Quran Contradictions #4: Is alcohol ok?

quran contradictions 4

When I lived in Beirut I was surrounded by booze. From the nightclubs in Gemmayze to the pubs in Hamra, alcohol was a part of a balanced breakfast (quite literally). Although not technically legal to drink on the streets, the police never even bothered us for getting trashed on the street corners. So pervasive was the act of getting drunk that anise permeated the air after sundown (anise is a main ingredient in arak, a Levantine spirit boasting about 60% alcohol). And all this in a Middle Eastern country with a population of about 66% Muslims (split roughly equal between Shia and Sunni).

So why is it that the Lebanese people drink so excessively? To illustrate this point, my Algerian roommate says there is a joke in Algeria about the Lebanese. Muslims always thank Allah for the food they have before they eat a meal. The Lebanese thank Allah for the booze! The reason might have something to do with the contradictory verses in the Quran about the consumption of alcohol.

First, in Surat Al-Baqarah verse 2:219, the Quran likens alcohol consumption to gambling: they are both sinful because (as you can see in the complete verse linked) people go overboard. They drink too much and gamble too much. I’ll cede their point here. Gambling too much is a good way to lose your house. Drinking too much has other dangers (health, safety, etc).

But next we see in An-Nahl verse 16:67 that — at least — some alcohol is good because it helps you reason! That is, the verse basically says that wine is good for you. It doesn’t mention liquor or beer; however, those might also be implied because they have the same “intoxicant” effect as wine.

So there you have it. The Quran is confused about alcohol. And because of that confusion, leave it to the Lebanese to pick and choose which verse they will follow. Kesak! Bottoms up!

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
This entry was posted in Atheism, Quran Contradictions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Quran Contradictions #4: Is alcohol ok?

  1. Pingback: Quran Contradictions #4: Is alcohol ok?

  2. Muslim says:

    Surah Nahl was revealed before Prophet’s migration to Makkah and alcohol was completely forbidden after migration to Makkah.
    Please understand and don’t let shaitaan deceive you.
    Alcohol is allowed just in case to cure disease .

  3. Abdulmujeeb Adeleke Lawal says:

    Try as much to read clearly, the Qur’an. It’s flawless and very beautiful! Therein, no contradiction. May Allah guide you

    Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 219:
    يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ

    They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs.” Thus Allah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.”
    (English – Mohsin Khan)

    via iQuran

    Surah An-Nahl, Verse 67:
    وَمِن ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالْأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

    And from the fruits of date-palms and grapes, you derive strong drink (this was before the order of the prohibition of the alcoholic drinks) and a goodly provision. Verily, therein is indeed a sign for people who have wisdom.
    (English – Mohsin Khan)

    via iQuran

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