Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surah Al Baqarah (2:219) – Wisdom behind Prohibition of Alcohol, Harms of Alcohol


 

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَآ أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ كَذَلِكَ يُبيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ

They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder

M Shakir's Quran Translation


 

Alcohol and Quran:

The prohibition of alcohol is verified form following verses of the Holy Quran.

See Surah Nisa (4:43), Surah Maida (5:90), Surah Maida (5:91)

History of Alcohol in Islam:

During the early days of Islam, consumption of liquor, just like other ills and evils of society, was also prevalent.  When Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah to Madinah he found that the people of Madina were also indulged in drinking. The masses were so attracted by the superficial and deceptive benefits offered by drinking that their minds became oblivious of the harmful effects and the evils lurking within these addictions. 

Our Prophet was the finest model who set the best example of his sublime characteristic, so much that whatever was yet to be declared prohibited His habit and nature made him detest it from the very outset. Besides Prophet Muhammad, other companions of the Prophet also refrained from consuming alcoholic beverages even when these were permitted. 

On Reaching Madinah, some of companions of Prophet realized the evil in liquor. So, Hazrat Umar Farooq, Maaz Ibn Jabal, and some of the other companions approached Prophet Muhammad and questioned him regarding alcohol and gambling, which they thought was ruining not only man's intellect but also his wealth. 

In response to this query, the above verse (2:219) was revealed and it constituted the first of a series of revelations leading to the final and conclusive verse, which prohibited and declared prohibited (haram) both gambling and liquor. 

Although the above verse dose not prohibit alcohol clearly but it clearly indicates the harms of alcohol and also the fact that it not liked by ALLAH. At least this verse presents an advice for abstaining from the usage of alcohol. This is why some of the companions after hearing this verse immediately stopped consuming alcohol and accepted this advice. 

On the other hand, some of the other companions resumed that this verse did not declare alcohol prohibited, so they declared that it overtakes full precaution and law, that a mediate consumption of alcohol would not be harmful.  However, shortly an incident occurred which brought about a sudden change in the situation. One day, Hazrat Abdur-Rahman Ibn Auf had invited some of his companions, and as was the custom of the Arabs they had consumed alcohol after their needs. 

Thereafter, while still in a state of intoxication, the Maghrib Prayer was performed. The leader of congregation (Imam) who was also drunk made an error in his recitation of Surah Kafiroon. Upon this, the second step was taken to prevent the consumption of alcohol, by the revelation of the following verse:

O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say 
(Surah Nisa 4:43)

This verse now declared alcohol prohibited in clear-cut terms but the consumption was for the duration of prayer times, and at other periods, it was still permissible. With this second warning many more of the companions of the Prophet refrained completely from drinking Alcohol, reasoning that what good can there be in something that deprives one from Prayer. 

There were others however, who drank liquor during the intervening periods of prayer until the following incident took place: Uthmaan Ibn Maalik invited a few companions for a meal. After the meal, as was customary liquor was served. Thereafter, they became involved in another Arab custom, reciting poetry praising oneself, family and clan and simultaneously teasing and belittling others who didn't belong to that group. 

During this gathering, Hazrat Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas (R.A) recited a few lines of poetry in which he criticized and belittled the Ansars of Madinah. Hearing this, an Ansari (R.A) youth became enraged and threw a bone at him, which inflicted a severe wound on the head of Saad Ibn Waqqas (R.A). 
He then complained against the youngster to Prophet Muhammad after which he made dua'a to Allah: 
"O Allah! Grant us a clear cut for regarding alcohol." 

In response to this the 3rd and 4th verses concerning the complete prohibition of alcohol, were revealed as part of Surah Ma'idah: 

O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by)arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan's work; shun it therefore that you may be successful. The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?
(Surah Maida 5:90-91)


 

Allah in his wisdom, firstly disclosed the evils in alcohol, then prohibited it at prayer times and finally declared it absolutely Prohibited.

In the verse under discussion, ALLAH says that there is much harm in alcohol and that is the reason for its prohibition. As a rule, we see that ALLAH has prohibited those things for us, which are harmful for us, and this is what medical science is telling us nowadays. Like we saw in the case of pork meat, blood and dead meat under (2:173).


 

Harms of Alcohol:

Let us see what harms of alcohol.

Use of alcohol can be classified as:

Abstinent

No use is made.

Controlled
People have made a conscious decision, have evaluated the risks and 'may' stop if they want but there is always an element of doubt that they their use might change to 'impulsive'.

Impulsive
Use is unpredictable and can lead to unexpected accidents and harm. However, there is no continual use or dependency.

Habitual
The use of alcohol or drugs has become a significant and important part of the person's life-style. Stopping would not be easy.

Dependent
There is a high degree of physical and psychological addiction. Alcohol and drug use disrupts or rules the person's life. Stopping is not possible without considerable support.

Out of the above-mentioned five categories only the abstinent one are safe. Rest all are, directly or indirectly, suffering from the following harms of alcohol.

Alcohol has following types of harms:

1-It leads to other grave sins

2-Psychological harms

3-Medical harms

4-Social Harms

1-Alcohol the mother of sins:

Alcohol leads to many other grave sins. Continual or large scale use of alcohol has a bad effect on most people's sex-life. The high rates of incest (sexual relations with close relations like son with mother, brother with sister etc) and rape in the European countries are due to the large consumption of alcohol in those countries.

2-Psychological Harms

It may perpetuate your shyness, anxiety, depression, unhappiness etc. rather than dealing with it.

They allow us to feel a temporary confidence or happiness, but the effect is usually one of borrowed time. Often the unhappiness or anxiety returns even more strongly once the effects wear off.

Drink and drugs can cause psychological problems by themselves. Alcohol can commonly cause depression; drugs can also cause depression, or can trigger anxiety or even psychosis (loss of reality).

3-Social Harms

Drink and drugs are often seriously expensive, so uncontrolled use can lead to financial problems.

You can quite easily end up in trouble with the law. Although drinking alcohol is of course legal, it can lead to other actions such as assault and driving when drunk which are not. Similarly, although the law may turn a blind eye to personal use of certain drugs, this attitude is not consistent. Sentences for any supplying can be heavy and unpredictable. Any conviction for drink or drugs offences may severely limit the opportunities open to you in the future.

Pronounced use of drink or drugs tends to rigidly define social groups, so it may limit your circle of friends. Continual or large-scale use of alcohol has a bad effect on most people's sex-life.


 


 


 


 

See the complete list of Scientific Miracles in Surah Baqarah here


 

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Muhammad.Awais.Tahir@gmail.com

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The parts of the Koran you quoted in no way say that alcohol is prohibited. The most they say is that if you want to prosper (be successful) you should not drink or that while there is some benefit to alcohol on the whole it is not good. Compare this to the language around idol worshipping. Now there is something that is clearly prohibited.

Anonymous said...

Well it says "intoxicants and games of chance" and then "say to them there is great sin"
Alcohol is an intoxicant.... Therefore logic would allow you to realize that it is indeed haram to intoxicate yourself. This would include drugs like ecstasy, ice, base, pot etc...

hassan said...

La iqra ha fid deen (surah baqara verse 256) there is no compulsion in religion. You can justify your way out of it and say "it doesn't DIRECTLY state such and such, so therefore it's okay if.." but at the end of the day, you're only deluding yourself. Before you do something, if you always pause and think, what would Allah want you to do? During the time of the prophet (saw) when the verse of the prohibition of intoxicants was revealed, the streets of Madina were FLOODED with alcohol because people were throwing it out. On another note, I just think its sad muslims today are trying so hard to assimilate into society (by means of drinking, smoking, etc) rather than striving to achieve excellence. Just remember islam doesn't need you, YOU need islam, and therefore God. If it's not something good, then why do it?

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