Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Prayer and Intoxication


Prayer and Intoxication 

Surah NISAAA’  (WOMEN) – Chapter – 4)

Verses –43a of 176, Section –7/24 (Part – 5)


O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. Yaaa-  ‘ayyu-hallaziina  ‘aa-manuu  laa  taqrabus-Salaata  wa  ‘antum  sukaaraa  hattaa  ta’-lamuu  maa  taquuluuna  wa  laa  junuban  ‘illaa  ‘aabirii  sabiilin  hattaa  tag-tasiluu.    





In the beginning of this Chapter (Surah), the Muslims were laid stress on the performance of conjugal rights and the rights of their beloveds, relatives and allies. They were forbidden to take wealth of others illegally and slaughter someone unreasonably. After that, they were commanded to behave well with the relatives, the orphans, the poor and the neighbors and ordered to abstain from pride, arrogance, avarice and spending their wealth in order to be seen of men. At the last of all these instructions, a command has been given about the prayer. It has been ordered about the prayer, “Be careful about two things before saying the prayer:


  • You should not be in the form of intoxication. That is to say, you cannot offer prayer until you are unable to understand the sentences spoken by your tongues.


  • Secondly, do not draw near to prayer until taking bath, if you are polluted (due to either intercourse or any other reason and need to be purified).


The advantage of these both instructions is that:


Above-mentioned orders of Allah Almighty in which performing the entire duties of mutual rights and affairs, financial and physical worships were discussed, seem very difficult to be executed. Moreover, escaping from miserly, to be seen of the people and vanity, seems very troublesome upon the soul. Therefore, the order for the prayer is given. Due to the prayer, inclination towards other worships springs up and carrying into effect of other worships becomes easy, and flight arises from the illegal things. Some Scholars of the religion have explained also in this way, “It is possible that because of listening to the earlier orders, the lazy and inactive people might lose their spirit, thinking themselves helpless and idle in offering prayers. Therefore, it is told that the person, who will maintain the prayers, he will face neither any difficulty in other matters, nor he will mistake in offering the prayer timely.


Sukaaraa _ (drunken) sukar means in the form of intoxication, drunken-ness. It aims that when any person’s mental condition has interruption in his conscious and the mental balance does not remain fit. This condition springs up due to drinking as well as smelling and addiction to smoking charas etc. Sometimes, such condition may also arise due to excess of emotion, anger and sleep. In such state, the Prayer cannot be offered.


Junuban –(when ye are polluted, there is need of bathing) , that is to say; such condition when taking bath is obligatory. Such polluted man or woman is called junubii.



Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’an published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English  by Muhammad Sharif).

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