The Gradual Prohibition of Khamr (Alchoholic Drink)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Maysarah (رضي الله عنه) said that `Umar (رضي الله عنه) once said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr!” Allah sent down the Ayah of Surat Al-Baqarah:
﴿يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَآ إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ﴾
(They ask you (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin…)
`Umar (رضي الله عنه) was then summoned and the Ayah was recited to him. Yet, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Then, this Ayah that is in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed:
﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى﴾
(O you who believe! Approach not As-Salah (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state.) (4:43)
Then, when the prayer was called for, a person used to herald on behalf of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) , “No drunk person should attend the prayer.” `Umar (رضي الله عنه) was summoned again and the Ayah was recited to him. Yet, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Then, the Ayah that is in Surat Al-Ma’idah was revealed, `Umar was again summoned and the Ayah was recited to him. When he reached:
﴿فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ﴾
(So, will you not then abstain) (5:91) he said, “We did abstain, we did abstain. (The full verse is given below)”
This is also the narration that Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasai collected in their books.
`Ali bin Al-Madini and At-Tirmidhi said that the chain of narrators for this Hadith is sound and authentic.
﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالاٌّنصَابُ وَالاٌّزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَـنِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ – إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ فِى الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَوةِ فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ ﴾
(O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain) (5:90, 91)