Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the Name of God, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and slave servant of God. I greet you the viewers of the Islamic focus program with the universal reading of peace.
The greeting that has been used by all of the profits from Abraham to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon all of them. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you? I'm your host, Ahmed Rashid. Today we have our 13th program in our series on moral teachings of Islam. And more specifically, today, we will be continuing with our discussion of intoxicants and other related dietary questions. I have joining me as usual on the program. Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University by the dimauro Assalamu alaykum Mati.
In our last program, we began our discussion on intoxicants. Before going on and continuing with today's program owner, perhaps you could just take us back to the main points that we touched on in our last program last week and just perhaps, highlight the main points that we covered. Certainly,
I would say four basic areas we discussed last time. First is the fact that Islam prohibited anything that did clouds the mind that even though the term used in the Quran is how much some people mistakenly translate that into wine or strong drink. But actually what it really means is anything that clouds the mind, as the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him himself explained that anything that causes be clouding the mind is considered to be coming.
we spend most of the time in fact, a substantial portion of the time, indicating that the prohibition in Islam is definite and strict and there is no ifs and buts in it. And as far as the Muslims could say, for example, we said that the Quran called intoxicants as abomination of the handiwork of setting a term which is used for idol worship, in the Quran, the term used to prohibit the Muslim from drinking, it simply says he can evoke or abstain or keep away from it and that very same term or derivatives of that term, what do you use to avoid major sins according
to avoid the Hellfire and nobody say Hellfire you may or may not avoid it's really something that you must keep away from if you accept the commands of God.
It is also definitely not only in the Quran, but in the sake of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him where he quoted a number of sayings in which he indicates or corroborates as to what the Quran has already established.
Not only this in fact, after the program I ran through, once had this word the term unlawful or Haram is used by the prophet that was narrated in the collection by Muslim. And after the verse was revealed in the Quran. That was the final one prohibiting one period the third stage.
The Prophet said that in Allah Hari Rama,
somebody says God has forbidden or made intoxicants unlawful. And he says whoever hears about this verse, the last one that will get in front of a subject and he has anyone left with him or any toxic and
then he should really not drink out of it or not even sell it just to you know, spill it. That confused thought.
The other third point that was related to this is that the prohibition is not only restricted to strong drinks, but any intoxicants that might be even light intoxicant, like beer for example, which might have let's say 10 or 5%, alcohol visa versus more percentage in other types of hard liquors, that this is also prohibited as well. And that the analogy applies as well to any other
drugs, which has the same effect also have be clouding the human mind. They find a question was on the extensive spread
Drinking in the Muslim world. I said Muslims, after all are not dangerous. But definitely any observers come up with the conclusion that the spread of drinking in Muslim among Muslims is far less by far than its spread in other communities and even then it's not socially acceptable. And for the majority of population in any particular Muslim country, drinking is looked down upon socially and religiously speaking.
But we've heard much has been said about
the harms of intoxicants. I wonder if perhaps
some of the reasons behind the prohibition of intoxicants in Islam are given in the Quran itself and in the Hadith, or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them? Are there specific reasons behind the prohibition provide? Okay, I'm glad that you delimited your question because, in fact, the reasons or the harms of intoxicants is a matter which is a very, very wide topic. As you know, the literature talks, TV programs of all kinds deal with the subject. But perhaps if you, as you suggested, look at it from the Islamic point of view and title related to this contemporary discussion might be useful. Perhaps a reference to that
would be in diverse we cited last time in chapter five, verse 93,
and 94. In the Quran, I just go through it quickly. And then maybe you can make some analysis as to the scripture reasons, or part of the reasons given that
it says oh, you believe intoxicants and gambling, dedication of stones, and divination by arrows are an abomination, of Satan's handiwork. That's a crucial term of Satan's handiwork.
Avoid such abomination that you may prosper. And then in the following verse, gives further reasons. It says, Satan's plan is only to excite discord or enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and another reason, hinder you from the remembrance of God and from prayer that you will not will you're not then abstain. So if you analyze this two verses in the Quran,
they seem to be three basic
groups of reasons given for that. First of all, it calls it drinking and intoxicants as something which is of Satan's handiwork. The term actually used in the Quran also lives which means something unclean, improper,
this might take different forms, this uncleanliness that Manifesto,
once the person gets intoxicated, and his mind is clouded, the self control or what some people also call inhibition is removed, and a person is likely to fall into certain moral sense. There's no wonder then that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, said very definitely on some rumors.
He says, intoxicants is the mother of events. It's not just one evil, it is the mother of evils that because it could lead to more evil that might take place. And another thing he said, Whoever drinks or get intoxicated, he might commit several acts, he might neglect the prayer and might even commit incestuous type of act because again, a person's inhibition or, or his control, self control is not really intact. And this reminds me where the symbolic story could have been true also, about a saint who was offered one of three alternatives under duress, to kill,
to commit adultery, or to drink. So he said why, maybe drinking is the least of these two evils I drink. When he drank. He committed adultery when he committed adultery and he was still under the effects of intoxicants he murdered.
So the story whether real or symbolic ensures that again, we might be lessened the dangers that can result from intoxication.
The other thing that could be regarded also as another aspect of this Satan's handiwork is that Satan has no interest
in our well being as humans.
And if God calls intoxicants as abomination, and Satan's handwork there must be additional harms also, in addition to the spiritual harm that might result spiritual or moral. An example of this is that, again, that like I said before, this is a whole subject by itself, the harm that could be inflicted on us
Physically, the damage that it causes to the numbers,
the harm that could result even in economic life. Many studies have been conducted to show the effects of intoxicants, drinking and drugs on productivity, loss of productivity, days lost because of absenteeism and tardiness mistakes at work. The cost that has to be spent by companies and governments on rehabilitation or detoxification, as it's called,
the price the high price that society pays for drinking, in terms of
crimes in terms of accidents, for example, this habit, what 50% of the fatal highway accidents are caused because of
intoxication. The second aspect that can be derived from these two verses also, that says Satan is interested in spreading hatred and discord between you. And I come back to the question of crimes, because a person may get addicted to drinking or drugs, he may have to steal in order to satisfy his thirst for this intoxicants to buy, that might result in armed robbery could result in murders. People murder also not because they are stealing, they might not because they are under the influence of intoxicants. Many of the homicides take place, partly connected with drinking suicide by people getting too high and just walking through the window from the 10th floor or something. And
there have been studies also on wife beating and child abuse, which were connected also to great extent with drinking, because again, person would not be in his total control.
The discord, as the Divine Wisdom, again, in indicating the discord between humans caused by drinking is found very evidently by those who study the family disputes and family problems. Many times drinking has been the cause of breakdown of families, especially in poorer families where the costs of drinking or drugs really cause severe financial problems and his family disputes. Many of these problems arise from that dating why speaking children all this.
A third aspect, again, based on the Scripture, we talked about something within 1400 years ago, but now we are discovering more and more the extent of
included, as the as the verse says that it keeps you away from remembrance of God and from prayers. It doesn't mean that a believer is required to pray all the time. But it shows again, that by decluttering, the mind, you're abusing one of the greatest blessings or gifts that God has given you. This is the intellectual powers. Drinking is an escape from reality, escape from life escape from the state of being alert, which is supposed to be a requirement for any human being to perform his role on Earth, to have a meaningful life and to be aware of what's going on. So by escaping from that stage, or abusing that mind, and as such, you're keeping away from remembrance of God or being
God conscious in your life. And that's good, like I said before will be the beginning or mother of additional evils and aberrations. So in that sense, really, if you look at it,
in the contemporary sense, it's really a Mexican defense. Now, I think,
if not all certainly a great majority of people would be inclined to agree that the limiting of the use of intoxicants would be useful. But I guess the real question is, the methodology, how this can be done, I'd be interested in getting your view in terms of how
you might be able to successfully achieve or restrict the use of intoxicants without
restricting the freedom of the individual without having candy to tell the stereotype of Westerners right. Yeah, the thing that some people perhaps are not totally aware of about Islamic efforts. They think that it sounds approaches just laws and punishments and all that Penal Law we can talk about later, whenever the proper time for it comes. But the the approach of Islam really does not start from the law period. It start first from the heart. And you might recall in the previous
program, when we talked about how the Quran also gradually moved on from the stage of discouraging people from drinking, requiring that they should come to the prayers totally sober. And to finally absolutely privately, this took a period of time
where people could easily get rid of that habit, bad habits. And this is what we call modern detoxification or rehabilitation, you don't get the person immediately over time and say, and overnight and say, thou shalt give up this habit, and it's very difficult.
But the most important thing about it is that it starts from the individual, from the conviction of the individual from his faith in God, from his commitment to a particular way of life that is wholesome and clean. Once the person gets convinced of that, he can start on the process of
rehabilitation if he is already drinking or taking drugs.
The additional point also that would help achieve this without again, just depending totally on the teeth, and the law. And the implementation of the law is to provide an atmosphere where these things are not easily accessible or encouraged. You open virtually any papers with a newspaper or magazine, and there's all prominent advertisement about booze and other things. So by trying to cleanse the society also and discourage this kind of promotion of drinking,
that could help also induce people who are getting rid of that habit. And I don't think this is really impossible. For example, today we find many people talk about
campaigns against smoking because of the heart, the harm of smoking. But again, by having publicity, education, motivation, stimulations, people gradually could move on without necessarily applying the heavy hand of the law. So the law is there, but there are lots of additional measures that could be used to cleanse society. But again, the main issue is whether society is prepared to accept this or not, whether this kind of
trend or rehabilitation is based just on symptom or parcher reasons or whether it's deeply ingrained in religious faith and belief in God and trying to live right.
As God has ordained now,
possibly even some people who are watching this program
being aired might raise the point well, how come? Islam strictly prohibits the use of intoxicants yet in the Quran, it's indicated that one of the delights of Paradise or the Kama that is commonly interpreted or translated is being wine, or refluxing, or intoxicants? How would you respond to the person that might make that point? Okay, well, first of all, people say, Are you Muslim? So say it's not right here, you're going to get it in the paradise. That's why you don't want it.
Right, how would you respond to that? Okay, well, first of all, when people drink or take intoxicants,
they have varieties of reasons for that. In some cases, it could be response to stress, loneliness, or whatever. But by and large, most people drink
in order to achieve some pleasures. So this state of the clouding the mind, if you will.
And the main problem here is that, on one hand, you have some theory of pleasures, some thinking.
On the other hand, there are also all these drawbacks that you talked about spiritually, morally, socially, economically, and all that, how could you achieve this pleasure? without really getting into all these drawbacks? This is a challenge, big problem. Now, by definition, paradise, is a place where you're not supposed to suffer.
You're the word that actually in paradise for abstaining from even from applying self control while you are here on Earth, not depriving himself from oxygen, but by applying some self control and following the path that God has prescribed.
This pleasures in paradise in the life hereafter, according to Islam includes both spiritual as well as physical pleasure, they're all related. Now, how could God explain to us as humans communicate to us the nature of pleasures that you have in paradise? No human language can adequately express exactly how could you achieve that pleasures without the drawbacks. Right. Now, in order to communicate this, most of us can easily understand when you say you would have the same pleasures, or better pleasures, indeed, than the pleasure that you get from drinking in Paradise, if you give it up here and get rid of the negative effect of it.
But on the other hand, those who will say that they forget that the Quran itself
indicates that this type of hammer,
which again, if you translate it strictly, it might mean intoxicants in Paradise is not of the same nature like we have here on Earth. For example, in one verse in the Quran Chapter 37, verses 45 on, it describes this drinks naseeha Hold on, well, that's it, it doesn't really cause them to be intoxicated or to have this headache or hang up of it. So it means that it's a different kind, that no human language can express, you get the pleasure, but you don't get the the drawback that you get in the worldly wines here.
This is not just an interpretation or a way to justify but the Quran itself indicates that the various description of Paradise are only something
exactly similitudes to get us closer to our mind. For example, in chapter 32, verse 17, it says fella talamona to mouth,
no soul can ever understand or perceive the kind of delights and pleasures which are installed for believers in paradise. The Prophet himself, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, to show us that this description are only approximation, he says that in Paradise, there are things that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard. And no thought even could have occurred into any human perception or human mind. So to obey God, you give up goes here, you get better pleasures and the pleasure he gets from the boys there. But let me find your both ways a winner, you're winning in the hereafter. And you're winning in this life also, by avoiding the drawbacks from boys. Now, be curious to get your
I'm sure many other people would be as well we get to response about the use of alcoholic drinks, for example, to keep people cold or not cold, but to keep people warm. In coral areas, the use of alcohol for anesthesia for operations, maybe in cough drops that conflict. What's the okay Islamic position regarding the use of alcohol in these kinds of contexts or circumstances. Okay, as far as keep you warm, booze is not the only way to keep warm. And God has blessed humanity with lots of addition and means to keep warm. So that's not the only one. In fact, some refer to honey as one source also ready energy, sports other means. So I don't think that
every every thought is close to that, we have to resort to drinking to keep warm.
While if you talk about energy, cost savings might be more costly than
other means of keeping warm. A medical point of view might also be erroneous, because I'm told that it gives you a false sense of warmth, when you're really not warm at all, just the illusion that this could be another
as far as the using alcohol. For example, in medicine, there are two aspects in that, first of all, there is a general rule and that one should not jump to the first opportunity to break the law by getting something that contains alcohol, or intoxicant, if that can be avoided. Just to give you some evidence of this, in the introduction by Muslim and
it is reported that the Prophet, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, so somebody making coins, and he said, why you do that? You say, Well, I'm only doing that for medicine. And he says, No, it is an ailment, not a cure, that is drinking or wine or a toxin in another, saying he said, God has created the diseases, but he also created a cure for those diseases. So seek cure for this disease, but avoid if you can, using the cures, which are unlawful or forbidden that was narrated. In other words, in Bukhari, also, he said that even specifically said God did not make your keyword in something that he has forbidden to you. That's a general rule that a Muslim really should approach
the subject with. However,
there is also a general rule in Islam, the rule of absolute necessity, which means that if a situation arises, where the only way to avoid forbidden things is to lose life, for example, or have severe disease or suffering, then there are exceptions that are made to that.
This is based on the Quran, it says the Quran says For example, don't destroy yourself as in chapter two, verse 19, or don't kill yourself as in chapter four, verse 29. So on the basis of this, the Muslim jurists said that if for example, a situation arises where you have to have an operation, anesthesia is another form of D clouding your mind, but it's absolutely necessary. You can just stare at the doctors opening your tummy and doing an operation with
Instead, it's just impossible in terms of pain. It is just intolerable. To use anesthesia in this case would be illegitimate as far as as Islam is concerned, so long as there is no way of avoiding this. As far as the cough drops that you mentioned,
it is my understanding also that there are alternatives. Islam does not say suffer. But if there are alternative medication that you can take for cough, why take
cough medicine that has alcohol, and even if not others, just for the sake of argument, no other medication is available and the coughing is really bothering you. There are different kinds of medicines that ranges anywhere from almost one quarter of 1% alcohol content to something like 25%, like NyQuil, for example, almost one question. So even if you're forced, you took that you take the one of course that has the least amount of forbidden ingredients, but the best, of course, is to try to develop pharmaceutically something that would give a substitute for some guys, it's possible but after all, like I said, it doesn't say you die because
you can take anesthesia or medicine.
What a related question to this. This, I guess would be the use of alcohol and
for example, in the baking of cakes and cooking various dishes and cooking songs,
alcohol and mouthwash or maybe alcohol and colognes. For example. Are there any problems in the use of alcohol in this way for Muslims? on in the last example, there is no problem. But for example, using that and cake and try to burn it, for example, let's open up the texture of the cake is such that there's no guarantee that there's enough oxygen that all the alcohol would be evaporated or
the same thing for cooking, it might still leave some traces in the room. But above all, why should a Muslim if you notice that the Quran has been very strict against Jameson on this intoxicants, use of food and ingredients that may contain or even have any trace of a cause. It might involve even imitation of those who are not following that particular code. So why imitate to start with mouthwash. Usually when you use mouthwash with alcohol, some of that icon, if not swallowed, inadvertently is absorbed also through the tissues of the mouth. So it's better than to look for some other alternative mouthwash that does not contain alcohol.
But the last point is no problem at all make use of alcohol, for example, in perfumes, or colognes. Many not all but most Muslim jurist I should say said that there's no problem with that because after all, you're not really drinking that or absorbing it. It's just like it's used as something to dissolve the ingredients. However, some Muslims, in fact, do prefer to use perfumes that has oil base instead.
You have to leave it at that for today. But the Jamal we've exhausted our time for today. We want to invite all of the viewers of the program back next week and we'll continue with our series, moral teachings of Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be on to you