LIQOUR & GAMBLING VERDICT IN QURAN
Sheikh “Muhammad Abduh” (1849-1905) the head of the Islamic official verdict body (mufti) in Egypt & most Islamic countries in his time wrote on this saying :
1) ALLAH says about liqour & gambling pros & cons , saying in Q2;219
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا ۗ
Translation “They ask you about Khamr (intoxicants ) and gambling. Say, “In them is big sin and benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit”—–
The word خمر (Khamr) in Arabic means “cover” , thus intoxicants /liquor/wine was named so because this drink can cover the mind ( make the mind absent )
About gambling “Mayser” in Arabic , this word is derived from the word “yosr” that means “ease” or “richness” because the winner makes the money without real effort , & all gambling kinds is the meant in this verse except that is of reasonable nominal betting between soldiers or athletes or competitions in racing or shooting or useful skills or so helping to enhance & encourage the competitors for better performances & skills
2) ALLAH SAYS “IN THEM IS BIG SIN” & the sin is due to its harm of action & words & it is a fact that the excessive “Khamr” drinking has many proven severe health harms to the body & the brain together & it can lead to death & also madness . Also the drunken person behavior can be bad & aggressive & leads to many problems & enmities between the drunken people themselves & their families or friends or whomever deals or meets them while drunken , that is why ALLAH elaborated the defilement in intoxicants in the verses ordering the avoidance of this defilement whereby HE elaborated the defilement saying in Q5;91
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ
translation “Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through Khamr (intoxicants) and gambling”———
Also , a dangerous “Khamr” harm is the “secrets divulging” especially if the information is related to military or state secrets & one of the main spying ways to know information from someone is to get him drunken .
Also the drunken person, due to his non soberness, can be deceived by crooks & ridiculed by people
Moreover drinking incites & abets the drunken intoxicated person to commit crimes as robbing or mugging or harassing others or raping ..etc.,in addition that drinking is also a wastage of money
3)WORSHIPPING WISE, the khamr obstructs the person who is drunk from properly observing his worshipping duties especially in prayer that is why ALLAH says Q5;91
وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ
translation “and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer.”—— And if a muslim makes sin & gets drunk & intoxicated then ALLAH has instructed him to shun praying during his intoxication so as not to say foolish things or ridicule his praying Q 4;43
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ
translation “O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying”
4) ALLAH THEN SAYS “AND THEIR SIN IS GREATER THAN THEIR BENEFIT” —–& this say is a guidance to the believers to know two enacted rules after Islam , the rule “ Warding off the evils is prior to bringing the benefits” & the other rule is accepting the least harmful of different harmful choices if one of them was a must & inevitable , even though, not all the believers or Sahaba (prophet companions) at time of Prophet (saws) quit drinking liquors ‘khamr”, some did quit drinking whilst others did not.
moreover, it is thought that the Prophet (pbuh) & his companions ordered lashing punishment of the person found drunken /intoxicated in public due to the danger & risks he imposes on others , which was then called “Khamr penalty”, but there was no penalty for just drinking or acquiring liquors without being drunken in public & this is fair & in the interest of the society & it is worth noting that even in liberal western modern European countries that allow open public selling & drinking of liquor , the drunken intoxicated person in public will be punished in someway by paying fine or imprisoned .. etc
5) IT HAS BEEN PROVEN IN EUROPE & USA THAT ‘KHAMR” & GAMBLING ARE MORE HARMFUL THAN USEFUL & there are many organizations there that call for quitting “Khamr “ & putting pressure on governments to put more restrictions on liquor sales thus supporting the Quran saying that their harm is greater than their benefit
6) GAMBLING HARM is apparently more than its benefit, this is seen in the losses & bankruptcy happening to many gamblers , even some liberal governments allow liquor trading but prevent & punish gambling
7) BOTH “KHAMR “ & GAMBLING” ARE ADDICTING , the ‘ khamr” has a nerve effect making the drinking person always in need for it , same for gambling , if the gambler gains, he plays more to gain more & if he loses , he also plays hoping to make up his loss
8)-THUS ALLAH HAS GUIDED US TO KNOW THE HARMS OF LIQUOR & gambling so as to know the reason behind their control & even the non muslim societies are educating on their harms& putting restrictions on them so as to protect the society
9)- ALLAH HAS THEN INFORMED US ABOUT HOW TO ACT towards “Khamr “ & gambling
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Translation “O you who have believed, indeed, Khamr ( intoxicants), gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.”—–
Note that ALLAH used the word “ Avoid” & Not banning”, thus avoiding the harms & defilement in Khamr while still giving us a space to exploit its benefit whereby the alcohol is allowed & extensively used in disinfection & medical & beneficial industrial purpose &most if not all of us have alcohol & perfume at home & use them for beneficial purpose , also intoxicants are used as anaesthetic in surgery & pain killing & treatment for several diseases/cancer.
Also there is no sin for drinking beverages that contain alcohol traces if these beverages are not classified as intoxicants ( not causing intoxication i.e. the person does not get drunk if he drinks any quantity of the beverage ) & the same applies to foods that have alcohol traces.
Also note that Allah mentioned allowing the extracting of intoxicants from the fruits without mentioning any banning or prevention or restriction to this act , thus allowing to use the intoxicants in our life for good purposes as mentioned above see Q16;67
وَمِن ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالْأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
translation ” And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who reason.”———-
10 ) It is worth noting that scholars had different opinions about liquors intoxicants , whereby most scholars have completely banned its drinking even in small quantities whilst the grand scholar Abu Hanifa said that liquors drinking without reaching the state of being drunken /intoxicated (khamr) is Allowed & Not haram (illegal), saying: «If someone drank liquor or wine or any liquid until he gets drunken , then this is haram even if it is made of onions, but if he does not get drunk then this is allowed & not illegal (haram) & the illegality is only for the state of mind abscence being intoxicated (drunkenness) , & this intoxication limit may differ from one person to other & it is worth noting that it is a rule in Islam that a muslim can take guidance from any scholar opinion or discard all scholars opinions & follow a different one which he believes to be correct & only ALLAH has the right to judge any person religion