The Scourge of Drugs

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

We thank and praise Almighty Allah, Who has prohibited the taking of DRUGS in any form and enjoined the abstaining from all that is harmful. For surely He is the Merciful, the Beneficent and the Sustainer.

We bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the One Who is gracious to all His servants, having allowed them to partake of everything that is beneficial to themselves and society, and prohibited everything that is harmful. Allah is the All-seeing, the All-knowing.

We bear witness that our Nabi Muhammad (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah, the best who has ever called to that which Allah loves and which pleases Him. O Allah, we invoke Thy blessings and mercy on him, his Companions and relatives, and all those who have carried out the commands of Allah and have kept aloof from those things which He has prohibited: thereby gaining nobility in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah SWT warns us in the Holy Qur’an :

O ye who believe ! Intoxicants and gambling, (Dedication of ) stones, and divination by arrows, are an abomination,– of Satan’s handiwork: Eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.

Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain ?

(Q. 5, verses 93 and 94)

Brothers and Sisters

In these ayaat Allah SWT warns us in the strongest terms that the taking of intoxicants, gambling, idol-worshipping and fortune-telling are an ABOMINATION — abominable sins and seeds which Shaytaan sows to cause destruction, enmity and hatred among us. Through intoxicants and gambling Shaytaan hopes to divert our minds from remembering Allah — knowing well that only by remembering Allah are the hearts of the believers at rest and will there not be need for drugs to provide a false sense of security. These basic sins prevent us from performing our ‘Ibadah, performing our salaah; fulfilling our purpose on earth as Allah’s vicegerent, and serving the Ummah with our full capacity which Allah has given us. In the last statement Allah asks us: “Will ye not then abstain ?” In the same way that we abstained in the Ramadhan and which will help us to fight this evil.

This Qur’anic warning has as much if not more relevance today than what it had 1400 years ago. We read about a new culture, a new set of values which permeates and takes over existing cultures and ideologies. This so-called DRUG CULTURE, Brothers and Sisters, is right on our doorstep and in many cases right in our very homes. It has come in via the TV and the radio, the newspapers and magazines, man’s greed and love of money, and, above all, our failure to “shield” our children against it. It threatens to corrode our culture and destroy our Islamic values. In many families it has already taken its toll and deprived them of their loved ones, either a son or a daughter. It could have been my son or your daughter.

Allah warns us that drug dependence affects not only the individual but the entire Ummah. The World Health Organisation came to the same conclusion and defined drug dependence as “a condition of partial or persistent intoxication which is detrimental to the individual, to society, or both.” In a Hadeeth, narrated by Anas our Nabi Muhammad SAWS shows us how this concept affects both the individual as well as society through this beautiful assertion, when he says:

“Ten are cursed concerning wine: the one who presses it, the one who is engaged for pressing it, the one who drinks it, the one who carries it, the one who gives it to drink, the one who sells it, the one who devours its price, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.”

If we examine this Hadeeth closely we will realise that it cuts across the whole spectrum of life: social, economic as well as political. Can anyone blame the Muslim Ummah of the Cape when it took to the streets to demonstrate its absolute abhorrence of drug abuse? Can anyone deny us the right to draw the attention of the authorities and their decadent Western culture to this scourge they have let loose on our youth? When we gathered at the masjid and in the streets of Salt River, we, by our very presence, declared war on all those associated with drugs, in terms of the definition of our Nabi Muhammad SAWS.

In our anger, in our determination to eradicate this problem of drug abuse in our community, we may think that, by removing the drug pedlars and the junkies we remove the cause and the root of our ummah’s affliction. Do we really remove the cause ? Do we really believe that by removing the “pushers” and every trace of drugs available in the community, we have put an end to this menace ? No, we may succeed in removing a possible source of drug distribution, but other sources may soon come to light so long as the demand for drugs exists among our children and among our older brothers and sisters. Our Ummah has been afflicted and before we square up to fight, we must realise the extent of the problem. The problem involves the easy availability and the wide variety of drugs, the subtle and often blatant positive publicity given to drug-taking by the media. In this regard you only have to switch on the TV and watch the “hero” smoking or sniffing drugs. But more serious than the availability or the subtle approval given by the authorities is the ignorance and state of lethargy of the Ummah. This, in turn, reflects the extent to which we have abandoned our Islamic values and adopted values which are not our own.

Our Ummah and, indeed, many of our homes have become fertile grounds for the so-called drug culture. Sad to say, you and I may recognise some of these situations in our own homes. Let us look at the home where the father absents himself from the home with so many commitments outside, perhaps his business, social or sport commitments. Often the father is physically prsent but emotionally absent. He simply does not communicate with his children. Let us look at the home where both parents are working. This poses a strain on the family which many cannot cope with. Let us look at the double standards of values in the home or the inconsistency between teaching and action. The child is sent to madrassah to learn about the halaal form of dress, that gambling is haraam or that salaah is compulsory, yet parents adhere to the latest styles, frequent the casinosand when the athaan is sounded, the call is simply ignored. This type of hypocricy provides an ideal environment for taking drugs. Let us examine our “soft” attitude towards people whom we know are obviously drug dealers and pedlars. We tolerate them and some of them are often even allowed to remain prominent members of the community! Let us look at our socalled “liberal” attitude to TV viewing, attending cinemas and discos, especially with regard to our children. Can you see, Brothers and Sisters, how easy it is for a foreign value to gain a foothold in our homes. All this obviously have a negative effect on our value systems. You cannot accept Islam in theory only — you either accept the WHOLE of the Islamic way of life or not at all. In Sura Luqman Allah SWT reminds us:

“Whoever submits his whole life to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy handhold. ” (Q. XXXI : 22)

It is our duty to combat this evil in our midst, but a far greater fight is to build an environment in our homes and in our community where no pusher or junkie, no drug, no matter how attractive it may appear, can influence our children. Where do we start ? If we are to get to grips with the root of this question, then we will need to reassess our values and priorities as individuals, as a family and as a community. At the level of a child, learning to recognise harmful drugs, of the destructive effects, the dangers of drugs may be a good starting point. Our attack should, therefore, also be directed at our own weaknesses. The “cure” to our problem is to reverse the cause. Let us ask ourselves the question: Why have we adopted a life-style and pattern of behaviour so different from that prescribed by Islam ? Let those brothers and sisters in our jamaa’ah with the expertise to deal with such problems of drug-abuse, join existing bodies, and, if needs be, set up clinics at masaajid where there are facilities, to help our children and older members of the Ummah who are affected. Remember, our fight is not only to prevent, but also to cure. We cannot abandon our children or brothers and sisters who have become enslaved to drugs. We are reminded of the anecdate of Bayazid, the celebrated Muslim scholar. One night, as he was returning home from the graveyard, a noisy drunkard, who was playing on his lute, stopped his playing to abuse and swear at everyone passing him in the foulest language. Bayazid walked over to the drunkard and asked him not to abuse passers-by. The drunk became so angry that he turned his dirtiest tongue on Bayazid. He became so angry that he broke his lute on Bayazid’s head. The lute broke into little pieces. Early the next morning Bayazid prepared a basket full of sweetmeats and placed some money on top of it. His servant delivered the gift to the drunk with the following message: “Last night, my head was responsible for breaking your lute. Please buy yourself a new one from the money in the basket. Please remove the sourness of your tongue by taking these sweetmeats!” Can you imagine how the drunk felt ? He was so struck with shame and repentance, that he rushed to Bayazid, begged his forgiveness and vowed to stop drinking. Bayazid believed that while we should condemn the actions of the drug user, we must continue to assist him overcome his problem.

Let us appeal to our young Muslims brothers and sisters: Your youth is your most precious gift. Don’t let dope take it away from you. The euphoria (state of well-being) that the drug gives you is short-lived and its after-effects devastating. It cannot bring you happiness, love, success and peace. It cannot make you forget the pressures of life or help you to COPE with life. It will only increase your suffering and dependence on more and stronger drugs. There are alternatives. The best way to cope with the pressures of life is not to wish it away but to come to terms with life. Allah is near and His beneficence and mercy within our reach.

But the drugs like dagga, mandrax, LSD, alcohol, and so forth, do not attract only the younger section of society. How many homes are not broken up because father or mother had been so demoralised by drugs that he or she had forgotten their responsibilities as husband and wife or parents ? How many little children are not sent out begging for want of food because of the Devil’s brew ? How many young girls and boys are not so debased morally that they end up as prostitutes or murderers ? Most crimes in our society result from the indulgence in liquor, but other drugs seem to be on the ascendency if they have not already overtaken alcohol. There are those who indulge who would say: “We are only social drinkers or smokers and do not over-indulge. There is no yardstick. Partaking of drugs can NEVER be justified. Quran CONDEMNS INDULGING IN INTOXICANTS IN WHATEVER MEASURE.

No wonder Rasoolullah Saw. referred to it as the “Mother of all evils.” For surely, it is the key to every horror. Thus he said: “Keep yourself aloof from the mother of all evils.” UMMUL GHABAA-IETH.

This is why the Prophet S.A.W. said: “Keep yourself away from intoxicants, for surely faith (Imaan) and intoxicants cannot combine in the body of one person — when the one enters the other departs.” He also said:

“Allah curses intoxicants, and the one who buys intoxicants, the partaker of intoxicants, the one who wraps or pours intoxicants, the one who sells it, the one who presses and packs it, the one who carries and the one to whom it is carried, and the one who gets the profits derived therefrom.”

You, therefore, see O Muslims,

Obey the Commands of Allah. Keep away from this terrible evil, so that we may be free of Allah’s wrath. It is reported by Bukhari and Muslim:

“Everything which intoxicates you is “Ghamr” and everything which intoxicates is prohibited; and whosoever partakes of Ghamr in this world and dies without Taubah, will not partake of the pleasures of the Hereafter.”

Can we allow ourselves to be diverted from the Path of truth and justice, respect and responsibility, physical health and human dignity and above all, submission and thankfulness to Allah SWT by indulging in drugs and intoxicants?

Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!