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Alcohol ban and not offer prayer when drunken


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Author Topic: Alcohol ban and not offer prayer when drunken  (Read 36 times)
shukri halil
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« on: May 12, 2022, 11:35:39 pm »
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Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  Some non-Muslims and weak Muslims argue that in one of the Verses the Quran says don’t pray when you are intoxicated and in some other Verse says don’t drink at all.  They think this to be "contradiction" or "confusion" that first it says don’t drink while praying, and then says don’t drink at all.  Please comment. 
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2022, 11:55:09 pm »
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Walaikum As-salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.   

That is a completely wrong perception and a thoroughly incorrect argument.

The two Verses in the Noble Quran on alcohol consumption are Verse 5:90 (Al-Maidah) and 4:43 (Al-Nissa). 

"O you who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that you may succeed."  5:90  Al-Maidah.

"O you who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when you are drunken, till you know that which you utter,"   4:43  An-Nissa.


As it has already been stated in our original post on the topic of alcohol consumption, that the above two Verses are completely independent.  Therefore there cannot be any scope for contradiction or confusion.  The first one (V.5:90) categorically commands to avoid alcohol.  The second one (V.4:43) highlights that despite the ban, if someone has faltered by consuming the forbidden, they must at least have the decency and respect not to offer salah in an intoxicated condition when they have little or no idea what they are uttering.

Verse 5:90 belongs to Surah Al-Maidah which was revealed in Medinah by the end of  6 AH or early 7 AH  (AH stands for ‘after Hijrah’) after the Treaty of  Hudabiyah, as indicated by its theme.  According to Pickhthall it was revealed between 5 AH and 10 AH.  This observation is mainly on account of Verse 5:3  which is quite definitely one of the latest Verses of the Noble Quran, quote:  “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam.”   Verse 5:3 was most likely revealed in Makkah during the Prophet's (pbuh) final pilgrimage or the Farewell Pilgrimage as it's also called.  But otherwise Al-Maidah is a Medinan Surah.  Some of the things addressed in Surah Al-Maidah include the Divine Commandments and Instructions on religious, cultural and political matters in the lives of the Muslims.  This Surah states a complete ban on the negative social practices of drinking and gambling.

Surah An Nissa was also revealed in Medinah.  The revelation began between the 3rd and 5th years AH.  According to other sources, the revelation of this extensive topic was completed by approximately 8 AH, the year of the conquest of Makkah.  Consequently, parts of Surah An-Nissa (Chapter 4)  the second-longest in the Quran, were revealed concurrently with portions of  Surah Al-Mumtahanah (Chapter 60)  revealed around 8 AH also dealing with social issues.  And both Surah Al-Maidah and Surah An-Nissa include several social matters. 

As we can easily discern from the approximate dates of revelation, Surah Al-Maidah (with the exception of V.5:3) was apparently revealed before Surah An-Nissa.  Hence, first came the ban on drinking, and then the additional information to violators to at least refrain from prayers in an intoxicated condition. 

But regardless of which Ayat was revealed first – whether V.5:90 or V. 4:43 – that has no bearing on the fact that from the social view point the contents of these two Ayats are completely independent.  Both Verses are hugely important, and must be applied in the lives of everyone. 

Though every intoxicating commodity is unlawful (as confirmed in V.5:90), the transgression of intoxication is doubled if salah is offered in a state of insobriety when one is hardly aware of what they are uttering.  Based on the same reasoning, Muslims have also been advised by our jurists since early post-Islamic era that if anyone is very tired or overly exhausted in a very sleepy or drowsy condition due to physical fatigue, then they must stop their salah at such a time and go to sleep.

Both Divine Commandments on alcohol given in V.5:90 and 4:43 make the law against the consumption of alcohol complete and valid.  Anyone who sees it as a “contradiction” is only trying to repudiate a matter just because they personally do not like it. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 05:37:58 am »
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How on earth can Verses 5:90 and 4:43 ever be viewed as "contradiction" and "confusion" ??   Please tell me a bit on that .. !
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Shukri Halil
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 10:43:09 am »
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I also don't know why some people talk like that.  I heard someone I know putting this argument, that's why I wanted to know Muslim Villa opinion.

Thank you for the useful information.
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Rabiah khan
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 11:10:45 am »
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Did the rule of V.4:43 have any implication of women indulging in alcohol and praying when intoxicated?
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 11:14:56 am »
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No, absolutely not.   The Divine Instruction to stay away from prayer while intoxicated is for everyone, men and women. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2022, 01:11:26 am »
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As-Salam Alaykom to all.  I would also like to bring to notice V.2:219 of Surah Al-Baqrah. 

"They question you about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness."  2:219.

I have seen and heard several lukewarm Muslims trying to misinterpret this Verse claiming the Quran discourages but doesn't forbid alcohol.  Not true.  The Quran very definitely forbids use of alcohol and all  intoxicants.  The Quranic ban on use of alcohol/intoxicants came in steps so it's necessary to view and understand all Quranic contents on this topic collectively.   In Verse 2:219 of Surah Al-Baqrah which was revealed between the 1st and 2nd years of the Hijrah, Allah Almighty refers that despite the pleasure people may derive by alcoholic or intoxicating drinks, it's harm is far greater than the pleasure it may provide.  A little later between the 6th and 7th years of the Hijrah, it is categorically stated to avoid use of alcohol / intoxicants.  About the same period, just a little later, came the additional information that violators must at least make sure not to approach salah in a state of intoxication when they don't clearly know or understand what they utter.

Thus, Verses 2:219, 5:90 and 4:43 must all be taken serially or point-wise to fully comprehend the Quranic decision on this topic.  And that decision is certainly 'NO' to alcohol / intoxicants.

Allah Almighty explains every social issue in the Noble Quran very practically and realistically.  There is never any question of 'contradiction' or 'confusion' for a discerning reader.   
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 01:22:14 am »
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Wa'salam and thanks brother TS.  That's a very significant addition to this conversational thread.  Alhumdulilah.
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