I have a few questions. My first question relates to the consumption of alcohol. I know it is haram. But living in a western country, where it is part of the social life, one has to mix with the people who drink. I have been avoiding drinking but attended parties and social gatherings where wine is served. Recently I came across a book where it was written that Hadrat Umar (sws) used to punish those people who attended parties like these. Where does Islam stand on this?
Could you please guide me about the Friday Prayers? Is it true that if I missed three in a row I am no more a Muslim? I also wanted to share that I have to pay my car insurance and for this purpose I have to pay interest. Are there exceptions for Muslims who are living in non-Muslim countries?
It is not very favorable to join parties in which people usually drink. Such company can lead one to drinking. However, it is not haram to attend such parties. The only thing that is prohibited is drinking itself. As for the importance of Friday Congregation our view can be reached at: http://al-mawrid.org/pages/questions_english_detail.php?qid=40&cid=319&search=friday
We believe that insurance is not haram. Paying interest is also not haram. The Islamic Shari'ah has prohibited taking interest not being subjected to pay it. The Qur'an says that those who pay interest are in fact subjected to a type of coercion.