Khamr

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Khamr (Arab., ‘fermented drink, wine’). Intoxicants forbidden (haram) in Islam. In Qurʾān 5. 90–1/93–4, wine is linked with gambling and divination with arrows as an abominable creation of Satan. Khamr was extended by Muḥammad to include every intoxicant (not just wine), and trading in khamr is forbidden, as is its exchange as a gift. If it was proved that tobacco is always harmful, it would be prohibited; and many Muslims already regard it as in that category. In contrast, 47. 15/16 states that in the Garden are ‘rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink’. But in the Garden, those who are safe are beyond being diverted from their adoration of God. See also ALCOHOL; OMAR KHAYYAM.