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Islam And Alcoholism
By Ahmed Arwo
“...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)
These verses are the ones that declared total prohibition of alcohol to the Muslims. After this verse was revealed, the Muslim citizens of Madinah immediately began to spill their stocks of wine into the sand and streets; so that the wine ran through the streets of Madinah. Individuals, who up till that moment were enjoying guiltlessly a glass of wine, quickly emptied their cups on the ground and spit out the alcohol from their mouths. They rushed to make ablutions in order to purify themselves.
Muslim Values Make Alcohol Unnecessary
Islam instilled family values and gave security to the people. Thus, with Islam, there is no longer a "need" to drink in order to relieve unhappiness and stress by slipping into a fantasy world. One American convert to Islam, who used to drink before in her pre-Muslim days, comments, "I think that being Muslim has made me face up to a lot of things, which is painful, but by working them out I feel much less need to run away from my problems, and alcohol is basically the best way to run away from problems."
The fear of God helps Muslims keep away from not only alcohol, but all other evils prohibited by the Qur'an, such as adultery, abuse of wives and children, and gambling. Peer pressure (brotherhood) also helps Muslims abstain from these sins.
Attempts to abolish alcohol in America (during the Prohibition period) and drugs (the "War on Drugs") were not successful, because the factors that cause people in America to drink and use drugs have not been eliminated.
A practicing Muslim will not touch alcohol out of fear of God. Many drinkers will cease this activity during Ramadan. Sometimes, excessive drinkers find themselves so changed by the experience of Hajj (pilgrimage) that they never drink again.
In a true Islamic State, a person is not likely to ever reach the point of physical dependence on alcohol. Friends, family and neighbors will not just look away while a person destroys himself and his family. Muslims are supposed to be very involved in correcting wrongs that they see. Islam is a very community-oriented faith. There is no place for an individual to do what he wants to do, if it hurts others. And by hurting yourself through drinking, you inadvertently hurt others.
Too much guilt about drinking alcohol can make a person feel so bad that he or she drinks just to smother the guilt. To balance feelings of guilt, Muslims need to remember the mercy and forgiveness of Allah.
"And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, --- and who can forgive sins except Allah? --- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done." (3:135)
Modern methods of curing alcoholics have not been very successful; many will regress to drinking again. Among the new methods of "treating" alcoholics is injecting the drinker with a drug like apomorphine, which makes the victim feel sick and vomit as soon as the drink is taken. This is done repeatedly over several weeks so that the drinker learns to associate drinking with nausea and vomiting. Temporary paralysis via scoline injection and electric shocks are other techniques Western doctors use to try to get heavy drinkers to quit.
Reference: Islam and Alcoholism by Alyssa, M.B.Badri and others.
The word “alcohol” is derived from the Arabic word al-kohl, which means fermented grains, fruits, or sugars that form an intoxicating beverage when fermented. Khamr is the word used in the Qur'an to imply a fermented beverage that intoxicates a person when drunk.
Although alcohol is forbidden in Islam, it is widely available in most Muslim states, even where it is legally outlawed like Somaliland and Somalia. In fact, Muslims are not immune to alcoholism or its trade at all. In ex-Somalia the dictatorial government even produced Alcoholic drinks in industrial scale and by state factories.
Having said this, Somalis drink less alcohol than most Muslim states. But lately an unacceptable feature is germinating with ferocity both at home and abroad. It is a phenomenon in which a number of families include alcohol to their household shopping list and with the knowledge of their children. Though this is specific to Diaspora community, entertaining openly in family living rooms with alcohol is an increasing feature at home and abroad. Strangely enough guests are entertained either alcohol or soft drink without embarrassment.
“It is a simple choice of taste, I don’t care if some one drinks alcohol, I don’t drink and I don’t cross my boundary”, a man stated in response to why he didn’t advise his friend on repercussion of alcohol in this world and after. If that attitude is not challenged and the duty of spreading virtue and stopping vice is uphold with force and unwavering intention, we shall fall on the hole that buried the norms and principles of other religions.
On the biological, medical and social problems I leave to the following article: Islam and Alcoholism as posted from www.islamweb.net. The article is copied on its authenticity and entirety without change in form and shape.
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