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Nabidh is a drink traditionally made from fruits such as raisins/grapes or dates. Nabidh may be non intoxicating, mildy intoxicating, or heavily intoxicating depending on the level of fermentation.

Abu Hurayrah says of the drink:

I knew that the Apostle of Allah used to keep fast. I waited for the day when he did not fast to present him the drink (nabidh) which I made in a pumpkin. I then brought it to him while it fermented. He said: Throw it to this wall, for this is a drink of the one who does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. [1]

However, nabidh is allowed in the Hanafi madhhab in non-intoxicating amounts. According to the hadith collection by Imam Malik Ibn Anas, it is forbidden to "prepare Nabidh in a gourd or in a jug smeared with pitch."[2]

Rufus of Ephesus (fl. 100 AD) wrote a tract on the beverage Nabîdh, which Qusta ibn Luqa in his times translated into Arabic by the name Risâlah fī al-Nabidh.[3][4] In 2007, after collecting and collating copies of this manuscript from different libraries across the world, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman again reintroduced and published this rare work in Urdu and Arabic.[5]

Arab writer Ibn Fadlan states that nabidh was drunk by the Vikings.[6] It was brewed for ten days, was probably alcohol-based, and may have included henbane, cannabis, and/or opium.[6] Fadlan also describes the drink being given to female slaves who were to be sacrificed by strangulation and stabbing during a ship burial ceremony.[6]


  1. ^ Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 26, Number 3707
  2. ^
  3. ^ Risâlah fī al-Nabidh of Qustâ bin Lûqâ, Introduced by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Supplement to 'Studies in the History of Medicine and Science' (SHMS), Jamia Hamdard, Vol. IX (1985), pp.185-201
  4. ^ Risâlah fī al-Nabidh by Qustâ bin Lûqâ, Tajdid-i Tibb (Volume 1), Department of Kulliyat, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, March 1988, page 55-70
  5. ^ Risâlah fī al-Nabidh, (Arabic translation of Qusta ibn Luqa by Rufus. Edited with translation and commentary by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences, Aligarh, 2007 (ISBN 978-81-901362-7-3)
  6. ^ a b c Taylor, Timothy. The Buried Soul, Beacon Press, 2002, p. 175-176