Egyptian cleric Khaled El Gendy, a famous Islamic scholar and member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, is seriously going against the tide.
In a recent interview on DMC TV, the cleric said that drinking alcohol is not necessarily haram, so long as the person drinking it does not get drunk.
It’s all about interpretation
The cleric, who adheres to the Hanafi school of thought, affirmed that while liquor made from grapes and dates is prohibited, beer isn’t necessarily.
“Beer to me is not haram, since its not made of grapes or dates. It becomes haram if consumed in quantities that renders a person drunk,” he said.
The Hanafi school of thought is named after Abū Ḥanīfa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit, a renowned Islamic scholar for sharia lawmaking – often called the Great Imam.
According to El Gendy, Abū Ḥanīfa said drinking alcohol without getting drunk is not sinful.
Watch the video below.
Gendy isn’t the first to say it
Sheikh Rashid Mustafa, an Egyptian imam based in Sydney, made similar statements in 2014.
In a television interview with Egyptian broadcaster Attahrir (liberation), the cleric said that the Holy Quran only prohibits drunkenness, but not alcohol.
To back up his claims, he used a verse in the Quran that reads, “O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying…” Chapter (4) surat l-nisa’ (The Women).
Sheikh Rashid is known for having liberal views when it comes to Islamic law, and was once beaten on live TV for saying women don’t have to be veiled.