Alcohol is a type of legal drug of the depressant type (i.e. it slows down brain activity) in a liquid state, found in fermented or distilled beverages, and is considered by many societies not only as a legal substance used for recreational purposes but as a primordial element for several cultures, forming part of the religious canon of some practitioners. Today we will show you what Islamic society thinks about alcohol.
Knowing a Little More About Alcohol
The origin of the word alcohol is of Arabic origin, precisely from “al-khul” or “al-ghalw” as this was the word assigned to the result of the fermentation process. On the other hand, the contribution of the Arab culture to this spirit not only arrives there, but it is also responsible for the creation of the alembic, which is an artifact whose function is to perform the distillation of liquids through the process of evaporation by heating, and the condensation of the same by cooling. Hence, the origin of the word “alambiq” is also Arabic.
There are historical records of ancient civilizations that at a very early age achieved the development of alcoholic beverages. Such is the case of the Greeks and Romans, who knew distillation techniques, but it was the Arabs who managed to perfect these techniques, and thanks to their well-known trade as merchants, they established distribution routes for alcoholic beverages, thus achieving an export trade.
But what happened next? Thanks to the expansion of the Islamic religion in the territories that were mostly Arabian, they moved away from drinks considered spirits, mainly for moral reasons, since it is considered that the state of drunkenness is a form of intoxication, therefore, this type of behavior only causes havoc and damage to the population.
With the arrival of the prophet Mohammed, notorious changes were established in the behavior of the Islamic society thanks to his teachings, and many of these teachings were against bad habits, especially because in those ancient times the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula consumed alcohol in an inordinate manner.
Consuming alcohol is not only limited to a matter of personal consumption, when we consume alcohol we usually think of social consumption, but that is also why alcohol is so requested in social events, and we must think about it, alcohol is present in almost all festivities of Western societies, from birthdays to New Year, alcohol seems to be a constant. And the festive atmosphere is more enjoyable, the human being likes the consumption of alcohol and especially if it is surrounded by many people.
Is Alcohol Haram or Halal?
As we know, Islam is a religion that has clear rules that must not be broken. These rules are practically traditions that have been passed from generation to generation, and their origin is directly linked to the holy book of Muslims, the Koran. There are two words that summarize what is allowed and what is forbidden in terms of behavior in the Islamic world, those words are Haram and Halal.
Halal is defined as all those practices that are permitted by the Muslim religion, although usually this concept refers mainly to food practices, or at least that is what Muslims first imagine when they hear this word. Eating is a sacred act for the believers of this religion, because for Muslims food is a direct blessing from Allah.
Of course, the large amount of food regularly consumed by Muslims is allowed (Halal), in fact, there is a halal certification, which is a symbol found on foods of Arabic origin, there the future diners can perceive directly which foods can be consumed directly, because some of these foods are composed of different substances and it is preferable to make sure if it is a product that they can consume. It is common to see that Muslims themselves often wonder if they can consume any product, so questions arise such as: can Muslims drink coffee? However, there are three main cases of foods that cannot be consumed if you are Islamic, and these are pork, animal blood and finally, alcoholic beverages.
In fact, there are specific paragraphs within the holy book of Islam that refer directly to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, in these paragraphs, we can see words that are not necessarily very flattering to those who consume alcohol, and is that in the sacred text alcohol is judged harshly, and it matters little if the consumer only ingests a drop or a liter, any amount of alcohol however small is Haram.
A good example of this is the following phrase “O believers! Intoxicants, gambling, idols, and drawing lots for decisions are all evil of Satan’s handiwork. So shun them so you may be successful”. This shows that for Muslims alcohol has been introduced into that world as a tool of the evil one to manipulate the population, and for that reason, to divert those people who do good from the path of Allah.
To such a degree is the Islamic regulation of alcohol that there is practically zero tolerance. Proof of this is the following words of Muhammad: “The wrath of God falls on ten types of people who are related to alcohol: the one who distills it, the person for whom it has been distilled, the one who drinks it, the one who transports it, the person for whom it has been transported, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who uses the money produced by it, the one who buys it and the one who buys it for someone else”. We can interpret with these words, that all people involved in any direct or indirect way with alcohol are acting immorally.
6 Reasons Why Muslims Don’t Drink Alcohol
There are many reasons why Muslims do not consume alcohol. The main reason is due to religious reasons but this regulation has several background explanations. Here are six reasons why the Muslim population does not consume alcohol:
- It alters the mental faculties: Alcohol affects the neuronal receptors, which translates into the notorious reduction of our mental response, when we are in a state of drunkenness we cannot move with balance, nor can we pronounce words correctly, added to this our thoughts become less agile.
- Alcohol is considered an intoxicant: According to the Koran and Islamic law, alcoholic beverages are considered intoxicants, although their manufacture is not prohibited as such, their consumption is. This brings as a consequence great penances.
- It hinders the relationship with God: For Muslims, the correct relationship with God is something fundamental, since the Islamic religion establishes that prayer, known as “salat” is the best way to establish communication with the creator, it is so important that for this reason, Muslims perform prayers five times a day.
- Generates health problems: The harmful effects of consuming alcohol in excess are scientifically proven, some of its consequences are for example increased blood pressure, stroke, stomach bleeding, pancreatic damage, liver cancer, among others. For Muslims, good health is also crucial because being in good physical and mental shape facilitates the praise of Allah.
- It creates problems of coexistence: Both in ancient times and in recent times, excessive alcohol consumption can cause certain people’s attitudes, eradicating, annoying, or even violence. For this reason, Islam, which is a religion based on principles of cooperation among its believers, frowns upon someone who practices Islam as being in a state of drunkenness. Alcoholism is considered as a factor that could end the traditional Islamic family, as it is a great inciter of irresponsible and violent attitudes within the central nucleus of the family, remember that in Islam polygamy is allowed, and if the head of the family can not fulfill its function due to addictions is frowned upon by Muslim society.
- It is considered immoral: Islamic ethics has as a principle the improvement of the society that believes in Allah, that is why the rules were established to help the population to be in good shape both physically and mentally, this to praise Allah. Therefore from an ethical perspective, consuming alcohol is an immoral act as it defies the Muslim ideal of a good believer in Islam.
The consumption of alcohol is forbidden by Islamic law, this is because this rule is written in the sacred text of the Muslims, The Qur’an. The words of prohibition were directly pronounced by the prophet Mohammed, as well as by those closest to him, who condemned the consumption of alcohol among the Islamic population. All this was also due, in part, to the consequences that the founder of Islam himself could perceive from the excessive consumption of alcohol: irresponsibility, vice, violence, and social disorder that affected the population occupying the Arabian Peninsula at that time.
For this reason, the consumption of alcohol is considered Haram (that is, forbidden according to Islamic law) and it is not allowed to consume it even in small doses, because it goes against Islamic belief. Is why today we mention six reasons why alcohol consumption is frowned upon: because it is considered intoxicating, alters the mental faculties, hinders the relationship with God, generates health problems, causes problems of coexistence, among others.