Society and Culture

Alcohol And Other Haram Intoxicants

There is a delusion currently widespread in the Ummah nowadays that while alcohol is considered Haram, other intoxicants such as cannabis, psychedelics, stimulants, etc. come under a ‘not as Haram as alcohol’ category. We should be aware that Satan incites people to follow their desires rather than the clear guidelines which have been set for us. [1]

Shaytan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from as-Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?

The word used in the Quran is ‘khamr’. Muslims who indulge in other forms of intoxicating drugs try to use this word to limit the prohibition to just alcohol, since khamr is translated as alcohol. Before continuing on with the article, a brief explanation of the word ‘khamr’ is needed.

The word Khamr is derived from the verb ‘khamara’ which means ‘concealed, covered or hidden’. Alcohol conceals and shrouds the intellect. Khamr is differently explained as ‘that which intoxicates’. So this word is applied to any intoxicating thing which obscures the intellect.

Narrated Hz Anas (RA): [2]

Alcoholic drinks were prohibited at the time we could rarely find wine made from grapes in Medina, for most of our liquors were made from unripe and ripe dates.

From the Hadith above, it is clear that when the verse prohibiting khamr was revealed, ‘wine made from grape’ was hardly present in Medina, and most of the wines were made from barley, wheat and dates.

Nowadays, it is sad to see that many Muslims, while they avoid alcohol, tend to lack discipline when it comes to other intoxicants. They give these drugs all sorts of names and justify their consumption, forgetting that all of the intoxicants fall under the same category as alcohol and are forbidden.

It was narrated by Hz Ubadah bin Samit (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: [3]

People among my nation will drink wine, under some other name that they will give to it.

Such intoxicants have several disadvantages: they are a waste of money, an unnecessary addiction, a waste of one’s limited time on earth, as well as a deterrent from other important things, such as prayer. Allah has forbidden us from praying in an intoxicated state: [4]

O you who believe! Approach not the Salah (prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning of) what you utter.

A person under the influence of such drugs fails to distinguish right from wrong: this opens the door to other sins, and a weakened mind is easier for Satan to take control of. Clearly, humans should avoid such a condition. [5]

And be not like those who say: “We have heard”, but they hear not.

The Halal and Haram ways have been clearly mentioned in the Quran, and we should strive to follow the Halal path, and pray that Allah keeps us away from wrong actions.

May Allah forgive us and guide us to the Straight Path. All what I have said that is good is from Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH); whatever error I have made is from me.


  1. The Quran 05:91 (Surah al-Maidah)
  2. Sahih Bukhari, Vol 7, Book 69, Hadith 486
  3. Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol 4, Book 30, 3385
  4. The Quran 04:43 (Surah an-Nisa)
  5. The Quran 08:21 (Surah al-Anfal)

photo by onnola

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Jamil Isimbabi

Jamil Isimbabi is a Muslim from Nigeria who believes Islam will never be comprehended fully until we return back to the understanding of the Sahabah and the Righteous. Jamil is also a freelance architect.

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