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The Handiwork of Satan

Guidance-I

“Believers! Intoxicants, games of chance, idolatrous sacrifices at altars, and divining arrows are all abominations, the handiwork of Satan. So turn wholly away from it that you may attain to true success. By intoxicants and games of chance Satan only desires to create enmity and hatred between you, and to turn you away from the remembrance of Allah and from Prayer. Will you, then, desist?”

(Al-Qur’ān – 5:90-91)

The Qur’ānic ayat 5:90 categorically prohibits intoxicants and three other things. This prohibition is gradual. Two earlier ayats 2:219 and 4:43 hinted at the displeasure of Allah at intoxicants. Before the revelation of the last injunction, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) had warned the people that intoxicants were highly displeasing to Allah. Hinting at the possibility of their being prohibited, he advised people to dispose of intoxicants if they had any. A little later on the present verse was revealed and the Messenger then proclaimed that those who had intoxicants should neither consume nor sell them, but rather destroy them. Intoxicating liquors were poured into the streets of Madina.

Though the word khamr in Arabic means literally ‘the drink made from grapes’, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) applied the prohibition of wine to all intoxicants, saying ‘every intoxicant is khamr, and every intoxicant is prohibited’, ‘every drink which causes intoxication is prohibited’ and ‘I forbid everything which intoxicates’. In a Friday sermon Caliph Umar defined khamr thus: ‘whatever takes hold of the mind is khamr’. So wine and all intoxicating drugs are prohibited.



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