With regards to alcohol. I understand that it is forbidden. Why was it not forbidden straight away with the advent of Islam, because if I am not mistaken.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salam Brother Burhan ,

With regards to alcohol. I understand that it is forbidden. Why was it not forbidden straight away with the advent of Islam, because if I am not mistaken,

alcohol was not straight away forbidden in the initial days of Islam.

Yours truly,

May Allah guide and protect us and may he increase our faith and iman.


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Why islam not forbid alcohol immediately

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your Question: Why was it not forbidden straight away with the advent of Islam, because if I am not mistaken, alcohol was not straight away forbidden in the initial days of Islam.
Such was the spiritual depravation and the depths of ignorance prevalent in the idolatrous Arab society at the advent of Islam, that had the Whole Quran been revealed all at once at the very beginning, or had every guidance and command of Islam been made known at the very outset…..not only would it become an unbearable burden for those who chose to believe, but many a prospect believer would have taken a mere look at the revolution the guidance of Islam expected from his life and lifestyle and it is possible that he would be turned away from it.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 25 Surah Furqaan verses 32-33:

32      Those who reject faith say: "Why is not the Quran revealed to him (the Prophet (saws)) all at once?"  Thus (is it revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby, and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow well-arranged stages gradually.

33      And no question do they bring to thee, but We reveal to thee the Truth and the best explanation (thereof).


Thus in the Absolute and Perfect Wisdom of the Lord Most High, the absolute majority of the Revelations of the Quran for the first twelve years were dedicated solely to the introduction and strengthening of the concepts of ‘emaan’ or faith:

  1. The Absolute Oneness and Uniqueness of the Majestic Lord and Creator, Allah Subhanah.
  2. The confirmation of the appointment of all His Messengers, concluding with the Last and Final Messenger, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws).
  3. The confirmation of all the Books of Allah, concluding with the Last and Final Book, Al-Quran.
  4. The concept of the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell.
  5. The concept of Allah’s Angels.
  6. The concept of the Divine Decrees of Allah Subhanah.


When the above absolutely obligatory and revolutionary tenets of ‘emaan’ or faith were thoroughly drilled and engrained in the society of believers, only then did the majority of the ‘Shariah’ or the Divine Laws which were to govern the life of a believer and the righteous society were revealed. 


Thus for the first twelve years when the believing society was taking shape and being formed, although the concept of voluntary prayers and fasting was made known and practiced by the believers, there was absolutely no obligation upon the believers to pray the five obligatory prayers, or fast the month of Ramadan, or pay the obligatory zakah, or perform the pilgrimage of Hajj, etc.   


It was precisely on the basis of the Perfect and Absolute Wisdom of revealing the guidance in stages as and when the believing Ummah was taking shape and being strengthened through faith, that the moral diseases of the society too be gradually addressed. 


Once the concept of ‘emaan’ and faith had made their secure homes in the hearts of the believers, they themselves felt the evil effects of intoxicants and gambling were having on society and they approached the Messenger of Allah (saws) and enquired regarding their ‘huqm’ or ruling…..thus the first guidance discouraging these two evils of gambling and intoxicants were Revealed by the Lord in Surah Baqarah sometime during the first two years after migration to Madinah, or almost 13-15 years after the first Revelations of the Quran…..


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 219:

219    They ask thee (O Prophet (saws)) concerning (the ruling of) intoxicants and gambling.  Say: "In them is great sin and some profit for men; but the sin is greater than the profit."


Then at the beginning of the fourth year after migration or 17 years after the first Revelations, and almost four-five years after the five obligatory prayers were made absolutely mandatory upon the believers….the second guidance and command regarding the consumption of intoxicants was revealed in Surah Nisaa, prohibiting the believers from approaching prayers if they were intoxicated and could not understand what they were saying in their prayers……


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 4 Surah Nisaa verse 43:

43      O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged until ye can understand all that ye say.


And finally at the end of the sixth year after migration or almost 19 years after the first Revelations, the Lord Most Majestic not only categorically prohibited the consumption of all types of ‘khamr’ or intoxicants, but Commanded the believers to not even approach it or come close to it!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verses 90-91:

O you who have believed!   ‘Khamr’ (all types of intoxicants),  games of chance,  idols,  and divining arrows are all abominable works of Shaitaan;  therefore,  stay (far) away from these so that you may attain success.   Indeed,  Shaitaan seeks to sow enmity and hatred among you by means of ‘khamr’ (intoxicants) and gambling,  and to prevent you from the Remembrance of Allah and from Salaah.   Will you not,  then,  abstain from these things?


Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3679  Narrated by Aisha

I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say:  “Every intoxicant is haraam;  if a quantity of anything causes intoxication,  a handful of it is (also) haraam.”


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2776        Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

Allah's Messenger (saws) invoked the curse of Allah on ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.


Sahih Muslim Hadith 4962     Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said:  “Every intoxicant is haraam!   Verily Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, made a covenant to those who drank intoxicants to make them drink  ‘Tinat al-Khabal’.   The companions asked: “Allah's Messenger,   what is Tinat al-Khabal?’  He (saws)  said:  “It is the sweat of the denizens of Hell,  or the discharge of the denizens of Hell.”


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3653        Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr

The Prophet (saws) said, "An undutiful son, a gambler, one who casts up what he has given, and one who is addicted to wine will not enter Paradise."


Thus brother, it was the process of gradual guidance that was applied to the first community of believers, so that the worst spiritual evils beginning with ‘shirk’ and ‘kufr’ were dealt with first and through a gradual process and in stages each and every evil that effects one spiritually, mentally, and physically were addressed and abolished over a period of 23 years.


Even today such gradual training of a mass society is used by the authorities to attain their final goal…..a simple example being that of the wearing of a seat belt while driving a car.  Fist the traffic authorities run a full and long media and awareness campaign listing the benefits of its usage and the evil effects if one does not use it…..and when the people are made sufficiently aware of its benefits, finally a law is drafted which makes it mandatory for all who drive their cars to wear the seat-belt for their own safety, and a penalty imposed on those who break the law.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,








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