As-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh: In the early days of Islam in Arabia the scholars, once coffee was discovered, labeled it as Haram. According to the medical and Shari’ah definitions is Coffee a drug and/or an intoxicant? Is it Haram? Was-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
All praise be to Allah, and may His blessings and peace be on the final messenger, Muhammad,
Coffee was first discovered around the beginning of the tenth century A.H. At that time, there was controversy regarding its effects, yet the vast majority of the grand scholars deemed it permissible. Some argued it is mind-altering, harmful and a catalyst or mischief. The latter may have been related to the fact that it was served in shops for groups of people who may have been involved in some form of vice. That, however, should not have an impact on the ruling of the drink itself.
There is more than one reason why food may be haram:
- Intoxication (sukr), which means drunkenness. This is a condition that leads to euphoria, impaired judgment and disinhibition.
- Impurity (najasah)
- Harm (darar)
As for coffee, it is by no means an intoxicant. It is also not filthy. The harm of coffee has not been proven to clearly and decisively outweigh its benefits. Thus, you notice all people, Muslims and non-Muslims agree on the harms of smoking and warn against them, while they don’t think or do the same with regard to coffee. Therefore, it is permissible to consume coffee in moderation for excessiveness in anything is discouraged.
Allah knows best.