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Alcohol & Drug Abuse


أضرار الخمر والمخدرات

The Alcohol & Drug Abuse


Alcohol, Wine or Liquor, all known as Khamr  "Khamr is what befogs the mind." any substance which has the effect of befogging or clouding the mind, impairing its faculties of thought, perception, and discernment is prohibited by Allah and His Messenger (peace be on him) until the Day of Resurrection.

In the USA with a population of 220 million, there are 15 million alcoholics, 2 million heroin addicts, 5.5 million cocaine users, 6 million tranquilizer abusers and 18 million regularly use marijuana. There are 700 treatment centers. There are 10,000 kids (children) born to cocaine mothers.

What are they doing about it.....?

The cost of drug treatment to the nation (USA) is $117 billion per year. In 1986 congress allotted only $2.5 billion to control drug traffic, a $110 billion industry. The value of cocaine seized at the borders in 1985 was $70 million. Next to Columbia, the USA is the second biggest producer of marijuana.


In addition to morbidity, the alcohol and drug scene is closely connected to the crime rate.

In 1985 alone 800,000 arrests were made for drug violations (compared to 400,000 in 1973). Of the 523,000 inmates in the U.S. prisons, one-third admitted drinking alcohol before committing the felony.

Of the 50,000 auto accidents deaths annually, 23,000 are related to acute alcoholism, 5,000 being teenagers.

In addition, about 1,500,000 arrests occur annually in traffic violation due to alcoholism.

Tell me the Rest...

One third of all 75,000 AIDS cases are occurring in IV drug abusers or their partners. 54% of drug related AIDS are in heterosexual men, 16% in women, 20% in homosexual men, 8% in partners of drug users and 3% in children born to mothers with drug abuse or whose partner was drug abuser. The alcohol and drug abuse in children as young as 5 is increasing at an alarming rate.

Marijuana: Has 400 known chemicals, 61 of them affect the brain; Marijuana impairs memory, concentration and reading capacity. Increases anxiety, apprehension and fear. It damages heart and lung. It lowers testosterone (male hormone) and sperm count and affects the outcome of pregnancy. It is more carcinogenic than cigarettes.

Cocaine: A potent brain stimulant, was initially thought to be harmless, thus added to the soft drink (coke). When given intravenously, it produces intense high and intense low (depression), hallucination, convulsion, cardiac arrest and death.

Heroin: (Opium) morphine derivative. Usually injected by needle, but can be snorted or smoked. It is highly addictive with intensely withdrawal. Overdose results in death.

Alcohol: Alcohol damages all organs of the body in due course. It damages liver (cirrhosis), causes stomach bleeding (ulcer), heart (cardiomyopathy), sex hormones and the immune system. Its effect on the brain can be acute (intoxication, delirium) or chronic (ataxia, memory loss, coordination). It is linked to breast cancer and fetal damage in women. But it is violence, homicide, suicide and drunk driving which takes most lives.

The Islamic Perspective......

The objectives of Islamic divine laws are the protection of faith (belief in one God), life (abortion. suicide, homicide), property (ownership) and the mind (intoxicants). Normally in the brain there is an inhibitory control which tells us not to engage in shameful or wrongful acts. Any suppressant drug including alcohol will suppress these nerve pathways and take away such restraint. Ability to make a judgment, to protect the body or honor, a quality for humans is taken away under the influence of drugs.

There are two main features of Islamic prohibitions:

a) Islam stops the wrong at the inception and not at the end. There is nothing like safe drinking age, or safe drugs to get high. Most of the teenage alcoholics don't buy the alcohol from the store but get it at home. Islam makes equal laws for both children and parents by prohibiting completely (total abstinence), but the West does not. It is for this reason that the West has been crippled to handle the problem of drugs and alcohol, because it has made dual standards.

b) Islam blocks all the avenues to the wrong. Therefore not only illicit sex is prohibited, but casual mixing of sexes freely is prohibited, but obscenity and pornography is prohibited, and in the same context, not only drinking wine is prohibited, but making it, selling it, keeping it, or even growing grapes for the sole purpose of selling it to winery for making wine is prohibited by the Prophet (PBUH). Some 1400 years ago, Allah Almighty, our creator and sustainer, who cares for us, sent down following revelation in the following order, mentioned in the Quran.

Allah Almighty says:

يَسأَلُونَكَ عَن الخَمرِ وَالمَيسِرِ قُل فِيهِمَا إِثمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثمُهُمَا أَكبَرُ مِن نَفعِهِمَا وَيَسأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُل العَفوَ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُم الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُم تَتَفَكَّرُونَ (219) سورة البقرة

"They ask you concerning wine and gambling." Say: "In them there is great sin, and some profit, but sin is greater than the profit." Al Baqarah 2:219

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لاَ تَقرَبُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُم سُكَارَى حَتَّى تَعلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ ....(43)سورة النساء

"O you who believed! Approach not prayers, with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say." Al-Nisa 4:43

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الخَمرُ وَالمَيسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزلاَمُ رِجسٌ مِن عَمَلِ الشَّيطَانِ فَاجتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُم تُفلِحُونَ (90) إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَينَكُم العَدَاوَةَ وَالبَغضَاءَ فِي الخَمرِ وَالمَيسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُم عَن ذِكرِ اللَّهِ وَعَن الصَّلاَةِ فَهَل أَنتُم مُنتَهُونَ (91) سورة المائدة

"O you who believed! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divinations by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: Avoid such (abomination) that you may prosper. Satan's plan is to sow enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up?" Al-Ma'idah 5:90-91

The above verses came over period of years and when the last verse came, Muslims threw away all the wine into the streets and stopped completely in whatever state they were in, and streets of Medina were flowing with wine.

Sayings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) about wine and other intoxicants.

1. "Every intoxicant is khamr, and every khamr is haram (unlawful)- reported by Muslim.

2. "Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is haram (unlawful)" (Ahmad, Abu-Daud and Al-Tirmizi,).

3. "Khamr (intoxicants) is the mother of all evils". Reported in Bukhari.

The consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants is absolutely prohibited in Islam. Consider the following hadeeth:

 Tariq b. Suwaid al-Ju'fi asked Allah's Apostle (PBUH) about liquor. He forbade (its use) He (Tariq) said, "I prepare it as a medicine," whereupon he (the Prophet) said, "It is not medicine, but an ailment." (Sahih Muslim)

In light of such a strong condemnation of alcohol, many Muslims may be curious about the large number of non-Muslim scientists and physicians who have claimed that drinking 1-2 glasses of wine per day may actually be of significant benefit to one's health, providing protection against heart disease and other ailments. These findings are supposedly based upon reputable studies carried out by reputable researchers, and the press has bombarded us with them.

As Muslims, however, we should know that an incomplete picture is being presented to the public regarding this issue. Islam is unique from other religions in that its teachings have never been found to contradict any scientific finding unless that finding is eventually proven wrong. The teachings of Islam are timeless and will always hold true while science may change from day to day according to new theories and new ways of thinking. With regards to the wine issue, we cannot ignore the fact that there is a lot of money to be made by encouraging people to drink it regularly. Besides the sale, taxation and regulation of alcohol (a billion dollar industry), huge amounts of money are also being made by the doctors and social organizations who treat the victims of alcohol abuse while the governments are also profiting nicely from federally mandated drug and alcohol testing programs. Generally speaking, the public does not care much about these conflicts of interest: it has, after all, been granted "permission" to indulge in one of its favorite vices.

The fact is that alcohol remains a danger to both the individual and to the society as a whole. Alcohol is still responsible for countless deaths each year in the form of drunk driving accidents, murders committed while under the influence and health conditions such as cirrhosis, kidney disease and heart failure. It is impossible to estimate how many families have been destroyed by the violence which often accompanies alcohol abuse, how many babies in uterus have suffered the negative effects of mothers who drink during pregnancy, or how many young lives and intelligent minds have been wasted by dependence upon intoxicants.

Though initial studies conducted by non-Muslims appeared to indicate that moderate drinking could provide protection against certain diseases, later studies concluded that the alcohol component of wine plays no part whatsoever in the seemingly miraculous effects of the beverage. In fact, further trials have demonstrated that plain grape juice is just as effective in boosting the body's immunities to the same diseases. What's more, it is now understood that almost all red-pigmented fruits such as red and purple grapes, strawberries and raspberries share common properties which serve to improve the health of individuals who consume such fruits on a regular basis.

In spite of these exciting findings, we are still being told that moderate drinking is beneficial to our health while the studies about red-pigmented fruit have been swept under the carpet by both the media and the health-care establishment. The few doctors who have bravely refused to recommend alcohol as a treatment for illness have been largely belittled and accused of withholding valuable "life-saving" information from their patients.

Thanks are to Allah, it is unlikely that Muslims (most of whom very clearly understand the Islamic ban on alcohol consumption) have been adversely affected by the misinformation surrounding this subject; however, we should not lose the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson from the situation. No matter what science seems to tell us about a particular issue, we must always take care to reject any finding which goes against the instruction of the Creator and the Islamic teachings and principles. Islam is the standard by which we judge science, not the other way around.

Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, opium, and the like are definitely included in the prohibited category of khamr. It is well known that the use of such drugs affects the sensory perceptions, making what is near seem distant and what is distant seem near; that their use produces illusions and hallucinations, so that the real seems to disappear and what is imaginary appears to be real; and that drug usage in general impairs the faculty of reasoning and decision-making. Such drugs are taken as a means of escape from the inner reality of one's feelings and the outer realities of life and religion into the realm of fantasy and imagination. Added to this psychological fact are the physical effects: bodily lassitude, dullness of the nerves, and decline in overall health.

The moral consequences, moral insensitivity, weakening of the will-power, and neglect of responsibilities are also well known. Eventually, addiction to drugs renders a person a diseased member of society. Furthermore, drug addiction may result in the destruction of the family or even in a life of crime. Since obtaining drugs involves a great outlay of money, a drug addict may well deprive his family of necessities in order to buy drugs and may resort to illegal means to pay for them.

When we recall the principle that impure and harmful things have been made prohibited (haram), there can be no doubt in our minds concerning the prohibition of such detestable substances such as wine and drugs, which cause so much physical, psychological, moral, social and economic harm.

The Muslim jurists were unanimous in prohibiting those drugs which were found during their respective times and places.

The Solutions...

There are no easy solutions. In fact it is a multifactorial problem and each aspect should be addressed individually, and seriously, both by the government and by the public.

While the total ban on production, import and export is the ideal solution to create a drug free society, by experience (i.e. in the USA with total ban on alcohol in 1920's) it is difficult to achieve unless strict laws are made and enforced on drug producers, traffickers and offenders, a law, that sees no distinction between the helpless victim and a powerful drug Lord.

The Qur'an specifies the punishments for certain crimes, such as lashing for drinking wine and equal retaliation or compensation in the case of murder or injuries. These punishments are called hadd (plural, hudud), meaning "the limit set by Allah."

Islam offers such tough laws to influence our morality and health. While we are trying to do these, we in the mean time should pay more attention to the needs of the victim by the education of the masses, social workers, law enforcements agencies and the physicians at the same time developing treatment and rehab centers in large scale as human sufferings continues to grow and sons, daughters, wives, husbands and fathers are being lost daily.

All these require motivation and commitment from all of us. It is beyond the dignity of a human being to become dependent on alcohol and drugs and not be able to serve himself, his family and his creator in the best possible manner.


Collected and Revised
Hamadi Al-Aslani
Manager of Editing and Translation
B.A. Islamic studies
B.A. English language
Jeddah Dawah Center
With the compliments of


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