Allah Most High describes the harmful nature of alcohol in the Holy Qur’an:
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا
“They will ask you about alcoholic drinks and gambling. Say, ‘There is great wrong in both of them and also certain benefits for mankind. But the wrong in them is greater than the benefit.’”
An article in today’s Independent on Sunday states:
New research from the Department of Health underlines how excess alcohol affects almost every aspect of British life. More than 2.6m children in the UK now live with a parent who drinks at hazardous levels. Mortality rates from liver disease among under-75s rose by 16 per cent between 2001 and 2009, new statistics show. And lost productivity because of hung over staff cost businesses £1.7bn a year.
Medical experts in Britain are calling for a minimum price on alcohol to dissuade people from binge drinking which they partly attribute to the wide availability of cheap booze. This solution of using high prices to control demand for harmful things is already used for tobacco and was also proposed for fatty foods to control obesity. The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is correct when he warns that deep-rooted drinking habits in some areas mean that boosting the price of booze will do little to curb excess. This can be seen with illegal drugs where high prices and risk of prison do not deter people from buying them, leading some to call for their legalisation.
The only way to stop people drinking alcohol is to replace their current belief in freedom with belief in a Creator Allah Most High who will account them for all their actions when they die. When the narrowness of this short life is compared with the ever-lasting life of the hereafter it becomes easy to give up short term pleasures like alcohol in return for unimaginable pleasures in Paradise which will never end.
This is the belief of Islam. It’s this belief that led to the problem of alcohol being resolved 1400 years ago in the first Islamic State of Medina, something the most powerful countries on earth in the 21st century cannot resolve.
The following hadith describes the situation in Medina at the time when alcohol was banned and is narrated by Anas ibn Malik who was a bartender at the time.
Anas ibn Malik narrates: ‘The alcoholic drink which was spilled was Al-Fadikh. I used to offer alcoholic drinks to the people at the residence of Abu Talha. Then the order of prohibiting Alcoholic drinks was revealed, and the Prophet ordered somebody to announce that: Abu Talha said to me, “Go out and see what this voice (this announcement ) is.” I went out and (on coming back) said, “This is somebody announcing that alcoholic beverages have been prohibited.” Abu Talha said to me, “Go and spill it (i.e. the wine),” Then it (alcoholic drinks) was seen flowing through the streets of Medina. At that time the wine was Al-Fadikh. The people said, “Some people (Muslims) were killed (during the battle of Uhud) while wine was in their stomachs.” So Allah revealed:
لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُوا
“On those who believe and do good deeds there is no blame for what they ate (in the past).”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #144)