Sunni and Shia narrators state that Ali bin Abi Talib drank alcohol and offer prayers while intoxicated?

“O you who believe! Approach not As-Salât (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,…” (Qur’an 4:43)

Ibn Taymiyyah Al Harrani states:

إطهخٔ اشقف ٗهص اًن ٌٕنٕقذ اي إًهؼذ ٗرح ٖساكس ىرَأٔ جلصنا إتشقذ ل إُيآ ٍٚزنا آٚأ اٚ ٗهػ ٙف ٗناؼذ ا لضَأ ذقٔ

Translation: “Allah has revealed for Ali {O you who have believed, do not approach prayer
while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying – 4:43} when he prayed and recited and then got mixed up.” [Manhaj as-Sunnah (7/172)]

Putting aside the fact the possibility that Ali bin Abi Talib drank alcohol before the actual prohibition, it is still rather bizarre to assume that the sanctity of the prayer was not ingrained in him enough to the point where he would approach the prayers in such a way.  Making Ali the asbab al-nuzul for this verse does seem like an incredible insult. Even worse is the idea that Ali bin Abi Talib was sloshing his words about in prayer and butchering the recitation of the Qur’an.

An-Nisa 4:43

Tafsir of the verse:

“O you who believe! Approach not As-Salât (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,…” [The Noble Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa 4:43]

It was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) that an Ansari man invited him and ‘Abdur – Rahman ibn ‘Awf, and offered them wine before the prohibition of Khamr was revealed. ‘Ali lead them in Maghrib prayer, and recited: Say ‘O you disbelievers!… (Al – Kafirun 109), but he was confused in it. Then the verse, ‘O you who believe! Approach not Salaat when you are intoxicated until you know (the meaning) of what you utter (An-Nisa’ 4:43)’ was revealed.”

Sources: (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 4, Book 25, Hadith Number 3,671, p. 222; Classed as Hasan by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Zai, Darussalam Publishers, [English Translation], 2008] )

Abu ‘Abdur – Rahman As – Sulami narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib  (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “‘Abdur – Rahman ibn ‘Awf prepared some food for which he invited us, and he gave us some wine to drink. The wine began (to) affect us when it was time for Salaat. So they encouraged me (to lead) and I recited: ‘Say: O you disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship, and we worship what you worship’ – and Allah, the Most High, revealed, ‘O you who believe! Do not approach Salaat when you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying (An – Nisa’ 4:43)’.”

Sources: (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Volume 5, Book 44, Hadith number 3,026; Imam Tirmidhi said, “This hadeeth is Hasan Ghareeb Saheeh.” Classed as Hasan by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Zai, Darussalam Publishers, [English Translation], 2008] )

Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Zai commented on the hadeeth as follows:

“A drunkard loses sense and consciousness in the state of being drunk; in this state he does not know what he is saying, and he is unaware of the positive or negative promise with Allah. As ‘Ali was drunk, he said some words in favour of the disbelievers unknowingly; and this Ayah of Surah An – Nisa’ was revealed concerning this.

It is also known from this Hadith that if one is overwhelmed by sleep and they are unaware of what is coming out of their mouth, one should then delay the prayer until the senses and consciousness have returned to their normal state.”

Habib Ibn Abi Thabit Asadi Kahili Kufi narrates reports in which ‘Ali accidently prays in a state of major ritual impurity and another in which he leads prayer while in a state of intoxication.  Sources: (Al Tirmidhi, Sunan Iv pg. Abd al-Razzaq Al Sanani, Al Musannaf (ed) Habib Al Rahman Al Azamai (Beritut), ii. p Sources: (AL Tirmidhi, Sunan, iv, p.305; ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanani, al-Musannaf, (ed) Habib Al Rahman Al Aazami (Beirut,1970), ii, p 350.)

This is some very buggy stuff concerning Ali bin Abi Talib. These things about Ali bin Abi Talib have not been transmitted by the Muslims, the People of the Truth and Steadfastness (Ahl Al Haqq Wal Istiqamah).  

You be fair and you judge! We, whose predecessor fought on the side of Ali at the battle of the Camel, and at Siffin, whose seniors warned Ali against the arbitration with Muaviyah and subsequently broke camp, are we deemed so low in the eyes of others over this? Yet, Sunni and Shi’i narrators can narrate about Ali that he lead the prayers drunk, while in major ritual impurity, uttered, “and we worship what you worship” and is the occasion of the revelation “do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying” for all posterity?

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