"I Successfully Prevented An Evil Deed" – Ustaz Stopping Beer Sale At A Shop Sparks Debate

After the issue went viral, Bilal Jailani told a media outlet that "anyone who drinks alcohol is someone inhumane".

Cover image via Bilal Jailani (Facebook) & Asia Nikkei

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Recently, an ustaz who took to Facebook to share how he stopped a cashier from selling beer has sparked a heated debate online

In the Facebook post published on 6 December — titled 'The Fourth Time I Reprimanded A Cashier, Prevented Them From Three Years' Jail' — Bilal Jailani said the incident began when he saw a foreigner holding six cans of beer and was trying to pay for them at a mini-market in Bangi, Selangor.

After Bilal completed his payment, he asked the cashier whether she could carry out the transaction for the beer.

"This is the problem la. If possible, I don't want to be involved," the cashier in a headscarf told him.

Bilal, who is also the president of the Malaysian Muslim Solidarity (ISMA) in Bangi, then informed her that it is a crime to sell beer in Selangor under the Syariah law and that she could be imprisoned for up to three years.

"Miss, you cannot proceed with this transaction. If you proceed, I will record and report it to the police," he told the cashier.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Canadian Press via Financial Post

Following that, Bilal told the foreigner that the cashier would not be able to check out the beer for him

"Sir, the cashier can't proceed with the sale. She's a Muslim, she can't sell alcohol," he told the customer.

The customer replied that the beer was not for him as he was buying them on other people's behalf.

Just as the confrontation unfolded, another staff at the store approached the group and said, "We understand that alcohol is not good. We don't want to sell this thing either. But this is a matter of work."

In response, Bilal said, "Employers cannot order employees to do something that is against the laws of the country. You also cannot do work that violates the laws of the country, regardless of your employment contract."

The two parties resolved the matter by calling up the store manager. The manager agreed to withhold the sale of the beer and said that they would bring the issue to their superiors.

Image for illustration only.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

"Alhamdulillah, I successfully prevented an evil deed," the ustaz wrote in the post

"Before leaving, I said, 'Mister and miss, I do not want to bother you. I'm actually protecting you. I'm helping you. If you want, I can work out a protest until the sale of alcohol in this shop is stopped so you can work happily'," he continued.

Bilal then asked for permission to take a photo before giving them his business cards.

In the afternote, Bilal recounted the three other times he had stopped cashiers from selling beer, adding how he had become more confident after each confrontation.

At the time of writing, the post has garnered over 28,000 likes and 12,000 shares

There are over 11,000 comments under the post. Many netizens debated over whether it was right for Bilal to launch his personal crusade at grocery stores.

"Hello bro, terms and conditions [are] agreed by both employer and employee when [signing] appointment letter. No one is [forcing] anyone to join those selling liquors. Why does the Selangor government allow the sale of alcohol then? If you want to resolve the matter, start from the root," a netizen suggested.

"I think what between you and God is always 'intent'. Just like the staff said, 'This is a matter of work' and [they] have no intentions or [want] to sell this alcohol for his or her own profits," a Facebook user commented.

"If someone is being so sacred but [is] bad in the heart or mind, what's good if you just practise these on the outside?"

"Just my two cents. [Building] a better Malaysia should not [be done] through oppression against minorities."

Image via Facebook

"Bro, cigarettes is haram too! Condoms are also haram because only married people can buy condoms, so that's haram too!" said a person, before suggesting that Bilal should sit at the payment counter to tell customers who buy cigarettes and condoms that.

Many netizens also pointed out that smoking is prohibited in Islam and that it kills more people than drinking.

Others also said if grocery stores start employing non-Muslims only, then it will be unfair for Muslims.

Image via Facebook

"Reprimand the cashier for what? Should scold the owner. Aduih," one added.

"People like this are the ones who cause many Muslims to apostatise. Always ready to blackmail an innocent employee. If they are fired for not following instructions, do you want to give them a new place to work? Want to intimidate, intimidate the management, not intimidate the workers. That's cowardice," another netizen said.

"To my non-Muslim friends, selling alcohol is a clear prohibition in Islam. The Prophet cursed liquor makers, servers, sellers, and drinkers — the entirety of the flow of liquor making up to drinking. I hope you all can understand the sensitivity of Muslims," said a Facebook user.

Image via Facebook

Speaking to a media outlet on Tuesday, 7 December, Bilal doubled down on his belief and action, stressing that the country's economy does not have to be built from "shit" like alcohol

"Alcohol is not a necessity. Instead, it is a nuisance and harm," he told TV Pertiwi.

"I think alcohol is the enemy of humanity. Anyone who drinks alcohol is someone inhumane."

"It (alcohol) should be treated as drugs. It needs to be fought against at all levels. We don't have to build our economy with detrimental matters."

"Actually, we are paying even larger cost for treatment, death compensation, and domestic violence, among others. (It is all because of) disgusting capitalists who make massive profits out of the stupidity of people."

Discussions about alcohol and the sale of it have been making headlines in Malaysia lately:

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