Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants, regardless of whether the amount is little or much. If an individual is permitted to take but a single step along this road, other steps follow; he starts walking and then running, and does not stop at any stage. That is why the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is haram.” (Reported by Ahmad Abu Dawood, and At-Tirmidhi.) And again, “If a bucketful intoxicates, a sip of it is haram.” (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and At-Tirmidhi.)

The first declaration made by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, concerning this matter was that not only is Khamr (wine or alcohol) prohibited but that the definition of Khamr extends to any substance that intoxicates, in whatever form or under whatever name it may appear. Thus, beer and similar drinks are haram.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was once asked about certain drinks made from honey, corn, or barley by the process of fermenting them until they became alcoholic. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, succinctly replied, “Every intoxicant is Khamr, and every Khamr is haram.”Reported by Muslim.)

And `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, declared from the pulpit of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, that Khamr is that which befogs the mind.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Thus, drinking alcohol is a serious sin in Islam, and the one who is indulged in alcohol must repent to Allah sincerely.

The late Sheikh Sayyed Ad-Darsh, former Chairman of the UK Shari`ah Council, states: There was a specific Hadd (legal punishment) for drinking alcohol in the early days of Islam, people who had stopped drinking prohibited others and those who committed the offence were lashed 40 times. They used to flail the drinker with anything that came to hand – a piece of cloth, a shoe, a stick – just to let the person feel that he or she had indulged in something prohibited. Later on when there was a complaint that people were returning to the old ways of drinking, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) consulted the Muslims around, and `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I think that drinking will make a person lose his mind and consequently start abusing others, uttering false accusations against them. So I think he deserves the same punishment for a person who falsely accuses other persons (Qadhif) that is 80 lashes.” Henceforth, that became the standard of punishment for drinkers to stop them from falling into that.”

In these days the punishment for drinking alcohol and other prohibited beverages is left to the state authority to apply as the Muslim state is no longer in effect. Our advice for the one who indulges in such prohibited forms of drinking is to repent to Allah Almighty leaving no stone unturned to seek Allah’s Forgiveness.

Here are the stages of repentance in brief:

The Stages of Repentance:

1-Feeling sincere remorse and regret.

2-Being frightened whenever one remembers past sins.

3-Trying to eradicate injustice and support justice and right.

4-Reviewing one’s responsibilities and performing obligations previously neglected.

5-Reforming oneself by removing spiritual defects caused by deviation and error

6-Regretting and lamenting the times when one did not mention or remember Allah, or thank Him and reflect on His works. Such people are always apprehensive and alert so that their thoughts and feelings are not tainted by things that intervene between themselves and Allah. (This last quality is particular to people distinguished by their nearness to Allah.)

If one does not feel remorse, regret, and disgust for errors committed, whether great or small; if one is not fearful or apprehensive of falling back into sin at any time; and if one does not take shelter in sincere servanthood to Allah in order to be freed from deviation and error into which one has fallen by moving away from God, any resulting repentance will be no more than a lie.