Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I am a revert to Islam and work, two days a week, with my Father at his restaurant. He is not Muslim, so of course he serves pork. This job is not a source of income for me. My question(s) are 1. can I work for him at this restaurant? (Only doing so to respect/help/honner/ and not anger him) If the answer is no, full-stop, then okay. But if the answer is yes and depends on what my particular job is then: I do a variety of things. From busing tables; washing dishes; and helping him in the kitchen. When I do the latter, which is most of the time, I do not myself cook the pork but I may from time to time cut ham, bring different types of pork to him from the freezer, and help him in other ways (not involving pork). Is this haraam? If the answer is yes then to what extent could I help him? Like if he hands me a (finished) plate of food (with pork on it) to give to a waitress or customer, am I to refuse?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
I pray that this message finds you in the best of health and spirits. May Allah Most High reward you for your dedication to His religion. It’s always encouraging to hear from reverts who are concerned about their newfound religion! 🙂 Please don’t forget me in your prayers.
Scholars explain that it is not permissible for a Muslim to help someone do something unlawful, even if that person is a non-Muslim. Based on this, it would not be permissible for you to help your father serve anything that is impermissible, such as serving pork, alcohol, or non-Halal meat. As you note in your question, however, it remains obligatory on you to honour your father and show him respect, so you should try and do this in a non-provocative manner, and taking the necessary means to repair damages done to the relationship by giving gifts, for example. The mere fact that he is upset, however, doesn’t make it permissible for you to do something to upset Allah Most High. Our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us that there is no obedience to created beings if it involves disobedience to their Creator.
I hope that helps clarify things. Please don’t hesitate to follow up with further questions if you have any.
And Allah Most High knows best.