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Drinking Alcohol or smoking weed: Are My Prayers Not Valid for 40 Days?
Question: In the past I have drunk alcohol. Would my prayers be accepted? I have heard that alcohol stays in the blood for 40 days, will I have to make up these prayers? Is it the same principle for marijuana?
Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi
I apologize for the delay in responding.
There are a few narrations similar to what you have mentioned. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever drinks wine, his prayer is not accepted from him for 40 days. If he repents, Allah forgives him…” [Tirmidhi]
Drinking wine or other intoxicants is a major sin. In order for one to eradicate the sin, one engages in a sincere repentance. Legally speaking, one does not have to make up the prayers performed if the prayers were valid. “Not accepted” in the hadith means that the prayers are not accepted in terms of reward. As such, one can make up these prayers as part of the remorse felt for committing such a sin, though it is not an obligation.
Prohibition of Drinking Intoxicants & Using Drugs
Drinking wine is a major sin, even if one consumes only a drop. [Dhahabi, Kitab al-Kaba’ir] This ruling is established by scholarly consensus. Allah says in the Quran:
“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye 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 God, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” [The Table: 90-91]
“They will ask you about wine and gambling. Say: There is great sin therein.” [Baqara: 219]
Scholars determine that the legal reason for the prohibition of drinking wine is because it is a drink that intoxicates. Thus, any drink that results in intoxication is also forbidden to consume, like many modern-day alcoholic beverages. [al-Asadi, al-Mujiz]
Smoking marijuana is also prohibited “…because it corrupts the mind and diverts one from remembering Allah and the prayer…” [al-Nakhlawi, al-Hadhr wa al-Ibaha]
Explanation of the Hadith
The prayer is the best form of worship performed by the body. Therefore, if it is not accepted, then what is lesser than this in worship is also intended. The reason 40 days were specified is because wine is said to stay in the body, the veins, and the nerves for this amount of time. [al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir]
Acceptance of Prayers
There is a distinction scholars like to make between acceptance in terms of validity and acceptance in terms of reward. Acceptance in terms of validity means that one performed all of the prayer’s conditions, pillars, and necessary actions outlined by the jurists. Consequently, the prayer is valid and it does not need to be made up. Acceptance in terms of reward means that one may have performed the prayer in the correct manner but it is dependent upon Allah’s generosity if its performance is rewarded.
The aforementioned hadith indicates that one who drinks intoxicants will not receive the reward for the prayers performed for 40 days unless one repents. It does not mean that the prayers are invalid and need to be made up because they are missing a condition of validity. [ibn al-Najar, al-Kawkab al-Munir] Rather, it demonstrates the beauty of Islam because even if one wronged themselves, there is still hope for forgiveness and making a new beginning.
Allah says in the Quran, “Say: Oh my slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins.” [Throngs: 53]
Engage in Repentance
If one commits a major sin, a sincere repentance is the only thing that can absolve one from it. A sincere repentance entails four conditions:
a. One leaves the sin,
b. One feels remorse for the action committed,
c. One resolves to not return to it, and
d. One pays back or returns what one owes if the sin involves the rights of others.
[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]
No one should ever despair Allah’s mercy if they’ve truly repented. He is the only One who can forgive us for the wrong we willingly commit. He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah says in the All-Mightly Quran:
“And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgives sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.” [Ali Imran: 135]
“Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him.” [Hud: 3]
“O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” [The Forbidding: 8]
Please read the following:
Riyad al-Salihin Chapter on Repentance
Barak Allah fikum
Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.
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*Note*: this was re-edited to be more fairly representative of our Muslim brothers. Please don’t take this status and generalize it to all Muslim men – that’s not the case whatsoever. I wrote this to point to very specific problems perpetrated by a concentrated group of men in our communities. Thank you to the remarkable mentors Allah swt has blessed me with, and a serious shoutout to all ours brothers out there supporting Muslim sisters in our work – y’all the real MVP’s.
You do not understand how traumatized we are.
Every time we see another uncle cheating on his wife. Another auntie running away because her husband was abusive. Another auntie with baby children abandoned by her husband.
You don’t understand how much this traumatizes us.
The first time I saw a man hit his wife was when I was 6. I saw another man hit his wife when I was around 8. Both were uncles in my community. By the time I was 13, I knew three uncles who had cheated on their wives – using pieces of paper to justify sleeping with other women behind their wives’ backs. That is not the purpose of the permissibility of polygamy in Islam.
By the time I turned 16, 2 more close uncles cheated.
A few years passed, and our friends started getting married. About half of them ended up in divorce within 2 years – an abuser, a cheater, a porn addict. Some studies report that over half of young American Muslim couples end up in divorce.
And we just see all this growing up and we’re like, “Guys are crazy.” “Why would I ever want to get married?” These statements are broad generalizations that can’t be applied to all Muslim men (whatsoever), but these are the incidents that often scream to us the loudest.
So how do you expect us to feel, as young American Muslim women?
We’re educated, ambitious, and intelligent. Studies show it. In so many ways, we’re on top of our lives walhamdu lillah – and we just think to ourselves: “why would I ever want to put myself through marriage?” And then we start getting marriage proposals and we sit with these guys and one minute we’re thinking “this guy is pretty cool,” then the next 10 thoughts are: “shoot, do I really want to put myself through marriage?” The marriage we’ve seen growing up?
Let’s not talk about “the problem of spinsterhood” as if the problem is entirely in women. It’s a crisis of misogyny, sexism, and pardoning unacceptable behavior from men while forcing women to “deal with it.” It’s the crisis that so many perpetrate – if not explicitly, then through silence. Props to the people already out there calling out these problems – the Muslim women organizing healing spaces, the Imams dedicating entire khutbas to domestic violence, the bloggers writing about abuse and cheating – we need more of this until we squash out the silence.
If we’re going to have conversations about building our communities, let’s start here. Let’s explore how so many of these challenges in our communities came about, and how far we’ve come from the core family values that Allah (swt) and His Messenger taught us. Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) said that “the best of you is the best to their family, and I am the best to my family.” He did house chores. He emphasized the importance of best-treating women. He broke barriers and challenged cultural norms. His wife, Khadija (RAA), was his *boss* at work, and she was over a decade older than him. She was also the first person to embrace Islam – a woman.
Aisha (RAA) was the top scholar in Islam, having narrated the most hadiths – a woman.
Nusaybah bint Ka’ab (RAA) was one of the best soldiers in the Muslim army – a woman.
Sumayyah bint Khayyat (RAA) was one of the first martyrs in Islam – a woman.
Maryam (RAA) is one of the best women humans to have ever lived – a single mother, a resilient character, and one of the few people Allah swt has named a chapter after in the Quran – a woman.
Let’s revive this tradition in Islam of empowering women across all realms and fields. There are so many remarkable examples of Muslim women who are breaking barriers, and of Muslim brothers who are empowering our sisters to rise and shine. Let’s emphasize these examples and keep the conversations going on misogyny, sexism, cheating, abuse, etc. to be a model community of gender equality (and all other forms of equality), just Allah swt and His Messenger taught us. There’s a lot to work on, but we’ve already come so far walhamdu lillah. Muslima fam, we got this
Drinking Alcohol or smoking weed: Are My Prayers Not Valid for 40 Days? SEEKERSHUB ANSWERS. Question: In the past I have drunk alcohol. Would my…
Islamic Ruling on Marijuana (Hashish/ Weed/ Cannabis)
Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Is hashish (marijuana) smoking ḥarām (prohibited) or makrūh (disliked)? Please give exact details because I have a lot of friends who smoke hashish/ marijuana but at the same time have the passion to perform prayers. We would like to know if hashish is ḥarām or makrūh and can we pray after we have smoked?
Thank you for your question.
What is Marijuana/ Hashish?
Hashish is considered a harmful drug. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, hashish is described as follows:
“Cannabis is somewhat like tobacco—a greenish or brownish substance that’s made by drying the flowering, fruiting tops and leaves of the plant Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis is known by many names including: marijuana, weed, hash—and others. Cannabis is often smoked as a “joint” or by using a water pipe or “bong” (where the smoke is drawn through water before inhaling it to cool it and filter out small particles)” (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse).
According to CCSA:
“A growing body of research evidence suggests that using cannabis could negatively affect different aspects of people’s lives, including:
- Mental and physical health
- Cognitive functioning (skills such as memory, attention span and psychomotor speed)
- Ability to drive a motor vehicle
- Health and development of children born to those who use cannabis.”
Islamic Ruling on Marijuana
Hence the use of such a substance that is detrimental to one’s health is considered ḥarām (prohibited) or in the least makrūh taḥrīmi (prohibitively disliked, meaning very close to ḥarām) by majority jurists, especially when such substances are used in vain or leisure.
Imam al Dhahabi, Ibn Ḥajar al Asqalānī and Ibn Taymiyah have declared the use of hashish as ḥarām. Imam Ibn Ḥajar al Haythamī mentions that smoking hashish is ḥarām according to all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence. (See Fatāwa wa Rasāil)
“Do not put yourselves into destruction, and do good. Of course, Allāh loves those who do good” (Qur’ān 2:195)
“Every intoxicant is khamr (wine) and every khamr is ḥaram (prohibited)” (Saḥīḥ Muslim)
Prayer is not valid while one is in a state of intoxication or impurity. If one has used a prohibited substance, they should purify themselves and be out of the intoxication, prior to the ritual prayer.
Using marijuana for medical purposes is only permitted if there is no other islamicaly permissible alternative medication to treat the ailment. In general circumstances, it is forbidden to use marijuana for medicine. The Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said,
“Allāh has not placed your cure in prohibited things” (Bukhārī)
However, in the situation, where there is genuinely no ḥalāl alternative, it is permissible to benefit from such medical marijuana up to the extent of the need. Medical experts must have prescribed it, when nothing else is useful for the treatment. A well-known principle in Islamic jurisprudence is “Dire necessities permit the prohibited’. Sanctity and the saving of one’s life overrides the prohibition. This is why eating pork becomes permissible if there is no other food one can find.
Allāh Almighty states,
“He has spelled out to you all that He has made unlawful for you, except that to which you are compelled by extreme necessity. Surely, there are many who misguide people on the basis of their desires without having knowledge. Surely, your Lord is the best Knower of those who cross the limits.” (Qurʿān 6:119)
The intellectual giant, Sh. Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) also indicates this ruling in his famous manual, ‘Bahishtī Zewar’ – Heavenly Ornaments.
May Allāh keep us pure, healthy and away from all harmful substances through His infinite mercy.
Islamic Ruling on Marijuana (Hashish/ Weed/ Cannabis) Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt Question: Is hashish (marijuana) smoking ḥarām (prohibited) or makrūh (disliked)? Please give exact