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Ayahs (Quranic verses) prohibiting alcohol (3 A.H.)

Ayahs (Quranic verses) prohibiting alcohol 3 A.H

The ayahs prohibiting alcohol were revealed in the 3rd year of Hijrah, after the battle of Uhud [The Collection of Rulings in the Quran by Al-Qurtubi]. Alcohol was an established custom with the Arabs before Islam. It was difficult for any of them to stop this habit.

The Islamic legislation took account of the circumstances and habits of those it addressed at that time. As a result, alcohol was not prohibited in one step; Allah made the prohibition easy for those who had become accustomed to this habit by making it gradual.

We see that Allah (Glorified is He) first revealed, {They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say, ‘In both of these there is great evil, even though there is some benefit for people, but their evil is greater than their benefit’} [Surah Al-Baqarah: 219].

Consequently, some Muslims kept drinking and others stopped. To this, Omar Al-Farook (the discriminator), who was known for his earnestness and his tendency to want to understand any situation, said, “Oh Allah, send us a clear statement concerning alcohol.” Therefore, Allah (Glorified is He) revealed, {Believers! Do not draw near to the Prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying} [Surah An-Nisa: 43]. Consequently, when the call to start Prayer was made, the caller used to say, “Do not approach Prayer when you are intoxicated.”

But this ayah did not prohibit alcohol totally. It just prohibited praying when one is intoxicated. This made Omar ibn Al-Khattab plead to Allah, saying, “Oh Allah, send us a clear statement concerning alcohol.” Allah (Glorified is He) revealed, {Believers! Intoxicants, games of chance, idolatrous sacrifices at altars, and divining arrows are all abominations, the handiwork of Satan. So turn wholly away from them, that you may attain true success} [Surah Al-Maidah: 90] to, {…Will you, then, desist?} [Surah Al-Maidah: 91]. Therefore Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “This is sufficient; it is now clear” [related by An-Nisa’i].

The commitment of the noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to the orders in the religion was unquestionable and indisputable. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) tells us about this, saying, “I used to serve alcohol to the people in the house of Abu Talhah.  Then the prohibition of alcohol was revealed. A caller was told to announce this in the streets. When Abu Talhah heard the call, he said to me, ‘Go and see what that sound is.’ I left, and then returned to tell him that it was a caller that was announcing that alcohol had been prohibited. He then said, ‘Go and throw it away.’ It flowed in the roads of Medinah” [related by Al-Bukhari].

It flowed in the roads of Medinah!!... And there was so much that it was like a river, but of what?! It was a river of the best drink at the time. Yes, they threw it away, and their actions indicated the stance of: hear and obey. Truly, it is belief, when it infiltrates the heart and the mind tastes the sweetness of faith.