Islam and the Quran

Selling Intoxicants in non-Islamic Countries

Question: I own a buffet restaurant in Germany. What is the ruling on selling alcoholic drinks in a non-Islamic country?

Although the place you live in is a non-Islamic country, it is not permissible to sell alcoholic drinks there. The orders and prohibitions of God does not vary depending on the countries! An act that is forbidden by religion in one country can not be lawful in another. All the forbidden things by religion are forbidden everywhere.

In addition, while the Almighty God prohibits intoxicants, He does not decree “do not drink” or “do not use”, but uses a much more broad-range expression, “keep away from them”.

God has decreed:

“Oh you who believe! Intoxicants, gambling, idols, arrows for seeking the future or luck are all abominations, the work of the Devil. So, keep away from them that you may attain what you hope for.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:90)

To keep away from something is “to refrain or prevent from coming near”. Someone who does not drink, but sells it in the shop or does any other acts that are banned in the hadith, does not fulfill the command of “keeping away”.


Here is a narration by Anas (r.a.):

“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed ten involved in intoxicants: The one who produces it, the one who has it produced, its drinker, its carrier, and the one it is carried to, its server, its trader, consumption of the income from it, the one who purchases it and the one it was purchased for.” (Tirmidhi, Buyu, 59)

With these verses and hadiths leading, Muslims should pay attention to the lawful and forbidden things (halal and haraam) everywhere they live and pay heed to fulfilling the commands of God all the time.

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