Muslim declaring disbelief while drunk
Fatwa No: 350674

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Someone asked a Muslim married man about his religion and whether he is a Muslim or not. The Muslim man was drunk at that time. He replied, "No, I am of all religions". Afterwards, however, during the same instance/discussion, he clarified that he is Muslim. Please tell me, should the Muslim man renew his marriage contract because of such mistake?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

If a Muslim confesses disbelief intentionally and willfully, he is declared a disbeliever, even if it is done in jest. Proclaiming disbelief even in jest takes the doer out of the fold of Islam. Ibn Rushd  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "No Muslim should be declared a disbeliever except in three cases, two of which are agreed-upon, and the scholars held different views about the third. One of the two agreed-upon cases is that he states/confesses that he disbelieves in Allah..."

The scholars held two different views regarding the drunk person proclaiming disbelief and whether he is declared a disbeliever or not, and these two opinions were cited by Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book Al-Mughni. The view adopted by some researching scholars, such as Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them is that such a statement has no legal effects, and the speaker is not declared a disbeliever in this situation.

Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa reads:

"If the speaker uttered the declaration of disbelief because of being in a state of absent-mindedness due to a prohibited reason such as intoxication, he is not legislatively excused. However, according to the most likely correct view of the two opinions in this regard, such a person is not declared a disbeliever, just like the divorce issued by a drunken person (does not take effect), although the scholarly difference of opinion in this regard is famous. We have extensively addressed this topic..."

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Pondering over the Shariah texts and their objectives, it could be deduced that Allah, The Exalted, does not hold a person accountable for his statements if he does not intend their apparent indications and uttered them unintentionally, such as the case when the person utters them during sleeping, out of forgetfulness, while intoxicated (drunk), when ignorant of the relevant ruling, under duress, out of mistake due to extreme joy or anger or sickness, or the like." [I‘laam Al-Muwaqqi‘een]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also held that this is the most likely correct view. He said, "In brief, the statements of the drunk person carry no legal effects whether regarding himself or others..." [Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti‘]

He is not required to renew the marriage contract if he should be considered an apostate if the marriage has been consummated because the most likely correct view at Islamweb is that the apostasy of one of the spouses does not affect the validity of the marriage contract if the apostate spouse repents before the ‘Iddah (waiting period) expires.

In any case, this man should be advised to repent to Allah from the sin of drinking alcohol; he should be made aware of the gravity of this sin and of the fact that some scholars held that the drunk person is held accountable for his statements just as he is held accountable for his actions.

Allah knows best.

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