Friday, July 31, 2009

Is Six Lashes For Drinking Beer A Quranic Injunction?

By Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

ON July 20, the Pahang Syariah High Court sentenced part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor, 32, to a RM5,000 fine and six lashes of the rotan for drinking beer.

No doubt the court has the jurisdiction to impose such a sentence as provided by the law.

Some have questioned the appropriateness of the sentence of whipping given that the court has discretion to impose a mixture of fine, imprisonment and binding Kartika over for good behaviour for a certain period, or just admonish her.

Others have questioned the appropriateness based on the legitimate argument that the Syariah holds Muslims responsible for their actions that result in negative opinions of Islam.

A news item like this certainly presents Islam and Malaysia negatively on the international stage.

But I would urge the Malaysian Syariah authorities to seriously reconsider the Syariah basis of this law on the following Syariah grounds:

Neither the Quran nor the Hadith invokes a penalty for alcohol consumption. The sin of consuming alcohol is described in the Quran in the mildest language of prohibition.

When it comes to dietary laws, the Quran commands the believers in Sura 5:3: "forbidden (hurrimat) to you is the dead animal, loose blood, and the flesh of the pig".

The 90th verse of the same Sura cautions the believers that "wine, gambling, etc, are an impurity so avoid them (fa-jtanibuh)".

Some legal scholars suggest that the divine command ijtinab, to avoid something, is milder language than tahrim, prohibition.

A Muslim consuming a glass of wine with a pork chop commits a more serious offence in eating pork; yet as there is no Quran or Hadith penalty for consuming pork, there is also none for alcohol consumption.

The question then is how did the penalty for alcohol consumption come about?

It occurred during the time of the second Caliph Umar b. al-Khattab. There was a companion of the Prophet (sahabi) who had fought on the Prophet's side in his battles.

A heavy drinker, he would walk the streets of Madina drunk at night and loudly shout scandalous things about people. The inhabitants of Madina complained, and Umar formed a committee to decide what to do.

Imam Ali, based on the man having committed slander, suggested the penalty for slander, whose maximum penalty is 80 lashes.

Since that time, this has been considered the maximum penalty for alcohol consumption, based on utilising the Syariah concept of ta`zir (deterrence).

I disagree with this being the mandatory sentence for the offence of wine consumption, because it is the maximum sentence for another, separate offence - slander - albeit committed under the influence of alcohol.

Had the man just fallen on the street in a stupor and suffered a terrible hangover without having hurt anyone, no punishment would have been established.

Had cars existed then and had he run his car over some pedestrians and killed them, should we invoke ta`zir now and have a penalty for alcohol consumption equal to that of accidental manslaughter?

There are additional arguments we can marshal from the Quran and Hadith. The Quran repeatedly urges Muslims to forgive those who wrong them, even for slander and manslaughter!

When the Prophet Mohamed's wife Aisha was wrongly accused of having committed adultery, her father Abu Bakr sought to have the penalty of libel meted against one of his employees who had slandered her.

God then revealed verse 24:22, urging the believers to pardon and forgive those who have wronged them, so that God would forgive them their own sins.

But I see no evidence that Kartika wronged anybody after drinking beer.

Verse 4:92 gives the penalty for a Muslim accidentally killing another as freeing a slave and paying compensation to the victim's family - unless the family forgoes compensation and forgives the offender.

And if the defendant can't afford to pay, then he should fast for two consecutive months. Accidental homicide is a much greater sin than alcohol consumption; yet the Quran suggests that the victim's family would do well to forgive the offender, and the penalty here is not jail time or corporal punishment, but a two-month fast.

The Quranic and Prophetic teachings are about forgiveness, compassion and positive personal transformation. Sura 48:29 describes Prophet Mohamed's companions as "firm against unbelievers and compassionate to themselves", and this is what I urge the Malaysian authorities to exemplify: show compassion to Kartika and forgive her.

But if the Pahang Syariah court insists on establishing a penalty for the mere consumption of alcohol, why not replace the current law - a maximum penalty of a RM5,000 fine and six lashes of the rotan - with spending RM5,000 on feeding the poor and fasting for six days?

Wouldn't that be more in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah?

Were this the case, I have a hunch that many Malaysians who imbibe may voluntarily mete such a "penalty" on themselves - to the benefit of the poor, to the benefit of their own spiritual progress and standing before God on Judgment Day, and to the benefit of the Malaysian Syariah Court's, Islam's and Malaysia's image on the international stage.

(This article is also on Star Online)

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an international organisation devoted to improving West-Muslim world relations, and author of "Islam, A Sacred Law, What Every Muslim Should know about the Shariah".


Pejuang said...

asm nuraina,
bawa mengucap saudari telah jauh pergi dpd fakta yg berlaku. arak tetap haram dan meminumnya walau setitik tetap haram. saudari telah tersalah faham ttg beberapa 'istilah' dlm quran yang membawa erti arak tetap haram, saudari perlu rujuk kepada byk buku usul fiqh utk ini.
sebatan diberikan dlm undang2 negara masih diiktiraf takzir, dan hakim bertindak mengikut bidang kuasa yang dibenarkan olehnya, tidak lebih dari itu.
saudari sepatut menulis ttg , seorang model tak boleh minum arak contoh x baik kpd masyarakat, bukan bela perbuatannya...
saya nasihat saidari pakai tudung dulu, tutup aurat sebelum nak cakap pasal quran dan hadis , itu lebih afdal, saya rasa saudari lagi cun kalau pakai tudung...wallahua'lam bissawab...jgn mare...nasihat....

Pejuang said...

jgn x keluarkan komen saya x baik tu...

kruel74 said...

No verses or hadith to support me (maybe there are out there but no research was done by me and forgive me for that) but there are sins done by one human to another and there are sins to Allah. Drinking alcohol is the latter...

Anonymous said...

Agreed with your good intention sis, but not to worry as they claimed they are the religious experts and so be it as they are answerable to GOD.
Never get into trouble with religious issues as it is something that you don't learn from simply reading, so they say.

Old Fart said...

Quote: "Had cars existed then and had he run his car over some pedestrians and killed them, should we invoke ta`zir now and have a penalty for alcohol consumption equal to that of accidental manslaughter?"

I would reckon, it might be forbidden to drive a car!!

I would think whatever it is, there is supposed to be a law that the proponents are referring to. And since it is God's law, and God is without sin, I just hope that the prosecutors, and the judge who has prescribed the sentence are without sin themselves. Finally, I do hope that whoever it is who is going to then carry out the sentence is also determined to be one without sin. In this regard, I would presume that one who prays to God to ask for forgiveness already admits to God that he or she has committed sin and, therefore, may not qualify to carry out the sentence let alone make such a judgment.

Mullah TTDI said...

Dear Mrs Nuraina

I'm partly agree with Imam's view on this issue, that is instead of paying RM 5,000 as fine, why the authorities 'punished' her by paying RM 5,000 to poor, orphanage and so on. Another part that I do not agree is the punishment by Caliph Umar to the sahabi is for slandering only,and not for drinking alcohol. If I do not mistaken, Prophet Muhammad has said that we should follow the way of him (Sunnah) and the way of Khulafa' Rashideen (i.e: the way of Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali). Personally, I don't mind the punishment that was made originated from Caliph Umar's era, but I find that the this issue should be taken seriously by our Islamic Scholars in implementing it.....So, what do you think???


saudara Pejuang,

terima kasiha atas nasihat saudara.

hmmm bukan kah saya yang akan menananggung...dan saya yang akan menjawab? saya sendiri.

terima kasih.

reformist101 said...

I don't agree with only 6 lashes. It should be a minimum of 40 lashes. But a lash in Islam, is not same like a lash in jail. Hukuman hanya untuk mendidik, bukan menghukum. Kenapa kita tidak membiarkan hukuman ini dijalankan dan melihat sendiri bagaimana sebatan yang kononnya kejam itu dijalankan. My 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

well said, rules are mostly man made and having said that are poorly made.

Jordan said...

The punishment is simply barbaric. I'm really tired of people living in the stone ages and justifying their idiocy by saying it's what God wants. Is this Malaysia or Afghanistan?

Anonymous said...

Assalamulaikum Pejuang,

Saya berasa bahawa tidak perlulah saudara memberi ungkapan bahawa seseorang itu perlu memakai tudung atau menutup aurat sebelum bercakap pasal quran dan hadith.

Ditambah pula dengan mengatakan saudari akan lebih cun memakai tudung.

Secara tidak langsung saudara telah menununjukkan bahawa ilmu agama di dada saudara belum dalam.
Tapi pasti ada ruang untuk dibetulkan.

Saya cuma menasihati bahawa tiap-tiap cara teguran ada silahnya lebih-lebih lagi berhubung agama.
Saya tak pandai, jadi mungkin kata-kata saya juga tidak betul silahnya jadi saya memohon maaf.

Saudara juga telah membaca secara terburu-buru dan terlepas pandang, bahawa saudari Nuraina, hanya memaparkan pandangan seorang penulis Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf.


Anonymous said...

the punishments meted out are based on the harsh conditions of the 7th cetury arabia. Today some of those barbaric punishment is no longer considered acceptable.

Anonymous said...

This is UMNO's or should I say Malaysia's Islam ?

Anonymous said...

About 3 or 4 years ago, i read a very interesting article on nigeria. In some parts of nigeria,there are sharia law. So i think, what happened, there is applicable. A young man was caught stealing maize to feed his children. The sharia court imposed a sentence of cutting off his hands. The irony, that was riased was that. At that time in nigeria, the generals were happily siphoning off (stealing) millions in dollars in oil money, yet a cattle herder was caught and had his hands cut off. i am not really bothered about how many rotans she get, since she is ok with it,lets get on.
What i am surprised about , is all those muslims who support her canning, why aren't they asking that, those who rob malaysia of millions be punished too ? You see, that wont happen.It's becuase, it's either ,t hey are stupid or cowardly. i see the excat parellels between nigeria & malaysia.i see some mulims are happy that she got punished. Such stupidity si very clear to non muslims like us

donplaypuks® said...

It's not Koranic.

It's moronic!

Anonymous said...

with all due respect, one may cast his/her opinion on the matter but this is not a subject that can be debated.
islam tetap islam and there is no islam era baru or islam zaman dulu, therefore whatever punishments metted out in the past is not for us to debate/argue/question/reason today.

as a muslim who drinks, the model was well aware of the offence. as a muslim who drinks, one knows very well that he/she has to be discreet/careful because you can be caught. sama jugak mazam pi massage parlours and rumah ayam.
Risikonya ialah bila dah kena tangkap dan dihukum. this is the risk that one as a muslim willingly accepts when they do it.

yes we can argue that it is between one and God, but punishment is also with the intent of one not committing the same offence again. apa guna bayar fine dan buat lagi.
now that she's earned herself 6 lashes, it's going to be a very long time or even never having a sip in her life again. frankly, if one were to spare the whipping i would personally support that she be paraded around town and announced as a person caught drinking.

we can be liberal yes, but not with everything. ini belum lagi masuk bab-bab khalwat, berzina, dan sebagainya and there's plenty of this going around especially in the cities.

i respect your opinion and i hope likewise, you will reciprocate those who are in favour of the sentence.

in all the articles that have been published, not once have i come across reports of the proceedings and just how sorry/apologetic the model was for committing the offence, which could/may have led to a more lenient sentence.

Ahmed SIRaj said...

Drinking alcohol is a major sin, for wine is the mother of all evils. It clouds the mind, wastes money, causes headaches, tastes foul, and is an abomination of the Shaytaan’s [Satan’s] handiwork. It creates enmity and hatred between people, prevents them from remembering Allah and praying, calls them to zina [unlawful sexual relationships], and may even call them to commit incest with their daughters, sisters or other female relatives. It takes away pride and protective jealousy (gheerah), and generates shame, regret and disgrace, and puts the drinker in the same category as the most imperfect type of people, namely those who are insane. It leads to the disclosure of secrets and exposure of faults. It encourages people to commit sins and evil actions. It makes people transgress sacred limits and the one who is addicted to it is like an idol-worshipper.

Read the complete article at:

selampit said...

Imam Feisal (whoever he is) wrote;

"Imam Ali, based on the man having committed slander, suggested the penalty for slander, whose maximum penalty is 80 lashes.

Since that time, this has been considered the maximum penalty for alcohol consumption, based on utilising the Syariah concept of ta`zir (deterrence).

I disagree with this being the mandatory sentence for the offence of wine consumption.."

Who the hell is he to disagree with Ali and contradict Ali's edict? Ali was the Prophet's cousin and close companion, as well as the fourth Caliph of the Ar-Rashidin Caliphate.

And the prophet said this about Ali? "I am the House of Wisdom, and Ali is its Door".

Rasulullah once cautioned;

"...My Ummah will split into 73 sects: one will enter Paradise and 72 will enter Hell.' Someone asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, who will they be?' He replied, 'The main body of the Muslims (al-Jama'ah). Those who follow me and my companions' path"

Riwayah Al-Tirmidzhi.

And I do not recall this Imam Feisal (whoever he is), as one of the prophet's companions.

Anonymous said...


If someone swallowed panadol and made slanderous comments, he would be punished for slander but not for taking panadol. Correct?

If this very same person swallowed the "ice" (illicit drug) and made slanderous comments then how?

Would he be punished for slander but not for taking illicit drugs?


Would he be punished for taking illicit drugs but not for slander?


Would he be punished for both?


borhan said...

Dalam Qur'an Allah menjelaskan muslimin dan muslimat itu terdiri dari beberapa gulugan mengikut tingkat keimanan mereka.Antara yang saya ingat ialah solihiin, fasikiin, munafikiin. Yang diluarnya ialah kafiriin. semuga kita semua tergulung dalam kumpulan solihiin.Bukannya fasikiin dan munafikiin.

Anonymous said...


To those who wished that their drinking habit shouldn't be governed by any kind of law for reason that they still able to have control of over their acts and would not harms or troubles anyone, to a certain extend this kind of reasoning is correct if that refers to a situation whereby people apparently do lives in a seclusion. But, if people continue to be part of a society, that kind of wishes might lead the others to also making illogical request of their own and this thing will go on and on.

For example look at the seat belt issue. No doubt, it helps protect the driver. So, in practice, safety belt is to protect the driver but not to make him/her a much better driver in so much so that accident will never happen. And just because safety belt use is nothing more than a personal issue, and just because all this while as a driver he/she has never failed to abide by the speed limit and hence he/she has never knocked anyone down with his/her car, therefore is it right for this driver to refuse fastening a seat belt (something for his own good), on the argument that his own safety is a personal mater and as such should not be governed by any law? Is it justifiable?


Anonymous said...

I am all for her getting canned, my issue is , why is islamic law applied so unevenly & unfairly. it's fine, that many say, that drinking is evil etc etc anc can quote verses after verses. My question to them is, why are those that are robbing the country of millions ,not getting their hands caught. why are children of those in power, that u see drinking in kl nite clubs not being caught. it's back to square -1 , islamic law becomes wayang law, catch the ikan bilis and punish them but let the sharks get away. In doing that, islamic law becomes a joke

QifA said...

Nothing much to say, except there's an excellent article written by Dr Asri or better known as Dr. Maza .

There's a slightly different info between Imam Feisal and Dr. Asri's articles. From Imam Feisal's article, Umar agreed with Imam Ali's view of 80 lashes, but in Dr. Asri's article he mentioned that it was Abdul Rahman bin Auf instead of Imam Ali.

And Miss Pejuang, with all due respect, i hope you have read the article and fully understood who wrote it and what was the purpose of it before making any forgone conclusions.

Remember the first revelation? The al-alaq chapter?

JJ said...

Our comprehension must be pretty bad.
1. This is an article by a imam Feisal which appeared in the Star which you had reproduced. Yet, it appears some thinks you wrote it.
2. Imam disagreed with the interpretation that the punishment meted out by imam Ali was for alcohol consumption, since that was the 1st time a punishment was supposedly meted out related to alcohol consumption.

The article expounded compassion over punishment, which included pardon for slander and manslaughter if the aggrieved party would agrees.

I guess we can debate as to whether the imam's opinion is correct. What it does show is that not everyone agrees with his interpretation. Therefore, why would we think that the punishment of lashes for alcohol consumption has been correctly interpreted?


Anonymous said...

Do you consume alcohol Nuraina?

Anonymous said...

Just because of one fool the whole community is fooled. Alcohol was once halal but was made haram just because a fool commits slander during the time of the prophet. Opium was once legal but are now illegal because no leader would want a drunken community or society in a country that needs a good moral society for a country to develop. If any substance be it opium or alcohol, it should be banned totally so that society will understand that Islam is a way of life whereby "drunkenness" is not the Islamic way. Yet again alcohol is still halal in medical science and opium was once used for the sake of healing.
If opium can carrys a death penalty, what about alcoholic drinks? I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Alcohol should be banned totally like opium. Opium now does have a death penalty. Alcohol and opium is similar because it causes intoxication or drunkenness. Some countries do banned smoking at public places like bus stop, hospitals, car parks, children playground, or even shopping centres or restauraunts. You will be fine for doing it. Perhaps Malaysia should have a banned for Muslims entering any entertainment outlets, bars, casinos.. etc. This would certainly improve the community and society as a whole and create budget for the goverment. Any Muslim entering such ban locations will need to pay a hefty fine and this will certainly creates revenue.

Anonymous said...

Lesson learn:- No Muslim women for me in any Malaysia hotels or pubs for friendship or companionship... else I have to bare the consequences. Really have to boycott Muslim women in Malaysia. Malaysia Law is a joke of the century.

Anonymous said...

Linguistically, liquor means any material that intoxicates, whether extracted from grape juice or another substrances. It is named " liquor " for it affects the minds. Jurists varied in limiting the meaning of "liquor", but after I scrutinized the evidence of each team of jurists, I realized that "liquor" includes any intoxicating material conforming the text versions where legislator had defined 'liquor'. After reviewing and discussing the evidence of the jurists, detected that the punishment for drinking liquor is not an Islamic code (hadd) since there is no evidence for it. Hadd is a divine sentence on certain crimes related and allotted by Allah. Chastisement is a legal punishment which is not allotted by the legislator.

Ahmed Yousuf Smadi, Assistant Prof., Faculty of Islamic Jurisprudence and Law, Al al-bayt University, al-Mafraq, Jordan,
Journal of King Saud University. Educational Sciences & Islamic Studies. Volume 17, No 1. (2005/1425) The Punishment of Drinking Wine 'Liquor' between the Islamic Code and Chastisement"

Anonymous said...


AN NAHL (LEBAH) 016:67 (Makiyyah) – Dan dari buah kurma dan anggur, kamu buat minuman yang memabukkan dan rezki yang baik. Sesungguhnya pada yang demikian itu benar-benar terdapat tanda (kebesaran Allah) bagi orang yang memikirkan.

AL BAQARAH (LEMBU BETINA) 002:219 (Madaniyyah) [Ayat 281 – di Mina] - “Mereka bertanya kepadamu tentang arak/khamar dan judi. Katakanlah pada kedua-duanya terdapat dosa besar dan beberapa manfaat manusia, tetapi dosa kedua-duanya lebih besar daripada manfaatnya. Dan mereka bertanya kepadamu apakah yang mereka nafkahkan. Katakanlah “Yang lebih dari keperluan”. Demikianlah Allah menerangkan ayat-ayatNya kepada kamu supaya kamu berfikir”

AN NISAA (WANITA) 004:043 (Madaniyyah) – “Hai orang-orang yang beriman, janganlah kamu solat, sedangkan kamu dalam keadaan mabuk, sehingga kamu tidak mengerti apa yang kamu ucapkan.”

AL MAA-IDAH (HIDANGAN) 005:090-091 (Madaniyyah) - Arak/Khamar dan judi termasuk perbuatan yang keji dan termasuk perbuatan syaitan. Melalui keduanya syaitan itu bermaksud hendak menimbulkan permusuhan dan kebencian serta menghalangi manusia untuk mengingati Allah. Maka berhentilah keduanya……

MUHAMMAD (NABI MUHAMMAD S.A.W.) 047:015 (Madaniyyah) - "Orang yang bertaqwa akan dapat balasan syurga yang di dalamnya terdapat sungai-sungai arak/khamar yang lazat rasanya, lagi tidak memabukkan……….

Hanya 5 ayat di atas sahaja saya jumpa, mungkin ada lebih lagi.


Daripada 5 ayat al-Quran dinyatakan di atas tiada pula hukuman ke atas peminum arak. Tetapi terdapat masalah hukuman yang diberikan kepada orang yang meminum arak dalam hadis-hadis. Sebagai tambahan penjelasan, berikut hadis-hadisnyanya:-

“Bahawasanya Rasulullah s.a.w. telah mendera orang yang meminum minuman keras dengan dua pelepah tamar 40 kali” (HR Muslim)

“Pada zaman Rasulullah s.a.w. hukuman meminum khamar dipukul 40 kali dengan dua selipar, maka pada zaman ‘Umar beliau menggunakan cemeti sebagai ganti tiap-tiap satu selipar” (HR Ahmad)

Dan banyak lagi hadis-hadis yang mengenainya, tetapi daripada bacaan saya didapati terdapat JUGA hadis-hadis yang bercanggah di antara satu sama lain hukuman ke atas peminum arak. Ada hadis yang menyatakan apa yang dilakukan bukan oleh Nabi Muhamad s.a.w. tetapi oleh Khalifah Abu Bakar dan lain-lain khalifah.

Hukuman di dunia terhadap peminum arak yang disebut dalam hadis itu pula tidak konsisten dan bercanggah pula antara satu sama lain.

Berdasar kepada cerita yang terkandung dalam banyak hadis, hukuman terhadap peminum arak yang dilaksanakan pada zaman Rasulullah s.a.w. berbeza daripada seorang pesalah kepada seorang pesalah yang lain.

Malah ada hadis-hadis yang berkata bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. tidak pernah melaksanakan sendiri hukuman itu, tetapi para sahabat baginda yang melaksanakannya.

Ini bermaksud Rasulullah tidak pernah mengambil tindakan ke atas peminum arak.

Di bawah ini diperturunkan pengertian beberapa hadis itu.

Dalam sebuah hadis yang terkandung dalam kitab "Sahih al-Bukhari" meriwayatkan bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. mengarah sahabat-sahabatnya memukul seorang yang minum arak dengan kasut dan pelepah kurma.

Anonymous said...

Tetapi dalam sebuah hadis lain yang terkandung dalam kitab "Sahih Muslim" yang meriwayatkan bahawa Rasulullah sendiri memukul peminum arak dengan dua pelepah kira-kira 40 kali. Dalam menghurai hadis berkenaan, Imam Muslim menyebut bahawa Abu Bakar memukul peminum arak sebanyak 40 kali dan Omar ibn al-Khatab pula membuat sebatan 80 kali.

Abu Hanifah dan sahabat-sahabatnya, Malik, Al-Laits, keluarga Rasul dan satu pendapat lain dari As-Shafi’e menetapkan bahawa hukuman ke atas peminum khamar ialah 80 sebatan. Mereka mengatakan bahawa hukuman 80 sebatan ini telah diijma’ oleh para sahabat berdasarkan hadis Anas r.a. :

”Telah dibawa kepada Rasulullah s.a.w. seorang peminum khamar, maka Rasulullah memukulnya dengan sandalnya (selipar) sebanyak lebih kurang empat puluh kali. Kemudian Abu Bakar dibawa kepada peminum khamar, maka beliau berbuat seperti itu juga. Kemudian dibawa peminum khamar kepada Omar, lalu beliau bermesyuarat mengenai hukum hudud ini. Ibn Auf (Abdul Rahman) berkata: Sekurang-kurangnya hukum Hudud ialah 80 kali sebatan. Maka Omar memukul peminum tadi 80 kali sebatan”(HR Ahmad, Muslim, Abu daud dan At-Tarmizi)

Kerana tidak wujud hukuman terhadap pesalah minum arak dalam al-Quran (tidak seperti hukuman terhadap pencuri, penzina, penuduh (qazaf) dll.) serta berlaku pula perbezaan dan percanggahan dalam hadis-hadis di atas menyebabkan sesetengah ulamak menganggap hukuman terhadap pesalah minum arak bukan terjatuh dalam hukuman Hudud, sebaliknya ia hukuman takzir, iaitu hukuman ringan atau hukuman kecil yang kadarnya tidak ditetapkan oleh al-Quran dan hadis, tetapi ditetapkan oleh hakim atau mahkamah secara berijtihad.

Di bawah undang-undang yang digunapakai kepada rakyat Malaysia (tanpa mengira agama) adalah tidak menjadi apa-apa kesalahan jika meminum arak. Walau bagaimanapun ia menjadi satu kesalahan di bawah undang-undang atas akibat minum arak. Sebagai contoh kesalahannya; memandu kenderaan di bawah pengaruh arak atau bertatakelakuan buruk (termasuk merosakkan harta benda) di khalayak awam akibat pengaruh arak. ‘Mabuk akibat arak’ juga bukannya boleh dijadikan satu alasan pembelaan dalam mahkamah.

Di bawah Seksyen 510 Penal Code – "Misconduct in public by a drunken person": “Whoever, in a state of intoxication, appears in any public place, or in any place which it is a trespass in him to enter, and there conducts himself in such a manner as to cause annoyance to any person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten days, or with fine which may extend to twenty ringgit, or with both”

Bagi rakyat Malaysia pemegang MyKad yang tertera Islam dalamnya, berikut adalah hukuman berkaitan arak yang digunapakai berlandaskan kepada Akta/Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Islam mengikut wilayah ataupun negeri masing-masing:-

(a) Sabitan kesalahan meminum arak (apa-apa minuman yang memabukkan) di kedai (atau di tempat awam) dengan sukarela (bukan dengan paksaan atau dipujuk rayu untuk meminumnya) boleh didenda tidak melebihi RM3,000 atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi 2 tahun atau kedua-duanya.

(b) Sabitan kesalahan membuat, menjual, menawarkan, mempamerkan untuk jualan, menyimpan ataupun membeli arak (apa-apa minuman yang memabukkan) boleh didenda tidak melebihi RM5,000 atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi 3 tahun atau kedua-duanya.

Nota: Enakmen Jenayah Syariah negeri Pahang dan Kelantan pula menetapkan hukuman denda RM5,000 penjara tidal lebih 3 tahun dan sebatan bagi semua kesalahan sama ada meminum, membuat, menjual, membeli atau sebagainya. Enakmen ini tidak selari dengan hukuman berasingan untuk peminum dan pembuat/penjual arak, yang mana hukuman meminum adalah lebih ringan dari pembuat/penjual.