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December 2013

1. DEAR ABE: We are prohibited from using intoxicants and alcohol. But, what falls under this category of intoxicants? Are we allowed drugs that provide chemical balance and are prescribed by a doctor; like drugs for dementia, schizophrenia, and depression? –HISHAM, NEW YORK

DEAR HISHAM: Anything that intoxicates the mind for the purpose of numbing the senses and impairing the mind is prohibited [1].  However, taking an intoxicant for a medicinal purpose is fine. One example is, a simple cough mixture could have an intoxicant and will be fine for medicinal purposes [2].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:219; [2] 4:43, 16:69, 2:225, 4:48 .


2. DEAR ABE: I read that caffeine and chocolate are stimulants and are considered psychoactive drugs.  So, are caffeine and chocolate considered “intoxicants” that are prohibited for Muslims? – FARA, CONCORDIA U

DEAR FARA: The answer is no, they are not prohibited for Muslims.  Chocolate and caffeine are not considered to be something which “covers the mind,” or impairs the minds ability to function.  God prohibits us from ingesting that which its main purpose is to cover the mind and impairs our ability to function [1].  Anything that is not prohibited by God in the Quran should be considered permissible [2].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:219, 5:90-91, 16:67;  [2] 3:93-94, 5:87-90, 5:103, 6:119, 6:140.


3. DEAR ABE: I am familiar with your argument that “khimar” in Sura 24:31 is anything that covers, and is not requiring a headcover. What do you understand by the word jilbab in Quran, Sura 33:59 where it tells the women to lengthen their dress? Does it refer to a "wrapping" garment or can it refer to any kind of garment or covering?  –KAYLA, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

DEAR KAYLA: You are correct, “khimar” in Sura 24:31 is anything that covers, and so the women are to cover their chests with “khimar,” or any clothing they are wearing, and not specifically a headcover.  There is no requirement in this verse for headcovers.  In Sura 33:59, Jilbab refers simply to a dress or clothing. There is no specific clothing required in this verse either.  The point of lengthening the dress is mentioned in this verse as; “So they will be recognized as righteous.”  God’s Mercy allows a lot of leeway for Muslim women to decide how to dress, so long as their style demonstrates righteous behavior [1].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 24:30-31, 33:59.

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The answers provided by Abe and friends represent the understanding of the
writers, and should not be taken as the only acceptable approach. The reader is encouraged to research the topics further using the Quran.

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