The Hadeeth in the Question Is Abrogated
Fatwa No: 448942

  • Fatwa Date:16-10-2021 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 10, 1443
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Question

My question is that there is an Hadith in tirmidi that Allah will not accept the repentance of one who drinks alcohol for the 4th time I think. Can you please explain.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Perhaps you mean what at-Tirmithi, al-Haakim, and others reported that Mu’aawiyyah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever drinks alcohol, flog him, and if he returns to it the fourth time, then kill him.

This is an authentic Hadeeth. Al-Haakim said about it after mentioning its chain of narrators: “This is a Hadeeth with an authentic chain of narrators on the conditions set by Muslim but he did not narrate it his Saheeh.

Ath-Thahabi said in at-Talkhees: “This Hadeeth fulfills the conditions set by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim, but it was abrogated and not interpreted literally according to the most scholars.

At-Tirmithi is of the view that it was abrogated as he said after classifying the Hadeeth in his Jaami’ (with the wording): “This was at the beginning and then it was abrogated. This is what Muhammad ibn Is-Haaq narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir, from Jaabir ibn Abdullah, from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who said: “Whoever drinks alcohol, flog him, and if he returns to it the fourth time, then kill him.” Then he [Jaabir] said: “Then a man who drank alcohol for the fourth time was brought to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the latter flogged him but did not kill him.

Also, az-Zuhri narrated from Qabeesah ibn Dhuwayb from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) the same thing and said: “So the killing was abrogated and it was a concession. Most of the scholars have acted according to the meaning of this Hadeeth [that it was abrogated] without any difference of opinion among them in former times as well as in the contemporary time.

What strengthens this meaning is what was reported from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in many different narrations that he said: “It is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah, but in one of the three cases: a life for life, the married adulterer, and the deserter of his religion (i.e. the one who apostates from Islam.” [End of quote]

This Hadeeth – if we presume that it is acted upon – does not indicate that the repentance of a drinker of alcohol is not accepted, but it only stipulates the order to kill him if he returns to it the fourth time. But the Hadeeth is abrogated as we have already clarified so it is not acted upon according to most scholars.

Allah Knows best.

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