Muslims living in a non-Muslim country are often invited to events where people are drinking. This is not permissible but some scholars permit it if a Muslim fears some adverse effect or hope to tell about Islam.

Sitting at Table Where Wine is Served

Similar Questions 

· Sitting with people drinking intoxicants.
   · Attending social gatherings where intoxicants are served.
   · Attending dinner parties with wine being served.

The Issue

It happens sometimes that when a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country attends meetings, seminars and parties organized by non-Muslims, at universities or at the workplace, one has to sit at a table where drinks are served. It is often very difficult for a Muslim to avoid such situations.


The first view is expressed by the late Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz. He said that it is not permissible for a Muslim to sit with people drinking wines unless he makes clear his disapproval. If they do not accept, he should leave them.[1]
The second view is expressed by some contemporary scholars who make clear that the normal ruling is that it is forbidden to sit with someone drinking intoxicants. However, if a Muslim fears some adverse reaction should he refuse to attend a function or decline an invitation, he may attend. This also applies when a Muslim hopes that by accepting his neighbour’s invitation, he may be able to advise him and to tell him about Islam.


This situation comes under the rules that allow the lesser evil or accept the lesser harm in order to repel a greater one.

The benefit of an unbeliever becoming a Muslim is much greater than the evil of being in the company of a person drinking wine. Thus, if a Muslim feels that the host has a genuine desire to know about Islam he may accept his invitation, even though the unbeliever will be drinking wine. 


· Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz, Majmu[ Fatawa Ibn Baz, edited by Muhammad al-Shuway’ir.
   · Mut’ib al-Qahtani (ed.), Is'af al-Mughtaribin bi Fatawa al-'Ulama’ al-Rabbaniyyin.
   · Khalid Abd al-Qadir, Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah.


  1. A. Ibn Baz, Majmu[ Fatawa Ibn Baz, vol. 23, pp. 60–1.