Contemporary Issues

Are Muslims Allowed to Drink Alcohol?

Google, Islam & Muslims: Short answers to common questions.


Muslims cannot drink alcohol according to Islam. The Holy Qur’an clearly states:

‘They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: “In both there is great sin and also some advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.”’ (2:220)

Here the word ‘wine’ (translated from the Arabic word ‘Khamr’) refers to all forms of alcohol. This is made clear by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) when he said:

‘Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is unlawful.’ (Sunan an-Nasa’i 5699)

So this means that every intoxicant is forbidden in Islam. The reason for this is because (as stated in the verse of the Holy Qur’an) the harms far outweigh the benefits.

This is backed up by modern research; according to the World Health Organisation: ‘No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health’. This means that the Holy Qur’an was well over a thousand years ahead of its time by banning alcohol for Muslims.

However, Muslims are allowed to consume medicine that contains alcohol. This is what the Holy Qur’an means by it contains “some advantages”. In other words, alcohol can be consumed for medicinal purposes but never for recreational purposes (when the harm clearly outweighs the benefit).

The Holy Qur’an further emphasises:

‘O ye who believe! wine and the game of hazard and idols and divining arrows are only an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So shun each one of them that you may prosper.’ (5:91)

More Questions:

Are Muslims Allowed To Swear?

Are Muslims Vegetarian?

Are Muslims Allowed To Gamble?

Further Reading:

Why Alcohol is Prohibited in Islam

Alcohol in Islam and Science: Conflict or Concordance

The Origins of Wine-Drinking Culture in Pre-Islamic Arabia


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