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Ramadan 2008 (The Blessed Month)


Drugs and Alcohol YES, NO or MAYBE?

The young Muslims of today are facing an ever-increasing number of dilemmas. Two of these are drugs and alcohol. What does Islam have to say about it? How should Muslims regard drugs and alcohol? To understand this we have to see what the Qur’an says regarding intoxicants.

I heard Qur’an allows the use of intoxicants?

There has been some misconception that if alcohol, is consumed ‘responsibly’ and in limited amounts is not an intoxicant and therefore acceptable to consume while remaining inside the limits that Allah (S.W.T) has set in the Qur’an. Furthermore, it has been argued that Allah (S.W.T) has not used strong language to forbid the use of intoxicants and therefore allows us to interpret the Qur’anic verses in favour of a ‘controlled’ consumption as lawful.

Now lets look at what the Qur’an actually says about intoxicants, Inshaallah you will see that these claims are totally incorrect.

Let us begin by confirming that Allah (S.W.T) does in fact, consider alcohol an intoxicant.

"And from the fruits of date palms and grapes you produce intoxicants..." ( 16:67)

"O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed."(5:90)

Many argue that in the verse 5:90 the words “Do not” haven’t been used rather it says “Avoid”, one might say that if Allah (S.W.T) wanted to strongly prohibit intoxicants He (S.W.T) would have used stronger language such as “Do not” rather than “Avoid”. However, upon closer assessment one will see that “Avoid” is actually the stronger commandment. Here's a brief analogy to highlight why.

For example if i was to say “Do not touch fire” which would mean if we came close to a fire you must not touch it, Now if one was to say “You shall avoid fire” this implies that we are not even to go near it and to avoid it, touching would only come into question if one was allowed near it. From this example we can see that “Avoid” is in fact the stronger commandment. Now, let's look directly at the Quran for evidence that this analogy is correct.

Worshipping idols is the only unforgivable sin. We would therefore expect that Allah (S.W.T) would tell us very clearly that we are not to do it. Allah (S.W.T) chose in His Qur’an to say "You shall avoid idolatry". This doesn’t only mean we are not to do it, but we should not go anywhere near the idea of committing idol worship. InshaAllah it is apparent that Allah (S.W.T) has clearly forbidden intoxicants with out any room to negotiate or neither has He (S.W.T) gave us the option to re-interpret these beautiful verses to satisfy our unclean carnal desires. May Allah (S.W.T) guide us all on the straight path.

"You shall avoid the abomination of idol worship..." (22:30)

"The devil wants only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance and to turn you from remembering Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist." (5:90-91)