[Q-ID0822] If someone drinks alcohol or smokes drugs, is it true that their prayer is not accepted for 40 days?
What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is it true that upon consuming alcohol or drugs a person becomes impure and his prayer is not accepted for forty days and that his repentance will not be accepted?
Questioner: Brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
It is indeed mentioned in authentic ahādīth about the one who drinks alcohol that Allāh (Most Transcendent) does not accept his prayers for forty days i.e. the one who drinks alcohol and does not repent then for forty days tasting the sweetness of worship and acquiring concentration of the heart will not be afforded to him for which reason even if his worship will be delivered it will not be accepted. If he repents and Allāh accepts his repentance then his prayers will also be accepted as is narrated by Sayyidunā ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever drinks Khamr, Allāh will not accept prayer from him for forty days. If he repents, then Allāh will accept his repentance. It he returns to it, then Allāh will not accept his Salāh for forty days. If he repents, then Allāh will accept his repentance. If he returns to it, then Allāh will not accept his Salāh for forty days. If he repents, then Allāh will accept his repentance. If he returns to it a fourth time, Allāh will not accept his Salāh for forty days, and if he were to repent, Allāh would not accept his repentance, and Allāh will make him drink from the river of al-Khabāl.”
[Sunan al-Tirmidhī hadīth 1862]
The meaning of Prayer not being accepted:
Mullāh ‘Alī al-Qārī (may Allah shower him with mercy) states: Whoever drinks alcohol and does not repent then his prayers will not be accepted and the meaning of them not being accepted is that the responsibility of the obligation will be lifted but this person will not be afforded the sweetness of calling upon Allāh nor presence of the heart and those prayers will not attain a special station in the court of Allāh as is mentioned in al-Mirqāh:
“i.e. and he does not repent from it (Allāh will not accept from him his prayers)….i.e. He will not find the sweetness of calling upon Allāh which is the core of worship nor presence of the heart which is the soul of worship so those prayers will not attain a special station in the court of Allāh even if the requirement of the Fard of that time will be raised from his responsibility.”
[al-Mirqāh Sharh al-Mishkāh Volume 6 page 2385]
The meaning of repentance not being accepted the fourth time:
The meaning of repentance not being accepted from the one who drank three times and repented and broke his repentance each time is that he will not be granted success upon repenting. He will now merely repent verbally but will not repent from his heart so this repentance will not be accepted. This is the wretchedness of alcoholism. Yes if by the Grace of Allāh he is granted tawfīq upon repentance from the heart then that tawbāh will be accepted because it is mentioned in the hadīth narrated by Sayyidunā Abū Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said:
“He has not persisted [upon sin] he who repented, even if he returned to that sin seventy times in one day.”
[Taken from al-Mirqāh Sharh al-Mishkāh Volume 6 pg 2385]
Furthermore Mullā ‘Alī al-Qārī (may Allah shower him with mercy) states:
It is interpreted upon him persisting and passing away upon that for indeed non-acceptance of repentance is attached to death upon disbelief and sin. It is as though it was said: ‘Whoever did that and persisted upon it will die a sinner.’
[al-Mirqāh Sharh al-Mishkāh Volume 6 pg 2385]
Although drugs are also substances that cause intoxication whose usage is forbidden but we have not come across warnings of non-acceptance of prayers and non-acceptance of repentance upon their consumption.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Ustadh Ibrar Shafi
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0822] If someone drinks alcohol or smokes drugs, is it true that their prayer is not accepted for 40 days?