In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
MANY, many years ago when I was in lower secondary school; I 'was aware' that during our inter class, house or school debates, one of the favourite topics was 'Money is the root of all evil'.
Speakers supporting that suggestion tried to convince audiences and judges that money is indeed the root of all evil while those against it 'play around' the topic saying that only the love of money that can lead to evil.
They claimed that money in itself is harmless. It is but a medium of exchange in trade. it is only the love of money that can lead to evil.
Money becomes a person's master if that person values material possessions above everything else. At the same time, many people do not realize that they are enslaved by money.
I did not pay much attention to the subject; not until recently when I attended a 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson) by an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) saying it aloud and clear that 'drinking is the root of all evil'.
Well, it took me years and years to realize that nobody among us (students of my good old days) have 'that thought' or 'have the courage' to say that 'drinking is the root of all evil' thus 'put into coffin' the thinking that 'money is the root of all evil'.
Comparing mismanagement of money and killing a person, of course the latter is a more serious crime. But what 'offence' that could lead to such circumstances? The question is why in our society, drinking (alcohol) is look upon as 'a norm' and not a serious crime?
To prove that drinking is the root of all evil, the 'ustaz' told congregators at our masjid about a story of a very religious person from 'Bani Israil' (the children of Jacob or Nabi Yaakob). He was given three choices; either drink alcohol, sleep with a woman, or murder a baby.
The religious man thought that alcohol would be the lesser of the evils. So he drank alcohol, got high, slept with the woman and killed the baby.
So, by drinking alcohol, he got it all wrong; went astray and in the Hereafter he would be thrown into Hellfire.
In a 'hadith' Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. says: "Jealousy, pride and alcohol are the roots of all the evils."
Observing happenings around us, we would realize the truth that 'drinking (alcohol) is the root of all evil' but not many people; not even those in power were willing to admit it and take steps to recitify the problem.
Please admit that alcohol not only destroys its consumer but everything of him – his house, family and wealth.
Please note that Islam values the moral and spiritual health of the people as well as their physical well-being. This is why Islam considers anything which interferes with the normal working of the mind and senses or clouds or perception as harmful. It is because of this and several other reasons that Islam has totally prohibited substances like alcohol and all other intoxicants (drugs etc) which can destroy the clarity of mind.
Unfortunately many Muslims today do not value their moral, spiritual or physical well being as they have turned to alcohol, drugs and other intoxicants which Islam has clearly prohibited. Now the Muslim ummah has morally decline.
In Malaysia, ‘haram’ (forbidden) drinks are sold openly in convenience stores including those situated in Muslims densely populated areas. Nowadays 'our boys' could have their 'happy hours boozing away' and some 'add the kicks' by trying 'dadah' (drugs). Who actually cares about them?
Regarding alcohol and all other intoxicants; Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:
(1) “They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say “in them there is great sin, and some profit for mankind, but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2:219)
(2) “O you who believe. Approach not prayers, with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say” (4:43)
(3) “O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. Avoid such (abomination) that you may prosper” (5:90)
(4) “Shaytaan’s plan is to show enmity and hatred amongst you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up?” (5:91)
Hence all intoxicants which are drunk, smoked and chewed are forbidden by Allah SWT in every sense.
What Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has to say about wine and intoxicants? Anas r.a. said: “I was giving drink to people in the abode of Abu Talhah, and their wine at that time was made from dates. Then the Messenger of Allah, ordered a crier to make it known that wine was forbidden.” He added: “Abu Talhah said to me, ‘Get out and pour in out’. I poured it out, and it flowed in the streets of Medina.”
In another 'hadith' the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed.” (Bukhari: Book 26, Number 3666)
‘A’isha said: “The Messenger of Allah was asked about it.” It is a drink made of honey and the people of Yemen used to drink it. So the Messenger of Allah said, “Every drink that intoxicates is prohibited.”
Of whatever thing a large quantity intoxicates, even a small quantity is prohibited. Do not drink wine, for it is the root of all evil.
Abu Hurairah relates that a drunkard was brought to the Holy Prophet who ordered people to beat him. Abu Hurairah says: “Some of us beat him with hands and others with shoes and still others with their clothes. When he was gone, some people cried; “May God harm him!’ The Holy Prophet said: “Do not say like that, and let not Satan overpower him.”
The question is why our Malaysian society does not look upon drinking alcohol as a serious crime? Not long ago, I read an interesting article entitled ‘The alcohol problem in Malaysia’.
Among others it was written: “Malaysia, though a small country, is the tenth largest consumer of alcohol in the world. Each year Malaysians spend over US$500 million (nearly RM2 billion) on alcohol. Whilst the per capita consumption is 7 litres, those who do drink alcohol consume heavily.
“Among the drinking population, the Malaysian Indians who make up about 8 per cent of the population are by far the heaviest drinkers with an annual consumption of absolute alcohol exceeding 14 litres. Beer consumption in Malaysia at 11 litres per capita is comparable to that of European countries known for their high consumption.
“The easy availability of alcoholic drinks in coffee shops, supermarkets, sundry shops (including convinient 24 hours stores), and plantations together with aggressive advertising and promotions are driving Malaysians to drink. The average age for alcohol dependence is 22 years.”
Malaysia, self proclaimed the most dynamic Islamic nation on the planet was the 10th largest consumer of alcohol in the world?
Only now I know and realize why in schools, students only debates on subjects such as 'Money is the root of all evil' and dare not touch on topics such as 'drinking alcohol or taking 'dadah' is the root of all evil'!