We will see as we journey through Part 5 of the Qur’an that the common theme is taking responsibility for our own actions. As Muslims in recovery, the moment we begin to do this and stop trying to shift the blame onto others, we can begin to make positive changes.
ABC: AVOID BAD COMPANY
04:27-28 “Allah wishes to accept your tauba (returning back to Him), but those who follow their lusts wish that you should deviate tremendously away (from the right path). Allah wishes to lighten the burden for you, and man was created weak”
This is a warning from Allah, that those who persist in sinfulness would love nothing better than for us to join them in their ways. When we give up our addiction it is often the case the addicts we used to spend time with will try to pull us back into our addiction. Sometimes, addicts are jealous of our recovery and try and cause us to slip away. When they see us turning back to Allah, shaitan may influence them to pull us back to our old ways. And as Allah says in this verse, we are weak. Our own lusts may cause us to slip. In recovery, we need to be aware of this warning and steer clear of old company if we want to prevent relapse. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”(Bukhari & Muslim)
As we turn back to Allah, Allah sees it is difficult for us to give up on our addiction. We may have spent many years indulging in our desires and it can be very difficult for us to stay on The Straight Path. But Allah Sees our efforts and will reward us accordingly. As Allah says;
04:31 “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your smaller sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (Paradise)”
We must really keep this in mind as we struggle to give up on our sinfulness and have hope that Allah is forgiving us and preparing for us to enter through the gates of His Paradise!
INTOXICATION GETS IN THE WAY OF PRAYERS
04:43 “Oh you who believe! Approach not As-salaat (prayers) while you are in a state of intoxication until you know well what you say…”
This verse has often been misunderstood in some cultures. Many Muslim addicts have been misled to believe that this verse means they cannot pray for some time after using substances. Some even think that they remain intoxicated for 40 days and they cannot pray until the 40 days have passed. This is an incorrect view. What this verse means is that no one should approach the prayer until the strong effects of the intoxicant have passed. “until you know well what you say” indicates that once the person feels as though their thoughts have cleared it is permissible to stand and pray. Depending on the substance used and the quantity, the person themselves must negotiate what that means and how intoxicated they feel.
This verse was revealed before Allah completely made intoxicants forbidden. However, when the early Muslims heard this verse they knew that anything that got in the way of their prayers could not be a good thing, therefore many of them stopped drinking immediately despite it not being haraam for them at that stage. We also, need to realise that we are in need of our prayers. Prayers are the very foundation of our recovery and therefore anything that gets in the way of them must not be entertained at all.
ALLAH IS NOT TO BLAME
In the throws of our addiction, in the deepest of despair, in the darkest moments we found ourselves blaming God for our predicament. We called out to Him, “Why have you chosen a life for me like this?” “Why did you make me an addict?” We blamed Allah and we were angry with him. Astaghfirullah, may Allah forgive us all. As we look back on these times we feel ashamed that our addiction took our thinking to that level. In recovery, we must ensure we never go back to that place. We must ponder upon the following verse;
“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever evil befalls you, is from yourself. 04:79
Allah created us with free will to make our own choices and take whatever path we will. This life is a test. Allah Knows better those choices we make, before we have even made them. Therefore, we have only ourselves to blame and we must stop blaming Allah or even other people for our mistakes. Recovery is about taking responsibility for our actions.
“And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then throws it on to someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and a manifest sin” 04:112
THE PROMISE OF SHAYTAN
Something many Muslim addicts will agree upon is that they often feel as though Shaytan has a hold on them. Many of us will blame shaytan for our actions and downfalls or relapses. However, taking responsibility stretches so far as not to blame shaytan for our mistakes either. In our addiction, Shaitan was well pleased when we indulged in those sins that took us away from Allah. He is our enemy and he made many promises to Allah after the creation of Adam that he would lead his offspring astray from The Straight Path;
“…and he (shaytan) said “I will take an appointed portion of your slaves. Verily, I will mislead them, and surely I will arounse in them false desires”…and whoever takes Shaytan as a Wali (protector) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Shaytan) makes promises to them, and arounses in them false desires; and Shaitans promises are nothing but deceptions.” 04:118-120