Why is Drinking Alcohol Forbidden in Islam?

Today, more than anything, people are concerned about what they eat and drink. And that is for a good reason; for you to live a fuller life, you need a healthy body alongside a healthy mind. And you can function better in the society as well. So a useful and practical food diet is the one which can guarantee both of these factors.


This is only one reason why Islam has forbidden drinking alcohol. Let’s regard this matter in depth.


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1. What does Quran say about Alcohol?


There are many verses in the Quran that directly or indirectly prohibit Muslims from drinking alcohol and emphasize the disadvantages of this action, one of which is as follows:


O you who have faith! Indeed wine, gambling, idols, and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan’s doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous. Indeed Satan seeks to cast enmity and hatred among you through wine and gambling and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you, then, relinquish?” (5:90-91)


The above verse reveals two destructive effects of drinking alcohol. They are threatening to the society as well as each individual.


Your Society is in Danger


Morally speaking, it is evident in many instances that drinking alcohol lowers the brain’s function and makes it unclear [1] & [2]. Thus the person would lose his/her control over his/her actions and could exhibit any behavior out of the moral boundaries. A simple misunderstanding, then, may cause a serious clash between the members of the society, since they are not in their right mind and cannot reason well.



Moreover, many car accidents in the society are caused by the drivers who have been under the influence of alcohol. According to a study:


Consuming alcohol before driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, highway injuries, and vehicular deaths. The higher the amount of consumed alcohol, the more likely to be involved in an accident. When alcohol is consumed, many of the skills that safe driving requires – such as judgment, concentration, comprehension, coordination, visual acuity, and reaction time – become impaired [3].



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Your Faith is in Danger


The one who consumes alcohol will be occupied with such jubilant feeling caused by alcohol that he/she will forget his/her duty toward Allah. One of the essential teachings of Islam is that a Muslim should be able to feel Allah in his/her heart in every breath and His presence in all his/her actions [i].



Through drinking alcohol, even in small quantities, your mind loses its sharpness and focus to fully attend to your necessary actions as a Muslim, e.g., daily prayer (Salat).


You Choose not to Choose by Drinking Alcohol!


We are born to be free, to choose and to decide for ourselves. That is why we are endowed with the power of reason. The one who drinks alcohol voluntarily drops the guard of his/her reasoning down. He/she deprives him/herself of the ability to choose the right manners and have control over his/her life. With an unclear mind no one can practice his right to choose, thus is not free!


Your Loss Is More than Your Profit


The holy Quran says: “They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say, ‘There is a great sin in both of them and some profits for the people, but their sinfulness outweighs their profit.’…” (2:219).



Almost in all our decisions, we are careful to choose the way that is more profitable for ourselves, be it financially, physically or morally. According to the Quran and many scientific studies, drinking alcohol brings more negative effects than positive. Thus its loss is way more than its profit. So it would be more rational to avoid drinking alcohol than to bear its negative consequences.


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2. What Do Scientists Say about Alcohol?


On the other hand, a lot of research conducted by scientists from all over the world shows that alcohol consumption has many detrimental effects on human health [4], [5] & [6].



Brain and nervous system is the first part of the body that would be seriously harmed by drinking alcohol. According to research, “Heavy drinking can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a painful pins-and-needles feeling or numbness in the extremities as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems” [1]. Moreover, some scientists believe that one of the leading causes of depression is alcohol consumption. 



According to a study:


1. “If you drink regularly, you increase your risk of developing pancreatitis.


2. Over the long term, drinking alcohol increases your risk of serious illnesses, such as mouth, throat and breast cancer


3. One of the most significant of these was the 2007 European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study which established a clear link between excessive alcohol intake and bowel cancer.


4. Drinking alcohol can contribute to the conditions that cause diabetes.


5. Our brains rely on a delicate balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt that balance, affecting our thoughts, feelings, and actions – and sometimes our long-term mental health.


6. Drinking alcohol at any stage during pregnancy can cause harm to your baby and the more you drink, the greater the risk. This is why the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) alcohol unit guideline advice to pregnant women is that the safest approach is to not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.


7. Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of developing liver disease and cause irreparable damage to this significant part of your body. In fact, alcohol is a major cause of the 25% increase in deaths from liver disease in England over the last decade (from 9,231 in 2001 to 11,575 in 2009)” [4] & [7]


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I am A Muslim then…


Finally, you may say that all these health effects of Alcohol are probable. Or a day will come that scientists will find a way to drop these adverse effects. If we have accepted to be Muslim, to surrender to the will of Allah, and believe that He desires the best for us in this world, then we would easily trust Allah’s commands.


So, trust Him in eliminating what He calls disadvantageous for you. And keep in mind that there is always a rationale behind whatever Allah commands; whether this logic has been revealed to us or not.



[i]  Quran (33:41-42)


[1] http://www.webmd.com

[2] https://www.forbes.com

[3] https://www.ncadd.org

[4] https://www.drinkaware.co.uk

[5] http://americanaddictioncenters.org

[6] https://www.psychologytoday.com