Basic human rights and justice
Cont’d from page 2
of life. A genuine State of Submission should have its primary purpose as the dispensation of justice. Justice is not only understood to be a belief but it is a sacred conscientiousness which is to be carried out within the limits of the Quran. The allocation too would symbolise an honest act of dedication to God alone.
Thus, all citizens have the right of justice and total equality in the view of the law. Their responsibilities are equal. [49:10] The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence GOD, that you may attain mercy.
[Ed.’s note: This article is based on the khutbah given by brother Alim in Mumbai. His entire khutbah can be accessed at http://www.masjidtucson.org/submission/
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Why people use drugs
The use of drugs to alter consciousness is nothing new. It has been a feature of human life throughout history. Alcohol has always been the most commonly used drug because of the ease in producing it by fermentation. In many cultures, the consumption of drugs and alcohol has been associated with one’s entrance into the adult social world.
The Arabic word “khamr” (intoxicant) is from the root word “kamara” which means “to cover or obscure.” Contrary to what many people think, drugs cloud and cover the mind rather than open it up.
The so-called high that people think they experience when intoxicated is actually a state of disorientation and looseness portrayed as pleasure. The devil not only leads one to take intoxicants, but continues to entice the intoxicated person to do things that they would refrain from when sober or oriented.
O you who believe, intoxicants and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil;
you shall avoid them, that you may succeed. The devil wants to provoke animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and to distract you from remembering God; and from observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Will you then refrain? (5:90-91).
In addition to the need to feel good and overcome anxieties, peer acceptance and approval are critical factors underlying drug consumption and addiction. Most people have been socialized to be overly-dependent on someone or something in the material world to make them happy. Many people also turn to intoxicants to make them happy. There is a myth that drugs allow an individual to imagine being what he or she wants to be free of inhibitions, worries, and tension. Drugs are also sought as a means toward inner-fulfillment; many people are lead to believe that chemical substances and drugs are a cure-all for their negative feelings.
Despite widespread use and acceptance of so-called legal drugs like alcohol, there can be no compromise regarding their prohibition by God. God knows us more than we know ourselves. God certainly knows what can make us really happy, and He knows what is dangerous to us.
They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, “in them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit.” ... (2:219)
Recent studies show that every year cigarette smoking causes 390,000 deaths, alcohol causes 90,000 deaths, cocaine causes 8,000 deaths, and heroin causes 6,000 deaths. Alcoholism accounts for about fifteen percent of all deaths annually in the United States and costs more than forty-eight billion dollars in health costs and lost productivity. That amount averages to two hundred dollars per year for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
Chronic drug addiction leads to a drug personality—the type of person whose action and thoughts are determined by his constant need to take drugs. Drug personalities may anger easily, can become violent, are frequently depressed, alienated from family members, have few friends except fellow addicts, are unable to maintain jobs, often feel persecuted, and maybe unable to acknowledge their addiction; drugs become their idols.
“He idolizes what is more apt to harm him than benefit him. What a miserable lord; what a miserable companion.” (22:13)
Worship God Alone To Overcome
Because of their addictive quality, drugs and intoxicants stay with a person for a long time. In order to stop taking drugs, a person must have a better substitute in life—a belief, a bond, a greater motivation to seek happiness and balance in fulfilling ways. God is the source of all happiness. When a person begins to realize this, he or she can wean away from substance abuse. In the Quran, God enjoins worshipers not to pray when intoxicated.
O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying...” (4:43)
Evidently, during the time verse 4:43 was revealed, there were people who took intoxicants, probably alcohol. Yet, they were motivated to pray to God and seek His guidance. Being human, we are all susceptible to Satan’s tricks to distract us from remembering God. The sincere believers who took intoxicants gradually overcome their alcoholism to please God. How could a sincere believer pray five times a day and continue to take intoxicants? Verse 4:43 also indicates that alcohol obscures the mind.
Happiness and peace of mind is only attainable by worshiping God alone, and God relieves one from confusion, fear, grief and a sense of hopelessness.
Anyone who works righteous, male or female, while believing, we will surely grant them a happy life in this world, and we will surely pay them their full recompense (on the Day of Judgment) for their righteous works. (16:97)
The more one depends on drugs, the more unhappy one becomes. The drug user must learn to trust God and stop taking intoxicants. This is the most effective substance or drug abuse program.
If anyone thinks that God cannot support him in this life and in the Hereafter, let him turn completely to (his creator in) heaven, and severe (his dependence on anyone else). He will see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him.
We have thus revealed clear revelations herein, then God guides whomever He wills. (22:15-16).
[Reprinted from Sep 1992 SP.]