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Islam's Ruling on Alcohol, Drugs and Intoxicants

Hunger / thirst is one of the basic human drives and a normal human being feels hungry at least twice a days. This drive also plays an important role in continuing business and trades in societies . Islam is principally not against fulfilling of this drive.


Holy Quran says:

Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allâh, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) things] of food?" Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)." Thus We explain the Ayât (Islâmic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge. (Al-A'raf 7:32)

Islam has however forbidden the foods which are unhealthy and untidy. This was the reason due to which four major types of foods were prohibited according to Quran .

Holy Quran says:

Say (O Muhammad SAW): "I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything(more) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytatah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft­Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-An'am 6:145)

Islam has therefore prohibited use of alcohol and all intoxicating drugs because these are unhealthy and unclean .These things cause rivalry among believers and take  person away from remembrance of Allah swt.This prohibition however started with condemnation.

Gradual prohibition of alcohol in Quran:

In the early period of Islam alcohol was not strictly prohibited but its use was condemned and discouraged by Allah swt.

Allah swt said:

They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit." And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: "That which is beyond your needs." Thus Allâh makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought." (Al-Baqarah 2:219)

Later on Allah swt prohibited during obligatory prayers:

O you who believe! Approach not As­Salât (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you (An-Nisa 4:43)

When Muslims came to know its demerits and a feeling of disliking was embedded in their hearts, Allah swt prohibited it clearly as mentioned in the following verses of Quran:

O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al­Ansâb, and Al­Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitân's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain? (Al-Ma'idah 5: 90-91).

These verses make it clear that alcohol and other intoxicants are indeed acts of Shaitan and they cause at least two major damages:

1.Cause rivalry among Muslims
2.Takes people away from remembrance of Allah swt

The rivalry is created when an intoxicated person attacks ,abuse or insult some person and the person who is attacked or abused hates the person who is abusing ,insulting or attacking him without any reason. This also hinders from the remembrance of Allah swt because an intoxicated person is unaware of the times of salah. So all the believers need to avoid these intoxicants .

Prohibition according to authentic hadiths:

This prohibition has been mentioned in authentic hadiths some of the hadiths are as follows:

1.Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari  radi Allahu anhu said that the Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam had sent him to Yemen and he asked the Prophet about certain (alcoholic) drink which used to be prepared there The Prophet said, "What are they?" Abu Musa said, "Al-Bit' and Al-Mizr?" He said, "Al-Bit is an alcoholic drink made from honey; and Al-Mizr is an alcoholic drink made from barley." The Prophet said, "All intoxicants are prohibited."(Sahih Bukhari : Book 5 , Volume 59 ,Hadith 631)

2. Narrated Anas bin Malik radi Allahu anhu: We had no alcoholic drink except that which was produced from dates and which you call Fadikh. While I was standing offering drinks to Abu Talha and so-and-so and so-and-so, a man came and said, "Has the news reached you? They said, "What is that?" He said. "Alcoholic drinks have been prohibited. They said, "Spill (the contents of these pots, O Anas! "Then they neither asked about it (alcoholic drinks) nor returned it after the news from that man. (Sahih Bukhari : Book 6 , Volume 60 ,Hadith 141)

3. Narrated Anas bin Malik radi Allahu anhu: I used to offer drinks prepared from infused dates to Abu Talha Al-Ansari, Abu 'Ubada bin Al Jarrah and Ubai bin Ka'b. Then a person came to them and said, "All alcoholic drinks have been prohibited." Abii Talha then said, "O Anas! Get up and break all these jars." So I got up and took a mortar belonging to us, and hit the jars with its lower part till they broke. (Sahih Bukhari :Book 9 , Volume 91 , Hadith 359)

4. Narrated Ibn Umar: I heard 'Umar while he was on the pulpit of the Prophet saying, "Now then O people! The revelation about the prohibition of alcoholic drinks was revealed; and alcoholic drinks are extracted from five things: Grapes, dates, honey, wheat and barley. And the alcoholic drink is that which confuses and stupefies the mind." (Sahih Bukhari : Book 6 , Volume 60 , Hadith 143)

4.Narrated Anas radi Allahu anhu: While I was serving Abu Talha. Abu Dujana and Abu Suhail bin Al-Baida' with a drink made from a mixture of unripe and ripe dates, alcoholic drinks, were made unlawful, whereupon I threw it away, and I was their butler and the youngest of them, and we used to consider that drink as an alcoholic drink in those days Sahih Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 ,Hadith 505)

5. Narrated Ibn 'Umar radi Allahu anhu: "Alcoholic drinks were prohibited (by Allah) when there was nothing of it (special kind of wine) in Medina. (Sahih Bukhari :Book 7 ,Volume 69 , Hadith 485)

6. Narrated Jabir radi Allahu anhu: The Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam forbade the drinking of alcoholic drinks prepared from raisins, dates, unripe dates and fresh ripe dates. Sahih Bukhari :Book 7 ,Volume 69 , Hadith 506)

All these hadiths make it clear that all intoxicants  have been declared un lawful by Rasool salal laho aliehi waslam

Trade of intoxicants is also unlawful:

Some people think that intoxicants and drugs are unlawful in Islam but their trading is allowed and they think that Muslims can sell these things to Non Muslims .They should bear it in mind that selling of alcohol and drugs  to non Muslims is also prohibited in lslam.

This has been mentioned in the following hadiths

1. Narrated 'Aisha radi Allahu anha: When the last Verses of Surat-al-Baqara were revealed, the Prophet read them in the Mosque and prohibited the trade of alcoholic liquors.( Sahih Bukhari : Book 6 , Volume 60 ,Hadith 66)

2. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah radi Allahu anhu: That he heard Allah's Apostle saying in the year of the Conquest (of Mecca) while he was in Mecca, "Allah and His Apostle have made the selling of wine (i.e. alcoholic drinks) unlawful(Sahih Bukhari :Book 5 , Volume 59 ,Hadith 590)

3. Narrated Ibn 'Abbas radi Allahu anhu: Once 'Umar  radi Allahu anhu was informed that a certain man sold alcohol. 'Umar said, "May Allah curse him! Doesn't he know that Allah's Apostle said, 'May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah had forbidden them to eat the fat of animals but they melted it and sold it." (Bukhari : Book 3 , Volume 34 , Hadith 426)

4. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah radi Allahu anhu: I heard Allah's Apostle salal laho aliehi wasalam, in the year of the Conquest of Mecca, saying, "Allah and His Apostle made illegal the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What about the fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lights?" He said, "No, it is illegal." Allah's Apostle further said, "May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah made the fat (of animals) illegal for them, yet they melted the fat and sold it and ate its price." (Bukhari : Book 3 ,Volume 34 , Hadith 438)

 Prohibition of utensils in which intoxicants are made:

This prohibitions is not only limited to alcohol and intoxicants it even goes to the extent of prohibition of  even those utensils in which these drinks are made or served. Following hadiths make this point clear:

1. Narrated Ibn 'Abbas radi Allahu anhu: The delegates of 'Abdul Qais came to Allah's Apostle and said, "The pagans of the tribe of Mudar intervene between you and us therefore we cannot come to you except in the Holy months. So please order us to do something good (Religious deeds) by which we may enter Paradise (by acting on them) and we may inform our people whom we have left behind to observe it." The Prophet said, "I order you to do four things and forbid you from four things: I order you to believe in Allah. Do you know what is meant by belief in Allah? It is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, to offer prayers perfectly, to give Zakat, and to give Al-Khumus (one-fifth of the war booty) (in Allah's Cause). And I forbid you four things,  Ad-Dubba, An-Naqir, (pitched water skins), Az-Zuruf, Al-Muzaffat and Al--Hantam (names of utensils used for the preparation of alcoholic drinks)." (Bukhari : Book 9 ,Volume 93 ,Hadith 645)

2.Narrated Ibrahim: I asked Al-Aswad, "Did you ask 'Aisha radi Allahu anha, Mother of the Believers, about the containers in which it is disliked to prepare (non-alcoholic) drinks?" He said, "Yes, I said to her, 'O Mother of the Believers! What containers did the Prophet forbid to use for preparing (non-alcoholic) drinks?" She said, 'The Prophet forbade us, (his family), to prepare (nonalcoholic) drinks in Ad-Dubba and Al-Muzaffat.' I asked, 'Didn't you mention Al Jar and Al Hantam?' She said, 'I tell what I have heard; shall I tell you what I have not heard?' " (Sahih Bukhari :Book 7 , Volume 69 , Hadith 500)

These hadiths clearly indicate the hate of Rasool salal laho aliehi waslam for alcohol and things linked with it.

Some  relaxation in use of utensils in case of no substitute:

However in case of severe need and no substitute prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam allowed use of some of those utensils as mentioned in the following hadith:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr radi Allahu anhu: When the Prophet forbade the use of certain containers (that were used for preparing alcoholic drinks), somebody said to the Prophet . "But not all the people can find skins." So he allowed them to use clay jars not covered with pitch. Sahih Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 , Hadith 497)

An important Sign of the day of judgement:

It can be observed from authentic hadiths that the day of judgement will be faced by the people who will be worse among human beings .They will not be obeying commands of Allah swt and His Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam and one of the signs of the people near the day of judgement will be that they will be drinking alcohol in abundance.

This sign has been mentioned in the following hadith:

Narrated Anas radi Allahu anhu: I heard from Allah's Apostle salal laho aliehi wasalam a narration which none other than I will narrate to you. The Prophet, said, "From among the portents of the Hour are the following: General ignorance (in religious affairs) will prevail, (religious) knowledge will decrease, illegal sexual intercourse will prevail, alcoholic drinks will be drunk (in abundance), men will decrease and women will increase so much so that for every fifty women there will be one man to look after them." (Sahih Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 , Hadith 483)

A person is not a believer during drinking:

Drinking is such a big crime that it makes the person disbeliever during the duration of drinking as mentioned in the following hadiths:

1.Narrated Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu: The Prophet said, "An adulterer, at the time he is committing illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer; and a person, at the time of drinking an alcoholic drink is not a believer; and a thief, at the time of stealing, is not a believer." Ibn Shihab said: 'Abdul Malik bin Abi Bakr bin 'Abdur-Rahman bin Al- Harith bin Hisham told me that Abu Bakr used to narrate that narration to him on the authority of Abu Hurairah. He used to add that Abu Bakr used to mention, besides the above cases, "And he who robs (takes illegally something by force) while the people are looking at him, is not a believer at the time he is robbing (taking)(Sahih Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 ,Hadith 484 )

2. Narrated 'Ikrima from Ibn 'Abbas radi Allahu anhu: Allah's Apostles salal laho aliehi wasalamsaid, "When a slave (of Allah) commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer at the time of committing it; and if he steals, he is not a believer at the time of stealing; and if he drinks an alcoholic drink, when he is not a believer at the time of drinking it; and he is not a believer when he commits a murder," 'Ikrima said: I asked Ibn Abbas, "How is faith taken away from him?" He said, Like this," by clasping his hands and then separating them, and added, "But if he repents, faith returns to him like this, by clasping his hands again. (Sahih Bukhari : Book 8 , Volume 82 , Hadith 800)

Legal Punishment for drinker/druggist:

Islam has declared punishment of  lashes for the person who drinks or takes drugs.

Following hadith make this point clear:

Narrated 'Alqama: While we were in the city of Hims (in Syria), Ibn Mas'ud recited Surat Yusuf. A man said to him), "It was not revealed in this way." Then Ibn Mas'ud said, "I recited it in this way before Allah's Apostle and he confirmed my recitation by saying, 'Well done!' " Ibn Mas'ud detected the smell of wine from the man's mouth, so he said to him, "Aren't you ashamed of telling a lie about Allah's Book and (along with this) you drink alcoholic liquors too?" Then he lashed him according to the law. (Sahih Bukhari : Book 6 , Volume 61 ,Hadith 523)

A drinker will not get wine of paradise:

Allah swt has mentioned in Quran about wine of paradise that there will be streams of wine in paradise for belivers.

Allah swt says:

The description of Paradise which the Muttaqûn (pious ) have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are these) like those who shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels? (Muhammad 47:15)

But a person who drinks alcohol in this world will not be able to drink it in paradise as mentioned in the following hadith:

Narrated Ibn 'Umar radi Allahu anhu: Allah's Apostle salal laho aliehi wasalam said, "Whoever drinks alcoholic drinks in the world and does not repent (before dying), will be deprived of it in the Hereafter." (Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 ,Hadith 481)

Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam foretold about the people who will take intoxicants as lawful:

Although above mentioned hadiths are very clear but even than many so called Muslims say that alcohol and other intoxicants are not haram.

Their sayings and  actions have been foretold by Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam in the following hadith:

Narrated Abu 'Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari radi Allahu anhu: that he heard the Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection." (Sahih Bukhari : Book 7 , Volume 69 ,Hadith 494)

May Allah save all the Muslims from misguidance and keep them on straight path Ameen.
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