Isn’t It Unfair That a Muslim Alcoholic Is Considered a Disbeliever As Opposed to Other Kinds of Sinful People?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I want to be Muslim, but I think Islam is unfair for saying that dying on alcohol makes you a disbeliever, but other sins don’t; why is that the ruling for alcohol?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I want to first commend you for asking to clear up your doubts and confusion, for that is the only way to seek true knowledge. May Allah always guide you in this way!

Prophetic hadith

The hadith that you are referring to is here: Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever drinks alcoholic drinks in the world and does not repent (before dying), will be deprived of it in the Hereafter. “[Bukhari]


Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat has explained that this hadith refers to someone who continuously drinks wine unrepentant. Such a person is threatened with Hell – even if he is a believer. Having said this, there are similar hadiths about other sins too, and what we understand from the Qur’an is that Allah can forgive any sin, except associating partners with Him. Some may be sent to Hell for purification. See this hadith for example:

Not just drinking

Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘No one who commits fornication is a believer at the moment when he is fornicating, and no one who drinks wine is a believer at the moment when he is drinking it, and no thief is a believer at the moment when he is stealing, and no killer is a believer at the moment he is killing” [Nasa’i].


The purpose of the hadith is to dissuade people from such heinous acts because they are very likely to lead a person to punishment in the hereafter. Therefore, a firmer wording was chosen to get this point across. The person who commits them has severely deficient iman at the time of doing them. We know this because faith does not leave a person because of sins like fornication and drinking wine. Rather, it’s a state of great deficiency. See this link for his full answer:


The truth of the matter is that some sins are greater than others, and Allah and His Messenger have defined drinking wine as one of the worst sins a man can commit, probably because of the harm that it causes to the one drinking and those around him. How many homes have been destroyed, how much violence has it caused, how many devastating words have been said because of it? Its harm knows no bounds. So, although it may not seem fair to you, Islam sees a drop of wine as an abomination, straight from the Devil, and that is the truth.


The good news is that the door to repentance is open, as were are told in Allah’s book, “Say, O Prophet, that Allah says, “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. “[Qur’an, 39:53] A person who drinks has only to fulfill the conditions of his repentance and should hope from Allah’s mercy that he will be like one who has not sinned at all.

May Allah protect us all from enormities, and may He give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.