WINE CONSUMPTION: MUHAMMAD FINDS A LOOPHOLE!

The Quran prohibits the consumption of wine,(1) classifying it as an abomination created by Satan for the express purpose of causing division, hatred and godlessness:

They will question thee concerning wine (al-khamri), and arrow-shuffling. Say: ‘In both is heinous sin; and uses for men, but the sin in them is more heinous than the usefulness.’ They will question thee concerning what they should expend. Say: ‘The abundance.’ So God makes clear His signs to you; haply you will reflect; S. 2:219 Arberry

O believers, wine (al-khamru) and arrow-shuffling, idols and divining-arrows are an abomination, some of Satan’s work; so avoid it; haply So you will prosper. Satan only desires to precipitate enmity and hatred between you in regard to wine (al-khamri) and arrow-shuffling, and to bar you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer. Will you then desist? S. 5:90-91 Arberry

And yet according to some of the so-called authentic reports Muhammad violated this directive by drinking a type of wine called nabidh:

36 The Book of Drinks

(9) Chapter: The permissibility of Nabidh so long as it has not become strong and has not become intoxicating

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Nabidh was prepared for Allah’s Messenger in the beginning of the night and he would drink it in the morning and the following night and the following day and the night after that up to the afternoon. If anything was left out of that he gave it to his servant, or gave orders for it to be poured out. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4971 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2004a)

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Nabidh was prepared for Allah’s Messenger in the waterskin, Shu’ba said:

It was the night of Monday. He drank it on Monday and on Tuesday up to the afternoon, and if anything was left out of it he gave it to his servant or poured it out. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4972 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2004b)

Ibn Abbas reported that Nabidh was prepared from raisins for Allah’s Messenger in the waterskin and he would drink it on that day and on the next day and the day following and when It was the evening of the third day, and he would drink it and give it to (his Companions) and if something was left over, he threw that away. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4974 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2004d)

Yahya Abu ‘Umar al-Nakhai reported that some people asked Ibn Abbas about the sale and purchase of wine and its commerce. He asked (them):

Are you Muslims? They said, Yes. Thereupon he said: Its sale and purchase and its trade are not permissible. They then asked him about Nabidh and he said: Allah’s Messenger went out on a journey and then came back and some persons amongst his Companions prepared Nabidh for him in green pitcher, hollow stump and gourd. He commanded it to be thrown away, and it was done accordingly. He then ordered them (to prepare it) in a waterskin and it was prepared in that by steeping raisins in water, and it was prepared in the night. In the morning he drank out of that and on that day and then the next night, and then on the next day until the evening. He drank and gave others to drink. When it was morning (of the third night) he commanded what was left of that to be thrown away. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4975 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2004e)

Thumama (i. e. Ibn Hazn al-Qushairi) reported:

I met ‘A’isha and asked her about Nabidh (that was served to the Holy Prophet). ‘A’isha called an Abyssinian maid (servant) and said: Ask her (about it) for it was he, who prepared the Nabidh for the Messenger of Allah. The Abyssinian (maid-servant) said: I prepared Nabidh for him in a waterskin in the night and tied its mouth and then suspended it; and when it was morning he (the Holy Prophet) drank from it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4976 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2005a)

‘A’isha reported:

We prepared Nabidh for Allah’s Messenger in a waterskin, the upper part of which was tied and it (the waterskin) had a hole (in its lower part). We prepared the Nabidh in the morning and he drank it in the evening and we prepared the Nabidh in the night, and he would drink it in the morning. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4977 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2005b)

Anas reported:

I served drink to Allah’s Messenger in this cup of mine: honey, Nabidh, water and milk. (Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4982 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2008)

Jabir b ‘Abdullah reported:

We were with Allah’s Messenger and he asked for water. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, may we not give you Nabidh to drink? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes (you may). He (the narrator) said: Then that person went out speedily and brought a cup containing Nabidh, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: Why did you not cover it? – even if it is with a wood. He said that then he drank it. ((Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4989 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2011a)

And here are a few snippets from Ibn Kathir’s biography on Muhammad:

What is well established is that when the Messenger of God arrived in Mecca, he circumambulated the ka’ba seven times while he was mounted. He then went to zamzam where Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib were serving water to themselves and the people. From it he took a bucket from which he drank. It was then emptied over him.

As Muslim stated, “Muhammad b. Minhal al-Darir informed us, quoting Humayd al-Tawil, from Bakr b. ‘Abd Allah al-Muzani, who heard Ibn ‘Abbas say, while he was sitting with him at the ka’ba, ‘The Prophet arrived on his camel, with Usama mounted behind himself. They brought a vessel containing nabidh;126 he drank from it and gave the remainder to Usama. He said, ‘You have acted correctly and done well. Continue in this way.”’

Ibn ‘Abbas went on, “And so we do not wish to change what the Messenger of God ordered.”

In an account from Bakr, a bedouin asked Ibn ‘Abbas, “How come I see your uncle’s folk pouring milk and honey, while you serve al-nabidh? Is this because of your poverty, or your miserliness?” Ibn ‘Abbas then related to him this hadith.

Ahmad stated that Rawh related to him, quoting Hammad, from Hunayd, from Bakr, from ‘Abd Allah (who said) that a bedouin asked Ibn ‘Abbas, “How come Mu’awiya’s kinsfolk serve water and honey, the family of so-and-so serves milk, while you serve al-nabidh? Is this due to your miserliness or your poverty?”

Ibn ‘Abbas replied, “We’re neither miserly nor poor; however, the Messenger of God came to us, Usama b. Zayd mounted behind himself, and asked to drink. We served him this” – meaning the nabidh – “and he drank from it. He said, ‘You have done well. Continue in this way.'”

126. Here “unfermented date juice”. (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], Volume IV, p. 277; bold emphasis mine)

And:

Imam Ahmad stated that Waki’ related to him, quoting al-Qasim b. al-Fadl, quoting Thumama b. Hazn, who said, “I asked ‘A’isha about al-nabidh193 wine. She replied, ]This is the servant of the Messenger of God, ask her.” She was referring to an Abyssinian servant woman. She said, ‘I would press grapes into a waterskin in the evening and tie it closed. Next morning he would drink from it.'”

193. Unfermented grape-juice; the Companions were interested to know from the Prophet how long it could be stored and remain permissible for their consumption. (Ibid., p. 469; bold emphasis mine)

A Muslim will object and argue that what is condemned is wine that intoxicates, not unfermented drinks like nabidh.(1)

The problem with this assertion is that this is NOT what the verses teach. I.e., none of the passages claim that only intoxicating wine is prohibited, but simply forbid the consumption of wine in general.    

In fact, when we examine the Quran as a whole, within its overall context, we see that it condemns the consumption of wine AND OF praying in a state of drunkenness:  

O believers, draw not near to prayer when you are drunken (sukara) until you know what you are saying, or defiled — unless you are traversing a way — until you have washed yourselves; but if you are sick, or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women, and you can find no water, then have recourse to wholesome dust and wipe your faces and your hands; God is All-pardoning, All-forgiving. S. 4:43 Arberry

However, the two are never equated, since the Muslim scripture never once states that Allah only forbids wine that gets an individual drunk or inebriated, whereas unfermented wine which doesn’t intoxicate is permitted.(1)

Therefore, as far as the Islamic scripture is concerned Allah has prohibited wine in general, wine in all its various states, which would also include nabidh.

This means that Muhammad once again went against the directives of his own so-called revelations by consuming, and permitting others to consume, a form of wine called nabidh.

It is apparent that Muhammad conveniently came up with a loophole to justify his craving for and drinking of certain types of wine, instead of simply taking the higher ground of submitting to the dictates of his own deity who prohibited wine in general, without making any exceptions. This is because Muhammad was a hypocrite who failed to practice what he preached, and did not live up to the very standards he opposed upon others.

I end this brief post by quoting the response of Christians to the typical objections and slanders leveled by Muhammadan polemicists in their jihad against God’s true Word:

Drinking wine is banned in Islam. YET MUHAMMAD DRANK WINE. On the authority of Ibn Abbas, Abd ur-Rahman related that Muhammad, with a hook-like staff, went around the Ka’ba on a camel while he was sick. When he passed the Black Stone, he touched it with his staff. When he finished circling the Ka’ba, he dismounted and prayed two prostrations. Then he approached the drinking place and said, “Give me a drink from this.” Al-Abbas asked him, “Should we not give you a drink from what is prepared at home?”  He answered, “No, but give me a drink from what the people drink.” A cup of wine was brought. He tasted it and frowned, saying, “Come and pour water in it.” Then he added, “If anyone of you does thus, let him do it like me.”

In his book, Al-Iqd al-Farid (Section 8), Ibn Abd Rabbuh indicates that God prohibited drinking wine for the sake of devotion, NOT ON ACCOUNT OF DRUNKENNESS OR FILTHINESS; otherwise, it would not have been permitted to earlier prophets and nations, nor would Noah have drunk it after he had departed from the ark, nor Jesus during the night of his ascension, nor the friends of Muhammad during the Islamic period. It has also been related that Sufyan al-Thawri used to drink pure wine which reddens the eyes.

On the authority of Masud al-Ansari, Yihya b. al-Yamani, relates that Muhammad became thirsty while he was going around the Ka’ba. Wine was brought to him from the drinking place and he smelled it. He then asked for a bucket of water from Zamzam (the sacred well of Mecca), diluted the wine, and then drank it. A man asked him, “Is this forbidden, O Messenger of God?” Muhammad answered, “No.”

In his book, Life of Muhammad (Section 4), Ibn Kathir tells us that the Prophet came on a camel, followed by Usaama. When he was given wine, he drank and offered Usaama a drink as well. Muhammad said, “You have done good to me, so do as I do.” (Sahih Muslim, Book of the Hajj).

Drinking wine was permissible in Islam, and the fact that Noah drank it is proof of the weakness of human nature. The amount which Jesus drank was small – once a year during the Passover – according to the law of Moses; all the sons of Israel drank a small amount in remembrance of the mercy of God upon them. (The True Guidance [Light of Life, Villach, Austria, 1st English edition, 1991] Part One. The Infallibility of Revelation and the Sins of the Prophets, pp. 18-19; bold and capital emphasis mine)

And:

Muhammad forbade drinking wine. The on the Farewell Pilgrimage he drank it, as the books of Sira (his biography) tell us. Ibn Abbas said in a tradition quoted by Abdarrahman b. Sulaiman who received it from Yazid b. Abi Ziad who received it from Ikrima: “The prophet was looking around on his camel holding a staff. He got off and prayed to rak’ahs. Then he came over to the sakis [cup-bearers] in order to drink the wine of some dried grapes [raisins]. He said: ‘Give me something of this to drink.’ Al-Abbas said to him: ‘Shall we not give you what we make in our houses?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘just give me what people drink.’ They brought him a drinking bowl. He frowned and said: ‘Put in some more water!’ Again, he said: ‘Put in more: once, twice, or even three!’ At last, he said: ‘If someone does this for you, do the same for him.’”

Another hadith [tradition] is narrated by Yahya b. al-Yaman as he heard it from al-Thawri, who heard it from Mansur b. Khalid, who heard it from Said, who heard it from Ibn Mas’ud al-Ansari: “The Prophet felt thirsty while he was looking around the House. When they brought him some wine from the sakis [cup bearers], he smelled it and frowned. Then he asked for a bucket of water from Zamzam well. They added the water, and he drank and drank. One man asked him: “Is this unlawful, O Prophet of Allah?” He answered: “No” (see Ibn Abdirabbih’s Al-Iqd al-Farid).

It may be useful here to quote a tradition from the book, Al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba (chapter on Umm Ayman), by the great Sheikh of Islam, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani: “Umm Ayman said: ‘The Messenger of Allah said to me: “Bring me the wine from the mosque.” I said to him: “I am menstruating!” He answered: “Your menstruation is not on your hand.”’” (The True Guidance [Light of Life, Village, Austria, 1st English edition, 1994], Part Five. Comments on Quranic Verses, p. 47; bold emphasis mine)

FURTHER READING

Muhammad’s Inconsistency (in making laws binding upon the Muslim community but granting exceptions to himself)

Muhammad’s Incorporation of Satan’s Handiwork

Satan’s Handiwork in Allah’s Garden?

Islam and Wine Consumption

Fully Detailed Or Incomplete?

The Quran’s Prohibition of Intoxicants

More of Shabir Ally’s Lies Exposed Pt. 1

More of Shabir Ally’s Lies Exposed Pt. 2

More of Shabir Ally’s Lies Exposed – Addendum

ENDNOTES

(1) There is a word which refers to strong drinks or intoxicants, and which the Quran employs, namely sakar:

And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, whence ye derive strong drink (sakaran) and (also) good nourishment. Lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who have sense. S. 16:67 Pickthall

Siin-Kaf-Ra = intoxicated, inebriated, drunken, violent/angry, full/still/motionless/calm, abolish, do away with, be dim, dazzled, rage against, be confused of judgement, bewildered, hindrance, bar, obstacle, obstruction, prevention, brake or stoppage between a person and his understanding and wits and he takes a wrong decision, become silly or blockhead, fail to understand, become cursed in intellect, lose one’s wits, dam, to shut or close up, burn/hot, dazzle/cover/confuse, grief, any disturbing element which may distract one’s attention or observe one’s reason, in a state of mental disequilibrium, one who has no sense as he is in raptures of love/passion/amour, sugar, sweet substance, very sweet date, sakr – sugar. (Project Root List http://www.studyquran.co.uk/20_SIIN.htm)

However, the term employed in the aforementioned texts is khamr, which literally means wine, not intoxicants/strong drinks. As such, the term is not specific to wine that is intoxicating, but rather refers to the consumption of wine in general, whether it intoxicates or not.

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