The move taken by Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to ban Muslims from working at outlets that sell liquor has caused different opinions amongst people. This confusion occurs due to misunderstanding of the Islamic ruling related to this issue.
We can see that non-Muslims understand that Muslims cannot drink liquor. However, in their opinion, it is alright for Muslims to get involved in any business related to liqour as long as they do not drink it.
There is clear scripture that explains this matter. Prophet Muhammad said: Allah has cursed intoxicants, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one who demands it to be pressed, its carrier, the one to whom it is conveyed and the one who consumes its price (recorded in Sunan Abi Daud).
This hadith clearly shows that a Muslim is not allowed to be involved in any activity that requires them to prepare, sell, buy, bring, and produce anything that is related to liquor.
In Islam, drinking liquor is an evil action. Due to that, if Muslims are involved in the liquor business, it means they are helping other people to partake in an evil action. That is clearly against what is written in the Quran. Allah said in the Quran: And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty [Quran 5:2].
This question might occur in our mind. How about those who work in shopping complexes or outlets like 7 Eleven that sell non-halal products and liquor? This question has been answered by the World Islamic Jurisprudence Committee: if a Muslim cannot find work that is permissible according to syariah, he may work in restaurants run by non-Muslims, so long as he himself does not directly deal with the pouring of wine or carry it or make it or sell it.
The same applies to serving pork and other haram things. Due to that, those Muslims who work at shopping complex or outlets like 7 Eleven, should not involve themselves in serving liquor. The owner of the outlet should provide separate counters for prohibited items like liquor, pork and so on, and only non-Muslim worker should be allowed to work at those counters.
For Muslims, they should know that there are so many jobs that will not require them to do perform prohibited actions. We can see how a single mother can support her family by selling nasi lemak, goreng pisang and so on. Can’t we see how a man supports his family by doing ‘dirty’ jobs like collecting rubbish and so on? These kinds of jobs are ‘holier’ than getting involved in liquor activities.