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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 describes an encounter on the Volga with a people he calls "rusiyyah," who may have been either Russians or Vikings. He relates how the rusiyyah would drink an alcoholic drink he refers to by the name "nabidh". It is not clear what drink it actually was, but from context it is clear that it was intoxicating.[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. ^ Ibn Fadlan and the rusiyyah, James E. Montgomery, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 3 (2000).