The Definitions of Dhubba’, Hantham, Muzaffat and Naqir

These four types of vessels were commonly used for the production and storage of drinks which would become quickly intoxicant. The prophet (peace be upon him) forbade drinking from it regardless. The ruling was later abrogated when people became aware of its danger.

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By Sh. R. Kazi
17 Rabi II 1437 | 28 January 2016

It has been reported by Imam Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

I command you with four and I forbid you from four. Worship Allah and do not associate with him any partner, establish prayer, give zakah, fast the month of ramadhan, and give one fifth of what you have gained as booty and I forbid you from four, from Dhubba’, Hantham, Muzaffath and Naqir.

These were four types of vessels in which the Arabs at the time of the prophet (peace be upon him) would immerse dates, raisins etcetera in water until it would sweeten. Thereafter, they would drink it once it had become intoxicant. The reason why these have been forbidden specifically is due to the speed with which the substances in them intoxicate. Thus making the drink impure, forbidden, valueless and a means of destruction of wealth. It was also easy for a person do drink such drinks from these vessels being unaware that it had become intoxicant as opposed to vessels made of leather skin; this was not prohibited due to its thinness; any drink that had become intoxicant will become obvious; when it did, the vessel would tear. This was the initial command.  Later on, the prohibition of producing drinks in these vessels was abrogated with a narration of Buraydah RA,

I forbade you from producing drinks (in vessels) except for some, (now) produce drinks in any vessel, however, do not drink anything intoxicant.

Hereunder are the definitions of each type of vessel mentioned in the narration,

  1. Dhubba: Dried up gourd/pumpkin or a vessel made out of this
  2. Hantham: Singular is “hanthamah”. This is also called “Jirar”; singular is “Jarrah”, an earthenware jar. There are differences of opinion in regards to the type of earthenware jar. Strongest opinion is that it is a green earthenware jar.
  3. Naqir: This is when the inside of the trunk of a palm tree is excavated, hollowed out and made into a vessel.
  4. Muzaffat: Also referred to as “Muqayyar”. This is a vessel that has been coated with asphalt1.

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17 Rabi II 1437 AH
28 January 2015 CE

[1] Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch.