The Arabic word khamr signifies any alcoholic drink which causes intoxication.
We would be stating the obvious if we were to discuss the harmful effects of
drinking on the individual's mind, his health, his religion, and his work; or if we
discussed the disasters which he brings upon his family by neglecting their needs
and by not fulfilling his obligations, as the head of the family, toward his wife and
children; or if we elaborated on the spiritual, material, and moral evils which
proliferate in societies and nations due to the widespread consumption of
A researcher in this area has rightly stated that: Mankind has not suffered any
greater calamity than that brought about by the use of alcohol. If statistics were
collected worldwide of all the patients in hospitals who, due to alcohol, are
suffering from mental disorders, delirium tremens, nervous breakdowns, and
ailments of the digestive tract, to which are added the statistics of suicides,
homicides, bankruptcies, sales of properties, and broken homes related to the
consumption of alcohol, the number of such cases would be so staggering that, in
comparison to it, all exhortation and preaching against drinking would seem too
The Arabs during the period of jahiliyyah were very fond of wine and drinking
parties. This love of wine is reflected in their language, which has nearly one
hundred names for it, and in their poetry, which celebrates the praises of wine,
goblets, drinking parties, and so on.
To eradicate this pervasive evil from society, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala adopted
a wise course of education and training, prohibiting it in measured stages. First,
He made it clear to them that the harm of drinking wine is greater than its
benefit; next, He told them not to come to salat while intoxicated; and finally, He
revealed the verse in Surah al-Maidah which prohibited it totally and decisively:
O you who believe! Truly, intoxicants and gambling and... [continues]
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