Is wine is halal in Islam?

Wine, which is made from fermented grape juice, is a controversial topic in Islam. There is an ongoing debate among Muslim scholars about whether drinking wine is permissible (halal) or prohibited (haram) in Islam. This article will examine the evidence from the Quran and hadiths on the permissibility of wine consumption, the different positions Muslim jurists have taken, and the conditions under which wine may or may not be halal.

Evidence from the Quran

There are a few verses in the Quran that address wine and intoxicants directly:

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, ‘In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.'” (Quran 2:219)

This verse acknowledges that wine has some benefits but states that the sinfulness outweighs the benefit. It does not completely prohibit wine.

“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” (Quran 5:90)

This verse clearly prohibits intoxicants, which would include wine and alcoholic beverages. It is one of the strongest pieces of evidence used to declare wine as haram.

“There will circulate among them [servant] boys [especially] for them, as if they were pearls well-protected.” (Quran 52:24)

“There they will be given a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of ginger.” (Quran 76:17)

These two verses describe the bounties that righteous believers will enjoy in Paradise, including wine served by servants. This implies that wine itself cannot be inherently sinful, but its context determines whether it is permitted or prohibited.

So the Quran has verses that can support both positions on wine. Overall, it does not completely forbid or permit wine, but gives guidelines about its use.

Evidence from Hadiths

The hadiths, or teachings and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), provide additional evidence related to wine consumption:

“Whatever intoxicates large amounts is prohibited even small amounts.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

“If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai, and Ibn Majah)

These hadiths imply that any substance that causes intoxication when taken in large amounts, including wine, would be forbidden even in small amounts.

“There will be people of my nation who will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name, merriment will be worked into their business transactions, and instruments of music will be played at their places of entertainment. Some people of my nation will stay behind after my return from the apostolic mission … Therefore, they will be transformed into apes and pigs.” (Al-Baihaqi)

This suggests wine will be forbidden and those disobeying this will face punishment.

However, there are also hadiths permitting wine:

Aisha reported: “We used to make a drink called bit’, it was soaked in the morning from barley, then it was brewed at night, and then in the morning Aisha’s kinfe was soaked in it, then the messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to drink it.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Anas bin Malik reported: “I was serving drinks to Abu Talha, Abu Dujana and Ubayy bin Ka’b prepared from unripe and ripe dates when the messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) came; he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) drank it and then ordered me to do the same.” (Sahih Muslim)

These hadiths describe the Prophet (pbuh) himself drinking non-alcoholic drinks made from dates, barley and similar ingredients, indicating they are permitted. Some jurists interpret this to mean that only drinks that contain ethanol (chemical causing intoxication) are prohibited, while those do not cause intoxication are allowed.

So the hadiths contain evidence for both sides of the debate. The strongest hadiths suggest prohibiting intoxicants, but there are some that show Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) consuming certain lawful drinks himself.

Opinions of Muslim Jurists

Muslim jurists have differing views on the permissibility of wine based on their analysis of the textual evidence:

View That Wine Is Completely Forbidden

The majority view that has emerged over centuries among Sunni Muslim jurists is that any beverage that causes intoxication when taken in large amounts is unlawful (haram), even in small quantities. Since wine is intoxicating, it is included under this prohibition.

Key proponents of this view include:

  • Imam Malik
  • Imam Shafi
  • Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal
  • Abu Hanifa (according to the authoritative view in his school)

They base this on a literal interpretation of the Quranic verse 5:90 and the hadiths prohibiting even small amounts of intoxicants. Even if wine itself is not named explicitly in the Quran, it falls under the general category of intoxicating substances. Consuming wine would be directly disobeying these clear texts.

This is the dominant view in the four major Sunni schools – Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Hanafi fiqh. It has been the mainstream opinion over the history of Islamic law.

View That Only Intoxicating Wine is Forbidden

A minority of classical jurists, including Abu Hanifa himself, took the view that the Quran only forbids intoxicating wines and beverages. Non-intoxicating drinks are permitted regardless of their source.

Proponents of this view cite the Quran verses describing wine in Paradise, as well as hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) drinking non-alcoholic drinks made from dates and grains, as evidence that wine itself is not forbidden. Only the intoxicating effect of alcoholic wine makes it unlawful.

Under this view, wine could be halal if it is naturally non-intoxicating or the alcohol has been removed from it. Modern grape juice that does not cause intoxication would also be considered halal.

View That Wine Made from Grapes or Dates is Forbidden

A third view given by some jurists is that intoxicating wine made from grapes or dates is prohibited, based on the words of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

“Whatever intoxicates large amounts is prohibited even small amounts” (Hadith)

They argue that since dates and grapes are the raw materials classically used to make alcoholic wine in the Middle East, the Prophet (pbuh) specifically intended to forbid wine produced from them, regardless of alcohol content.

However, wine made from other substances like honey, barley or wheat would be permissible if it does not cause intoxication in large amounts.

Majority Opinion that All Wine is Prohibited

Based on the evidence from the Quran and hadiths, the majority opinion over the centuries among Sunni Muslim jurists has been that consuming any kind of wine is unlawful (haram) in Islam, regardless of quantity or source. This mainstream view considers wine an intoxicating substance prohibited categorically by several clear texts.

Even if some exceptional hadiths show Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) drinking particular beverages, scholars rule that the explicit prohibitions supersede these cases. The Prophet (pbuh) himself did not drink wine after the Quranic verses and his own hadiths banning it were revealed.

This majority view has been codified in the four major Sunni schools – Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali and the authoritative position in Hanafi fiqh. Additionally, the four schools have prohibited other intoxicating substances by analogy to wine.

Since wine causes intoxication and addiction, which can lead to social harm and immoral behavior, Islamic law seeks to prevent it. The sin of disobeying the clear prohibition outweighs any perceived benefit in wine.

Conditions That May Permit Non-Alcoholic Wine

While the mainstream Islamic stance considers all wine prohibited regardless of alcohol content, some minority jurists have derived conditions under which certain types of non-intoxicating wine may be permitted:

1. Naturally Non-Alcoholic

Wine prepared from grapes or dates that does not cause intoxication in major amounts by itself may be permitted. This may apply to certain modern non-alcoholic wines where fermentation has not occurred.

2. De-Alcoholized

Wine that originally contained alcohol but it has been actively removed or denatured may be halal. Modern de-alcoholized wine falls under this category.

3. Non-Grape and Non-Date Source

Wine produced from raw ingredients other than grapes, dates or raisins, such as honey, barley or wheat, is more likely to be permitted if it is non-intoxicating. But most mainstream scholars still avoid it.

4. Not Called “Wine”

Even non-intoxicating drinks are recommended not to be explicitly named “wine” since this term is now heavily associated with the forbidden alcoholic beverage. Alternate terms like “grape juice” or “barley drink” should be used.

5. Not Consumed for Recreational Intoxication

The intention behind consuming non-alcoholic wine also matters. If it is intentionally drank just for leisure and intoxication, this makes it haram even if the drink itself does not cause major intoxication chemically.

So these are some conditions proposed by minority jurists under which they believe some strictly non-intoxicating types of wine may be consumed. However, abstaining from all types of wine remains the mainstream Islamic stance.


There is a range of opinions on whether wine is halal in Islam. Based on the verses of the Quran and collections of hadiths, the majority view over Islamic history has been that consuming wine is haram (forbidden) regardless of amount or source. A minority of jurists considered only intoxicating wine forbidden, arguing the Quran does not prohibit wine itself.

According to mainstream Islamic law, wine is prohibited as an intoxicating substance, similar to other mind-altering drugs. Drinking wine is considered a major sin and can lead to punishment. However, a few exceptional types of modern non-alcoholic wine might be halal if they fulfill certain strict conditions, though abstaining from wine altogether remains the safest approach for Muslims wishing to avoid sin.

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