ALLAH HAS MADE INTOXICANTS AND GAMBLING COMPLETELY FORBIDDEN
05:90 “Oh you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling are abominations of Shaitan’s handiwork…So avoid strictly all that in order that you may be successful”
Above is the verse that completely outlawed intoxicants. The word used here is ‘khamr’ which means ‘intoxicants’ and covers any substance that befogs the mind. It has been recorded that on that day all the early Muslims became tee total. Those who had wine in their hands threw it out onto the floor. Those who had wine in their stomachs, vomited it out. Those who had wine in their homes poured it into the street. It was said that on that day, the streets of Madinah were flowing with rivers of wine. They heard, and they obeyed. The love of Allah was firmly established in their hearts, so the moment they were called to abstain, they abstained.
Compare this with what happened in the United States prohibition. Great numbers of people were arrested and even died during gang violence erupted through bootlegging of the illegal drinks. People drank in secret on both an individual and social scale as they rebelled against the legislation that outlawed alcohol. However, the early Muslims responded obediently and humbly to the call of their Lord as they trusted He Knows Best.
INTOXICANTS AND GAMBLING ARE SHAITAN’S PLAYGROUND
One of the ways for shaitan to lead us astray is through intoxicants and gambling. Shaitan enters our hearts through the door of desires and lusts. He knows how to lure us in, how to excite us by creating cravings within us, and how to lead us to give into those urges. Shaitan will come and whisper to us, at any given moment and he watches on in satisfaction as he sees us give in to our lusts. Shaitan sees he has really done his handiwork well as we then go on to fall out with our family and become separated from the ones we love but most of all we become distanced from Allah. As we follow our desires, we begin to disobey Allah in other ways. As Umar ibn al Khitab so rightly described, intoxicants give birth to other sins. Theft, violence, turning away from prayers, arrogance and so on, all emanate from our actions the more we become lost in our ways. Intoxicants and gambling lead us away from Allah and His Path.
05:91 “Shaitan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not then abstain?”
KEEP AWAY FROM YOUR TRIGGERS TO SIN
So even though we have stopped drinking or using other substances and gambling, its ok for us to still go the same places we used to frequent? We can still go to the bar and have a coke? No! We must stay away from these places. We must keep ourselves away from those people, places and things that can trigger us to relapse. The more we expose ourselves to certain people and behaviours, the more we increase the chances of ourselves indulging in those same things. Allah orders us to keep away in the following verse;
05:92 And obey Allah and the Messenger, and beware of even coming near to drinking or gambling…”
Narrated by Anas bin Malik that Allah’s Messenger cursed ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought. (Tirmidhi). This hadith may also extend to modern drug dealers, cultivators and suppliers. It is a heavy thing to bear the curse of the Prophet Muhammad.
DON’T TRY TO MAKE THE HARAM INTO HALAL
A common theme within Part 7 of the Qur’an is Allah’s explanation of several things that He has made Halal (permissible) and Haram (impermissible). In several places He tells us how He is not pleased when we argue the case and try to give reasons why something is not halal or even make the things which are permissible into something haram. Allah has made it very clear what is forbidden and what is not. Addicts very often fall into this category of people. We find Muslims who argue that certain drugs are ok and some are not. They say these verses are just for alcohol and not for drugs. Or drugs like cannabis are ok while others like heroin are not. They twist the verses to suit their own desires. Allah has clearly stated “khamr” so that means any substance at all that will cause your mind to become fogged. For a full explanation of the Islamic understanding of khamr click here.
05:100-101 “Say: “Not equal are Al-Khabith (all evil words, actions, substances etc) and At-Tayyib (all good words, deeds, substances etc), even though the abundance of Al-Khabith may please you”. So fear Allah, Oh men of understanding in order that you may be successful. Oh you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you may cause you trouble.”
ABANDON YOUR OLD CROWD
In early recovery, we often want to try to encourage our old friends or family that used to engage in addictive behaviours with us. We need to remember, that in early recovery we are vulnerable and that sometimes even just talking to, or seeing an old using partner can be enough to trigger thoughts of using substances or other addictive thoughts. We need to be self-caring in our recovery and only try to extend a hand to other addicts once we have got some abstinence under our belts and feel secure in our recovery, and even then we need to try and make sure we keep ourselves safe at all times. Stay focused on Allah and seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan and lead by example by following the Sunnah of the Prophet.
05:105 “Oh you who believe! Take care of your own selves. If you follow the right guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about all that you used to do.”
06:104 “Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees, will do so for the good of his own self, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own harm”