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It is widely accepted in our Muslim community that intoxicants are “haram”. But no where in the whole Quran, has Allah mentioned intoxicants as “haram”. But He has mentioned intoxicants as the “filth of the handiworks of shaitan” and has asked us to “Avoid it”.


Let us study in the light of Al Quran.


RIJZ AL SHAITAN/ filth of the handiworks of shaitan

005:090 “O You who believe! Indeed, intoxicants, gambling, enmity, and divining arrows (Game Hunting) are filth from the works of Shaitan, so avoid it so that you may be successful.”


(Handiwork of Satan, since these things are based on vain emotions at the cost of human intellect)


  • The word “Ijtanab” means “to avoid”, “refrain” “leave aside” or “shun”.


  • If we consume it we will be following the footsteps of shaitan.


  • So if we want to gain success in the way of Allah then we should not go near intoxicants/strong drinks and avoid them.




002:219-They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin and some benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefits.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say: “The excess.” That is how Allah makes clear to you the Ayats so that you may reflect.


  • Alcohol is used as preservative and solvent in medicines by which it is beneficial for people but frequently, sermons are heard in the mosques to avoid those medicines that contain alcohol.The mullahs,the Imams, as well as scholars, heavily brain-wash their followers into prohibiting alcohol even as a medicine.


  • Secondly, we are asked to avoid intoxicants in the form of strong doses which shall cover our intellect and make us lose our rationality. “Not as used in the medicines”.




The characteristics of haraam or prohibitions found in the Quran usually contain the expression “forbidden for you.”


005:003 Forbidden to you (for food) are:

Carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, anything ) that has been dedicated to any other than Allah (such as an idol, grave or saint), any animal that has been strangled to death, or beaten to death, or killed by fall, or gored to death, or eaten by a wild animal unless you are able to slaughter it while it is still alive, and (also forbidden is) what is slaughtered on idolatrous altars (devotional stones or blocks in shrines considered sacred). And (you are forbidden) from dividing one another’s portions through raffling, for these are deviations.


006:119 Why would you refuse to eat on which God’s Name has been pronounced (i.e. it has been dedicated to Him alone)? He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden along with certain exceptions, when in dire need. Numerous of the clergy mislead people in this matter without knowledge, and with their personal opinions. Surely, your Sustainer, He is best Aware of those who transgress and go beyond limits.


006:151 Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”


  • The expression “forbidden for you” is not found anywhere nearby in the verse 005:090 or 002:219. Rather, the deterrence applies to praying under alcoholic influence.


  • More to the point, the advice: “leave it aside in order that you may succeed” relates to earthy success in life. No doubt, career successes are often impaired and impeded because of the excessive influence of alcohol.



The Arabic word “khamar” means “to cover”. Anything that covers your mind to think rationally can be classified as “khamar”, and Allah asks us to avoid it. This includes all forms of drugs and alcohol. These are not “outright forbidden” because they also have some benefits such as healing benefits in medicines. However, just because they are not forbidden, does not imply that we can indulge in these intoxicants even with ‘responsibility and moderation’. Their harm is much greater than sin. One can never be so sure when the ‘responsible drinking’ becomes a habit and becomes difficult to get rid of. They should be avoided as Alllah says:


004:043   O you who believe! Do not approach salat while your mind is befogged until you know what you are saying and nor in a state of impurity (due to emission of sexual fluid/urine/stool) except passerby on a road, until you take a bath. If you are ill or on a journey or one of you have come out of the toilet or you have made sexual contact with women and you find no water, then seek clean earth then rub your faces and your hands. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.


005:091 Shaitan only incites you to enmity and hatred among you through by means of intoxicants and gambling and to hinder you from being conscious of Allah and from salat (connection with Allah). So will you not abstain?


  • Here Allah is challenging us! “Will You Not Abstain” ?”






those who claim that drinking was prohibited in stages or that it was permitted before the coming of Prophet Mohammed, show their ignorance with Allah’s unchangeable laws.


That was the way of Allah among those who lived before. And never will you find any change in the Way of Allah.





Whether “haram or Ijtanabu”, both Quranic terms make it absolutely clear that Allah is commanding us, “To Avoid Khamar”. Intoxicants, in this case, are no different. Therefore, the claim that intoxicants can be consumed with responsibility and moderation, finds no support from the Quran.



O you who believe! Do not follow the footsteps of shaitan and whosoever follows the footsteps of shaitan then indeed he commands you with shameful and unjust deeds. Had it not been the Grace of Allah upon you and His Mercy, none of you would ever have been pure/ grown in goodness. Thus Allah purifies according to His Laws (in whom He finds goodness as in 37:143)). And Allah is Listener and Hearer.


(Allah purifies those who follow His Laws given in the Quran thus anyone can develop the Self-actualization by following His Laws)


By Asma Waseem

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