The lawfulness of drinking wine in earlier divine religions
Fatwa No: 272395

Question

As-salaamu 3laikum, I saw some Muslims debating with some Christians to show them how their scriptures had been changed, which is undoubtedly true. One of the points they mentioned was that the Bible mentioned prophets doing prohibited acts like drinking alcohol. However, this made me wonder: if alcohol was only prohibited gradually in Islam, how do we know that alcohol was prohibited in the time of the earlier prophets? Secondly, did all prophets usually avoid things that would eventually be prohibited by the Qur'an and sunnah, even if it was not prohibited in their own shariah? Jazaak Allahu khair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

What is apparent from the pronouncements of the scholars is that wine was forbidden in the religion of ‘Eesa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. The author of Taqaarub Al-Adyaan said: “Clergymen and kings had introduced many prescriptions and the ignorant obeyed them in deeming things lawful or unlawful.... They deemed lawful the consumption of wine and pork and worshipped the cross and images on walls and claimed that ‘Eesa (Jesus) was Allaah or the son of Allaah or a third of three (Trinity) according to their different sects.

A common myth held by Christians is the Lord's Supper, which included wine; they claim that whoever drinks it, it is as if he drinks the blood of Jesus.

Upon consulting reference books about Christianity, we find that Dr. Munqith Al-Saqqaar has quoted from their own books stern warnings against drinking alcohol and that its consumer is deprived of Paradise. A verse in their Bible reads: "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." [1 Corinthians 6:10]

Given that the previous divine scriptures had been distorted, it is not strange to find contradictions in them. At-Taahir ibn ‘Aashoor wrote in his Tafseer book At-Tahreer wat-Tanweer:

"In the Torah, it is stated that Prophet Nooh (Noah) drank wine until he got drunk; and that Loot (Lot) drank wine until he got so drunk that he committed a heinous sin, according to their claims. This is indeed a lie because prophethood entails infallibility. Although the divine laws may differ in deeming things permissible, it is inconceivable that the Prophets of Allaah would do certain things that would detract from their status among people of reason.

People drink wine for entertainment and the desire to lose control; this does not befit the Prophets of Allaah. The justification that they drank wine to strengthen themselves is a lame one given the scarcity of this motive for drinking wine.

A verse of the Old Testament reads, ‘Then the Lord said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.’’ [Leviticus 10:8-10]

This means that even if we assumed that drinking wine was not prohibited in the previous divine laws, the Prophets of Allaah are free of drinking wine and it is unbecoming of them to do drink it.

Allaah Knows best.

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