In these days, countries that allow alcohol are suffering from it and the number of alcoholics is increasing rapidly. In the U.S.A. for example, the number of alcoholics has increased from four million in the 1960s to ten million in the 1970s. In Britain the number of alcoholics has increased from half a million to one million. In some European countries, the percentage of alcoholics is 8% of the population!
Alcoholic drinks are the only poison that is licensed in those countries. However, Islam took a clear attitude towards alcoholic drinks more than 1400 years ago. Islam prohibits such drinks. Any drink that causes drunkenness is prohibited in Islam regardless of the matter it is made from and regardless of the quantity.
According to Islam, if too much of a drink causes drunkenness, then any small quantity of this drink is prohibited, because all alcoholics start with small quantities, then they become the slaves of alcohol.
Islam does not only prohibit drinking alcoholic drinks, but also prohibits making them. Islam also prohibits carrying, selling, or buying such drinks. According to Islam, if something is prohibited, all means to it are also prohibited. The reason is that it is no use to forbid something and allow the means leading to it at the same time. If alcoholic drinks are prohibited, all means to them should be prohibited; Islam prohibits the making, transporting, importing exporting, buying, and selling and selling of such drinks.
However there are some illusions that many people falsely believe about alcohol. In this article we will try to discuss and refute them to show the wisdom of prohibiting alcohol in Islam. We will also prove that Islam does not prohibit a thing unless it is harmful and dangerous.
Illusions and Facts:
1- Alcohol and Appetite: It was believed that alcoholic drink function as appetizers, but this is against confirmed scientific facts. Alcoholic drinks function as appetizers for the first week or month only, then soon the stomach and other parts of the digestive system become inflamed. Infections and ulcers begin to show up; vomiting starts; all appetite is lost.
2- Alcohol and False Warmth: It was also believed that alcoholic drinks cause warmth in the human body. But facts proved that it is only a false warmth caused by the widening of outer blood vessels. But if the drunkard is exposed to cold weather, he loses all his warmth and energy and may die of cold thinking he is enjoying warmth.
3- Alcohol and the sexual drive: Alcoholic drinks increase the sexual desire and thus may lead the drunkard to commit strange crimes under the influence of alcohol because his brain cannot function normally and in this case social values are trespassed. However, continuous drinking of alcoholic drinks ends up with sexual impotency. This shows us the wisdom of prohibiting alcohol in Islam.
Alcohol and Health:
Alcoholic drinks, which are prohibited by Islam, have a destructive effect on the nervous system through the direct toxic effect. Besides, alcohol may lead to alcoholism with its psychological and mental troubles such as convulsions and hallucination. Further, alcohol leads to malnutrition caused by inflammations in the digestive system, repeated vomiting, loss of appetite, and bad absorption in the digestive system. To add, some alcohols may cause complete blindness and heat failure owing to their severe toxicity.
An alcoholic becomes careless, selfish, easily provoked, and suspicious. He may suffer paranoia. He becomes sexually impotent. He is hated by his wife and children. He suffers from melancholy. He may end up committing suicide. An alcoholic may suffer from hallucinations: he may think he sees unreal ghosts or hear unreal voices or smell unreal scents.
Alcohol causes decay in the cells of the brain and the cortex. This may cause alcoholic psychosis and loss of memory. In this stage, an alcoholic loses the ability to distinguish the concrete from the abstract and the real from the unreal. He cannot even know the day or the place. An alcoholic loses the ability to calculate, to add or substract the easiest numbers. An alcoholic cannot remember the most recent incidents in his life.
An alcoholic may become unable to stand up without losing his balance. When he walks, he staggers. When he speaks, he slurs. He may suffer from the clubbing and swelling of his fingers. A male alcoholic develops female qualities and female alcoholic develop male qualities such as the stoppage of menstruation and the complete loss of the sexual motive.
An alcoholic suffers continual nightmares, where he sees and hears terrible things. All his life becomes a series of delusions and hallucinations. He may faint and lose consciousness any time.
The body of an alcoholic soon loses resistance to microbes and thus becomes an easy prey to any microbe. He has troubles in the kidneys, albumin in the urine, fatal blood acidity, which may end tragically with heart failure.
An alcoholic does not usually care for buying food. If he buys food, he has no appetite to eat it. If he eats it, he vomits what he has eaten. If he does not vomit, his digestive system cannot function well or absorb well. Thus an alcoholic soon goes into malnutrition and lack of vitamins; especially vitamin B. further, this Vitamin B is consumed by alcohol in the process of oxidization.
As a result of the lack of Vitamin B and malnutrition, the alcoholic may suffer paralysis in the hands, feet, and legs. He may have infections in the brain. He may have decay in cortex cells, which leads to madness. He may have infection in eye nerves, which ends up with blindness. Alcohol is simply a poison.
A drunkard may fall down under the influence of wine. This fall may cause a brain shock, a brain pressure, and a breakage in the backbone, bone breakage, or bleedings.