This collection is developed by Al-Nur, a student organization at Dartmouth.
For more information, please see http://www.dartmouth.edu/~alnur/.
The people of Arabia loved to drink. However, a few did not drink alcohol. Among them was the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him. After becoming a Prophet, the Quran was revealed slowly to the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him. Many verses contained guidance about how a community should work. Some rules agreed with people's customs and traditions before Islam. However, many of the new rules required big changes that were carried out by the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companions without any complaints. One of these changes was the prohibition of alcohol.
Three verses of the Quran concerning alcohol were revealed to Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, in Madinah and from that time, alcohol was prohibited. The first verse showed that Allah dislikes alcohol. Even though this verse was not a command to stop drinking alcohol, many people stopped drinking it as soon as this verse was revealed, in order to abstain from something disliked by Allah.
The second verse prohibited people from praying when drunk. In a sermon before the third verse was revealed, the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, said that Allah hates alcohol and very soon the verse for prohibition might be revealed. He told the believers to sell the alcohol that they had. After that, people were not in a hurry to hide whatever alcohol they had with them. Instead, they were in a rush to get rid of something that was hated by Allah. Even addicts got rid of it. No one questioned why and no one complained that it was too hard for them to stop drinking alcohol. This was because they knew that they had to obey Allah and His Messenger in order to be believers.
After only a little time, the third verse was revealed. It prohibited alcohol completely. No one was allowed to sell it, to buy it, to make it, or have anything to do with it. There was no exception, whatsoever. When this order came, those who had not got rid of their alcohol did not try to hide it or sell it, but threw it away in the streets. There was no need for setting aside money to enforce the law. Everyone followed those laws whole-heartedly. The prohibition of alcohol never had any bad effects on society in Madinah, has never had any bad effects on society in any Muslim country, and will continue to only have good effects on society. Alcohol is still prohibited in Islam and will remain prohibited forever.
Note from a member of Al-Nur at Dartmouth: This is a concise history of prohibition in Arabia during the Prophet's time. It has no citations, but the information is authentic.
Last Updated: 9/17/08