#479: Working in a Convenience Store that Sells Liquor


Assalamualaikum w.b.t. What is the ruling of working in a convenience store that also sells liquor as an additional income? Hope for an explanation.



Waalaikumussalam w.b.t.

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

Liquor is najis and it is a major sin if one is involved in any activity related to it. It is obligatory for Muslims to avoid it and this is the commandment of Allah SWT in his statement:

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.” [1]

Ibn Kathir when commenting on this verse presented a narration from Abdurrahim bin Ghanm RA, Rasullullah PBUH said:

وإنَّ الخَمرَ حَرامٌ وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ، وَإِنَّ الْخَمْرَ حَرَامٌ وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ، وَإِنَّ الْخَمْرَ حَرَامٌ وَثَمَنُهَا حَرَامٌ

“And indeed, intoxicant and the profit from it is prohibited, indeed, intoxicant and the profit from it is prohibited, indeed, intoxicant and the profit from it is prohibited,” [2]

Hence, a believer should have taqwa towards Allah and avoid getting involved with any work or occupation related to liquor or intoxicants. This is strengthened with the hadith 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

“God’s Messenger cursed ten people in connection with wine: The wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.” [3]

Al-Marhum Syeikh Atiyah al-Saqr when asked regarding a person working in the sector that contributes to the sale of liquor answered:

“And a person giving others liquor to drink will receive the same sin as stated in the hadith. Regardless of whether or not he is fine with the act of sin or otherwise, he’ll be punished with the same punishment as the ones who committed the sin. Or he is just helping with the sin. Whoever helps with a sinful matter, he’ll be sinful the same way.”[4]

Hence, the occupation is prohibited, for it is helping in the production of liquor. Where it is prohibited by Allah SWT. An Islamic legal maxim states:

كُلّ مَا أدّى إِلى حَرَامٍ فَهُوَ حَرَام

“Anything that leads to haram, then it is also haram (the ruling for it).”

According to this maxim, helping in matters that are prohibited by Allah SWT is also considered a sin. This is strengthened by the statement of Allah SWT:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [5]

However, if the income of a person is mixed between halal and haram, then accepting it is not prohibited because there is an uncertainty that the money is sourced from the prohibited. Imam al-Suyuti when discussing the Islamic legal maxim:

اليَقِيْنُ لَا يُزَالُ بِالشَّكِّ

“Certainty cannot be abrogated with doubt.”

He included it as a benefit, the explanation of Syeikh Abu Hamid al-Isfirayni regarding the category of doubtful matters where it is unknown or the source cannot be determined, “Such as doing a transaction with a person whose majority of his wealth is sourced from prohibited matters and it cannot be ascertained that the wealth is sourced from prohibited matter, then the trade transaction is not prohibited because there is a possibility that the source is halal and the haram source cannot be ascertained, however, it is makruh to take it for the concern that one may fall into haram matters.[6]


Thus, our opinion on the issue of working in a convenience store such as 7-eleven, Speed Mart or others that sell liquor:

  • If their income is from the profit of sales from both halal and prohibited items, then it is not haram but makruh.
  • If the worker is directly involved in the sale such as he works as the cashier for the transaction, then it is haram even when it is a lesser haram compared to drinking it. Syeikh Mulla Ali al-Qari in al-Mirqah Syarh al-Misykah when explaining the hadith regarding usury said: “They are the same in terms of sin but different in terms of its level.[7]
  • It is best to strive and try one’s best to separate the counters for halal and haram items, or in accordance with the workers and this is the responsibility of concerned employers towards the welfare of their Muslim workers.
  • We also suggest that one should find a job where there aren’t any elements of syubhah (doubt), for it will be more peaceful and calming. So true are 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.” [8]

  • Hence, by seeking halal sources and distancing oneself from doubts, it will surely result in goodness and blessings in one’s life.

May Allah SWT grant us a true understanding in this religion and protect us from ever getting involved in activities related to liquor.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Surah al-Maidah: 90

[2] Narrated by Ahmad in Musnad (17995). Syeikh Syuaib al-Arnaut in Takhrij al-Musnad (17995) stated that this hadis is sahih li ghairih.

[3] Narrated by al-Tirmidzi (1295)

[4] See Ahsan al-Kalam Fi al-Fatawa wa al-Ahkam, 3/186

[5] Surah al-Maidah: 2

[6] See al-Asybah wa al-Nazair, 1/74-75

[7] See al-Mirqah al-Mafatih Syarh al-Misykah al-Masabih, 5/916

[8] Narrated by al-Bukhari (52) and Muslim (20)