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Comparative Criminal Law and Enforcement: Islam

Drinking Of Wine (shurb)

The animus against drinking wine grew by historic stages in the Qur'an. It was not, in the beginning, completely forbidden. Ultimately, drinking was prohibited altogether as Muhammad became scandalized at the drunkenness present in much of Arabic society at the time.

The punishment for drinking intoxicants or for drunkenness is eighty lashes for a freeman and forty for a slave. The punishment is not prescribed in the Qur'an but was established later and analogized from the punishment for the kadhf. In many cases, the schools extend the prohibition to other intoxicating substances, such as drugs.

Besides proof by a retractable confession, evidence can be given by two male adult Muslims who saw the accused drinking an intoxicant, smelled the odor of alcohol on his breath, or saw the accused in a state of drunkenness. The Hanafi school punishes drinking wine but not the imbibing of other alcoholic beverages unless drunkenness ensues.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawComparative Criminal Law and Enforcement: Islam - Hadd Offenses, False Accusation Of Unlawful Intercourse (kadhf ), Drinking Of Wine (shurb), Theft (sariqa)