Assalamualaikum wrm, wbt,
What is the ruling of working in seven eleven and speed mart that sells alcoholic beverages?
Waalaikumussalam wrm wbt,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.
Surah al-Maidah (90)
Imam Ibn Kathir commented on the above verse stating a narration from Abdurrahim bin Ghanm RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:
وإن الخمر حرام وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ، وَإِنَّ الْخَمْرَ حَرَامٌ وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ، وَإِنَّ الْخَمْرَ حَرَامٌ وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ
“And indeed, alcoholic beverages are prohibited and the sale of it is prohibited too, and indeed alcoholic beverages are prohibited and the sale of it is prohibited too, and indeed alcoholic beverages are prohibited and the sale of it is prohibited too,”
Musnad Ahmad (17995). Syuaib al-Arnauth state the hadith is sahih li ghairih.
Hence, for a mukmin he should be conscious of Allah SWT and avoid from being involved in any type of work that is related to alcoholic beverages. This is supported with a hadith from Anas bin Malik RA:
لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الخَمْرِ عَشَرَةً: عَاصِرَهَا، وَمُعْتَصِرَهَا، وَشَارِبَهَا، وَحَامِلَهَا، وَالمَحْمُولَةُ إِلَيْهِ، وَسَاقِيَهَا، وَبَائِعَهَا، وَآكِلَ ثَمَنِهَا، وَالمُشْتَرِي لَهَا، وَالمُشْتَرَاةُ لَهُ
"The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed ten involved in wine: The one who presses it, the one who has it pressed, its drinker, its carrier, and the one it is carried to, its server, its seller, the consumption of its price, the one who purchases it and the one it was purchased for."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (1295)
However, if the source of the income is a mixed of from what is permissible and prohibited, then accepting the wage is not prohibited for it is uncertain as to the source of it is prohibited. Imam al-Suyuti discusses the general Islamic legal maxim:
اليَقِيْنُ لَا يُزَالُ بِالشَّكِّ
“Certainty cannot be removed by doubt.”
He includes the explanation of Syeikh Abu Hamid al-Isfirayni where he state, it cannot be ascertained as to whether the original source is prohibited or not, “It is akin to a transaction with a person whose majority of his wealth is from the prohibited but for the specific payment he is making, the source cannot be ascertained, then the transaction or trade with him is not prohibited for there is a possibility that it is from the permissible although it cannot be ascertained, but it is makruh (undesirable) to take it for it is feared that it is from the prohibited.” Refer al-Asybah wa al-Nazair (1/74-75).
Hence, in our opinion, working in 7 eleven, speed mart or others that also sell alcoholic beverages are as the following:
- If the income is from the sale of both from the permissible and the prohibited, then the wage is not prohibited but makruh (undesirable).
- If the worker himself is involved with the sale; he is working as the cashier, then it is prohibited, although its prohibition is not the same as drinking it. Syeikh Mulla Ali al-Qari in al-Mirqah Sharh al-Misykah, in explaining the hadith regarding usury states: “All of them is sinful but there is a difference in its degree.”
- It is best to separate between the counters of the permissible and prohibited, according to the workers on shift and this is the responsibility of the employers, protecting the welfare of their Muslim workers.
We also advise to try and find work where there are no elements of doubt, for it is safer and calms one’s heart. So true is the words of the Prophet PBUH:
فَمَنِ اتَّقَى الشُّبُهَاتِ اسْتَبْرَأَ لِدِينِهِ، وَعِرْضِهِ
“So, he who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and his honour blameless.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (52) and Sahih Muslim (20)
Thus, by finding permissible sources and avoiding doubtful matters, then surely, we will gain goodness and blessings in our lives.