Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What does the Quran says about Alcohol Consumption?

I have received quite a few smses and phone calls about the ‘alcohol’ issue – especially relating to Kartika. Many wanted my opinion on the subject. Personally, I wish to suggest that best for anything Islam, we must first and foremost refer to the Quran.

Here, I would like to repost an earlier article on the subject. Muslim must decide to choose who to listen to - their leaders, politicians, their own whim and fancies or choose the Quran (as their guide), as the Malays put it “ Pandai-pandai lah kita memilih “.

Personally I do not consume alcohol.

However, contrary to popular belief, the Quran did not ban the alcohol – just like that.

The Quran approaches the issue in three stages spread over many numbers of years. The Quran see alcohol consumption and gambling from a sociological perspective and deemed them as a social problem – not a legal one and definitely not a political issue.

There were three stages.

At the initial stage, when queried about gambling and intoxicants, the Quran suggested,“They will ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say’ In both there is great evil as well as some benefits for man; but the evil which they cause is greater than the benefit which they bring’ (Quran 2:219)

During the trial period, the Quran pointed out the following.“ O, You who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness, (but wait) until you know what you are saying; not yet (while you are) in a stage requiring total absolution, until you have bathed...(Quran 4:43)

Note that at this stage, the Muslims have already been practicing their daily prayers. The verse was aimed at ‘those who have attained to faith' but yet at the time are still boozes who go drunk.

And finally, at the final stage, the Quran pointed that,‘O, You who have attained to faith! Intoxicants and games of chance, and idolatrous practices, and the divining of the future are but a loathsome evil of Satan’s doing: Shun it, then, so that you might attain to a happy state.’(Quran 5:90)

According to traditions (Al-Bukhari) the Muslims during that time were so ready to accept this commandment that they poured forth all their alcoholic beverages stored on the ground the very same day of it’s prohibitions, i.e. as the poets suggested, wine flowed in the streets of Madinah.

Are we ready to pour away our alcoholic beverages on the streets of Kuala Lumpur?

Also read Marina's post on the subject

Syed's and



PahNur said...

Power is a very nice thing to have isn't it? What would one do to have all that power? What would one do with all that power? Flaunt it of course. Clearly no punishment is required by God for those who consume intoxicating substance. Clearly He was giving the choice to His subjects by pointing out that intoxication results into more harm than good and to shun the habit. Why indeed did God not state clearly like He did, the punishment for fornicators for instance, when it come to intoxicating material consumption? That is because, He gave us the freedom of choice, just as he did with polygamy. "It's not good for you, but if you do it anyway, there are consequences" which by the way was not mandated to the humans to carry out, and the root of the problem is that the Muslims cannot grasp this simple concept because some of us are just so busy being morons.

So can someone answer the question, “How come there is no whipping for those who practice polygamy, allowances are made for drinkers?”. Oh , why are we going so far? What about solah then?. Clearly it is the pillar of religion. What next? Go around whipping those who don’t go to the mosque to pray? Oh, tak cukup kaki dan tangan. Well, kakitangan are most of the time pergi kursus and tangkap orang dalam kebasahan. Why not go around tangkap orang tak solah then?

The problem lies when human start to play God……that’s the core of the problem….

jawab said...

Sahih Muslim, Book 17, Number 4226:
Anas b. Malik reported that a person who had drink wine was brought to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him). He gave him forty stripes with two lashes. Abu Bakr also did that, but when Umar (assumed the responsibilities) of the Caliphate, he consulted people and Abd al-Rahman said: The mildest punishment (for drinking) is eighty (stripes) and 'Umar their prescribed this punishment.

Anonymous said...

hellow, Anas.

i've never commented on your blog but i like this post very much and want to tell you that.

there is one article on this topic by an Imam Feisal that has been going around. academic and makes a lot of sense especially when discussed vis-a-vis Kartika's punishment. unfortunately, some people have also taken his "degrees of prohibition" to somehow mean "permissible". in other words, alcohol consumption is not haram. i'm not so sure about that ...

anyway, i really appreciate the sociological perspective you highlighted here. but what do we make of this progression from a relaxed warning to a more garang one?

samaritan said...

Hi Anas,
The Bible’s Viewpoint[i]
Is It Wrong to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?
“WINE is a ridiculer, intoxicating liquor is boisterous, and everyone going astray by it is not wise.” Does this text, found in the Bible at Proverbs 20:1, indicate that it is wrong to drink alcoholic beverages? Some think so. As further evidence, they point to Bible accounts where bad acts resulted from the misuse of alcohol.—Genesis 9:20-25.
Then there are the disastrous results of overindulgence—ailments such as cirrhosis of the liver, tragic accidents, financial ruin, family abuse, and harm to the unborn. Probably because of such terrible consequences, “many religious denominations taught that drinking alcohol was immoral,” notes The World Book Encyclopedia. But is it immoral to drink alcoholic beverages? Does the Bible prohibit the drinking of all alcoholic beverages and in any amount?

What Does the Bible Say?
The Bible does warn about the bad consequences of overindulgence in alcohol. Ephesians 5:18 admonishes: “Do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery.” Also, Proverbs 23:20, 21 exhorts: “Do not come to be among heavy drinkers of wine, among those who are gluttonous eaters of flesh. For a drunkard and a glutton will come to poverty.” And Isaiah 5:11 says: “Woe to those who are getting up early in the morning that they may seek just intoxicating liquor, who are lingering till late in the evening darkness so that wine itself inflames them!”
The Bible also mentions the pleasures and benefits of drinking moderately. For instance, Psalm 104:15 states that one of God’s gifts is “wine that makes the heart of mortal man rejoice.” And the reward for doing good works, says Ecclesiastes 9:7, is to “eat your food with rejoicing and drink your wine with a good heart.” Knowing medicinal benefits of drinking wine, Paul told Timothy not to “drink water any longer, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent cases of sickness.” (1 Timothy 5:23) The ability of alcohol to help one to endure distress is noted in the Bible.—Proverbs 31:6, 7.
Clearly, the Bible does not prohibit the drinking of alcoholic beverages. What it does condemn, however, is drinking to excess and drunkenness. Therefore, Paul admonished Christian overseers, ministerial servants, and older women not to give themselves over “to a lot of wine,” and he advised Timothy to take only “a little wine.” (1 Timothy 3:2, 3, 8; Titus 2:2, 3) All Christians are reminded that “drunkards” will not “inherit God’s kingdom.”—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
Noteworthy is the fact that the Bible associates drunkenness with gluttony, directing that both be avoided. (Deuteronomy 21:20) If it were intended that we should not drink any alcohol at all, would that not also indicate that any eating of food is wrong as well? Rather, it is excess to the point of intoxication and gluttony that the Bible says is wrong—not eating and drinking in moderation.

What Did Jesus Do?
Christ left “a model for [us] to follow his steps closely,” says the apostle Peter. “He committed no sin.” (1 Peter 2:21, 22) So how did Jesus view alcoholic beverages? Well, his first miracle was that of changing water into wine. What kind of wine did Jesus turn the water into? “The director of the feast” complimented the bridegroom regarding this miraculously produced wine. He said: “Every other man puts out the fine wine first, and when people are intoxicated, the inferior. You have reserved the fine wine until now.”—John 2:9, 10.
Drinking wine was part of the Passover celebration, and Jesus used wine when he inaugurated the Lord’s Evening Meal. Handing a cup of wine to his disciples, he told them: “Drink out of it, all of you.” Knowing that his death was imminent, he added: “I will by no means drink henceforth any of this product of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.” (Matthew 26:27, 29) Yes, people knew that Jesus drank wine.—Luke 7:34.

Bukan Pak Pandir said...

here at the final stage the quran asks the believers to "shun it" and unlike like the consumption of swine and zina, the quran categorically says that its is haraam or a grave sin.


wnf wj said...

maybe u've read it already, but here's a link where everything about alcohol and islam is spelled out (the consumption, the punishment etc from the Quran and hadiths)