Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling
“Forbidden are all intoxicants, games of chance, board games and gobaira (a type of wine).” (Abu Daud) Vice is an action which is totally haram (forbidden/unlawful) and is against the command of Allah. The term or word “VICE” means something that is evil (not good). Explanation:
The term vice applies to: –
- Any action or deed that is wicked or sinful.
- Any substance that is harmful to one’s self or to others and the environment.
- Actions and deeds that please Shaitaan and displease Allah.
Types of Vices:
The most common vices are: –
- Consuming intoxicants, i.e. drinking alcohol, taking drugs, sniffing glue, or smoking.
- Gambling, i.e. any action that involves taking a chance. For example, Nabeel and Waseem take a bet. Nabeel gives Waseem £10 saying that if the England cricket team beat the South African cricket team then Waseem will give him £20. If England loses then Nabeel loses his £10.
Regarding vices, Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Ma’idah, Surah 5 Verse 91:
“Without doubt, Satan’s plan is to excite enmity (bad feelings) and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling and stop you from the remembrance of Allah, and from Salah.”
Therefore, our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Forbidden are all intoxicants, games of chance, board games and gobaira (a type of wine).” (Abu Daud) In order to have some understanding as to why Islam forbids these vices, we will discuss the three main duties of a Muslim.
Duties of a Muslim:
- Our first duty, Huqooqullah – is to believe in the Oneness of Allah, to obey the commands that are in the Holy Qur’an, and to practice the teachings of Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Maida, Surah 5 Verse 92:
“Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle, and beware of evil.” (Evil here refers to intoxicants and gambling.)
- Our second duty is towards ourselves. Allah has given us bodies as gifts to be used and not abused. On the day of judgement, we will have to answer for the abuse or damage that we have done or caused to our bodies.
- Our third duty is – Huqooqul Ibaad – i.e. to avoid harming our fellow human beings and all other creations of Allah. For example, caring for family members, our neighbours, our community, animals, birds and our environment. On the day of judgement, we will have to answer for the harm or unhappiness that we have caused them either verbally or physically (i.e. with our spoken words or with our actions.) Therefore, if we were to smoke, drink any kind of intoxicating wine, liquor or spirit, take drugs or gamble, we will be failing in our duties to Allah, Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), ourselves, mankind and all the other creations of Allah. Remember! It has been proven time and time again that these vices destroy health and lead to peoples’ downfall in life. Let us now discuss some of the vices and the reason for their prohibition (ban).
The Arabic term for intoxicant is KHAMR. Explanation:
An intoxicant is any substance that befogs (confuses) our minds, disturbs our power of thinking and makes us crave for it so that we do not feel comfortable without the intoxicating drink or drug. Therefore, all Khamr – fermented drinks such as beer, wine, champagne, etc. as well as drugs such as LSD, cocaine etc. are classifies as intoxicants and are Haraam. Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said that Allah has cursed ten people regarding Khamr. They are as follows:
- He who makes it (Manufacturer)
- He who has it made (Agent)
- He who orders it (Store or Restaurant Owner)
- He who has it brought to him (Customer)
- He who delivers it (Driver)
- He who purchases it (Consumer)
- He who sells it (Sales Person)
- He who serves it (Waiter, Waitress)
- He who benefits from it (makes a profit from it)
- He who presents it as a gift
(Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
The Arabic term for gambling is Maysir. Explanation: To play or participate in any activity that involves taking a chance is not permissible.
Therefore, we must abstain from:
- All dice games
- Card games
- Games at casinos
- Taking bets on animals (Horses etc.)
- Smoking of Tobacco
The Arabic term for smoking is Tadkheen. Explanation: Smoking means to inhale the harmful smoke that is given off when cigars, cigarettes, and pipes containing tobacco are lit. Smoking of cigarettes or tobacco on any form is Makruh (Undesirable).
Some harmful effects of smoking tobacco:
- Smoking affects our health, as tobacco contains 200 known poisons and 43 cancer causing substances.
- Smoker’s fingertips and teeth become yellow.
- They have an unpleasant odour (smell).
- Their brain becomes dull so the ability to learn is dampened (made difficult).
- The lungs, liver, stomach, blood vessels, nerves, muscles etc. are damaged and thus cannot function normally.
- Smoking harms the people around you, as well as the environment.
Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to smoke. Harmful effects or smoking intoxicants and gambling: –
- Vices keep us away from the remembrance of Allah (Huqooqullah). Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’an in Surah An- Nisaa, Surah 4 Verse 43: “You who believe! Do not come near Salah whilst you are in a state of intoxication until you know (understand) what you are saying.”
- Drinking, smoking intoxicants as well as gambling are major sins.
- Vices lead us towards Jahannam.
Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “If the habitual drunkard dies, he will meet Allah as if he was an idolworshipper.” (Ahmed Ibn Majah)
- Vices are a waste of money. They lead to poverty, hunger and even begging.
- Vices also have a harmful effect on our health. For example:
- a) Intoxicants (alcohol and drugs) impair (weaken or damage) our ability to think.
- b) Our speech becomes slurred, nonsensical, and abusive.
- c) Our eyes become red (bloodshot).
- d) We smell foul (bad).
- e) Our appetite is lost.
- f) We lack energy.
- g) They cause life threatening diseases such as heart attacks, cancer, etc
- Vices make us lose our modesty and respect. People under the influence of intoxicants do not know what they are saying or doing.
- They affect our thinking for example:
- a) We become quarrelsome with our family and friends.
- b) We may lose our jobs because we will not be able to work properly.
- c) Marriages can be affected.
- Driving vehicles, operating machines under the influence of drugs or intoxicants can cause accidents, major injuries and even death of ourselves and of others.
- Gambling makes the loser to feel jealous towards the winner. (Refer to harmful effects of jealousy.)
- The displeasure of losing one’s money prevents a person from performing his Salah etc. sincerely, as his mind will be disturbed.
- It is a waste of money since the gambler usually loses.
- Gambling can become a serious habit, and a person will spend more money on gambling and will have less to spend on himself and his family.
- Dua’s of people who feed and clothe themselves and their families with money received by gambling are not accepted by Allah.
Allah prohibits all vices because:
(i) He is our Creator and He is concerned about our health, happiness and success.
(ii) Allah wants us to lead a clean, pure and healthy life.
(iii) He wants to protect us from all sorts of activities that would harm ourselves and others
Now that we know some of the harmful effects of vices and the reasons for their prohibition by Allah and the Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), we should avoid them totally. If we continue to live with these vices and do not try to stop them, then we’ll be inviting Allah’s anger and punishment. These can appear in various forms. Some of these are epidemic, diseases, floods, earthquakes, tornados, drought and famine. The most common punishment is restlessness, depression, loss of peace, becoming irritable, etc. May Allah give us all the Hidayah to obey all His commands, Ameen.
Did you know?
- Muslims are not allowed to give intoxicating drinks as gifts even to non-Muslims.
- Punishment for a drunkard is 80 lashes. (Mishkaat)
- Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“Whoever drinks liquor, his Salah for forty days will not be accepted by Allah.” (Mishkaat)
- Wa’il Ibn Hujr al Hadrami reported that, Tariq ibn Suwaid asked the Prophet Salallahu Alaihe Wasallam if he could use liquor as medicine. The Prophet Salallahu Alaihe Wasallam replied:
“It is not a cure, but a distress.” (Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi)
VICES – Case Histories
Based on true stories
Anwar is a twenty-nine-year-old lawyer. He graduated from a famous University. In his last two years at University, he began to drink socially, i.e. having a glass or two of beer or wine at parties or when visiting friends. At some of these parties, even dagga was smoked. The drinking of alcohol gave him hangovers (terrible head-aches, a queasy stomach, and he felt like spewing all the time) for which there is no medication. This caused him to miss important lectures and when he did attend lectures, he could not concentrate as his mind was befogged or muzzy. After many failures he graduated. With great difficulty he found a job with a law company. Due to his absence at lectures, his knowledge was limited, and he lost case after case. Within six months he was fired, and no other law company wanted to give him a job. He moved to another city and it was the same story. His family wondered why he was not sending money home. One weekend, his parents decided to visit him. To their surprise and disappointment, he was employed as a care taker and lived in a cellar. His room was filled with beer bottles and it smelt of stale liquor. He was dirty and hungry. Anwar was very ashamed of himself and admitted his problem to his parents who were very angry at first but agreed to take him back only if he gave up drinking.
Anwar made sincere Taubah and Dua’ to Allah to help him to overcome his drinking problem. He and his parents went to a Rehabilitation Centre for guidance on how to overcome his drinking problem. After two years of therapy, he has managed to develop a positive attitude and together with patience and perseverance, he has managed to overcome his drinking problems. Remember, Anwar has lost five vital years of his life. In this process, his health, earnings, respect and self-esteem also suffered and deteriorated.
One afternoon, while walking home from school, two brothers Abdullah and Ibrahim saw some of their school friends gathered outside the corner tea-room. Their friends had bought some cigarettes and were smoking. As Abdullah and Ibrahim approached them, they were told to enjoy themselves by smoking with them. When Abdullah and Ibrahim refused, the boys began to tease them. One of them said that only clever and smart people smoked just like the guys and girls in the movies. Not to feel left out, they joined in. Soon Abdullah and Ibrahim were spending all their allowance (pocket money) on buying cigarettes. One day, while sorting the clothes for washing, their mother found a crumpled packet in Abdullah’s trouser pocket. Immediately, her worry about both the boys nagging cough came to mind. That evening, he told their father who was a very clever and understanding man. The next day, the parents called them and explained to them about the harmful effects of smoking
When the boys complained how they were forced into smoking, their mother reminded them of the Hadith that all of us have learnt in our lesson on Companionship. Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “It is better to be alone than in the company of the bad, and it is better to be in the company of the good than to be alone. Good company can be a great source of help and support in leading a virtuous life (life with Iman), while bad company leads to sin and ruin.” (Sahih Muslim) Their father gave them the following plan to stick on their bedroom wall to help them stop smoking
- First, they had to perform 2 Raka’at Nafl Salah and thereafter ask Allah to help them overcome their bad habit.
- Then their father asked them to gradually cut down the number of cigarettes they were smoking per day, e.g. if they were smoking six cigarettes a day, they must now smoke five. After a week, they must reduce to four, three, two, one and they will Insha’Allah be free from this bad and harmful habit.
- Every time they craved, they were asked to eat something fresh or dried fruit or a sweet, or to do some deep breathing exercise.
- Their father also asked them to take another route home so that they will not meet the boys who smoked.
For the plan to work out, it needed Abdullah and Ibrahim’s firm commitment and strict discipline by their parents. Alhamdulillah, within months Abdullah and Ibrahim had stopped smoking. Their cough was better. They were able to play and enjoy games for longer periods as they didn’t tire easily
A disease without cure
Every week, a group of people from all walks of life (some are professors, businessmen, housewives, doctors etc.) meet to share their innermost secrets. The secret is, that all of them are gamblers. Their lives have been ruined by their failure to stop gambling. “It is a disease without cure” explained the leader of the group. He has formed this organisation so that people could stop each other from gambling, by admitting their problems, their weak points and negative consequences that gambling can have. John, a married man with three children, has lost his business, his house as well as his wife and children due to gambling. He is under constant pressure from debt collectors as well as the social worker to pay maintenance for his children. He loves his wife and children and really misses them, but they will not come home until he stops gambling. Maya, a housewife with an eight-year-old daughter related that she got so carried away playing one-arm bandits that she even forgot to fetch her daughter from school. She even pawned her jewellery to pay for visits to the Casino. Her husband has now threatened to divorce her if she does not stop gambling. Rayaan: “Three of my gambling friends committed suicide, one after the other. I feel like doing the same too. Gambling is very bad. My problem is so bad that my family lives on food hampers, zakat and sadaqa.” Rayaan does not go to a casino, but he bets of horses. All the people present at the meeting admitted that they had started gambling “just for fun”, when they were on holiday, or someone gave them free coupons or vouchers for betting/casinos. Therefore, no matter what the temptation – do not even attempt to try it.
Zahra’s Bad Habit Leads To Her Father’s Death
Zahra lost her mother when she was still a baby. Her father loved her very much. She was his only daughter. Zahra was doing well at school and had every reason to believe that is due course she would be able to attend University. Zahra was given everything that she asked for by her loving father. Now and then, Zahra would go to parties held by other children from her High School. It was at one of these parties that Zahra first took drugs. She was offered a “joint” containing marijuana (marawana). Without thinking and not to feel left out, she smoked it. She felt lightheaded but because her father came to fetch her, she could not finish it.
The next morning, although she has a good breakfast, she kept craving for something that she could not pin-point. At school she told Joanne, who was also at the party, about her cravings. Joanne asked Zahra to come to her house and she will give her something to stop her craving. So, after school she went with Joanne to her house and Joanne switch on the hi-fi, made some tea and offered her a “joint” which Zahra gladly took. Zahra and Joanne became best friends. Within few weeks Zahra was using Marijuna (marawana) regularly. Then, one week-end, she was given a “joint” containing heroin. Soon the generous pocket money Zahra’s father gave her was not enough. She began selling her clothes and even began to steal from her father’s wallet just to buy special joints. When her marks dropped, and her school report showed how often she was absent, her father searched her room and came to the conclusion that Zahra was on drugs. He was furious with her and threatened to send her to a boarding school or to her grandmother. Zahra promised she would stop but we all know how difficult it is to stop a bad habit. Instead of reducing her in-take, she increased it bit by bit.
One Friday evening, she told her father she was going to study at her friend’s house. About an hour later, the police phoned to say Zahra was arrested at a road-block. She was high on drugs and also had drugs in her handbag. As no lawyers were available, she and her friends had to spend the week-end in jail. This bad news gave her father a massive heart attack and a few days later, he died. From that day on, there was nothing in Zahra’s life, but unhappiness. Nobody wanted her. None of her so-called “friends” even came to sympathise with her. Drugs robbed her of her respect, modesty as well as the father who loved and cherished her. If only she had listened to her father, elders and teachers who had given her good advice? Better still, if only she had refused the very first “joint” offered to her. When her father’s doctor came to know her situation, he personally took her for counselling and had her admitted at the Rehabilitation Centre where she is undergoing treatment to stop taking drugs.Download Now