Alcoholic drink is forbidden under strict Islamic law. Yet ironically, the word alcohol itself goes back, through Medieval Latin, to an Arabic source: al-kohl, the name for a metallic black powder (sometimes called Kohl in English) used as a beauty aid to stain the eyelids or as an eye-liner. The powder was produced from antimony by sublimation, a process in which a solid substance is converted to vapour by heating, then resolidifies on cooling. The word alcohol came to be applied to any powder produced by sublimation, then to liquids produced in a similar way. Our familiar alcohol of today was formerly 'alcohol of wine'





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