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.. or does this Islamic thinking on alcohol seem pointless?

(212 Posts)
DefinitelyMaybePossibly Wed 13-Dec-17 22:57:18

A group of us from work went out for lunch today. One of our group asked if we were drinking alcohol, because if we were, our Muslim colleague couldn't come. It wasn't an issue because none of us were. Since we went to a restaurant where all customers, even if in separate groups sit around the same long tables, other customers on our table were consuming alcohol. AIBU to think it's a bit pointless theologically to make a point of only coming if your group don't drink alcohol when others sitting as close or even closer are drinking?

I have been out with other muslim friends and alcohol consumption hasn't been an issue. So perhaps someone with an Islamic background can explain the theological thinking here.

theimportanceofbeinghappy Wed 13-Dec-17 23:07:21

I know what you mean. I don't understand why their own doctrines don't just apply to them...why do the rest of the party need to adhere too?

While I support people's religious beliefs, if someone said that to me and I had chosen to drink alcohol then it would be a case of "oh well we'll miss you!" No way would I be dictated to!

Phosphorus Wed 13-Dec-17 23:10:54

I've never met a Muslim who had an issue with anyone else drinking alcohol.

People generally take a 'live and let live' approach.

BunsOfAnarchy Wed 13-Dec-17 23:14:38

I cant explain the theological aspect as im not muslim but i actually think this is more a mixture of both religion and personal preference. Maybe they've had a bad experience of someone consuming alcohol in their group before and it's not ended well. It could be something they personally just don't want to be a part of or be around if it's in their party of friends. Which is fine. They wont be talking or socialising with the other people in the restaurant, so it's not an issue to them and also they probably don't want to go to the extreme of making you choose a venue which doesn't serve alcohol either, just for them. They will make the compromise so you don't have to.

I have had Muslim colleagues at work in the past, and if we ever went to the canteen together, or out for dinner after work I would never eat anything with ham or bacon because it made ME uncomfortable to do so in front of a Muslim friend. They weren't bothered in the slightest, and even made the point that they dont care what i eat when i sit with them. But it bothered me. Its just how i am. It doesn't kill me to go for a different option. I just feel more comfortable that way.
Each to their own. I wouldn't read to much into it. Like I said they made the compromise rather than the rest having to.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:14:49

I have Muslim friends who drink - they just frown on getting drunk. And other friends who don't drink and won't buy it for others, but have no problem sitting with you while you do so. It's very open to interpretation.

bumpertobumper Wed 13-Dec-17 23:16:53

Was it the Muslim colleague who asked? Or someone else...?
From your op it seems like the latter but not totally clear. If this is the case it sounds like someone being over sensitive on behalf of your Muslim colleague, who most likely wouldn't have minded.

Originalfoogirl Wed 13-Dec-17 23:17:18

What does the Muslim colleague actually say about it?

kmc1111 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:17:38

I think your colleague just made their own weird assumption. I wouldn't believe it unless you hear the Muslim colleague actually say it, as there's no theological reason a Muslim can't be around others while they drink.

Most people I know who don't drink will try and avoid being around people getting plastered though, as its not exactly enjoyable being the sober one in a group of drunks.

LiquoricePickle Wed 13-Dec-17 23:18:35

We're you planning on all splitting the bill? Maybe they don't want to contribute towards alcohol?

BunsOfAnarchy Wed 13-Dec-17 23:19:38

I think your missing the point @theimportanceofbeinghappy
OP has not been dictated to. The muslim colleague has ASKED IF they are drinking alcohol. She has NOT TOLD them not to drink.
The colleague will have opted out of going to this they did drink. At which point has the Muslim colleague "made them adhere to her doctrine"?

LittleBirdBlues Wed 13-Dec-17 23:21:30

I think bunsofanarchy has it spot on.

The difference could be whether te colleague is socialising with people who are drinking alcohol, as opposed to just sitting next to them by chance.

Tapandgo Wed 13-Dec-17 23:21:37

I have ate with Muslims who had no issue with others drinking alcohol. I've known other Muslims who would not come to functions because alcohol was served to others. I know of Muslims who drink alcohol. I know of many Muslims who sell alcohol, but don't drink it.

Depends how each interpret their teachings, or how assimilated they are into the wider cultural norms.

Each to their own etc.

babba2014 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:23:35

I think some have got the wrong understanding?
In Islam the only forbidden thing is to drink it yourself. Muslims shouldn't sell it either (working in a supermarket is okay though, you're not making the decision to sell it yourself).

Maybe they just didn't want to go and used it as an excuse but in turn gave you the wrong understanding.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:23:58

I live and work in a city with a very very high Muslim population. At least 50% of my colleagues are Muslim and a good portion of my friends. I have never come across a Muslim that gives a damn what non Muslims do. They come on staff nights out, they celebrate Christmas and they serve up haram foods if the service users ask for it. They literally couldn't care less as long as you aren't trying to get them to eat/drink it.

I'd love to meet all these Muslims that people bang on about in the papers and occasionally on here.

annandale Wed 13-Dec-17 23:25:19

I have to say I'm really uncomfortable in groups where anyone is taking drugs, weed, ecstasy, you name it, I'm not comfortable with it and I don't know what to expect from them. Perhaps your colleague feels like that about alcohol. If the people in the group they were with weren't drinking, they'd know what behaviour to expect. Other people in the room aren't going to affect them so much, particularly if they are with a sober group.

Hohofortherobbers Wed 13-Dec-17 23:25:24

No its not the bill splitting, I have a Muslim colleague who has enforced an alcohol ban on our Christmas meal out for religious reasons, could understand it if we were out celebrating Eid, but adjusting Christmas celebrations to accommodate another religious requirement? Really?

babba2014 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:27:28

I'm a Muslim and I'd say if they were banning alcohol but attending a Christmas meal then what's the point? They should have just skipped the meal. We don't generally tell people what to do and what not to do (I'm a Muslim who wears the veil, and I find that odd!).

Tapandgo Wed 13-Dec-17 23:29:40

hoho - Curious to know how they 'enforced' a ban? Surely people could respond by not attending, or having an alternative function? I must admit they in no way I would be coerced by anybody else to attending my works do under those restrictions.

pisacake Wed 13-Dec-17 23:30:30

It seems fairly clear that Muslims should avoid occasions where others are drinking alcohol

islamqa.info/en/20959

"Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not sit at a table where wine is being drunk."

However it's obviously bonkers to ban alcohol at a Christmas dinner.

Smellylittleorange Wed 13-Dec-17 23:30:33

Why dont you research the Theology yourself? As great as Mumsnet is there are other sources of information that can give that wider holistic understanding.

user1497863568 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:30:46

It's not an issue here in Australia - I think some bigots like to pretend it is. Even if they don't drink personally, they don't opt out of social functions.

ChippingInLovesTheApprentice Wed 13-Dec-17 23:32:12

I have a Muslim colleague who has enforced an alcohol ban on our Christmas meal out for religious reasons

How did they do that?

They should have been told their choice was to come or not to come - that should have been the limit of her control over the situation.

yorkshireyummymummy Wed 13-Dec-17 23:33:18

Gosh. I wonder if my Roman Catholic friends/ family want me to remove my coil before eating with them.
I'm pleased to see this behaviour as described by the OP is unusual or no doubt political correctness would be banning alcohol to fit in with Islamic beliefs! ( and every Muslim I have ever known has always liked a bloody good drink! Maybe it's just obligatory InThe North!!)

nancy75 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:33:52

I’ve worked with lots of Muslim people o we the years, some did drink, some were happy to be there while others drank and one wouldn’t consider going anywhere that alcohol was served ( that was a fun Christmas meal to organise!) it is open to very broad interpretation

babba2014 Wed 13-Dec-17 23:34:19

Exactly... I'm not sure how one colleague can control a whole lot more?
I mean I grew up in London and it wouldn't be unusual for non Muslims to opt out of alcohol from people I knew at school and work without a Muslim even saying anything as they know they can enjoy a meal without it.... But I really can't imagine anyone I know to be banning alcohol. They'd just skip it.

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