In Islam all things that are harmful or whose harm exceeds their benefit are unlawful. Therefore, alcohol would be deemed unlawful in Islam even if it were not clearly prohibited in the Qur’an and prophetic traditions. For anything that causes harm is considered unlawful.
Alcohol has been the scourge of human society since time immemorial. It continues to cost countless human lives, and causes misery to millions throughout the world. Statistics showing soaring crime rates, increasing instances of mental illnesses and millions of broken homes throughout the world bear witness to the destructive power of alcohol.
Alcohol incapacitates the inhibitory center in the human brain. That is the reason that an inebriated person is often found to be indulging in behavior that is completely uncharacteristic. A drunkard finds it difficult to talk or walk properly. He may even urinate in his clothes. If a person should become intoxicated and commits something shameful just once, it may possibly remain with him the rest of his life.
There are a number of medical reasons for the prohibition of the consumption of alcohol. Millions of people die every year as a result of it. A few of the alcohol related illnesses are:
- Cirrhosis of liver
- Various forms of cancer
- Oesophagitis, gastritis and pancreatitis
- Cardiomyopathy, hypertension, angina and heart attacks
- Strokes, apoplexy, fits and different types of paralysis
- Peripheral neuropathy, cortical atrophy, cerebelar atrophy
- Numerous endocrine disorders
- Anemia, jaundice and platelet abnormalities
- Recurrent chest infections, pneumonia, emphysema and pulmonary tuberculosis
- During pregnancy, alcohol consumption has a severe detrimental effect on the fetus
Many claim that they only have one or two drinks and exercise self-control and so they never get intoxicated. But investigations reveal that every alcoholic started as a social drinker. Not a single alcoholic or drunkard initially starts drinking with the intention of becoming an alcoholic. It just happens along the way.
Allah, in His infinite wisdom, made injunctions aimed at preserving the individual and society. Hence the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam. It is worth mentioning that when Muslims refrain from doing things that Allah has forbidden, they do not do so because of detrimental effects but because Allah has prohibited them. Their aim in this world is to obey Allah’s commands, and by doing so they also benefit themselves