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Mother of all vices

Abdullah Hasan


July 22nd, 2009 Abdullah Hasan Leave a comment Go to comments

The British Beer & Pub Association said that UK pubs closed at a rate of 52 per week in the first half of the year – a third more than the same period in 2008.


The global economic crisis has made many people redundant and forced many businesses to cut down on their production while others are forced to close down. However, although it is bad news for some people in the UK, the recent news of the British pubs closing down at a record rate, in my opinion, is good news.


Every year thousands of people die due to drink related problems or diseases. Crime and anti-social behaviour which is rife in many of our communities is fuelled by alcohol. So I would disagree with the association’s Chief Executive Mr Long who claimed that by supporting pubs there will be many policy benefits. The only benefit the country may lose out on is the tax revenues. But his suggestion that government should step in to support pubs does not seem good enough reason due to the hundreds of millions the government spends in tackling drink related crime and deaths.


As a Muslim, the Qur’anic explanation of the prohibition of alcohol or intoxicants should be enough to stop us from consuming anything that intoxicates our mind. God is the creator of everything and He knows what benefits or harms the human being. He does not command anything except that it procures some benefit or averts or repels harm.


Allah says: O you have believe! Wine and gambling, stone altars and divining arrows are filth from the handiwork of Shaytan. Avoid them completely so that hopefully you will be successful. Shaytan wants to stir up enmity and hatred between you by means of wine and gambling, and to debar you from remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not give them up? (Al-Maidah: 90-91)


The Prophet referred to intoxicants as the mother of all vices (umm al-khabaith): ‘Wine is the mother of all vices. Whoever drinks it, Allah will not accept his prayers (salah) for forty days. If he dies and there is some in his stomach, he will die the death of Jahiliyya. (Tabarani in al-Kabir ).


He also said that: ‘Wine is the embodiment of all wrong action. (Al-Bayhaqi, Dalail al-Nubuwwa). Wine or intoxicants lead a person to commit heinous crime against their family and society at large.


It is narrated that a king from the kings of Bani Israel took a man, and made him choose between drinking alcohol, killing a boy, eating pork or being killed. The man refused and rejected these other things and chose to drink the wine, because he saw it as the lesser act compared to killing a boy or eating pork. As the alcohol took hold – he could not prevent himself from doing anything that they wanted him to do.


The news of pubs closing down is not, at least for Muslims, a bad one.

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