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alcohol ban

forbiddance of alcohol (GB)
prohibition of alcohol (GB)

In Islam, alcohol consumption is next to adultery, fornication, slander, heavy theft and murder a felony and this may even apply to the intake of drugs that have been dissolved in alcoholic substances. Among the 20 greatest sins in Islam is the consumption of alcohol in thirteenth place. The ban on believing Muslims is inextricably linked to Mohammed (570-632), the founder of Islam. Wine or alcoholic beverages were banned from almost every country that adopted the new religion forever. Drinking wine (schurb al-chamr) is a Hadd punishment in Islamic criminal law. These are penalties imposed for the protection of property, public safety and public morality, which are considered "legal claims of God". Depending on the school of law, alcohol consumption can be punished with 40 to 80 lashes or, as in Iran, in the case of recurrence, even with death.

Alcohol ban - Hafis in front of the tavern (A. Feuerbach) - Hafis / Goethe monument in Weimar with Ghazel

However, the ban became established only in the course of time, because in the early Islamic epoch in some Arab countries wine was quite appreciated. The Persian city of Shiraz was known as the center of the highest wine culture and poets until the 19th century Hafiz (1324-1388) sang the wine. The right picture shows one of the poems (Ghasel) of Hafis on the Goethe Hafis monument in Weimar. The trade in wine was temporarily allowed by Jews and Christians (not Muslims) by individual caliphs, because this brought tax revenues. The ban then intensified by the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism in the 20th century. After the seizure of supporters Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iran In 1979, in Tehran, all alcohol offered to the public until then had been emptied onto the streets in shops.

Origin of alcohol prohibition in Islam

But what is the reason for the ban and how is this established in the Koran, to which the jurists of Islam invoke? The Koran expressly names the vines as the creation of God, as stated in Sura 16, verse 11: "He is the one who makes water come down from the clouds. With that he lets the grain grow, and the olive trees, date palms and vines " . The Islamic paradise is described as a garden of many fruits, irrigated by wells and clear streams. The faithful who are received therein rest on divans and are cared for by beautiful black-eyed huris (dazzling whites) who are full of them musk sealed hoses to taste a wine spiced with ginger, mixed with the water of the spring Tasnim. In Sura 47, verse 16, believers are promised "streams of water, milk, wine, and honey ." Koran commentators point out, however, that the wine of paradise will not get intoxicated.

There is also a discussion within Islam about what the prophet meant by prohibiting alcohol and whether there are exceptions. Even Mohammed himself was not an absolute abstainer, but would like to have enjoyed Nabidh, a wine-like drink from Datteln. After all, Mohammed grew up in a culture where, from ancient times, wine and other alcoholic beverages made from wheat, barley, millet and honey were valued as gifts of God. Wine taverns were often visited and there indulged in the lucky point. The wine has always been part of everyday life here, which is reflected in the Bible is often occupied. Aisha (Ayesha), Muhammad's favorite wife, related the drinking habits of the Prophet: "We used to prepare Nabidh (date wine) by placing a handful of dates or raisins in a tube and pouring water on it. This was enjoyed by him in the evening, when we prepared it in the morning or in the morning when we did it in the evening . "

Various interpretations

So was not the prohibition of alcohol so strictly understood? Maybe it was just wine made from grapes (but not wine made from dates) or maybe even just the excessive consumption of alcohol, that is intoxication (Drunkenness), forbidden? This was justified by liberal representatives with the following Qur'anic verse: "Those who hold fast to the faith and do good shall make no blame for a dish that they may have enjoyed, as long as they believe in Allah and do good." This saw (after Muhammad's death) also his widow Aisha: "You may drink, but not get drunk". Most Islamic jurists, however, consider these discussions to be subtle and hair-splitting, suggesting that all drinks that can be intoxicating are, in principle, banned for a Muslim, and therefore various interpretations are not possible.

The Koran (Arabic Kur-ân), so to speak the Bible of Islam, is of the highest poetry and wisdom. Also Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) has acknowledged this and writes: "The Koran attracts us again and again, fills us with admiration and at last compels us to worship . " This work, written in rhymed prose in Arabic, was written around 610-632 and represents the revelations given to the Prophet of Allah and binding on all believers (Muslims). Originally the Qur'an was written without intention on collected written record, but only for the memory and memory repetition and was compared annually by Mohammed and the angel Gabriel with the Urtext version in the sky. It has emerged gradually over the course of twenty-three years and consists of 114 chapters, the suras (sura = the majestic sublimity of man) with a total of 6666 verses.

The suras were only collected after Mohammed's death on behalf of Abu Bekr (father of Aisha and later first caliph). Four suras are dealing with wine (Arabic Khamr). In Sura 16 "Al-Nahl" (The Bees) in verse 68 is quite positive: "And from the fruit of the palm trees and the grapes you get intoxicating drinks and good food" . However, Sura two "Al-Bakarah" (The Cow) gives the warning advice in verse 220: "They will also question you about wine and games (meaning the Meisar dart game, which is about a camel). Tell them that in both there is the danger of sin, but also benefit for the people; however, the disadvantage outweighs the benefit " . Similarly, the Sura warns four "Al-Nisa" (the women) in verse 44, as follows: "O believers, do not pray in drunkenness, but only until you know what you are saying".

But these statements in the two suras are not yet understood by Islamic jurists as a complete prohibition of wine. The passage in the Koran on which the alcohol or wine ban is based was written after an incident in Medina. After a meal and drinking one of the followers of Muhammad from Mecca began reciting mocking verses about the people of Medina under the influence of alcohol, whereupon a follower from Medina beat him with a bone (this one was not dead, but had a gaping head wound). Mohammed asked Allah how he could keep order among his disciples. The answer of Allah can be found in the fifth sura "Al-Maida" (The Table) in verse 92.

This is also important because, according to research, this Sura was written in terms of time as one of the last, if not the last of all (and thus can be regarded as "final"): O Believers, the Wine, the Game, the Images and Losing (a popular game of chance) is despicable and a work of Satan. Avoid them, to make you well. Satan only wants to cast enmity and hatred between you through wine and play and turn away from the thought of Allah and prayer. So you do not want to let it go? Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and be on your guard. Here, too, the word "forbidden" (Arabic Haram) does not occur, but it has just in Islam over time, the general perception prevailed that wine and beyond all intoxicants (including drugs) are prohibited.

Penalties for alcohol consumption

This response motivated Mohammed to pour all wine in Medina on the streets. It was certainly not only the dispute was decisive, but he probably also referred to the effects of heavy wine on the people of the desert with their innate heated temperament exercised. Mohammed ordered the absolute prohibition of wine and suspended as punishment 40 lashes for the transgression. A successor even increased the penalty to 80, which can lead to death depending on the intensity. However, this punishment was rarely used. In the early days of Islam, however, many questions remained open, not only regarding the consumption of alcohol, which could not always be clearly interpreted from the Koran either. After Mohammed's death, two writings have been created that are considered to be the faith and law-determining instruments of the Koran.

Firstly, the hadith (narrative) with messages about sayings and deeds of Muhammad, and secondly the sunna (habit) with reports of exemplary behavior of Muhammad. It tells that the angel Gabriel Mohammed offered two drinking vessels during his heavenly journey, one was milk and the other alcohol. Muhammad chose the milk and Gabriel said: "If you had taken the alcohol, your church would have gone astray". According to a saying by Mohammed, on the day of the resurrection the alcohol drinker is counted among the infidels. The Iranian theologian Al-Ghazali (1059-1111) emphasizes that no one should marry his daughter to a wine drinker, thereby exposing himself to the wrath of God Almighty.

Alcohol ban in Islam today

A strict prohibition of alcohol has never really established itself in the Islamic world. Especially in the Ottoman Empire (1299 to 1922) changed phases with rigorous interpretation and pragmatic view. The writer Ahmed Rasim (1826-1897) writes that the urban youth of Istanbul only kept the alcohol ban in the months of Ramadan and Muharram. One often differentiated between the "pleasure drinker" and the "habit drinker" and dealt with the "right measure", ie the acceptable daily amount. Only in a few Islamic countries is there a rigorous ban today, so that alcoholic beverages can only be obtained illegally. These are Iran, Kuwait, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. On the other hand, wine is among others in Egypt. Algeria. Jordan, the Lebanon. Morocco. Tunisia and in the Turkey produced and consumed. A prohibition of alcohol is not only limited to Islam, but was and is always in Western culture. The best known example is that valid from 1920 to 1933 prohibition in the United States,

Alcohol ban - Prohibition USA 1920-1933 - Destruction of beer barrels and slogan

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