Living in the West, it’s almost guaranteed that you will at some point be in environments with alcohol. Whether it’s at a restaurant, at a work/school event, or sometimes just even in a public forum.
If you’ve never been in a setting with alcohol at close quarters, your first encounter with it might leave you feeling uncertain or weird. Or you just might start randomly telling random strangers that this is a very weird environment for you, which might leave you sounding like a bumbling fool…
While you may not be able to be able to totally escape environments with alcohol, there are things you can do to try your best.
My first piece of advice would be to avoid those environments where you know for certain that alcohol will be served. For example, if you have non-Muslim friends who invite you to a party where you know people will be drinking, don’t go. Don’t make any excuses, but just tell them the truth. If they’re your true friends, they should understand.
I have often had my non-Muslim friends assure me that they won’t pressure me into drinking, that it’s just part of the background, in order to make me come to the pub or to an event. But what they didn’t understand was that it’s not just about the drinking; it’s the environment with alcohol. For those of us who have very limited experience with it, it can be quite a jarring experience, and one that you may not feel totally comfortable in.
Many young Muslims today have their first experience with environments with alcohol in college/university. Whether you live on campus or off, you’re bound to run into it somewhere, and especially with all the pressures that come from being in school, you might be roped into going to an place where there people will be drinking. But try to avoid it at best. Tell the truth about why you can’t, but if that’s too hard, then make up an excuse.
So at this point you might be thinking, why should I stay away from environments with alcohol when I know that I have no intention of drinking it?
While you have no intention of drinking, you don’t know if you might feel tempted when you’re there. Living in the 21st century, there are so many social pressures that young people today feel like they have to live up to (some of which can be found in college/uni), and you have no idea whether you will fall prey to them in a setting where everyone else is drinking and seem to be having a good time. So why bother putting yourself in temptation’s way?
Obviously there are times when you won’t be able to avoid it. For example, at weddings or formal work events or meetings. As uncomfortable as you feel, you won’t be able to escape it. Or you might think you’re attending a meeting, but there might be alcohol being served.
Don’t panic. Just be calm. Ignore it. It won’t bite you. Don’t call attention to it and just focus on the reason why you’re there. It might be weird for you, but it’s not weird for the people who are drinking it. So be and let them be.
Whatever you do, don’t start telling everyone how weird it is for (like I did at a recent meeting where there was wine). I got through it and so will you.
For some of you, dealing with environments with alcohol may not be a big deal. For others, it may be something totally foreign and scary. But regardless of your comfort level, just keep a clear head.
And there you have it! Hope some of you found this useful
Keep smiling, beautiful girls!