The sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, asked the Messenger, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam concerning a lot of things the answer to which questions formed part of the commandments and laws guiding the lives of Muslims. Allah’s Messenger, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam listened to their enquiries, answered them with the support of Allah’s revelations to him, explaining the regulations gradually with love and tenderness to the multitude of believers that thronged around him. They asked him concerning wine and gambling in the following verse:
They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: “What is beyond your needs.” Thus doth Allah Make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider- (al-Baqarah 2:219)
Some of the Sahabah, when this verse was revealed in answer to their questions on wine and gambling, ceased imbibing wine and engaging in gambling, since ‘the sin is greater than the profit…’ but others among them continued to imbibe alcohol and to gamble.
The days went by until a drunken man led people in prayer and committed grave mistakes in recitation. He said: “I worship that which you worship..”, in al-Kaafiruun 111:2 & 4, instead of “I do NOT worship that which ye worship.”
The drunken imam and those who prayed behind him were distraught. They went to the Prophet, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam asking for the second time concerning wine and strong drinks. And the revelation came:
O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- (an-Nisaa 4:43)
With the revelation of this verse, wine became prohibited during prayers. Another section of the sahabah stopped imbibing alcohol completely. Some of them avoided it in the daytime and took it after the Ishaa prayers.
One day a party among the sahabah gathered in a house where they caroused, engaged in bibulous activities – drunkenness – with a lot of abuses that resulted in fisticuffs.
On account of this Umar (RA) went the Messenger of Allah, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam, and said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, we need a healing proclamation on wine.’
The Messenger of Allah, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam prayed his Lord for a ‘healing proclamation on wine’, and the final nail came down on the coffin of alcohol in this verse:
O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. (al-Maa’idah, 90)
And so it was that the prohibition of alcohol came gradually, as did all proclamations in the Shari’ah, until finally intoxicants of all kinds were prohibited. Before this gradual prohibition, the sahabah were imbibing the substance, and trafficking in it. Alcohol was both a source of pleasure and livelihood, thus immediate and total abstinence would have been difficult for the believers.
The word khamr, as is in the verse in Arabic, denotes covering of something; that is why the upper part of your hijab is called khimaar, it is from khamr. Like the Prophet’s saying: khammirul aaniyah, ‘cover your utensils..’ Therefore, wine is called khamr because it beclouds and covers your mind and intellect; you will not think, act rationally.
Prepare it with anything – dates, grapes, whatever – once it has that intoxicating effect, it is khamr and haraam.
“Every intoxicating drink is khamr and every intoxicant is unlawful.”
“Every intoxicant is unlawful and if a farq (a means of measurement) of anything causes intoxication, (even) a handful of it is forbidden.”
Al-Tirmidhi narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allaah, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam cursed ten with regard to alcohol: 1) the one who squeezes (the grapes etc, the wine maker), 2) the one for whom it is squeezed, 3) the one who drinks it, 4) the one who carries it, 5) the one to whom it is carried, 6) the one who pours it (waiter, sommelier), 7) the one who sells it and 8) consumes its price, 9) the one who buys it and 10) the one for whom it is bought.”
Whoever drinks khamr in this world and dies persisting in that and without having repented, will not drink it in the Hereafter.
It was narrated from Abu Bakr bin ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Harith that his father said:
“I heard ‘Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, say: ‘Avoid Khamr for it is the mother of all evils. There was a man among those who came before you who was a devoted worshipper. An immoral woman fell in love with him. She sent her slave girl to him, saying: We are calling you to bear witness. So he set out with her slave girl, and every time he entered a door, she locked it behind him, until he reached a beautiful woman who has with her a boy and a vessel of wine. She said: ‘By Allah, I did not call you to bear witness, rather I called you to have intercourse with me, or to drink a cup of this wine, or to kill this boy.’ He said: ‘Pour me a cup of this wine.’ So she poured him a cup. He said: ‘Give me more.’ And soon he had intercourse with her and killed the boy. So avoid Khamr, for by Allah faith and addiction to Khamr cannot coexist but one of them will soon expel the other.”
Alcoholism and imaan will not reside in the heart of man; one of the two will expel the other.
It is the mother of all evils that dulls the senses and befogs the mind.
The Messenger of Allah, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam has warned his Ummah that people will come at the end of times, calling khamr by names that hide its true nature, calling khamr by different names and legalising it: booze, brew, cold one, juice, hard stuff, sauce, moonshine, draft, liquid bread, tummy buster, liquid courage, and so on.
Abu Moosa said: The Prophet, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and me to Yemen, and I said: O Messenger of Allaah, there is a drink that is made in our land and is called al-mizr, which is made from barley, and another drink called al-bit’, which is made from honey. He said: “Every intoxicant is haraam.”
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) say from the minbar of the Messenger of Allaah , sallaahu alaihi wa sallam: “O people, the prohibition of khamr was revealed when khamr was made from five things: grapes, dates, honey, wheat, and barley. Khamr is whatever befogs the mind.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Everything that takes away one’s senses is haraam, even if it does not result in drunkenness or intoxication. If it takes away the senses it is haraam according to the consensus of the Muslims.
Whatever the case, it comes under the heading of that which Allaah has forbidden of khamr and intoxicants, whether by name or by nature. Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: O Messenger of Allaah, advise us with regard to two drinks that we used to make in Yemen: al-bit’ which is made of honey that is soaked until it becomes strong, and al-mizr which is made of wheat and barley until it becomes strong. The Messenger of Allaah , sallaahu alaihi wa sallam had been given the gift of comprehensive and concise speech and he said: “Every intoxicant is haraam.”
Whether it is smoked, swallowed, inhaled, chewed, or injected we are speaking about one and the same thing – intoxicants, liquor, high inducing substances – which are all haraam.
Drugs have even worse effect on the addict than alcohol: Smart Pills, Wicked X, Cocaine, Nose Candy, Cough Medicine, Orange Crush, Crystal Meth (the movie Breaking Bad exposed the effects of drugs on our children and the huge money the illicit trade elicits), Glass, Ecstasy, Lover’s Speed, Heroin, Dragon, Laughing Gas, Cat Valium, LSD, Superman, Marijuana, Grass, Bombay Blue, School Bus, Love Boat, and Angel Dust.
Jeffrey Archer tells us in his Prison Diaries, relating what he learnt as a prisoner from other convicts, that one shot at ninety percent of these drugs, makes you an addict for the rest of your life, unless where you undergo rigorous rehabilitation; that drug addiction does not mean only less smart people are victims, you can be the smartest among your equals but still find yourself entrapped in the web of drug addiction.
Parents should look out for the early signs of drug addiction in their children, not least those studying outside this country, and be able to be a Sherlock Holmes in detecting inner meanings of what on the surface is harmless. If a teenager sends a text or converses with a friend and says ‘I need brown sugar’, don’t be deceived into thinking that they mean a baking supply. They may be speaking about heroin. That is part of what we are studying today: people calling intoxicants and drugs with strange names and trying to show that it is cool to imbibe such substances.
We need to save these children from themselves. Drugs destroy the addict completely. That is why some countries execute drug traffickers because making drugs available actually kills the people when they become addicts, useless to themselves, useless to their parents who have suffered greatly in educating them, and they have become useless even their country.
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