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Subject: Re: Alcohol in Islam From: email@example.com (AbdulraHman Lomax) Date: 1997/11/02 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam as-salamu 'alaykum. "Arabic Paper"
wrote: >Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) came to people who drink Alcohol comparable to >drinking water. They're addicted to this poison just as the case of the >generations nowadys. It would've been impossible for those addicts to >just quit drinking when they're told so. So, Allah (swt) made this >transition easy and gradual so people can learn not to drink this poison >anymore......Later on Allah (swt) forbidden this altogether. It is arguable that alcohol was never "altogether" forbidden. I agree that alcohol for consumption as a beverage was forbidden, for very good reasons. >There is no doubt that Alcohol has many benefits, but its misery >tremendously outweighs its benefits. In the United States alone, more than >50% of the reported crimes are due to Alcoholism, and I'm not talking about >any medical conditions here. The statistic is questionable, but not the fact that there is tremendous damage from the use of alcohol. But Fuad has missed my point completely. He acknowledges that the prohibition was only gradually implemented, which means that he acknowledges that, prior to the prohibition, alcohol was not forbidden. Thus the fact that alcohol might have been allowed for someone deathly ill, as mentioned in the passage from the Bible quoted by Fuad, is not any evidence that the Bible is corrupt. In fact, it confirms the Bible, to a small degree. In other words, we affirm that until the revelation of the Qur'an in its fullness, alcohol was not forbidden; and thus it might have been prescribed by even a prophetess for some good use. [I had written:] >>Now, as to the context of the verse: it is actually, more generally, a >>prohibition of alcohol ("for kings," being the admonition of the >>mother of Lemuel), but verses 6-7 give an exception, a person who is >>ready to die, or perhaps who is suicidal. In context, it was part of >>an admonition, and the admonition is, in part: "Are you so sick that >>you need to drink?" >There is nothing out of context here. This is, and according to Christians, >is revelation from God. According to some Christians. And it appears that Fuad does not understand what "out of context" means. It means that Fuad has selectively quoted the verses to make a passage whose basic intent is to forbid alcohol for Lemuel into a recommendation of alcohol. It was not; on the contrary, the effect of the verse is a strong recommendation against alcohol. More than that we are not going to find in the Bible, because in Biblical times, God had not yet seen fit to prohibit the drinking of the stuff. >In fact, many people use both verses as an excuse >to drink, and why not....God said so. These two verses don't talk about " >person who is ready to die, or perhaps who is suicidal ". Show me where it >says that you have to be dying or suicidal to be allowed to drink? You have >no case...... Unbelieveable. Proverbs 31:6-7. After telling Lemuel that alcohol is not for him, nor for princes, because it makes one forget the law (don't we agree with this?), it then gives a proper use -- for the time, and possibly even now -- for it: "give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." The description here is of one who is "ready to die," or who is in severe depression, and such a person, I said, is "perhaps" suicidal. I consider it likely that Lemuel's mother said this only to make him ashamed to drink. But the alternate reading is that alcohol was then allowed for one of its well-known beneficial effects, which is an easing of pain and worry. I also happen to have attended a lot of meetings of Alcholics Anonymous, so I know a bit about alcoholism. I've never been a drinker myself, even before I accepted Islam, but I have known many people who were, and in those meetings, I got a very good glimpse of what alcoholism meant. One of the things that dry, sober, no longer drinking alcoholics often say is that alcohol saved their lives. Then it almost took their lives. This is the description of a medicine which, once it has done its job, becomes a poison. These people said that alcohol saved their lives because they were so suicidally depressed that, if not for alcohol, they would have died. But then alcohol brought its own problems. Ultimately, they found that what they really needed was trust in God (though not always by that name), that this worked far better than alcohol. But if not for the alcohol, they would not have survived long enough to find God.... We now know that alcohol is totally forbidden. Some people can drink without severe problems, and there are even some people for whom alcohol is mildly beneficial. We are not surprised to find medical reports of a beneficial effect from regular small doses of wine. But some people are apparently unable to confine themselves to "regular small doses," and these people must abstain completely or face a cycle of drunkenness and ruin. It appears that Allah has prohibited alcohol for all of us in order to protect that minority; and because that minority, when it suffers from alcoholism, harms the rest of us (Fuad has mentioned "crime;" the crime that most concerns us at this time is drunk driving), it is just and fair. Our loss, those of us who would not progress to active alcoholism, is minor compared with the losses if drinking were allowed. If someone uses those verses in Proverbs to justify drinking, this person is not a Muslim. But those verses are not contrary to Islam; they are merely abrogated in the meaning which Fuad attempts to construe them. My primary concern here is not alcohol itself, but manifest and gratuitous disrespect for the scriptures of the Christians and Jews. AbdulraHman Lomax email@example.com P.O. Box 423 Sonoma, CA 95476 USA