Alcohol Is Forbidden in Islam
Fatwa No: 81900


Is alcohol forbidden in Islam? Please give me verses from the Qur'an where it is mentioned that it's HARAM, not just "filthy work of satan."


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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Muslim scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them agreed that any intoxicating drink is forbidden. There is clear evidence for this ruling in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and this ruling is known by each and every Muslim, whether scholars or ordinary people. Therefore, whoever denies this ruling is considered as denying something that is known in religion with absolute evidence.

The ruling on alcohol or any other intoxicants is the same. It is forbidden by explicit texts from the Quran and the Hadeeth.
The evidence from the Book of Allah is the saying of Allah (which means): {O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist? And obey Allah and obey the Messenger and beware. And if you turn away — then know that upon Our Messenger is only [the responsibility for] clear notification.} [Quran 5:90-92]

So, whoever ponders over the meaning of these verses, will find several pieces of evidence about the prohibition of consuming intoxicants; some are summarized in the following:

1- Allah paralleled intoxicants to an act of Shirk [associating partners with Allah]. When these verses were revealed, some companions, may Allah be pleased with them, said to others: ‘‘Intoxicants are prohibited and it was paralleled to Shirk’’; meaning it is compared to sacrificing to idols.

2- Allah described it as defilement from the work of Satan. In Arabic language the word that is used to express this meaning is ‘rijs’; which means a disgusting filth and impurity.

3- Intoxicants are part of Satan's handiwork as described by Allah; this is enough a deterrence for a Muslim (against consuming it). If something is part of Satan's handiwork, then there is no good in it and it is only evil.

4- Consuming intoxicants and practicing gambling are stimuli to causing enmity and hatred among people. There is great damage in this and this necessitates their prohibition.

5- Gambling and consuming intoxicants hinder people from remembering Allah and from praying. Such things are undoubtedly forbidden.

6- When Allah mentioned these disadvantages, He says: “avoid it”. This expression is more significant than just saying “It is forbidden", because the expression ‘avoid it’ is a commandment not to approach such a forbidden thing.

7- Allah then says: {So will you not desist?}. This is clearly a threat and a rebuke. That's why ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, hastened after hearing this verse to say: 'We have desisted, o, our Lord! We have desisted’.

8- The saying of Allah (which means): {And obey Allah and obey the Messenger}, is a clear evidence that it is an obligation to obey Allah and His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) concerning orders and prohibitions. Therefore, by now, you came to know the saying of Allah (which means): {so avoid it} and {So will you not desist?}. [So, will you avoid it and desist?]

As regards the evidence from the Sunnah about the prohibition of intoxicants in particular and any intoxicating drink in general, then there is much evidence about this. For instance, ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ''Any intoxicating drink is forbidden.’’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Furthermore, Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Any intoxicating drink is alcohol (wine) and any intoxicant is forbidden, and whoever drinks alcohol in this worldly life while being addicted to it and does not repent from it, it will be forbidden for him in the Hereafter).” [Muslim]

Furthermore, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah has cursed wine, its presser, the one who demands it to be pressed, its drinker, its carrier, the one to whom it is conveyed, its server, its seller, its buyer, the one who consumes its price, its purchaser and the one for whom it is purchased.” [At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

There are many other pieces of evidence in this regard.

Finally, it should be mentioned that if you analyze what we have written to you above, it will become clear to you that whoever denies the prohibition of alcohol or other intoxicants, is denying a ruling that is stated clearly in the Quran and the Sunnah and which is known among all Muslims as we mentioned earlier.

For more benefit on the prohibition of alcohol in Islam, please refer to Fatwa 81389.

Allah knows best.

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