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 Are the prayers of a person who got alcohol not accepted?

Is it true that prayers of a person who had alcohol are not accepted for forty days?

Answer:

As a Muslim is careful with the food hygiene, he should watch out for the spiritual purity of what he eats and drinks as well. Spiritual purity is obtained by abstaining what is unlawful (haram) and doubtful since they are obstacles for the acceptance of worship.

 

Deeds of one who gets a haram morsel will not be accepted for 40 days

Sayings of Prophet Muhammad state that prayers of he who gets haram are not accepted for 40 days.

Sad (ra) relates: Allah’s messenger PBUH said:

“O Sad! Purify your food (and as a result) you will become one whose supplications are accepted. I swear by He in whose hands the soul of Muhammad lies, verily a servant (of Allah) tosses a Haram morsel in his stomach (due to which) no deed is accepted from him for 40 days” (Tabarani)

“Whoever drinks wine, his prayer is not accepted from him for 40 days. If he repents, Allah forgives him…” [Tirmidhi]

"Whosoever drinks wine, Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. And if he repeats it Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. And if he repeats it again Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. If he repeats it for the fourth time Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will not accept it and he will be made to drink from the river of impurities (of the inmates of hell). (Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah and Daarami from Ibn Amr)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar;

“Whosoever drinks alcohol even though he does not get intoxicated, as long as he has a drop of wine in his stomach and in his veins, his salah will not be accepted. If he dies while he is in that situation, he dies as an infidel. The salah of that who drinks alcohol and get intoxicated is not accepted for forty days and if he dies in that situation, he dies as an infidel.” (Nasai)

 

Than should a person who got haram or alcohol avoid praying and worshiping for 40 days since they are invalid?

Hadiths state that deeds of an alcohol drinker will not be accepted for 40 days. Then, is it vain to pray or worship in that period?

Actually “to be accepted” and “to be valid” come to different meanings. A worship act may be “valid” but “not accepted in terms of reward” as well.

Scholars are in consensus that the expression in the hadith “no deed is accepted from him for 40 days” means “he will not be rewarded for his prayers for forty days.”

“Validity of a deed depends on the conditions. As for the reward, it depends on the validity of the azımah of the person (his avoiding sins and fulfilling the obligations)” (Radd al-Mukhtar)

If one that got alcohol performs his salah proper to its conditions, his salah is saheeh (valid) and he is considered to have fulfilled his duty. However, his prayer is not considered to be “accepted”, in other words, it is not a deed that is pleased, consented and rewarded.” Therefore, what a person who got alcohol should do is to make sincere repentance (tawbatun nasuh), pray Allah (swt) to accept his deeds and keep on performing his salah.

For further information about the ruling on alcoholic beverages in Islam, you can read the article

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