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Intoxications in Islam



In Islam, consuming intoxicants is prohibited. Anything which comes in definition of intoxication is prohibited no matter in which amount one is using it. For intoxicants the word khumr is used which not only covers alcohol but all type of narcotics. Islam is a religion for the human beings which guide them till the end of the time so it is wrong to consider that the intoxicants which were not available at the time of its revelation are Halal.

Definition of intoxication

A substance which is used to escape the current mental or physical state is called intoxication. The word khamar is used for this purpose which means something which overshadows the mind. The intoxicants produce different mental or physical changes like hypo excitability, hyper excitability and many more. It produces feelings of happiness, pleasure, fearlessness etc. It helps a person to lose control and feel free.

History when intoxicants made haram?

In start, alcohol and other intoxicants were allowed. After the revelation of Quran it was made prohibited gradually. It was a custom at that time to drink alcohol so if Allah had prohibited people suddenly then they will not obey this commandment so firstly it was told that intoxicants are bad for man. They may have some benefits but its sinful effects are much more than benefits. Then it was made prohibited to offer prayer while one is under the effect of any intoxication. Then gradually Allah made it prohibited to consume alcohol at all.

Kinds of intoxicants

There are many kinds of intoxicants. Some are known and others are still unknown. A list of some of them is as under

  • Alcohol
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Spirits
  • Brews
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Glue
  • Petrol
  • LSD
  • Steroids
  • Ecstasy
  • Thinners
  • Tobacco
  • Rappee or Nasvay

Why Islam prohibits intoxicants?

Everything which is harmful for a human being is prohibited by Allah. The harmful and sinful effect of alcohol and all the narcotics are very much obvious and known to everyone. Due to the social, physical, mental and personal harmful effects of intoxicants , these are made prohibited. Secondly there is a close connection of intoxicants and crimes. When one gets hooked to these intoxicants then he can use all the means to fulfill his desire. Any worldly crime does not seem difficult to do in order to quench that desire.

Why intoxicants are haram?

The intoxicants are haram because these have more sins and harms than benefits. There are some other things for which they are made haram.

1. Intoxicants are mother of all sins
2. It consumption is considered a major sin in Islam
3. Intoxicants are the root cause to almost every evil
4. Head of all crimes and offences

5. It is the work of Satan

Quantity of intoxicants

It is a debate among the masses about the quantity of intoxicants to be consumed. Some assume that a small quantity is permissible which does not make a person out of control but this view is wrong. If something is made prohibited then there is no argument about the quantity. Music is prohibited so it does not mean that one song per day can be of no harm or murder is haram so one murder in a lifetime is halal or shirk is haram so associating one god instead of many can be allowed.

Buying, selling, transporting are permissible or not?

It is a consensus among scholars that any type of association with intoxicants whether buying, selling, planting, transporting, producing etc is haram. The following hadith shows that everyone who is working in accordance with the intoxicants is liable and committed a sin.

Anas said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed ten with regard to wine: The one who squeezes (the grapes etc.), the one who asks for it to be squeezed, the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who sells it, the one for whom it is brought, the one who pours it, the one for whom it is poured, until he counted ten like this.” Sunnan ibn majah book of drinks hadith 3381.

Harmful effects of intoxicants

There are many harmful effects of intoxicants on each and every field of life.

1. Fogginess
2. clotted veins
3. Damages kidneys, liver and lungs
4. Effects emotions and memory
5. Impairs judgement
6. Loss of memory
7. Blackouts
8. Loss of interest in working or day to day activities
9. Destroy protective layers of brain
10. Loss in concentration
11. Hallucinations
12. Causes paranoia
13. Panic attacks
14. Causes confusion
15. Impairs learning and memory
16. Damages brain
17. Can lead towards crimes like murder, stealing, adultery etc
18. Weight loss
19. Lose of appetite
20. Depression
21. Mood swings

Perfume or after shave with traces of Alcohol

There is a difference of opinion in this manner. Some say that alcohol is najas ( filthy) physically which means if even a drop of alcohol gets on your clothes or body then one could not pray or become najas. Some think that it is najas spiritually so if you don’t drink it but use it in perfume or after shave then it is permissible. If one does not drink it then it is not prohibited.

Quranic verses about Alcohol consumption

This is the first verse which was revealed for the prohibition of alcohol as it compares the sinful effects of alcohol with its apparent benefits.

They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. Surah al bakarah verse 219.

After the verses of surah Bakarah these verses were revealed to show how bad the intoxicants are. Its comparison with Salah is done because Salah is an obligation which cannot be left in any situation so by this verse it is commanded to leave intoxicants.

O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying. Surah al nissa verse 43.

The final verses which prohibits the use of intoxicants are revealed in surah al maida. At the end of these verses the last words shows the emphasis of Allah ( so will you not desist).

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. Surah al maida 90

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? Surah al maida verse 91.

Hadith about intoxicants

Wa’il al-Hadrami reported that Tariq b. Suwaid a-Ju’fi asked Allah’s Apostle ( صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) about liquor. He forbade (its use) and he expressed hatred that it should be prepared. He (Tariq) said: I prepare it as a medicine, whereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: It is no medicine, but an ailment. Sahih muslim book of drinks hadith 5141

Narrated Ibn `Umar: Allah’s Apostle said, Whoever drinks alcoholic drinks in the world and does not repent (before dying), will be deprived of it in the Hereafter. Sahih bukhari book of drinks haidth 5575

Narrated Ibn `Umar: `Umar stood up on the pulpit and said, Now then, prohibition of alcoholic drinks have been revealed, and these drinks are prepared from five things, i.e.. grapes, dates, honey, wheat or barley And an alcoholic drink is that, that disturbs the mind. Sahih bukhari book of drinks hadith 5581.

Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Apostle was asked about Al-Bit. He said, All drinks that intoxicate are unlawful (to drink.) sahih bukhari book of drinks hadith 5585.

It was narrated from ‘Aishah, narrating it from the Prophet (ﷺ): “Every drink that causes intoxication is unlawful.” Sunnan ibn majah book of drinks hadith 3386.

punishment for consuming intoxications

According to laws of different countries, drug consumption is allowed but in Islamic law, it is haram and there is a punishment for the person consuming it. The Islamic punishment called Hadd prescribes 80 lashes for a person who once used such intoxicants or is habitual of using these.


If you find any mistake in this article please feel free to contact us and point it out. We will try to correct it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah bless us all with the authentic knowledge of Islam. May this effort of ours ease the way of jannah for our family.

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