Q: Why is wine and other alcohol beverages such as beer not allowed in Islam?
A: Only Satan wants to sow the seeds of enmity and hatred among you through alcohol and gambling and to keep you away from remembering Allah and from the prayer so are you giving it up?
Translation of: Ayah 91, Surat AlMa'idah. (5:91)
Words: Innama = Only, Yureed = wants, Adawah = Enmity, AlBaghda' = Hatred, Khamr = Alcohol (Wine and Intoxicants), Maysar = Gambling, Yassud = Keeps away, Muntahoon = Giving it up (plural).
Q: Will the believers be held responsible for the forbidden food they consumed before being Muslims?
A: There is no sin on those who have Faith and do the good deeds in what food (wine in pre-Islam) they consumed if they fear Allah and have Faith and do good deeds then they fear Allah more and have Faith then (even) they fear Allah more and perfect (be proficient in) their Faith and Allah loves those who perfect their Faith (= muhsineen).
Translation of: Ayah 93, Surat AlMa'idah.
Note: The line of the Qur'an was revealed when alcoholic beverages became forbidden for Muslims.
Note: Ihsan is the highest level of Faith in Allah.
Words: Laysa = There is no, Junah = Sin - Blame, Ma Ta'imou = What food they cosumed - They ate, Etaqqo = They fear, Ahsanou = They perfect their Faith - They are proficient in their faith - They are skilled in their Faith, Yuhib = Loves.
Q: Normal human good behaviour is based on good qualities (ethics). Who decides which ethics should be followed?
Note: If humans decide which ethics to follow then what is good qualities for some can be bad qualities for others. An example.
A: They (companions) ask you about alcohol (= alKhamr)* (intoxicants) and gambling say (command to Prophet Muhammad) in both of them is a great sin and (some) benefit for people and their sin is greater than their benefit - and they ask you what to spend (as charity) say what you can spare (= AlAfou) - In this way Allah details for you the Miraculous Signs (Verses of the Qur'an) so that you may reflect.
Translation of: Ayah 219, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:219)
Note: "AlKhamr" is a nown extracted from the verb: Khamar = Every intoxicant that interferes with the brain or covers it be it extracted from vines or others. Source: The ex-Mufti of Egypt - Hassanain Muhammad Makhlouf's "Safwat AlBayan liMa'ani AlQur'an", page 52.
Note:The Qur'an made wine and all intoxicants unlawful (= haram) in steps because the Qur'an is interactive with people. The line translated here was revealed before intoxicants were forbidden forever.
Note: People in pre-Islamic Arabia were used to drinking wine. If wine was made unlawful immediately it would have been very hard on them (and they might have not listened). According to the ex-Mufti of Egypt (above reference): Some companions asked the Prophet Muhammad about wine and gambling. So the Ayah mentioned above (219 Surat AlBaqarah) was sent down. Then some Muslims drank wine and some left it. Then a Muslim Imam did not do well in his prayer because of his intoxication. So Ayah 43 Surat AlNisa' was sent down. Its beginning is translated as: O those who believed do not start performing the prayer when you are intoxicated (with wine etc) so that you understand what you are saying...". Then some companions gathered in the house of Itban Bin Malik. When they became intoxicated they bragged and said defamatory poetry and they had a fist fight. So some of them complained to the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet prayed to Allah: Our God Give us a definite explanation about wine (all intoxicants). So Ayat 90 - 91 in Surat AlMa'idah were revealed. Ayah 91 ends with"...so are you giving it up?" So Umar Bin AlKattab said: We have given it up - we have given it up (= Intahayna, Intahayna) And intoxicants were made forbidden forever with Ayat 90 - 91 Surat AlMa'idah).
Words: Yasalounaka = They ask you, AlKhamr = Alcolhol - Intoxicants, AlMayser = Gambling, Isthm = Sin, Kabeer = Great, Manafe' = Benefit, AlAfou = What you spare - Beyond your lawful needs, Tatafkaroun = Reflect - Contemplate about it.
Q: Why is it unlawful (= haram) for Muslims to be in the business
(selling - buying - serving...etc.) of wine (all intoxicants), gambling, idolatrous monuments and
divination (fortune telling) practices with arrows etc?
A: O people who believed indeed alcohol (all intoxicants), gambling, idolatrous monuments and divination (fortune telling) arrows* are impurity (filth)** (which is) of Satan's doing*** so shun (avoid) it so that you may become prosperous (in the Other Life).
Translation of: Ayah 90, Surat AlMa'idah. (5:90)
* Polytheist practice before Islam by using arrows and attributing them to the will of Allah and other gods whom they used to join with Allah.
Remember how similar practice with "reed pens" allowed Zechariah may Allah be pleased with him to adopt the veracious Maryam (Mary - Jesus's mother).
**Impurity - Filth - Unlawful (= haram) acts = rijs. Remember that Allah is Pure and He accepts only pure acts that are done with the primary intention of pleasing Allah.
*** Satan's doing to sow enmity and hatred.
Note: In a summary of a saying of the Prophet Muhammad: The Prophet Muhammad cursed (prayed to be away from Allah's Mercy) who squeezes it (wine), what is squeezed of it, drinks it, serves it, transfers it, to whom it is transferred, who sells it, for whom it is bought, who gifts it and who uses the money that comes because of it (= La'ina Rasool Allah, Asirha, waMu'tasirah, waSharibaha, waSaqeeha, waHamilha welMahmoolah Ilayhi, waBaie'ha, welMubtaa'ah Ilayhi, waWaibiha waAakil Sthamanaha.) Source: The ex-Mufti of Egypt - Hassanain Muhammad Makhlouf's "Safwat AlBayan liMa'ani AlQur'an", page 52.
Words: Inamma = Indeed, AlKhamr = Alcohol - Wine - Intoxicants, AlMaysar = Gambling, AlAnsab = Idolatrous monuments, Azlam = Divination (fortune telling) arrows, Rijs = Impurity - Filth, Amal = Doing - Work, Fajtanibouh = So shun it, La'alakum Perhaps you may.
Q: What was the step that preceded all intoxicants (alcoholic beverages) being made completely forbidden
(= haram) in Islam?
A: And from the fruits of date palms and grapes you make intoxicants (wine = sakar) and good sustenance* - certainly in this is a Miraculous Sign (of Allah's Existence) for people who understand.
Translation of: Ayah 67, Surat AlNahl.
* Wine as an intoxicant is opposite of good food such as: Molasses, dried dates, vinegar and raisins ((= dibs tamr khal, zabeeb).
Note: Remember that the Qur'an is interactive with people. So as to facilitate accepting the command of Allah alcohol was made forbidden gradually. (Remember alcohol was allowed in Allah's other beams of Religion 'Judaism' and 'Christianity'). This Ayah was revealed in Mecca. intoxicants became completely forbidden in Ayah 90 in Surat AlMa'idah which was revealed in AlMadinah. Reference: 'Safwat AlBayan liMa'ani AlQur'an', in Arabic, page 350.
Note: As a Muslim, do not be shocked when you find some contemporary Muslim poets and singers especially from the Indian subcontinent defending 'wine' and referring to being drunk with love. They generally mean drunk with love for God and the Prophet. (For example if you know Urdu refer to 'Meh Sharabi = I am a wine drinker" a Youtube clip),
Note: Referring to the different stages in the 'Sufi Way' and 'the intoxicated love for God' here are more excerpts from 'there is no god but God' by Reza Aslan, 2011 pages 214 - 219. The last stage when the individual has been stepped of his ego that he achieves unity with the Divine. As Rumi wrote: Before you can drink the fifth cup, you must have drunk the first four, each of them delicious... Each station must be complemented under the strict provision of a 'Pir' (= spiritual leader)... The Pir demands perfect submission from his disciples,,, The Pir is not just a spiritual guide he is "the eyes through which God regards the world... In much Sufi poetry the Pir is referred to as 'the Cosmic Pole' or 'qutb'...Sufi 'Pirs' who completed the way are considered saints. The anniversary of their death is called 'urs' (= wedding)... Their tombs are pilgrimage sites... Pirs' 'baraka' (blessing) can heal the sick, they believe...Love is the foundation of Sufism... love not theology and certainly not the law that engenders knowledge of God... 'Divine Unity' this concept leads to a great deal of confusion about the true teachings of Sufism especially in the light of the actions of the so called Drunken Sufis who blatantly violated Islamic law by publicly drinking, gambling and womanizing as a means of overcoming the external aspects of religion... Drunkness and debauchery have become dominant symbols in Sufi poetry for this self-annihilating and intoxicating love...Hafiz (Sufi) says: "Piety and moral goodness have naught to do with ecstasy, stain your prayer rug with wine!".
Words: Sthamarat = Fruits, AlNakheel = Date palms, AlA'nab = Grapes, Tatakhithoun = You make, Sakar = Intoxicants.- Wine, Rizq = Sustenance, Ya'kiloun = Understand.