There are two views on the subject of working in places serving wine or pork. The first prohibits it unless in case of necessity provided that he doesn't deal with forbidden items. The other just prohibits it. 

Working in Restaurants and Places Offering Wines, Pork and Other Forbidden Foodstuff

Similar Questions

  • Work in places serving some forbidden products;

  • Work that involves handling what is forbidden.

The Issue

A Muslim may work in shops, supermarkets and restaurants  in non-Muslim countries which serve some forbidden foodstuff, such as wines, pork and other drinks and meat. The work may require him to wash boards, plates and saucepans where pork is prepared, cooked or served. As he may be unable to find employment except in such places, is it permissible for him to do such work to make a living?


Contemporary scholars have expressed two different views on this question:

The first view makes it unlawful for a Muslim to work in shops, supermarkets and restaurants which offer or serve any forbidden products. However, if a Muslim cannot find a job that is lawful from the Islamic point of view then he may work in such a place, provided that he does not serve, carry, brew, make or sell the wine or other forbidden products himself. He should also be unhappy with this work and resolve to leave it as soon as he can find alternative employment.

This view is stated in Decision 23 (11-3) of the Islamic Fiqh Council and Decision 12-5 of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. The Assembly’s decision says that there is no objection to work as a guard or cleaner, or do similar jobs in such shops and restaurants, but it is discouraged for a Muslim to wash plates and glasses that are used to serve forbidden items.


This verdict of prohibition relies on the fact that such work helps evil and aggression, and giving such help is forbidden. Permissibility in the case of not being able to find another job is based on need and necessity, as well as the rule that says that necessity is considered on its own merits.

The ruling of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America that it is permissible to do guard and cleaning duties in such places relies on the fact that such work does not include any forbidden duties such as selling, carrying, preparing and serving the forbidden items. The discouragement of doing the washing up of plates and cups used to serve forbidden items is based on the issue that such works give indirect help in promoting what is forbidden.

The second view declares that it is not permissible to work in shops that sell wines or pork or similar products under any circumstances. The same applies to washing plates and cups used in handling such forbidden articles. This argument reasons that there is no necessity to compel anyone to do such work, God’s earth is spacious and Muslim countries are numerous. As a result types of work which Islam permits are numerous in such countries and a Muslim should remain with the Muslim community in the country where permissible work is plentiful. This is the ruling of the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa and Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthaimeen.[1]


This type of work comes under the heading of furthering evil and aggression, which God has forbidden.

He says:

‘Help one another in furthering righteousness and piety and do not help one another in furthering evil and aggression. Have fear of God, for God is severe in retribution.’

(5: 2)

Moreover, there is no necessity that compels a Muslim to take up such a job, as he can move to another country where permissible work is available.

God says:

‘For everyone who fears God, He will grant a way out, and will provide for him whence he does not expect. God will be sufficient for everyone who puts his trust in Him. God always attains His purpose. God has set a measure for everything.’

(65: 2–3)

He also says:

‘For everyone who is God-fearing, God makes things easy.’

(65: 4)

Jabir ibn 'Abdullah reports that he heard the Prophet say in Makkah when it fell to Islam,

‘God has forbidden the sale of wines, carrion, pig meat and idols.’

(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)


  • Decisions of the Islamic Fiqh Council.

  • Fatawa al-Da'wah, a selection of fatwas by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthaimeen.

  • Mut’ib al-Qahtani (ed.), Is'af al-Mughtaribin bi Fatawa al-'Ulama’ al-Rabbaniyyin.

  • Fatawa by The Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.

  • Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Sina'at al-Fatwa wa Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat.

  • Khalid Abd al-Qadir, Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah.


  1. Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, vol. 22, p. 100; Ibn Uthaimeen, Fatawa al-Da'wah, vol. 3, p. 158.