Drugs and Alcohol
There is a zero-tolerance policy in Islam toward alcohol and drugs. Nowadays, many medical doctors propose that there are benefits to moderate consumption of some substances, such as wine and marijuana. However, Islam takes the strong prohibitive stance.
Any substance that intoxicates or harms the body in a large amount is deemed unlawful, even if only a small amount is consumed or used. Islam prohibits all intoxicants, regardless of the quantity or kind. In general, any substance that harms the body is considered unlawful in Islam.
Alcohol Is Prohibited
Alcohol is clearly forbidden in several verses of the Qur'an, including the following: “Oh you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling … are an abomination, of Satan's handiwork. Eschew such abomination, that you may prosper. Satan's plan is but to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer. Will you not then abstain?” (Qur'an 5:90–91).
It is reported that Muhammad once said: “Allah curses all people who deal with intoxicants: the one who produces it, the one for whom it is produced, the one who drinks it, the one who serves it, the one who carries it, the one for whom it is carried, the one who sells it, the one who earns from the sale of it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.” The prohibition could not be any clearer.
Since intoxicants are prohibited in amounts both large and small, Muslims avoid alcohol even in baking, cooking, or in medicinal substances. The Qur'an acknowledges that there may be some benefit in alcohol (Qur'an 2:219), but it emphasizes that the potential harm outweighs any benefit.
Many of the illicit drugs available today were not yet known at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the revelation of the Qur'an. Modern scholars have used principles of Islamic law to derive judgments regarding these new substances.
Since the Qur'an specifically addresses alcohol's intoxicating effect and its potential damage to individuals and communities, the prohibition has been extended to refer to any recreational drug with similar qualities, including cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, and other substances. Any substances that can cause harm to the body or impair a person's judgment are considered poisons to be avoided.
Early Muslim jurists who ruled that cigarette smoking was allowed in Islam did so prior to the discovery of the many health hazards of smoking. A group of Muslim scholars recently polled by the World Health Organization was almost unanimous in declaring that smoking was impermissible or abominable.
Many Muslims believe that tobacco and nicotine are poisons to the body and are therefore to be avoided. The strong link between smoking and serious health problems, such as cancer and heart disease, are the main reasons cited for its prohibition. Other reasons are also mentioned:
Money spent on smoking is squandered and wasted, when it could be used for worthy causes.
The unpleasant smell of tobacco smoke annoys other people.
The Qur'an commands people not to kill themselves (Qur'an 4:29), and not to make their hands contribute to their own destruction (Qur'an 2:195).
Secondhand smoke is also dangerous, and Muhammad called upon believers not to harm themselves or others.
However, tobacco smoking is a relatively modern practice, and the early Muslim community did not have any contact with tobacco. There is no conclusive ruling about it in the primary sources of Islamic law, the Qur'an or the Sunnah. Therefore, some Muslims contend that it is a personal choice. Indeed, in some parts of the Muslim world, smoking rates are very high.