Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have heard many times that the Quran itself prohibits Muslims from consuming ANY type of intoxicant.  If this is the case, then why do people not view caffeine, which is a known intoxicant to not be haram.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

What is prohibited is khamr (wine) or anything with its effects of inebriation (taskir).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every intoxicant is unlawful.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also once explained the basis of why khamr is unlawful when he said, “Khamr is that which covers [or clouds] the intellect.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

So what is meant by intoxicant in this context is that which “covers the intellect,” i.e., causes inebriation or drunkenness like beer, or euphoria such as cocaine or amphetamines. These are all unlawful.

Caffeine is not an intoxicant in that sense, but rather only a mild stimulant and hence permissible.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam

Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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