Does the Quran allow the use of intoxicants
outside the times of the Salat?

O you who believe, do not approach the Salat while intoxicated, until you know what you are saying. 4:43

Some interpreters have referred to the words in
4:43 to claim that drinking alcohol is not prohibited by God. They explain that the words in 4:43 only forbid us from drinking alcohol at the time of the Salat, which means that outside the times of the Salat, drinking alcohol is allowed. It can be shown that this is a totally inaccurate interpretation of 4:43.

The words in
4:43 that say, "do not observe the Salat while intoxicated" do not mean that using intoxicants is allowed by God outside the times for Salat. These words simply tell us that intoxication deprives the believer from observing the Salat.

In all the Quran, intoxication is the only case that deprives the believer from observing the Salat. If a person commits theft, or commits adultery, or even commits murder, he/she should still observe his/her Salat. This is because worshipping God is a duty on all believers, whether they commit sins or not.

The case is different when a person is intoxicated. The reason for that is given in
4:43 by means of the words, "until you know what you are saying."
Under the effect of intoxication, a person does not know what he/she is saying, so it would be meaningless to worship God in that state. This does not mean in any way that using intoxicants is allowed by God outside of the time for Salat!


To confirm the correct meaning of
4:43, let us consider the following example:
One of the laws enforced in all countries of the world state that,
If a person has been convicted of paedophilia, he is not allowed to adopt any children.

Let us call having a conviction of paedophilia
Let us call adopting a child (B)
The law states that if a person has (A) he cannot have (B)
It is quite clear that this law does not imply in any way that if a person is not applying to adopt a child, he is allowed to engage in paedophilia!

Let us apply the same to
Let us call being intoxicated (A)
Let us call observing the Salat (B)
The law of 4:43 states that if a person does (A) he cannot do (B).
This does not mean in any way that getting intoxicated (A) is allowed by God!
It only means that (A) deprives a person of (B). This is not any different from the example of the person who has a criminal record for paedophilia (A) and is thus deprived of the right to adopt children (B).

Neither paedophilia is allowed by law, nor are intoxicants allowed by God.
The question of whether paedophila is allowed by law or not is decided by different laws and not the law in our example above.
Similarly, the question of whether intoxicants are allowed or forbidden by God is a matter decided by other Quranic verses, and not 4:43.
The Quranic verses that prohibit the personal consumption of intoxicants are detailed on the following page Prohibition of Alcohol