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We end this brief sketch by mentioning two important prohibitions that are characteristic of a Muslim’s daily life: games of chance and alcoholic drinks. Having already discussed the first one, which causes the vast majority of its participants to spend money for years without gaining anything in return, we now turn to a discussion of alcohol.

Alcohol has a very interesting quality: drinking only a little of it makes one happy and weakens any resolution to stop drinking. While drunk, people lose control over their actions. For example, they may squander money without being aware of what they are doing. In addition, various unhygienic effects of alcohol are transmitted to their children and future generations. Qur’an 2:219 speaks about such matters in the following terms: They question you about wine and games of chance. Say: “In both is great sin and some profits for people, but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness.”

The Qur’an does not deny that alcohol has some benefits, but still declares it a sin against society, the individual, and the Legislator. In 5:90, alcohol is relegated to the same level as idolatry and declared to be the handiwork of Satan. It adds that if one wants to be happy in both worlds, one should avoid games of chance and alcohol.


Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.