Muslim apologists claim that Islam is the only true religion, while only it was able to put a complete ban on alcohol. 

While we tell them that Western Societies cannot be compared to Islam. And in order to understand the difference between them, we first have to understand why Muhammad banned alcohol in Islam. 

Muhammad's companions were INSULTING him after drinking

Sahih Bukhari, 3091:

Narrated `Ali: I got a she-camel in my share of the war booty on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and the Prophet (ﷺ) had given me a she-camel from the Khumus. When I intended to marry Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle, I had an appointment with a goldsmith from the tribe of Bani Qainuqa' to go with me to bring Idhkhir (i.e. grass of pleasant smell) and sell it to the goldsmiths and spend its price on my wedding party. I was collecting for my she-camels equipment of saddles, sacks and ropes while my two shecamels were kneeling down beside the room of an Ansari man. I returned after collecting whatever I collected, to see the humps of my two she-camels cut off and their flanks cut open and some portion of their livers was taken out. When I saw that state of my two she-camels, I could not help weeping. I asked, "Who has done this?" The people replied, "Hamza bin `Abdul Muttalib who is staying with some Ansari drunks in this house." I went away till I reached the Prophet (ﷺ) and Zaid bin Haritha was with him. The Prophet (ﷺ) noticed on my face the effect of what I had suffered, so the Prophet (ﷺ) asked. "What is wrong with you." I replied, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! I have never seen such a day as today. Hamza attacked my two she-camels, cut off their humps, and ripped open their flanks, and he is sitting there in a house in the company of some drunks." The Prophet (ﷺ) then asked for his covering sheet, put it on, and set out walking followed by me and Zaid bin Haritha till he came to the house where Hamza was. He asked permission to enter, and they allowed him, and they were drunk. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) started rebuking Hamza for what he had done, but Hamza was drunk and his eyes were red. Hamza looked at Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and then he raised his eyes, looking at his knees, then he raised up his eyes looking at his umbilicus, and again he raised up his eyes look in at his face. Hamza then said, "Aren't you but the slaves of my father?" Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) realized that he was drunk, so Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) retreated, and we went out with him.

Now the issues for Muhammad were:

  • Muhammad praised himself a lot in the Quran and Ahadith and elevated his status to a very high level (for whom Allah created the whole universe). He demanded his companions to respect him a lot. Nevertheless, after becoming drunk, his companions became involved in some horrible acts. And one of them (his own uncle Hamza) forgot totally to show any respect to Muhammad as a prophet, and he even began to INSULT him. It was difficult for Muhammad to digest such an insult, despite being a Prophet. Muhammad's past was not so glorious. He was vulnerable in this regard.
  • Moreover, many of his companions also doubted his prophethood, and people often also start telling the TRUTH after drinking. This was also a direct danger to his claim of prophethood.
  • Moreover, Muhammad's image in Medina was as one who solved all DISPUTES. Nevertheless, Muhammad became totally helpless against drunken Hamza, and he was unable to solve the dispute. 

That was the start of Muhammad's dislike towards drinking, while it was a cause of his personal insult and mockery. 

Thus, when companions came to Muhammad and asked him about wine, then Muhammad claimed the revelation of the following verse:

Quran 2:129:

They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.

Muhammad's companions made a mockery of his religion after drinking

Daily 5 times congregational prayers in Islam come up with problems. 

A person is busy with 5 prayers throughout the day. Due to this, he can neither enjoy his sex life properly nor play physical games nor any other recreational activity. During all such activities, frequently the time of those 5 congregational prayers comes, and one has to stop those activities completely or to take a break from them. 

The same thing happened with drinking too. The companions were enjoying themselves by drinking wine, but there came the time of congregational evening prayer. And the companion, who led the prayer, he became confused due to being drunk, and he started reciting the Quran in a way that totally sounded in the reverse meaning.

Upon that, Muhammad claimed the revelation of a new verse, where he prohibited them to pray if they were drunk. 

Quran 4:43:

O People who Believe! Do not approach the prayer when you are intoxicated until you have the sense to understand what you say

Companions stopped praying in the name of being drunk

In verse 4:43, Muhammad asked companions not to pray when they were intoxicated. But it became an excuse for companions to miss prayers on a regular basis (as we see later in verse 5:91). But that was a RED LIGHT of danger for Muhammad, as it was directly affecting his newly founded religion and his claim of the prophethood. Muhammad wanted to have total control over his companions, and drinking alcohol became a hindrance to it. 

Thus, Muhammad became determined to ban alcohol completely, and he started giving hints about it to his companions. 

Sahih Muslim, 1578:

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri  reported: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) addressing in Medina. He said: O people, Allah is giving an indication (of the prohibition) of wine. and He is probably soon going to give an order about it. So he who has anything of it with him should sell that, and derive benefit out of it.

There is no Allah present in the heavens who could have given those indications. It was Muhammad himself who was giving those hints in the name of Allah. 

Can you imagine such an Allah in the heavens, who reveals his eternal message to mankind by first giving Muhammad “hints,” allowing Muslims to make some sinful wealth first by selling wine?

A fight among Muslims finally gave Muhammad a chance to ban alcohol completely

Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad 24:

Narrated Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas: Four verses of the Book of Allah, Most High, were revealed about me....The fourth was when I had been drinking wine with some of the Ansar. A man from among them hit my nose with the jawbone of a camel. I went to the Prophet and the Mighty and Sublime revealed the prohibition of wine. [Qur'an 5:90-91]

Classed sahih by al-Albani

Muhammad used this incident, and claimed a revelation of a new verse:

Quran 5:91:

The devil only seeks to instil hatred and enmity between you with wine and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer; will ye not then abstain?

The fighting among companions had also taken place earlier in the case of Ali and Hamza, but Muhammad didn't prohibit alcohol on that basis. But it was the newly occurred issue of companions not praying due to alcohol, which was making Muhammad most uncomfortable, and it was the major reason why Muhammad had to ban alcohol completely. 

Can you imagine such an entity to be an Allah, who has predestined everything, and wavered for an initial few years on what His Law on alcohol would be? But after Muhammad heard about the drunken fight, Allah decided on a complete prohibition immediately.


Muslim claim: The failure of Western Societies to prohibit drinking, is proof that Islam is the only true religion

This Muslim claim is not true. There is a huge difference between western countries and Islam, while:

  • Muhammad's wish to have total control over his followers played a major role in the banning of alcohol in Islam. 
  • But such a wish, of having full control over its citizens, is totally missing in western societies. 

Indeed, drinking also has a positive side too. 

There is a reason why, historically, every culture allowed drinking. People want to socialize and to have fun, they want to let loose, and they want something to take the edge off after a hard week. No one can deny this positive side of drinking. 

Even Muhammad himself accepted this positive side of drinking in verse 2:129 {They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and some profit, for men}.

Thus, alone on this basis, even Muhammad also didn't prohibit alcohol completely. But it was later the additional issue of missing prayers by companions, which made Muhammad to ban it completely. 

Since Western countries don't have to face any additional issue of compulsory prayers, thus they also don't have to ban drinking completely. 

Similarly, historically, all societies were aware of the negative sides of drinking too, and all of them declared that drinking over the limits is bad. Nevertheless, all these societies made a COMPROMISE between the positive and the negative effects of drinking.

Such compromises are also present in Islam itself. For example, OVEREATING and obesity cause more illnesses and deaths as compared to drinking.

According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity and overweight together are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, close behind tobacco use (3). An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic (57).


But Allah/Muhammad neither declared overeating/obesity to be a CRIME nor put any punishment upon them. But they also made a compromise over it, and at maximum, there are recommendations in Islam not to overeat.

Nevertheless, such recommendations are also present in Western societies not to overdrink.

Moreover, western societies have increased the restrictions. For example, the minimum age for drinking is raised to 21 years in the US, and you cannot drink openly or drive while drunk. All these restrictions came due to non-religious freethinking. Thus, if we feel that drinking (or any other drug) has gone over limits, then we have the full capability to put more restrictions upon them or to ban it completely, and for that, we don't need any divine god.


Muhammad vs Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion, who also put a total ban on alcohol. 

Guru Nanak described his mystical encounter with God in one of his hymns: He was taken to the court of God and given a cup of divine nectar called Amrit to drink. This nectar bestowed the gift of God's name upon him, and he was charged by God with the preaching of the Divine name.


  • Muslims deny that Guru Nanak had any connection to God, or that he was a prophet of God. 
  • Muslims claim that Guru Nanak was only a normal human, and he was telling a lie about his meeting with God. 
  • Yet, this same Guru Nanak also prohibited alcohol (link).
  • Muslims claim that Guru Nanak prohibited alcohol on his own, which does not make Sikhism a divine religion.

And we say exactly the same about Muhammad/Islam, as Muslims say about Guru Nanak/Sikhism. 

  • We don't consider Muhammad ever had any connection with any god.
  • And Muhammad prohibited alcohol on his own, which does not make Islam a divine religion. 

Thus, if Muslims claim that their religion is divine while it forbid alcohol, then there are many other religions which also forbid alcohol. Does that make all those religions divine too? 

  • The same is true about the Bahai (link) and Jains (link) too, who also forbid alcohol. 
  • The same is true with the Vedas of Hinduism (link).
  • The same is true with observant Buddhists (link).

Even the protestant church later adopted a full ban on alcohol (link).