Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Obey Allah and obey the messenger) regarding the prohibition of intoxicant drinks, (and beware!) of declaring them lawful or of drinking them. (But if ye turn away) from obeying them in relation to the prohibition of intoxicant drinks, (then know that the duty of Our messenger) Muhammad (is only plain) i.e. in a language that you understand (conveyance (of the message)) on behalf of Allah.
And obey God and obey the Messenger, and beware, of disobedient acts; but if you turn away, from obedience, then know that Our Messenger’s duty is only to proclaim plainly, to convey clearly [the Message] — your requital falls on Us.
And obey God, by being annihilated in Him so that you become compliant in what He uses you for, as [compliant as] one who is dead; and obey the Messenger, by subsisting after the annihilation so that you become upright therein, mindful of the differentiations, alive through his life; and beware, of the manifestation of [your untransformed] remnants at the point of uprightness; but if you turn away, then know, that the shortcoming is yours and the Messenger's duty is only to proclaim openly [the message] and not to commit [you to it].
Prohibiting Khamr (Intoxicants) and Maysir (Gambling)
Allah forbids His believing servants from consuming Khamr and Maysir which is gambling. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib, the Leader of the Faithful, said that chess is a type of gambling. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Ata', Mujahid and Tawus, or, two of them, said that every type of gambling, including children's playing with (a certain type of) nuts, is Maysir. Ibn `Umar said that Al-Maysir means gambling, and this is the same statement that Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas, who added, "They used to gamble during the time of Jahiliyyah, until Islam came. Allah then forbade them from this evil behavior.''
Meaning of Ansab and Azlam
Al-Ansab were altar stones, in whose vicinity sacrifices were offered (during the time of Jahiliyyah), according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ata', Sa`id bin Jubayr and Al-Hasan. They also said that Al-Azlam were arrows that they used for lotteries to make decisions, as Ibn Abi Hatim narrated. Allah said,
رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَـنِ
(A Rijs of Shaytan's handiwork) meaning, abomination of Shaytan's handiwork, according to `Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported it from Ibn `Abbas. Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Rijs means `sin' while Zayd bin Aslam said; "An evil handiwork of Shaytan.''
(So avoid that) avoid all of these abominations,
(in order that you may be successful.) and this is a statement of encouragement. Allah said next,
(Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with Khamr (intoxicants) and Maysir (gambling), and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain) This is a threat and a warning.
Hadiths that Prohibit Khamr (Intoxicants)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "There were three stages to prohibiting Khamr (intoxicants). When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, the people were consuming alcohol and gambling, so they asked the Messenger of Allah about these things, Allah revealed,
(They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men.'')2:219, until the end of the Ayah. The people said, `They (intoxicants and gambling) were not prohibited for us. Allah only said,
فِيهِمَآ إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَـفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ
(In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men.)' So they went on drinking Khamr until one day, one of the emigrants lead his companions in the Maghrib prayer and mixed up the Ayat in his recitation. Thereafter, Allah sent down a tougher statement,
(O you who believe! Approach not the Salah (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning of) what you utter.)4:43 xThen, the people would drink before the time of the prayer so that they would attend the prayer while sober. A firmer Ayah was later revealed,
(O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.)5:90-91 So they said, `We abstained, O Lord!' Later, some people said, `O Allah's Messenger! Some people died in the cause of Allah, while some others died in their beds, but they used to drink alcohol and indulge in gambling, which Allah has made a Rijs of the work of Shaytan.' So Allah sent down,
(Had they been made impermissible for them, they would have abandoned them as you have abandoned them.) Ahmad recorded this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "O Allah! Explain the verdict about Khamr to us clearly.'' The Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah was revealed,
(They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin.'')2:219 `Umar was summoned and this Ayah was recited to him, but he still said, "O Allah! Make the verdict of Khamr clear to us.'' Then the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa' was revealed,
(O you who believe! Do not approach the Salah when you are in a drunken state.)4:43 Thereafter, the Prophet had someone herald when it was time to pray, "Those in a drunken state are not to approach the prayer.'' `Umar was again summoned and the Ayah was recited to him, but he still said, "O Allah! Make the verdict concerning Khamr clear to us.'' Then, the Ayah in Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:91 was revealed, and `Umar was summoned and it was recited to him. When he reached the part of the Ayah that reads,
فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ
(So, will you not then abstain)5:91, `Umar said, "We abstained, we abstained.'' Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith. `Ali bin Al-Madini and At-Tirmidhi graded it Sahih. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs, that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said in a speech; while standing on the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah (in the Prophet's Masjid in Al-Madinah) "O people! The prohibition of Khamr was revealed; and Khamr was extracted from five things: From grapes, dates, honey, wheat and barley. Khamr is what intoxicates the mind.'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "The prohibition of Khamr was revealed when there were five kinds of intoxicants in Al-Madinah, besides what was produced from grapes.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, "I once was giving an alcoholic beverage to Abu `Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah, `Ubayy bin Ka`b, Suhayl bin Bayda' and several of their friends meeting at Abu Talhah's house. When they were almost intoxicated, some Muslims came and said, `Did you not know that Khamr has been prohibited' They said, `We'll wait and ask.' They then said, `O Anas! Spill the remaining alcohol out of your container.' By Allah! They never drank it again, and their Khamr at that time was made from unripe and normal dates.''' This is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. In another narration by Anas, "I was the butler of the people in the house of Abu Talhah when Khamr was prohibited, and in those days alcohol was made from unripe and normal dates. A caller then heralded, and Abu Talhah ordered me to see what it was about. So I found that a person was announcing that alcoholic drinks had been prohibited. Abu Talhah ordered me to go out and spill the wine. I went out and spilled it, and it flowed in the streets of Al-Madinah. Some people said, `Some people were killed and wine was still in their stomachs.' Later on, Allah's revelation came,
(Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate...)5:93.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "I was serving Abu Talhah, Abu `Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah, Abu Dujanah, Mu`adh bin Jabal and Suhayl bin Bayda', until they became intoxicated from an alcoholic drink made of mixed unripe and normal dates. Then I heard someone herald, `Khamr has been made illegal.' So no one went in or out until we spilled the alcohol and broke its barrels. Some of us then performed ablution and others took a shower, and we wore some perfume. We then went out to the Masjid while the Messenger of Allah was reciting,
(Ten matters related to Khamr were cursed. Khamr itself was cursed, whoever drinks it, its server, seller, buyer, brewer, who asks for it to be brewed, whoever carries it, whomever it is carried to and whoever consumes its price.) Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith. Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "Once, the Messenger of Allah went out and I went out with him. I walked to his right, but Abu Bakr came along and I gave way to him, and Abu Bakr was walking on the Prophet's right, while I was walking on his left. Then `Umar came along and he was walking on the Prophet's left, since I gave way to him. The Messenger of Allah then found a leather skin hanging containing alcohol, so he asked for a knife and ordered that the skin be cut open. He then said,
(Khamr was cursed, and so are those who drink it, serve it, sell it, buy it, carry it, have it carried to them, brew it, have it brewed and consume its price.)''
Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Sa`d said, "There were four Ayat revealed about Khamr...'' He then said, "A man from Al-Ansar made some food and invited us. We drank Khamr before it was prohibited and became intoxicated, and thus started to boast about our status. The Ansar said that they were better, while Quraysh (the Muhajirin) said that they were better. So a man from the Ansar took a bone and struck Sa`d's nose with it and made a flesh wound on it. Ever since that happened, Sa`d's nose had a scar from that wound. The Ayah,
إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ
(Intoxicants, gambling,) until,
فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ
(So, will you not then abstain) was later revealed.'' Muslim recorded this Hadith.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "This Ayah in the Qur'an,
(O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are only an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.)5:90, was also in the Tawrah; `Allah has sent down truth to eradicate falsehood, joyful play, flute or wind instruments, Zafan (dances) and Kibarat (refering to cabarets using the lute and bagpipe), tambourine, guitar, harp and lyric and love poetry. And Khamr is bitter for those who taste it. Allah has vowed by His grace and power, `Whoever drinks it after I prohibited it, I will make him thirsty on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever abandons it after I prohibited it, I will let him taste it in the residence of Grace (Paradise).''' Its chain of narration is Sahih
Ash-Shafi`i narrated that Malik narrated that Nafi` said that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever drinks Khamr in the life of this world and does not repent from it, will be deprived of it in the Hereafter.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith. Muslim recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Every intoxicant is Khamr, and every intoxicant is unlawful. Whoever drinks Khamr and dies while addicted to it, without repenting from drinking it, will not drink it in the Hereafter.) `Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham said that he heard `Uthman bin `Affan saying, "Avoid Khamr, for it is the mother of all sins. There was a man before your time who used to worship Allah secluded from the people. Later, an evil woman loved him and sent her female servant to him saying that they wanted him to witness something. So he went with the servant. Whenever they went through the door, she locked it behind them, until he reached a beautiful woman with a young servant boy and some alcohol. She said to him, `By Allah! I did not invite you to be a witness for anything, but called you to have sex with me, kill this boy or drink this alcohol.' So she gave him some alcohol, and he kept asking for more until he became intoxicated and had sex with her and killed the boy. Therefore, avoid Khamr, because it is never combined with faith, but one of them is bound to expel the other (from the heart).'' This was recorded by Al-Bayhaqi. This statement has an authentic chain of narration. Abu Bakr bin Abi Ad-Dunya recorded this statement in his book on the prohibition of intoxicants, but he related it from the Prophet. Relating it from `Uthman is more authentic, and Allah knows best. Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "When Khamr was prohibited, some people said, `O Allah's Messenger! What about our brethren who died while still drinking Khamr' Allah sent down the Ayah
(Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate,) until the end of the Ayah. When the Qiblah (direction of the prayer) was changed (from Jerusalem to Makkah), some people asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What about our brethren who died while still praying toward Jerusalem' Allah sent down,
وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ
(And Allah would never make your faith to be lost.)''2:143 `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Prophet said when the Ayah,
if they have Taqwa and believe and do righteous good deeds, and they (again) have Taqwa and believe, and then (once again) have Taqwa and perform good. And Allah loves the good-doers.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Please refer to E.N.'s 12 and 14 of this Surah for the meaning of ansab (ungodly shrines), azlam (methods of divination) and maisar (gambling). Though azlam, divination, is in its very nature a form of gambling, there is a slight difference between it and maisar. Azlam applies to those forms of divination and casting of lots, which are tinged with shirk and superstition and maisar applies to all those forms by which wealth is acquired or divided by devices of chance.
In this verse four things have been made absolutely unlawful. They are wine, gambling, ungodly shrines (which are dedicated, to the worship of others than Allah and in which sacrifices are made and offerings given in the name of others than Allah) and divining devices. The nature of the last three has already been explained. Here are the details of the Commandment about wine.
Before making wine absolutely unlawful in this verse, two other Commandments concerning its prohibition had already been given in Al-Baqarah, II: ? 19 and An-Nisa, IV: 43. Before this last Commandment was given, the Holy Prophet addressed the people in order to prepare them for its absolute prohibition. He warned and said, 'Allah does not like at all that people should drink wine. Probably absolute prohibition will soon be prescribed: therefore those who possess wine are advised to sell it. " Some time after this, when verse 90 was sent down he declared. "Now those who possess wine, can neither drink it nor sell it; they should, therefore, throw it away." Accordingly it was spilt in the streets of Madinah to run wastefully. Some people, however, asked the Holy Prophet, "May we give it as a present to the Jews?" He replied, "The One Who has trade it unlawful has also forbidden to give it as a present." Others asked, "May we convert it into vinegar?" He replied, "No, you must spill it." Another asked again and again, "Is one permitted to use wine as medicine?" The Holy Prophet emphatically rejected this also and said, "No, it is not a medicine but a disease." Yet another asked, "Sir, we live in a place, which is very cold, and we have to do tiresome labor. So we drink wine to refresh ourselves from fatigue and to keep warm in the cold." He asked, "Is what you drink intoxicant?" The man replied, "Yes." The Holy Prophet replied, "Then refrain from it." At this the man said, "The people of our part of the country will not submit to this." He replied, "If they do not submit to this, then go to war with them."
According to a Tradition related by Ibn 'Umar, the Holy Prophet declared, "Allah has cursed wine and the one who drinks it and the one who serves it and the one who sells it and the one who buys it and the one who extracts it and the one who has it extracted and the one who carried it and the one for whom it is carried. "
According to another Tradition the Holy Prophet prohibited the Muslims from eating the food which is served along with wine. In the initial stage of the prohibition, he forbade even the use of those utensils which were employed for extracting wine or for drinking it. Afterwards when the prohibition had become thoroughly effective, the use of such utensils was permitted.
Though originally the Arabic word khamr meant only wine made from grapes, and it was also applied to the liquors made from wheat, barley, dried grapes, dates and honey, the Holy Prophet applied the prohibition to all the intoxicants, and there are Traditions that clearly support this. For instance, "Every intoxicant is khamr and is unlawful." "Every drink that intoxicates is unlawful." "I prohibit every intoxicant." In one of his Friday sermons, the Caliph `Umar defined khamr as everything that dulls the faculty of thinking.
In this connection, the Holy Prophet laid down the general principle : if a large dose of something is intoxicant, then its smallest dose also is unlawful, and if a cup of anything is intoxicant, then a drop of it also is unlawful.
During the time of the Holy Prophet.,there was no fixed punishment for a drunkard. The culprit, who was arrested and brought for trial, was beaten with shoes, kicked, given blows and thrashed with sticks and ropes. Forty stripes were the maximum punishment given for this crime. The same was the punishment during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr and the early days of Caliph 'Umar. But when the latter saw that the crime was on the increase, he in consultation with the other Companions laid down eighty stripes for this.
Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifah and, according to a Tradition, Imam Shafi`i also, were of the same opinion. But Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and, according to another Tradition, lmam Shafi'i also, were of the opinion that forty stripes should be inflicted for the crime of drinking. Hadrat `Ali also considered forty stripes to be the punishment for it.
According to the Shari `at, it is the duty of the Islamic State to enforce prohibition. That is why during the time of Hadrat 'Umar, the shop of a man, named Ruvaishid, who belonged to the clan of Bani- Thaqif, was burnt by his order, because wine was secretly sold there. On another occasion a whole village was burnt down on the orders of Hadrat `Umar, for the crime that wine was secretly extracted and sold there.