Do Muslims believe non-Muslims shouldn't drink?

To the best of my knowledge, the Muslims don’t believe you have to be a Muslim to go to Heaven. If you’re a Jew, Christian, or Sabian (whatever that is), you’re still one of the righteous. But do Muslims believe that non-Muslims need to obey specific Muslim laws, such as no alcohol and no pork? Jews believe that only Jews are constrained by Jewish law and that non-Jews only need to follow the seven Noahide laws, so the goyim can eat pork and lobster with a clear conscience. What’s the Muslim policy on this?

Drinking is tolerated in some muslim countries such as Egypt. In Saudi Arabia, it is forbidden to all. Diplomats bring the stuff in via diplomatic pouch and then peel the labels off the bottles and destroy them before discarding (this is heresay from some old friends of mine). However, I remember seeing Saudis in Cairo during Ramadan, whooping it up in the hotel bars.

During Ramadan? Wow, those guys were definitely not devout. In another thread (though I can’t remember which one), someone said that alcohol is sold in the duty-free shop in the Riyadh airport. Of course, anything you buy in a duty-free shop is for export only, but if the Saudis don’t like drinking even for foreigners, it seems a bit hypocritical.

Well, I assume it wouldn’t really matter. They believe alcohol is unhealthy and therefore it must not be consumed. So I suppose they believe that non-believers shouldn’t consume it either since it is unhealthy (the end justifies the means).

I’ve been to parties where Muslims served and drank alcohol. I’m aware of Muslim writings that indicate non-muslims don’t need to be alive, so I’m guessing they also think they shouldn’t drink.

People are people. Some follow the most orthodox rules of their belief, some go right ahead and dance after the snake handling.

Does it actually even say in the Koran that you musnt drink alcohol?

No alcohol, no duty free at KKIA (King Khalid International Airport) in Riyadh. They do have beer here…Non-Alcoholic of course.

Turkey even brews it’s own beer.

But Turkey is a secular country. The majority of people is Muslim, but the government is trying to keep religious rules out of state and legal affairs.

Yes, I know, I’ve been there many times.

There is a much more lax attitude to alcohol there, it’s quite common for people drink, though the population is about 95% Muslim.

Actually, what the Koran warns about is drunkenness, not alcohol. Depends on how you interpret the scripture.

Generally speaking ( and that is an important caveat - always make exceptions for the zealots ), no. Just as non-Muslims are not supposed to subject to Shari’a law ( unless they request it ) if they don’t wish to be. It’s part of the “no compulsion in religion” thing.

My understanding is that even in Saudi Arabia, about the dryest of dry Muslim states, it is technically legal for non-Muslims to drink booze and it can, with some hoop-jumping and difficulty, be acquired legally by non-Muslims ( it is illegal for everyone else ). However even then it is pretty much verboten to drink it in public. I’m willing to take correction on that though - SA is pretty fanatical on the subject.

  • Tamerlane

I have not been to Saudi Arabia but I talked with a Coptic (Christian) Egyptian doctor who had worked there in a compound for Aramco, an oil company. Many foreign companies have presences in Saudi Arabia in these autonomous compounds where they generally don’t need to leave the premises if they don’t want to. Women there can wear western dress, etc.

They were not permitted to import alcoholic beverages but they were allowed to operate a still! I don’t understand the rationale.

I believe that this control isn’t because Muslims believe that no one should drink, but that they want to have absolute control over what might become available to the Muslim residents of their own country.

Ostensibly no alochol can be imported into the country (or pornography), though there are rumors of the privileged classes getting whatever they want.

Oh, man, does this ruin my favourite part of “The Thirteenth Warrior”? It’s the bit where, after a nasty battle, Antonio Banderas’ character is told by one of the Vikings that he looks like he needs a drink. He says he’s forbidden to drink fermentations of the grape or the grain, and the Viking laughs at him and says “Honey! It’s made of honey!”, and hands him the bottle.

Yes (although as has been pointed out, Turkey is a secular state. I have also had locally brewed beer in both Egypt and Morocco. It’s not a big deal, although I have noticed some Muslim waiters wearing gloves while serving alcohol. I’m not sure if this is just a hygiene thing or whether it is to avoid coming into contact with alcohol.

I once sat next to a mosque during Ramadan in Dubai and chugged a six-pack. Probably not a good idea.

I just wanted to point out that (AFAIK) alcohol is not, nor ever has been, illegal in Iraq. There’s even a national drink: arak.

At least one issue Saddam was handling rather liberally :wink:

Many muslim friends and colleagues of mine don’t actually believe that the Quran prohibits alcohol totally. As I understand it, the Quran forbids drunkeness during prayer. So it was OK to drink at other times. But when prayer time frequency was increased, this made it virtually impossible to drink at any time of day, and be sober again by prayer time. Hence the ban.

But many of the drinking muslims I know still give it up for Ramadan.