is drunk.”[10]
 Narration 2:  

من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فلا يقعدن على مائدة يدار عليها بالخمر

“Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should not sit at a table where alcohol is served.”[11]


  1. The narrations therefore explicitly forbid the believer from being present where alcohol is served.[12]
  2. This also implies events where one knowingly attends functions, events or places where alcohol is served.[13]
  • Note:
  1. Some textual points related to the hadith:


من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر

“…whoever believes in Allah and the last day…” = linking the matter with doctrine (i.e. belief in Allah and the Last Day) which would be a contextual indication that it is serious.

فلا يقعدن 

“…do not sit…” = implies being near or next to alcohol. The double vowelling on the letter nun [] indicates emphasis (al-tawkid) hence doubly affirming not to sit when alcohol is being served.

يشرب عليها الخمر

“…where alcohol is drunk…” = explicit wording for the prohibition of being at a table with alcohol being consumed.

يدار عليها بالخمر

“…where alcohol is served…” = explicit wording for the prohibition of in a place where it is served.[14]


  1. There are numerous opinions on the grading of this hadith which has various transmission routes:
  1. Therefore, there is disagreement over the isnad of the hadith.
  2. If one is not convinced by the grading of the hadith as sound, then caution or scrupulosity (wara`) would dictate that being as far away from alcohol is advisable just as keeping as far away from any major sin is advisable.[22]
  3. This point is related to the notion shubha (‘doubtful matters’) where the place in which one person is committing an unlawful act does not in any way implicate another who has no intention to be an accomplice in the act.[23]


And Allah knows best.


[1] Shaykh Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned Mufti of Brunei, Fatwa of the State Mufti 1994-1995, §7, Q.1, pp.71-76.

[2] Fatwa, p.71.

[3] Ibid, p.71.

[4] Ibid, pp.72-74.

[5] Ibid, p.72.

[6] Ibid, p.75.

[7] See Ibn Hajar al-Haythami’s al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir, pp.189-193 cited in N. H. M. Keller, The Reliance of the Traveller, pp.977.

[8] Fatwa, p.74.

[9] Ibid, pp.75-76.

[10] Narrated by al-Tabarani from `Abd Allah b. `Abbas as in Majma` al-Zawa’id of al-Haythami, 1:283.

[11] See the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, 1/78 (= Shakir’s edition) from `Abd Allah b. `Abbas.

[12] Fatwa, p.76.

[13] Ibid, p.76.

[14] This has the possible connotation that even if no-one is actually drinking alcohol, it would still be prohibited to be present.

[15] Ibn Hibban, Kitab al-Majruhin, 2:274.

[16] See Abu Dawud, Sunan, no.3774 and al-Albani, Irwa’ al-Ghalil, no.1982.

[17] By Imam Ibn al-Mulaqqin, al-Badr al-Munir, 8:19; al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Talkhis al-Habir, 3:1228; Imam al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar, 6:331 and Ahmad Shakir in his notes to the Musnad.

[18] See al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Saghir, 3:87.

[19] See al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, 9:158 and al-San`ani, Subul al-Salam, 3:245 from Jabir b. `Abd Allah.

[20] See al-Sa`di, Nawafih al-`Itra, 428; al-Albani, Irwa’ al-Ghalil, no.1949, idem, Sahih Abi Dawud, no.3774, idem, Sahih al-Targhib wa ’l-Tarhib, no.167, 172 & 2360 from `Abd Allah b. `Umar, Silsilat Ahadith al-Sahiha, no.2394, idem, Mishkat al-Masabih, no.4403 from Jabir b. `Abd Allah and idem, Ghayat al-Maram, p.64 from `Umar b. al-Khattab.

[21] See al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (hasan gharib), no.2801; al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami`,no.6506 from `Abd Allah b. `Umar and Sahih al-Tirmidhi, no.2801.

[22] Fatwa, §7, Q.4, p.80.

[23] Ibid, p.82.


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