Is the Punishment of One Who Consumes Alcohol Death?

Question:

Is the punishment for drinking alcohol more than 3 times death?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for your question.

A person who drinks alcohol for a fourth time will not be killed according to the majority of scholars, including the four schools of jurisprudence.

The hadith you quote was transmitted by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him). However, there is a deficiency in the chain of transmission, so the hadith is considered weak and may not be used for legal rulings.

There is another hadith transmitted by Mu’awiyah (Allah be pleased with him) that has a similar meaning and is regarded as authentic. It states that the person who drinks alcohol for the fourth time should be killed.

However, Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) and the majority of scholars regard this hadith as having been abrogated because of a hadith in the Sunan of Imam Tirmidhi (Allah have mercy on him). Imam Tirmidhi reports from the companion Qabisa ibn Dhu’ayba that a person who drank alcohol was brought to the Messenger of Allah and lashed. He drank alcohol a second time and a third time and was lashed both times. The Prophet had him lashed again when he drank alcohol for the fourth time, thus abrogating the ruling of killing. This view is the position in all four schools of law, and it is taken by the majority of scholars. [Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi]

I pray that this explanation gives you clear guidance that, according to the majority of scholars, a person is not to be killed on account of the consumption of alcohol even if he consumed it one hundred times. Having said that, it is important to bear in mind that drinking alcohol is a serious crime against Allah Most High and, likewise, so is the consumption of other drugs and intoxicants. Muslims should exert themselves to find ways of avoiding these kinds of evils.

For assistance in abstaining from intoxicants, please follow this link: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-help-brother-addicted-drugs/

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.