Islam and alcohol (and fantasy)

Tipsy taboo. I particularly noticed:

A handful of scholars permit alcohol as long as it is not made from grapes and dates, because these are specifically mentioned in the Koran.

I had run across this concept exactly once before, in Poul Anderson’s 1971 novel Operation Chaos. From a scene in chapter 5:

“I believe you are concealing something,” went on the emir. He gestured at his glasses and decanter, which supplied him with a shot of Scotch [This is a world of magic], and sipped judiciously. The Caliphate sect was also heretical with respect to strong drink; the maintained the while the Prophet forbade wine, he said nothing about beer, gin, whisky, brandy, rum, or akvavit.

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