It is said that Omar (later the Second Rightly-Guided Caliph) prayed: O Allah give us a decisive indication about wine, it takes away the money and the intellect. (Imam Ahmad)
“They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: In them is great sin, and (some) benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” (2:219)
Omar continued to pray: “O Allah indicate a manifest indication about wine.”Allah revealed”
“O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter.” (4:43)
Omar prayed again: “O Allah indicate us about wine.”Allah revealed:
“O you who believe intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling … are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Satan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salat (the prayer). So will you not then abstain?” (5:90-91)
The ban on the use of intoxicants was gradual. This evil was eradicated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He warned about the curse of Allah on all those associated with it from production to its consumption.
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whatever much of it intoxicates, then little of it is also prohibited.” (Abu Dawood from Jabir)
Abdullah Bin Omar is quoted to have said: “The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said that ‘Anybody who attributed to me anything which I did not say will go to Hell.” After this Abdullah Bin Omar said: “I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) saying ‘No doubt Allah has prohibited the wine, games of chance and the wine extracted from “Ghabeera” (a flower tree with fruit).
Narcotic drugs are also banned in Islam. This ban was enforced in 7th century for the welfare of humanity.
The latest developments in medical science have proved the consumption of alcohol and narcotics to be a social evil causing great harm not only to the society but also to human health. If we look into the expenditure incurred on drinks (intoxicants) in European and American countries we get an alarming figure of thousands of millions of dollars. France has the highest alcohol consumption. Frenchmen consume 200 million liters of alcoholic beverages every year.
Alcohol makes the man unstable and creates multifarious problems. It breaks the family ties and brings about a complete disruption in family life. The man under its influence fills the destructive bowl, gets excited with an urge to commit crimes and does not hesitate to commit adultery, incest and fornication.
Alcohol abuse presents the society with a staggering bill. In the US, somewhere between $25 billion to $40 billion are lost in terms of labor productivity, treatment and welfare. (Koffend 1979)
In 1979, the World Health Organization in a report stated that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in developing countries. In Zambia and Venezuela the abuses of alcohol are linked with increasing crimes and is the major cause of road accidents. In South Africa, 75 percent of the population is affected directly with adverse affects of alcoholism. In US, 40 percent of all road accidents are due to alcohol abuse and alcohol accounts for 50 percent of criminal arrests.
Man is a social animal. He is superior to animals by virtue of his mental faculties. If these faculties are
impaired, he will act like an animal. Alcohol and narcotic drugs impair the higher centers of the brain with the result a man loses judgment, intellect, learning reason, memory and orientation. The lower centers of the brain are freed from the inhibiting influence of the higher centers causing excitement and animalistic behaviors. Owing to this, the intoxicated person behaves recklessly and become loquacious and loses self-control, totters and is led by evil desires to commit crimes.
The following are the bodily harms or diseases of alcoholism observed by the medical science.
The above facts make it crystal clear that alcohol and narcotic drugs not only take away the hard-earned money of the people but also their intellect and health and leave them worthless. Caliph Omar was wise when he prayed in earlier 7th century for the ban saying intoxicants take away the money and the intellect. Allah the Omniscient, the All-Wise Who cares for the welfare of his bondmen banned intoxicants and delivered them from the pernicious evil.
Now in 20th century all the sensible world is making a lot of hue and cry to stop alcoholism only to learn that it is reaching epidemic proportions.
It is Islam which tackled all social evils and crimes and devised ways and means to save humanity from the menace of narcotics and alcoholism.