Every Intoxicant Is Haram (Forbidden)

Abu Burda reported from his father that Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari said that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had sent him to Yemen and he asked the Prophet about (alcoholic) drinks which used to be prepared there. The Prophet said: “What are they?” Abu Musa said: ‘al-Bit’i and al-Mizr.’ I (the narrator) said to Abu Burda: ‘What is al-Bit’i?’ He said: ‘al-Bit is an alcoholic drink made from honey, and al-Mizr is an alcoholic drink made from barley.’ The Prophet said: “Every intoxicant is Haram.” (Reported by al-Buakhari)


Al-Bit`i: Al-Bit`i is a kind of intoxicants made from fermented honey and water in Yemen. In other words, it means honey wine or mead.

Al-Mizr: Al-Mizr is an alcoholic drink made from fermented barley and water in Yemen. It is a kind of beer.

From the Islamic point of view, despite the various names given to wine (inebriant, beer, whisky, scotch, port, rum, booze, champagne, etc.), all are considered alcoholic drinks or intoxicants. Thereupon, according to sound Hadith, “Every intoxicant is Khamr (wine), and every Khamr is Haram (forbidden).” (Muslim). “Wine is that which befogs the mind.” (Muslim)

In simple words, the word Khamr (wine) in Arabic extends to any substance, which intoxicates, in whatever form or under whatever name it may appear.

Guidance and Moralities

This Prophetic Hadith constitutes a rule concerning prohibition of all kinds and forms of intoxicants, which befog the mind.

Allah, The great and Almighty, says in the Holy Qur’an: “O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, sacrificing to stones (and divination by) arrows, are an abomination (they are acts) of Satan’s handiwork: Eschew such (abomination) that you may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer: will you not then abstain?” [5:90-91]

Thus, becoming intoxicated causes mental disorder, which might drive one to commit some hostile acts against others, against their physical well-being or against their wealth.

Khamr (Wine) is the mother of all evils. If one drinks it too much, one may kill, commit Zina or disbelieve in Allah. Khamr hinders people from remembering Allah and from all kinds of devotions, since it clouds one’s intellect and consciousness.

Here, to consolidate the above-named concepts, it is important to record some Hadith that shed more light on this issue:

1- “Every drink that causes intoxication is forbidden.” (Muslim)
2- “Every intoxicating drink is forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
3- “Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is Haram.” (Ahmad,Abu Dawood and al-Tirmithi)
4- “Allah’s Messenger prohibited each and every thing that induces drunkenness and mental numbness.” (Abu Dawood)

Finally, this Hadith clearly shows that all kinds and forms of intoxicants, e.g. opium, hemp, cocaine are Haram. Imam Ibn Taimiyya in his book as-Siyasatu ash-Shari’yya has clearly stated that hemp is Haram. He has also added in his book al-Fatawa that: hemp is forbidden whether it clouds the intellect or not. And those who smoke hemp are like those who drink wine, as their effects are nearly the same.

His disciple, Ibn al-Qayyim, has also mentioned in his book “Zad al-Ma’ad” that: wine comprises each and every intoxicant whether it is liquid, solid, cooked or in the form of juice.

It is the Prophetic declaration that states: all that intoxicates is Haram, in whatever form or under whatever name it may appear.

Thursday 25/12/2003