I am a Christian, but recently I started to read the Quran. I did not yet finish reading it. I read it with the same respect and with the same proper mindset, as I would be reading the Christian Bible.

One of the prominent things which confuses me is related to the drinking of alcohol. The way I understood it, in some places the drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden, in other places is forbidden, but no so strictly, and in other places it is almost allowed - if one drank alcohol, then they should do this-and-that and then Allah will forgive them.

Of course, any of the 3 situations above are OK taken alone, but out together in the same "rule-book", they seem to be conflicting with each other.

So my question is: what is the "real" rule about drinking alcohol?

Of course, drinking huge amounts of alcohol is not recommended in any culture, in any book. I am not talking about that.

Example: is it allowed for a Muslim to drink a small amount of alcohol in the evening, before going to sleep? "Small" means that they will not get to the situation to hurt themselves, to hurt others, or to shame themselves in front of others, as a result of drinking.

Note: unfortunately, I did not make notes while reading, and I cannot mention exactly where I read each information. Also, I read a translation of the Quran, since I do not know Arabic.

  • 1
    Are you aware of the concept of 'mansooh' (abrogation)?. The verses regarding alcohol (khamr) are one of those that were abrogated i.e a better verse was revealed regarding the one that was abrogated. In short, alcohol is Haram. That's the real rule, as it's stated in authentic Hadith, every intoxicant is alcohol. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 14:09
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    For further information on the prohibition of alcohol you may check the site for other questions, one rough answer about the chronology can be found in Was alcohol permitted long ago before Mohammad was born?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


The Quran was not revealed in one go, rather it was revealed over a period of 23 years. Wine was forbidden gradually to make it easy for the people to transition. At first it was discouraged (2:219) then the people were told to not pray while intoxicated (4:43) and finally it was forbidden (5:90). The 'real' ruling is that it is now forbidden, no matter if the quantity is small or large:

كل مسكر حرام وما أسكر كثيره فقليله حرام ‏

Every intoxicant is unlawful and whatever causes intoxication in large amounts, a small amount of it is (also) unlawful.

Ibn Majah

  • 1
    Oh, that is new information, that the "forbidding" was done gradually. Thank you.
    – virolino
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 12:49

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