Clink! Alcohol a-okay in Islam!

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qardawi says islam is alright with alcoholCheers, guys, drink up and have no ill feelings that by imbibing you would have cut a steerage ticket to hell!

Well, Qardawi says it’s okay, so it must be!

But what’s the context, I hear you ask? Well, the guy based this “fatwa” on the (apparent) fact that some energy drinks contain minute amounts of alcohol, said to be about 1/8th of that contained in light beers. And as – says he – a person cannot get drunk by consuming copious amounts of said energy drink, then a little dram won’t hurt anyone, and is Islamically sanctified.

Brilliant!

But why, I sense you think? Well, my bet is on the possibility that one of his Islamic banks on which he serves on the Shari’a Board – yeah, they have to have one otherwise they’re not kosher and can’t call themselves an Islamic Bank – has bought an energy drinks company and no one did proper due diligence, ie, didn’t know that those drinks contain some alcohol, (Wallah ya akhie maadrarait, yah!) so they’re finding it hard to offload it.

    “Oooh what should we do?”

brains go click-click-burrr for a while and then, all of a sudden a bright light goes into someone’s head:

    “I know I know… let’s get a fatwa issued!”

And so it was.

Good scenario?

Who cares! Now where’s that energy drink?

Hick! Cheers!

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36 Comments
  • Balqis
    11 April 2008

    I think he followed the same reasoning of vinegar : fermentation is a process of transformation .
    Scholars disagree on this issue .

  • sillybahrainigirl
    12 April 2008

    cheers 😈

  • lorena
    12 April 2008

    No kidding ! ..this is crasy

  • Balqis
    12 April 2008

    Not really crazy
    Is a matter of disagreement
    But it was reported in a way that those who do not know our religion well, can find an excuse to laugh at Islam and Muslims

  • Loki
    12 April 2008

    Ok I think your title is waaay out of context. Also what the guy said makes sense. And he won’t be the first person from Al-Azhar to have said this.

    This can apply to medicines and other drinks as well (including non-alcholic beer which tends to have a minute amount alcohol in it).

    The logic he applied to reach this conclusion is fair enough, I don’t see why people are making a story out of this.

  • Lee Ann
    12 April 2008

    Well, I shall leave the halal and haram aspect aside and just point out that the Quran does not use the word haram when referring to alcohol consumption…as it does in all other ayats of things forbidden. Just says to stay away from the ill effects side of the whole business…

    but then again…I think energy drinks are foul and the ill effects from then should label them as just down right lethal…and forbidden….but thats just me.

    but…aside from that he has a point…lol.

  • Hussain
    12 April 2008

    let’s not forget the prophet mohammed’s saying (paraphrased) “if it intoxicates in a large amount, it is forbidden even in a small amount.”

  • PH
    12 April 2008

    “…as it does in all other ayats of things forbidden”

    Actually it doesn’t use haram in all other ayats either, sometimes there is just the promise of punishment or falling out of grace with god. Even though the notion of just considering the ayats that have the word haram as those that define what is right or wrong is common among extreme liberal muslims and their western backers; if that was the case then nearly nothing would be haram.

  • Mike
    12 April 2008

    Stay away from the alcohol, it might make you do crazy things………….

  • Lee Ann
    13 April 2008

    is common among extreme liberal muslims …not sure if I qualify for that…lol.

    So let me understand this…alcohol is completely forbidden even though its been proven that a glass of wine a day has beneficial affects….and its also been proven that beating someone can cause severe damage and or even death ….and yet the Quran apparently gives permission to beat the wife(all though many claim its just supposed to be done lightly…a light beating…just what the doctor ordered…or was the God?)…so no to the alcohol(which has harm and benefit) but yes to the beating(which only has harm)….hmmmm?

    And neither uses the word haram or forbidden…nice.

  • Loki
    13 April 2008

    I think its safe to say the Quran equates Khamr with haram. Even though it doesn’t explicitly say so. “Rijs min a shaitan f’ajtanibooh” is a about as bad as you can get.

    That said, I think the problem is that people equate khamr with Alcohol. when they should be equating Khamr with Alcoholic drinks, which would make more sense (ie. beers, wines, spirits, etc).

    Alcohol has many (for want of a better word) non-recreational uses. The most obvious is in medication. All the sheikh did was a make a distinction between the two. Which is perfectly reasonable (IMHO).

    Lee Ann, I suspect the idea that a small amount of wine is beneficial is a tad out dated.

  • mahmood
    13 April 2008

    So Red Bull is a medicinal drink? I bet my kids would bring that up whenever I tell them NO to that muck!

  • Redbelt
    13 April 2008

    Mahmood, you are taking this out of Context. Allow me:

    1) Islam NEVER said that consuming Alcohol was Forbidden. Literally, it said that consuming anything that could make you DRUNK is Forbidden. That means, be it an Alcoholic drink or whatever.

    2) Whatever makes you drunk if you drink too much of is forbidden, and thus any small quantity of it is also forbidden (eg: Vodka)

    3) Whatever won’t make you drunk no matter how much physically possible you can drink of is OK to drink. (eg: Redbull has trace alcohol, but even if you fill up on Redbull, you will only be on a suger high, not drunk. The amounts are too small) Hence drinking a lot or a little is OK.

    Conclusion: It is not the Substance that is Forbidden, but the item consumed. Vinigar, Apple Juice, Redbull, Non alcoholic “Beer” all have trace alcohol but you will never ever ever get drunk from consuming them.

    Makes sense. Understand it and let us move on with our lives. 😎

  • Ethan
    13 April 2008

    “Whatever makes you drunk if you drink too much of is forbidden, and thus any small quantity of it is also forbidden”

    It is not the drink that makes you drunk. The alcohol inside the drink is the agent of drunkenness. If you drink pure grain alcohol, you get drunk. Period, full stop.

    Therefore regardless of the proven health benefits of alcohol, any consumption of it is utterly forbidden, and who are we question the perfect wisdom of the Prophet?

    You cannot rationalize this away with silliness about how some drinks that contain alcohol (the agent of drunkenness) are different than others. They are not. Any small bit (even a molecule) of alcohol is forbidden.

    Of course, if you allow some drinks that have a small bit of alcohol then you have given an innovation to the religion. Why can’t people just literally follow every word in the perfect Koran? It’s written by God! It claims that it’s perfectly clear, and it is. There are no contradictions in the Koran.

    These silly clerics and Imams are only out to pervert Allah’s words for their own worldly pleasure and to them will be met a fiery doom.

    —-

    Whew. I’m practicing my Takfir, how did I do?

  • mahmood
    13 April 2008

    Scary, Ethan, scary!

  • exclamation mark
    13 April 2008

    Was he drinking from that drink when issuing this fatwa ?!

    This man is troubled !!! :mrgreen:

  • Redbelt
    14 April 2008

    Dear Ethan

    We do know what is the agent for “drunkenness”. Let me guess: You are American, aren’t you?
    Let me get off on a tangent here: Recent psychological studies showed that Americans (And Europeans) look at things individually whilst Asians look at things on a whole. (Study compared Americans Vs. Several far Asian races).

    So my dear sir, get up, go buy a carton of Barbican, I’ll pay. Drink it all. All of it, until you can’t move or breath. OK? Then call me up and tell me if you feel even tipsy.
    I know the “ALCOHOL” is the “AGENT” but realistically, in real life, it can’t give you the “drunkenness” in that state can it?

    For the unaware, Islam specifically worded it like so and not “Alcohol is forbidden” because then only Alcohol is forbidden (pure grain Alcohol as you said) while other substances that affect your “soberness” will go scot free.
    Also, if it stated that Alcohol is 7aram, we will have a big debate over drinks WITH alcohol because they are not Alcohol per se but only INCLUDE alcohol.

    It is too simple if you want it to be simple. Just go back to the actual wording and see the extent of it and its limitations. Lawyers do that everyday, its not a strange science.
    Bottom line:
    “Whatever will make you drunk if you drank it in quantity is forbidden no matter how much you drink of. Else; OK”

  • mahmood
    14 April 2008

    “Whatever will make you drunk if you drank it in quantity is forbidden no matter how much you drink of. Else; OK”

    You will excuse me for disagreeing with you on this. Alcohol in whatever quantity is forbidden. Zero tolerance. End of story. That’s how I – and the majority of interpretations – understand the restriction.

  • Loki
    14 April 2008

    Mahmood,

    Even in Saudi we had Islamic studies teachers that told us that Alcohol must viewed in the context of its form.

    You seem to think the Quran refers to the organic chemistry! Khamr was a drink made of fermented laban not a chemical compound!!

    “Whatever will make you drunk if you drank it in quantity is forbidden no matter how much you drink of. Else; OK”

    That is basically a hadeeth reworded. And it makes perfect sense. Many scholars have said this before!

    Much ado about nothing.

  • Sos
    14 April 2008

    I believe Ethan’s post was writen from a sarcastic point of view guys…did anyone else pick up on that?

  • Redbelt
    14 April 2008

    You are free to disagree Mahmood. I’m sure you will allow me to hold my own opinions too.
    However, I stated reasoning and justification for my opinion. Maybe you’d like to offer some for yours so this discussion gets richer?

  • mahmood
    14 April 2008

    As I understand it, it’s black and white as far as “things that can hurt your body” so much so that some clerics even debate the correctness of drinking coffee and tea.

    My _personal_ view is that this is nonsensical. Any substance if used for medicinal purposes should be allowed, but we’re not talking about medicine here, the right honourable gentleman is using the tenuous medical condition to condone the consumption of so-called energy drinks _even if they contain small amounts of alcohol_ in effect, he is condoning the use and consumption of alcohol for recreational purposes.

    Do you see where this is going?

  • Ethan
    14 April 2008

    “You seem to think the Quran refers to the organic chemistry! Khamr was a drink made of fermented laban not a chemical compound!!”

    Just for note: Fermented anything is a chemical compound. 😛

    On the other hand, however, the Koran does, in fact refer to Organic Chemistry everywhere inside it. At least that’s what the Saudi-supplied Dawa manual I have says. The Koran contains all of modern science and medicine, and is never wrong about anything because it says that it itself is correct and a perfect guide for life, ok? So your interpretation is incorrect, and goes against Allah – enjoy your painful doom. The alcohol molecule is 7aram just like the dirty Kuffar – case closed.

    —–

    Am I being sarcastic? I can’t even tell. It would be obvious if there wasn’t already a large portion of the online Ummah that thinks this way.

    But as Mahmood said – scary – and it is. I think I’ll go relax with a nice glass of wine, one of the healthful bounties of Divine Providence that is denied to far too many.

  • G1G
    14 April 2008

    Soft drinks have minute amounts of alcohol in them… No one is complaining about that 🙄

  • Redbelt
    14 April 2008

    Mahmood

    I can see your argument, but I didn’t see any justification for it. Let us approach the matter again from another angle:
    Forget anything about the word “ALCOHOL”, everything you thought, were tought or just anything.
    Breath.. Deep breath..
    OK, now that we have a clean slate:

    1) Islam will not allow you to drink (eat, consume) ANYTHING that will get you intoxicated, drunk or in anyway forgo reason, no matter what the contents are)

    2) Should anything be found that fulfills the criteria stated in # 1 above, no amounts of it, small or big, be consumed.

    3)Should anything fulfills the criteria found in # 1 above but is also found to be temporarily of use (as in medicinal uses for example or in famine) it may be used provided that no other alternative is present and should be stopped immediately should the temporary reason be lifted (cured, another medicine, have alternative food or drink)

    THE END

    With this definition we can see it is not only Alcohol. If someone is allergic to… COLA and causes him to hallucinate, then yes, to HIM it would be forbidden.

    How is that?

  • mahmood
    14 April 2008

    I understand what you’re saying and agree with you wholeheartedly. The issue here is not that, however. Specifically, the guy was justifying the consumption of alcohol in minute quantities for recreational purposes in energy drinks – forgetting that those energy drinks might actually do more damage to a person than the same quantity of alcohol if it were consumed! Do you see the irony in this situation?

    I’m no theologian nor do I ever even wish to be one, but my understanding, as is yours, is that alcoholic drinks are forbidden, full stop; however, this learned gentleman excuses its use in recreational drinks just as he excuses terrorism. That is, his positions are as malleable as dough and possibly available for the highest bidder, or skew toward a person or situation which is most beneficial to him.

    At least, that’s what it looks like to me.

    The silver lining in all of this, if you will, is the demonstration that Islam is flexible! However, he does not capitalise on that particular trait, unfortunately.

  • Redbelt
    15 April 2008

    I remember I saw something on the back page of Alwasat about this yesterday. He says that the media has taken it out of context and he in no way suggested (lets use a more accurate word here rather than a chemical) khamer or liquer or such to be used at all.
    Energy drink damage is debatable, I for one find out that they are great pre-workout and pre-exams for example. Islam, I believe, leaves such debatable matter up to you. But for intoxicating drinks or something obviously bad (poison?) that is obviously forbidden.

    I am not concerned with sheikhs that clarify generally accepted concepts. What freaks me out is the one off f***heads that come up with shit like sucking off the breasts of colleagues for her to be your sister.
    How f***ed up was that? Oh, and if it even would be remotely possible, she’d be your mom anyway.

  • mahmood
    15 April 2008

    He says that the media has taken it out of context

    He would wouldn’t he?

    Just like the guy with a breast fetish who suggested that men go around with mouths gaping open waiting for God-fearing wimin to stuff their mammaries in them.

  • Nine
    16 April 2008

    What the fuss is all about? Didn’t the guy condone violence against the innocents (the infidels)?

    There was no outcry against that amongst his people yet there is against him “allowing” alcohol!

    Such a sad state of affairs.

  • mahmood
    16 April 2008

    Not true.

  • Al Durazi
    16 April 2008

    Where exactly can I find it explicitly stated in the Qur’an that any consumption of alcohol is forbidden?

  • Redbelt
    17 April 2008

    No where.

    The first declaration made by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) concerning this matter was that not only is Khamr (wine or alcohol) prohibited but that the definition of Khamr extends to any substance that intoxicates, in whatever form or under whatever name it may appear. Thus, beer and similar drinks are haram.

    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545310

  • Aboo Alee Muhammad bin Timothy
    17 June 2008

    I dont agree with alQaradhaawee on many issues, as there are many Ulamaa who have refuted many of his ideas. However Mahmood, Itaqillaah yaa Akhee. To joke with this deen is a form of istihzaa/mocking. I would advise you not to keep aiming for cheap laughs in this manner and twisting words.

    br Aboo Alee

  • Steve the American
    18 June 2008

    Balqis: “But it was reported in a way that those who do not know our religion well, can find an excuse to laugh at Islam and Muslims”

    Don’t worry, Balqis. We are working through a long list of reasons to make mock of Islam and Muslims. We need no excuses as of yet. We haven’t even finished with the Danish cartoon riots as material for mockery. And we’ll always be laughing at Islamic Rage Boy.

    Mahmood: “Alcohol in whatever quantity is forbidden. Zero tolerance. End of story. That’s how I – and the majority of interpretations – understand the restriction.”

    The bad news here is that lots of harmless stuff contains alcohol. Vanilla extract, for example, contains alcohol. That means that if you munch a chocolate chip cookie, baked with that delicious vanilla extract, you will burn in hell with us Chablis-swilling infidels.

    Some toothpaste contains alcohol and, of course, mouthwash contains loads of it. If you see a Muslim who has fresh breath, he is an apostate. You must kill him. That goes double if they’re wearing perfume or aftershave, both of which are full of alcohol.

    For the ladies, I regret to report that makeup, lotions, skin care, and hair care products have at least trace amounts of alcohol. If you want to enter paradise, your face must look like hell on Earth.

    There is also alcohol in pain relievers, laxatives, antidiarrheals, iron, cough-cold-allergy, vitamins, canker sore and toothache products. If you know a Muslim brother who is suffering from constipation and who is skipping around light as a feather an hour later, you can be sure he has made a pact with Satan and partaken of his brew. Miraculous cures from the sniffles also deserve a raised eyebrow. In fact, a good Muslim just stays sick and in pain until it just goes away on its own.

    Aboo Alee Muhammad bin Timothy: “To joke with this deen is a form of istihzaa/mocking. I would advise you not to keep aiming for cheap laughs in this manner and twisting words.”

    Well said, Aboo Alee. Mahmood should not go for cheap laughs in this manner. That’s my job.

  • Salman
    18 June 2008

    Hey Steve, would you get drunk if you consumed medicinal alcohol? Or drank a carton of 100ml perfume bottles? Or maybe consumed a tub of toothpaste?

    Khamr in Arabic does not mean alcohol. It means aged. And Islam forbids aged fluids or substances that can or will cause the a person to lose their conscience.

    And no, inhaling N2O is not allowed either. Not unless it is to be used for medical purposes.

  • Steve the American
    19 June 2008

    Salman,

    Sounds like Koranic hair-splitting to me. Alcohol is forbidden, in whole or in part. It’s just another way that Islam is extreme in all things. By training Muslims to be extremists in small things, they become extremists in big things.

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