Q: Are my earnings as a waiter serving Haram food, considered as Halal income?
In light of the fatwa regarding permissibility of working in supermarkets that sell alcohol, is it permissible for me to work as a waiter, serving Haram food?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: Whilst in principle the two scenarios are almost similar the need to adopt the opinion of permission does not reach the level of that for a supermarket till operator. I.e., the public predicament element in the case of a waiter is not nearly the same if it exists at all. In the latter case, there are many restaurants that serve only halal food where one can take up employment. In addition, it is quite likely that the clientele of the restaurants serving haram food are on the whole non-Muslims. In contrast, the clientele of supermarkets are both Muslims and non-Muslims and all supermarkets sell halal and non-halal food. Thus, it is appropriate that one considers the serving of haram food in a restaurant to be a sin and any remuneration thus earned to also be unlawful.
However, if one is in dire need of the income from the serving of haram food in a restaurant to meet ones basic needs and despite all efforts is unable to find a permissible form of employment then in the interim it would appear that there is license to adopt the opinion of permission as a temporary measure. Meanwhile one should continue to look for alternative employment and pray to Allah swt for assistance.