Alcohol – Root of all the Evils

  Part - I
‘O you believers, intoxicants (that include all kinds of alcoholic drinks) and gambling and idolatry and divining arrows (for seeking luck) are an abomination of Shaitaan’s deeds; so avoid strictly all abominations in order that you become successful’ (90:5).
  Character of the Mumin is reflected by the deeds he does. Deeds which are committed on the foundation of purity by heart, good intention and conforming to the Shari’at of Allaah bring happiness and satisfaction in our life and also invites acceptance by the Allaah. On the contrary, if the foundation of the deeds is based upon wickedness, evil intention and against the Shari’at of Allaah then it deserves curse and anger of Allaah. Mumin always thinks of doing things which are commendable and praiseworthy – both in the society and Shari’at. He who is rightly guided by the principles of Deen

never deviates from the path of Allaah because he always remembers the Anger and Curse of Allaah as a punishment for unlawful deeds. It is the Shari’at which carves out a true man out of mere living human creature. Man grasps the real teachings of life only through the religion. No university or college ever teaches the principles and etiquettes of leading a meaningful life.  All the means of this world is meant for earning livelihood and wealth. Hence, without religion, a man is like a herd of cattle without shepherd.

Rasoolullaah (saws) has said in Hadees-e-Nabawi, “al-hasado wal kebaro wal khamaro ummul khabaa’is” which means, ‘Jealousy, pride and alcohol are the roots of all the evils’. Allaah Ta’aala has forbidden the consumption of alcohol in every sense in the Qur’an – “Yaa aiyohal lazeena aamanu innamal khamaro wal maysaro wal ansaabo wal azlaamo rijsum-min ‘amalish shaitaan fajtanebooho la’allakum tuflehoon” which means. ‘O you believers, intoxicants (that include all kinds of alcoholic drinks) and gambling and idolatry and divining arrows (for seeking luck) are an abomination of Shaitaan’s deeds; so avoid strictly all abominations in order that you become successful’ (90:5). Hence all intoxicants which are drunk, smoked and chewed are forbidden by Allaah in every sense.

Rasoolullaah (saws) has said that, Alcohol is Haraam (forbidden) for every Muslim – curse of Allaah be on the one who drinks it, who makes it, who helps in the process of its manufacture, who sells it, who carries it, who buys it, who stores it, who makes others drink, who gives his place to the people for drinking alcohol, who earns money from it, who grows fruit for making alcohol, who washes the utensils of alcohol etc. Such is the strictness that all those who are related directly or indirectly with the alcohol deserve the Curse and Anger of Allaah. Maulaana Imaam Mohammad ul-Baaqir (as) says that, An alcoholic will meet Allaah as an idolater and Allaah will not accept the worship of the person who drinks even a sip of alcohol for 40 days and nights. Maulaana Imaam Ja’far us-Saadiq (as) says that, Jannat is forbidden for three people – a habitual alcoholic, idolater and the enemy of Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and Aal-e-Mohammad (saws) who domineers the true believers. Rasoolullaah (saws) has clarified that apart from alcohol I do not consider any such thing which cause intoxication and alteration of the senses as Halaal (hence it is forbidden in any form). Little or plenty of it – equally is forbidden for my believers. Such forbidden things in the present times include many things from intoxicating drugs, cigarette, tobacco in any form (pure or gutkha), alcohol in any form, bidis etc.

Stressful and highly competitive lifestyle is having a deep impact on the psyche of people who consumes these forbidden things as a refuge. Individuals seeking relaxation and freedom from the shambles of life become an easy prey to all such intoxicants. Also it has become very common in the youth to consume such things casually and occasionally. Drinking alcohol and smoking has been branded as the quality of high living. Surrendering to the attraction of the highly demanding lifestyle some of the young people of our Jamaa’at too have plunged into this evil vortex. Their hearts have become void of the Noor of Imaan. They have gone far away even from being called as a Muslim. They have indeed lost the very essence of the Deen of Allaah and also have damaged their bodies irreversibly. It is better to say that they have not consumed alcohol but alcohol has consumed them. Alcohol not only destroys its drinker but everything of him – his house, family and wealth. Greed of winning more money in gambling takes away the peacefulness and harmony from the whole family. Gambling is the whirlpool of endless hunger of luck and chance in which a person loses his hard earned money easily.

The iniquity of gambling is rooted so deeply in our society that day in and day out it is taking now forms, but the essence remains same. Gambling on the cricket is one of its latest thing – others being on the politics, weather or any such thing which affects majority of the populace. These vicious activities are clandestinely carried out in the lonely places, farm houses, during festivals in a presumption that no one is watching them. They forget that it does not matter whether any human is watching or not but Allaah has His eyes over them all the time because He says in the Qur’an, “Keraaman kaatebeena ya’lamoona maa taf’aloon” which means, ‘Everything has been written whatever is done by them (by the two angels – Raqeeb and ‘Ateed). Also Allaah says in Surah Yaseen that, “Al yauma nakhtemo ‘ala afwaahehim wa tokallemona aydeehim wa tashhado arjolahum bemaa kaanu yakseboon” which means, ‘On the Day of Qayaamat, their mouths will be stamped (shut) and their hands will speak and legs will bear the witness of their deeds’.

Parents are unaware of the activities of their young boys and girls. They feel that their children are more ‘advanced’ and ‘forward’ if they loiter around and watch movies till late night. It is a matter of pride for them if their children go for the outings in groups and return late at night. They never bother to ask them about their whereabouts and activities. This is the beginning of all the evil. They may or may not know what is right or wrong for them or what the Shari’at permits them. It is the responsibility of the parents to look after all these sensitive things. Parents are equally accountable for the deeds of their children. They cannot shrug off their shoulders saying that their children are not obeying them. If they disobey their parents then who would they obey?

Going early to bed and getting out early from the bed – a sign of veneration and old dictum of grandparents – stands true at all times. It is indeed the most simple and strong way to keep ourselves away from all the evils. Also it is the key to good health – as proved by the science recently.


Part - II

Habit of alcohol is the beginning of a trail of evils that follows. Alcohol blunts off the intellect and stirs up the lust and desire. One is not able to distinguish between right and wrong under its influence. Companion of alcohol is a chain of unlawful relationships which is enough to complete the destruction of the peace of a house. Extra marital relations and adultery goes hand in hand with alcoholism. Where such evils make their way, destruction and unrest is a surety.

Once upon a time, a wicked, irreverent and profane woman tries to attract a righteous and religious man by her beauty and appearance. Her intention was to depart the man away from the path of Allaah. She succeeded in doing so and gradually the man left worshipping and got diverted from the virtuous path of the Deen of Allaah. He started frequenting the woman’s house who injected the venom of wickedness into him. The glory and the brilliance of prayers and abstinence from the worldly desires vanished from the character of the man. When the woman felt that he was totally influenced by her, she said, ‘If you want to be with me then you will have to do one out of four things – 1) Drink alcohol  2) Put the Qur’an on fire  3) Beat your wife and children  4) Satisfy me physically.’

Man thought it would be difficult for him to stay without that woman. He thought of the simplest thing which he could do to stay with her. He came to the conclusion that drinking alcohol is simplest and easiest thing to do. He made up his mind that he will drink some in front of the woman and spit it afterwards. By doing this he won’t commit any sin. He agreed that he will drink alcohol. Woman gave him alcohol in a utensil. When the man tasted it, he could not resist and swallowed it and drank it to the full extent and finally emptied the whole utensil. Being drunk, he lost his senses and got shamelessly involved with the woman physically. After that he drank more alcohol and under its intoxication he burned the Qur’an in her house. He then went to his house in the same condition and when his wife asked where he was, he started hitting her and his children. He went out in the street and had a quarrel with another person. He started hitting him hard and finally killed him. People gathered around and took him away. He was punished and jailed for killing a person. When the effect of alcohol waned off, in the prison, he realized what all he did. He recognized that it all began with alcohol and ended up in killing an innocent person. He wept a lot and repented for his deeds and shouted – Alcohol is the head of all the evils, it destroyed me and my family. ‘Stay away from it if you want to be safe from all the evils of this World’, he painfully cried.

Allaah Ta’aala says in the Qur’an, “Yaa aiyohal lazeena aamanu innamal khamaro wal maysero wal ansaabo wal azlaamo rijsum-min ‘amalish shaitaan fajtanebooho la’allakum tuflehoon” where Khamaro (alcohol) is put first followed by other forbidden things. An alcoholic and an idolater are alike and will be punished in the same way by Allaah. Rasoolullaah (saws) has said that, “Mudmenul khamare ka-‘aabedin wasenin” which means that, ‘An alcoholic is same as an idolater who spends his time in worshipping a stone’. One, who abstains from all these evils, as Allaah Ta’aala says, Are the victorious and they have guarded themselves from the deeds of Shaitaan. Allaah Ta’aala has cautioned, “Fahal antum muntahoon” which means, ‘Will you not abstain from the forbidden’? He has warned about the Curse of Hell who disobeys His command. Allaah Ta’aala better knows what is good and what is bad for us.

A pious person and a true believer (mumin) will never adopt such a habit which invites the Anger of Allaah. Conversely, everything which is deemed as Halaal (lawful) in the Shari’at is useful to us either mentally or physically. It is in no way harmful to us. And the thing which is deemed as Haraam (unlawful) is always harmful to us physically or mentally. Hence to maintain our physical health we must consume what is lawful for us. And for the mental and spiritual health we must acquire knowledge which is licit for us i.e. from Qur’an and its true interpreter, Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and A’imaat-e-Taahereen (as). Our deeds should be founded upon such legitimate sources.

Khamar, Sharaab or Alcohol is equated with the acquisition of knowledge from a person other than Ahl ul-Bayt (as), A’immat-e-Taahereen (as), Du’aat or their representatives – the first source and fountainhead of the knowledge of the Qur’an. Just as drinking alcohol blunts out one’s intellect, senses and distinguishing power of right and wrong, acquiring knowledge from an ‘unlawful’ source deranges the senses and the intellect of a person and he fails to differentiate between right and wrong. Hence he too is ‘alcoholic’ and ‘drunk’ who learns from ‘others’ who does not belong to the chain of “Hablullaahil Mateen” – Ambiyaa (as), Awsiyaa (as), A’immat (as) and Du’aat (aq). There are some ‘alcoholics’ of the knowledge who have deviated from us and claim themselves to be knowledgeable and accuses us to be on wrong path. They have forgotten that by turning their back to our community, they have indeed insulted their forefathers. They have indeed left the path of Noor and lost in the path of Zolomaat (darkness).

Allaah Ta’aala says in the Qur’an, “Wal lazeena kafaroo awliyaaohomut-taaghooto yukhrejoonahum minan noore elaz-zolomaat, olaa’eka ashaabun naar” which means, Those who have done Kufr and assumed the Taghoot (one who does not belong to Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and proclaims himself to be a religious authority) as their leaders (awliyaa) will be taken from the Noor (Glory) towards the Zolomaat (Darkness), they are the dwellers of the Hell. Intoxication by alcohol is temporary and an individual returns back to normal state after some time but the intoxication of unlawful knowledge is so deep rooted that one is not able to come out of its evil vortex unless saved by Allaah. Hence unlawful knowledge is nothing but Baatini Sharaab. It is easy to notice a drunken person but it is very difficult to notice a Baatini Sharaabi. Its symptoms does not manifest unless he is destroyed completely from within. We not only pray to Allaah to protect us from the evils of alcohol but also pray to save our hearts from the deadly sting of Baatini Sharaab.

Part - III

Qur’an states that, “The Da’wat of Allaah is itself a Jannat in this World and the one who believes in this Elaahi Da’wat will indeed dwell in the Jannat in the Hereafter.” Accepting and believing in the Da’wat of Allaah in this World is a ‘potential’ or dormant power to acquire the real Jannat after Death or in the Hereafter. One who fails to gain this ‘potential’ will be bereaved of Jannat. Allaah Ta’aala very lucidly describes the finer details of His Jannat in the Qur’an and says that, ‘In the Jannat there are four rivers, namely of Honey, Milk, Water and Pure Drink’. About the Pure Drink, Allaah Ta’aala says, ‘Lazzatil lish-Shaarebeen’ which means, ‘Delicious for those who drink’ (15:47). It means that it will not harm its drinker in any way; neither it will intoxicate nor alter the senses. Equating these rivers with the Elaahi knowledge of Da’wat it means that the knowledge derived from the Fountain-head of Enlightenment and Guidance the Hujjatullaah (Nabi, Wasi, Imaam or Da’i) is as pure as the rivers of the Jannat.

It is Rooh ul-Hayaat (soul of life) for our souls, without which we won’t be able to ascend to the heights of the Skies. In Surat ur-Rahmaan, Allaah says “Yaa ma’sharal jinne wal inse inis-tata’tum an tanfozu min aqtaaris samaawaate wal arze fanfozu laa tanfozoona illa be sultaan” which means, ‘O assembly of Jinns and Men, if you have power to pass beyond the zones of Heavens and the Earth, then pass them! But you will never be able to pass them, except with the authority of Allaah (33:55). This aayat clearly indicates that without the Authority of Allaah – Illa be sultaan; it is not possible to get the reward of Jannat. This authority or Sultaan is nothing but the recognition of Waliyullaah (Ma’refat) and the obedience of Hujjatullaah (Walaayat) and acquisition of the knowledge of Allaah through the saheb of Nass. A leading Indian doctor who proposes comparative study of religions erroneously said in one of his lectures that illa be sultaan is Rockets and Space shuttles without which Man is unable to reach the heights of Skies! This interpretation is absurd and does not convey any meaning. It reflects shallow knowledge of the doctor. Does ever Jinns need a Rocket or Space shuttle to ascend to the Skies? Innumerable absurd and doctored interpretations of the Qur’an like the one stated above are available in the market or on the internet. Mumineen should avoid reading all such literatures which could develop a suspicion in their belief.

As a mumin acquires the knowledge of Da’wat (his beginning and return) and practices it, Allaah enlightens the Glory of Imaan in his heart more brightly. As this continues in his lifetime, his Imaan gains more strength as Saiyedna Qaazi No’maan bin Mohammad (aq) states in his book of canonical law of Shari’at, Da’aaim ul-Islaam that, Such type of Imaan is called as Raajeh which means ever increasing and improving. This Imaan becomes the cause of closeness to Allaah. Just as an employee, after  years of loyal service and hard work in a company gets periodic promotion and finally reaches to the highest post, a mumin who is loyal to his Imaam or Da’i, gains higher ranks according to his good deeds. Allaah Ta’aala says for such a mumin that, “as-Saabeqoonas Saabeqoon, Olaaekal moqarraboon” which means, ‘And those foremost (in the Imaan and deeds in their life) of the foremost; they will be those nearest to Allaah (10, 11:56).

On the other hand, the one who failed to recognize the Da’wat  of Allaah Ta’aala and did not acquire the correct knowledge through Saheb-e-Da’wat but hunted for illicit knowledge from other sources, is equal to the one who left the Four Rivers of Jannat and drank illicit wine from somewhere else which was not pure and virtuous. This illicit wine (unlawful knowledge) clouded his senses, damaged his body, blunted his intellect and finally he left the righteous path and wandered into the darkness. Alcohol is the beginning or the fountainhead of all evils – as stated elsewhere, now it overwhelms him in such a manner that nothing but his beliefs seems to be lawful to him. It is a stage where he sinks into the bottomless depths of ignorance and also drowns his family with him. Our Jamaa’at is not short of such drunkards who questions about the legitimacy of the knowledge of Da’wat. With their eaten up brains and directionless intellect they misguide the people.

All of us have different abilities to grasp a particular thing. One single thing may not be understood by all. So it is advisable to the Mumineen to grasp that knowledge which they understand and comprehend. They should keep themselves away from ideas or thoughts that create suspicion in their beliefs. Out of all knowledge that exists in this World, understanding Shari’at is the most difficult one. Only the one having the Ma’refat (recognition) of the Imaam or Da’i can understand it, only because they are the ones who knows the Zaahir (evident) and Baatin (hidden) of the Shari’at in its full extent.

Rasoolullaah (saws) has said that, “Taqiyah” (keep under protection) is my religion and of my forefathers. Taqiyah is protecting or guarding one’s Imaan (faith), Aqeedah (principles) or Aamaal (deeds) out of the fear of enemy. Taqiyah should be done in everything but not in three things even if there is fear of enemy or danger of life:

  1. To express the unlawfulness of the Alcohol
  2. To perform the Masah (wiping) of feet in the Wuzoo (that is to remove the socks and do the Masah)
  3. In reciting Bismillaah loudly in the beginning of each surah in the Namaaz of farz (fajr, maghrib and ishaa)

If someone forces us to drink alcohol in some gathering or occasion, we should tell him clearly about the unlawfulness of drinking alcohol. We must not drink alcohol on his request. Likewise we must not feel ashamed in removing the socks while doing Masah of the feet in the wuzoo. Even if others are around us, we must practice according to our principles. This is true in the same way in reciting the Bismillaah loudly before each surah in the Namaaz of the farz of Fajr, Maghrib, and Ishaa il-Aakherat in the presence of others.


Part - IV

The shameful aftermaths of drinking alcohol are evident from a short parable. There was a King who had a very vast kingdom and had only one son. His son grew up as a pampered child. He was loved and taken care of by everyone in the kingdom. When he reached the age of marriage, the King married him to the daughter of his Wazeer (deputy). His son’s marriage was a grand and costliest celebration in the kingdom. The whole palace was decorated with flowers and lights. Joy and fervour of his marriage was also palpable in the streets of the city. The daughter of the Wazeer, the new bride of the palace wore the one of the most precious dresses of the palace and was embellished with glittering jewellery from head to foot. The bride was welcomed into the palace on the wedding night by all traditional customs and practices. She was then taken to a room where she was supposed to wait for the King’s son, the groom.

She was left spellbound by seeing the decorations of the room. She kept waiting for her dream mate. Time passed but the groom did not return to the room. It was late night. After the marriage the King’s son did a very unfortunate thing. He drank alcohol to the point of intoxication. He forgot to return to the room of the bride; instead, he wandered here and there on his horse, not knowing where he headed for. From behind the palace, under the effect of alcohol, he travelled great distance in the forest. Finally, he came into a Parsi locality and reached a place where they used to dispose off the dead bodies of the people (the tower of silence). There he found a body of a woman who was wrapped in beautiful clothes and left for the vultures to eat. Still under alcoholic intoxication and not knowing where he was, he thought the dead body of the woman as his newlywed wife. He drank more alcohol which he carried with him. He then stepped down from his horse and slept along with the dead body, in an illusion that he is sleeping with his wife. He played with the dead body of the woman until he woke up in the morning and realised that he slept with a dead body for the whole night. He cried a lot and repented on his deeds. He secretly left from the place on the horse so that no one sees him. In the palace, as the midnight passed the King realised that something was wrong with his son. He sent his Wazeer and soldiers to search for his son. On the way back to palace, King’s son met the convoy who were in search for him. The son confessed his evil deeds in front of Wazeer (his father in law) and cried that, ‘It would have been better if I had died before meeting you all’. The Wazeer consoled him and took him to the palace where he met his newlywed bride.

Moral of this parable is that the greed of wealth, power and fame is intoxication (inebriety) of alcohol and the dead body of the woman is the World. Our desires and greed blunts the intellect and the World (which is in fact a dead body) seems to be everything for us. We forget everything in this transient and short lived play. The palace is the Aakherat and the bride is the sign of Jannat. We overlook what is reality after our life and spend it in a meaningless way. It is only after death that we see the reality. But by that time it is too late. We cry for better deeds after the death when we aren’t able to do it. We will then repent and say – as it is mentioned in the Qur’an – ‘They will say, Alas! if Allaah send us back into the World so that we may become good and virtuous and do lawful deeds’. But these words won’t affect us because Allaah says, ‘Even if they are send back to the World for seeking goodness, they will again follow the same evil as they have done before’. Indeed nothing will benefit them and their final destiny is the Fire of Hell. Huzoor-e-‘Aali (tus) always pray to Allaah for the mumineen that, ‘O Allaah, with the waseelah of al-Khamsat ul-Athaar (as) and Aimmat-e-Ma’soomeen (as), protect my mumineen from all the evils of this world and guide them to remain steadfast on Your path’. Aameen.

Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.