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Alcohol is a leading cause of traffic accidents and family disintegration in the United States. Of the 17,126 people killed in alcohol-related crashes in 1996, 3,732 involved drivers with blood-alcohol levels of under .10 percent, according to government statistics. A study done recently states that a small amount of alcohol consumption (2-3 glasses?) has some benefits for the heart. However, its evil far exceeds its good. Another medical study suggests that men who drink can cause birth defects to their babies. Is that so? According to a 10-year German study babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer long-lasting brain damage, though many physical deformities diminsh over time. According to a 1988 study by the American Medical Association (AMA), it has been found that 100,000 deaths and $85.8 billion are linked to the abuse of alcohol, with 25 to 40 percent of hospital beds being occupied by people being treated for complications from alcoholism. This cost is more than that for drugs and tobacco put together. The question is are we prepared to pay this enormous cost? Should all of us share this cost equally? Should there be a tax on alcohol so that the health care costs of alcoholism are paid by its drinkers? Many states have raised the drinking age to 21, hoping to reduce fatalities. Should older people be allowed to drink, while forbidding the young adults? What does Stormin' Normin have to say about Desert Storm and alcohol? Does Allah, the God of all mankind, allow us to drink? Let us first talk about the age barriers and alcohol.
 

 

    It seems hypocritical for older people to restrict young adults from drinking while they themselves drink. This would be like a thief presiding as a judge at a burglary trial, a criminal acting as a policeman, or a sinner assuming the role of a preacher. The drinking age in most states has been raised to 21, on the grounds that, according to statistical evidence, younger drunken drivers cause more accidents than older ones. A visit to area hospitals can serve as an eye opener. Many patients have been paralyzed due to traffic accidents involving drunken drivers. I personally know of three Muslims who were victims of such accidents and had to be hospitalized. Laws banning or regulating the use of alcohol have accomplished very little. Society must have the will to rid itself from alcohol and its harmful effects. Individuals must practice self-restraint. Adults, in particular, must teach by example and practice what they preach.

    Prophet Muhammad ( S.A.W.) said: "On the day of judgement a man will be brought and thrown into Hell; as a result of this his intestines will come out of his belly, and he will go circling holding his intestines like a donkey running a mill. His companions in Hell will come to him: 'O! So and So! What is this? Did you not ask people to do good and avoid vice?' He will say: 'That is so. I enjoined others to do good, but did not do it myself; and I forbade them to do evil but did it myself.' (Riyadh-us-Saleheen, Ch.24, No. 198)

    Islam prohibits all intoxicants including wine and beer. This prohibition applies to all places at all times. People who believe in God obey Him and do not drink. Can you imagine Jesus, Moses, Jacob or Abraham getting intoxicated? These pious men were far above such foolishness. They were high and exalted, not by drugs and alcohol, but by their good deeds and noble aims.
 

MEN, ALCOHOL, AND BABIES!

    June 8, 1991, 6pm news broadcast, reported by Leslie Lyles of local ABC TV...... A research study conducted by a Chicago doctor says that men who drink alcohol can cause birth defects to their babies. The study was done over a 12-year span. Doctors recommend that men avoid drinking alcohol for 2 to 3 months prior to conception. Shouldn't we raise the drinking age to 70 something? Listen, people, to what Allah says in The Quran:
 

 

O you who believe! Why say you that which you don't do yourself? It is most hateful in the sight of God that you say that which you don't do yourself. (61:2-3)
 

 

 

 

Alcohol Syndrome May Result in Long term Brain Damage!

    Thursday, April 8, 1993, London by Associated Press .......According to a 10-year German study babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer long-lasting brain damage, though many physical deformities diminsh over time. Doctors have suspected that fetal alcohol syndrome -- a condition associated with exposure to alcohol in the womb - causes chronic emotional and intellectual damage. But few scientists have traced affected children from birth to adolescence. The new study shows many of the physical deformities disappeared with time, but an array of emotional disturbances persisted, said Dr. Hans-Ludwig Sophr, a pediatrician at Rittberg Hospital of the German Red Cross in Berlin. Fetal alcohol syndrome, which strikes one to two babies in every 1,000 live births worldwide, describes a collection of features including a small head, stunted growth and delayed mental development. Doctors do not know the precise level of alcohol that damages the fetus. The study is being published in the April 10 issue of The Lancet, a medical journal. "This is an important study to document what's been reported anecdotally," said Dr. George Brennaman, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Brennaman is associate director of the Center for American Indian and Alaskan Native Health. Fetal alcohol syndrome is two to three times as common among American Indians compared to the general population. Brennaman said he recommends abstinence during pregnancy. German investigators traced 36 boys and 24 girls born with fetal alcohol syndrome between 1977 and 1979. Doctors examined and scored babies according to the extent of physical and neurological damage shortly after birth and again about 10 years later. "...So will ye not abstain?"
 

$85.8 billion, 100,000 deaths and Alcohol

A study by the American Medical Association (1988)

    According to a 1988 study by the American Medical Association (AMA), it has been found that 100,000 deaths and $85.8 billion are linked to the abuse of alcohol, with 25 to 40 percent of hospital beds being occupied by people being treated for complications from alcoholism. This cost is more than that for drugs and tobacco put together. The question is are we prepared to pay this enormous cost? Should all of us share this cost equally? Should there be a tax on alcohol so that the health care costs of alcoholism are paid by its drinkers? Would Anheuser-Busch allow you to enact such a law? Would such a tax suddenly become an infringement on your basic right to free speech etc. Personally, I would favor such a law since I do not drink and do not want my tax dollars spent on the care of drunken drivers. The rising cost of health care is arguably this nation's Number ONE  problem. Every time you buy an American car, $500 go towards the health care of the the workers. The comparable figure is about $50 for Japan. So for two cars of the same price, you get that much less quality in an American car on the basis of health care alone. (Capacity utilization and the credit crunch cause a greater difference.) So do you and I want to pay for a problem that occupies 25 to 40 of hospital beds?

    Here is the complete article:
        CHICAGO (UPI) -- The American Medical Association Monday estimated lifestyle factors and social problems add $171 billion to the nation's health care bill. Dr. Daniel Johnson Jr., speaker of the AMA's House of Delegates, said billions of dollars are spent each year on medical conditions caused by violence, drug abuse, tobacco and alcohol -- all of which could be avoided. An AMA study of statistics from 1988 -- the last year for which statistics are available -- found 500,000 premature deaths annually and $22 billion in health care costs are directly attributable to cigarettes and other uses of tobacco. The study found 100,000 deaths and $85.8 billion linked to abuse of alcohol, with 25 to 40 percent of hospital beds being occupied by people being treated for complications from alcoholism. The AMA estimated drug abuse costs the system $58.3 billion for care, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as for lost productivity and crime enforcement. Street and domestic violence add $5.3 billion to U.S. health costs and are the fastest growing public health problems, Johnson said. The study also examined communicable and sexually transmitted diseases and found medical care for HIV-infected patients alone will total $15.2 billion by 1995. Some 400,000 people die annually as a result of failure to use such things as seat belts and smoke detectors, the study found. Other factors include failure to screen for and treat life-threatening diseases and treatable malignancies, dangerous recreational activities, abuse of addictive substances and engaging in unprotected sex. Other factors in the study include defensive medicine, which cost the system $15.1 billion in 1989. The study found per capita health care costs for those under the age of 65 are 72 percent of the national average, while per capita costs for those 85 and over are 750 percent of the national average. It also found that insurance protects most Americans from the real costs and therefore discourages cost-conscious decisions. ``We've known for years that these factors have been driving health care costs up,'' Johnson said. ``We cannot sucessfully resolve our current health care crisis unless we are willing to alter damaging patterns of behavior.''
 
 

STORMIN' NORMIN ON BEER

    June 13, 1991... Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of allied forces in the Persian Gulf War, told Congress that a lack of alcohol in the Gulf region made his troops better warriors. "Our sick call rate went down, our accident and injury rate went down, our incidents of indiscipline went down, and health of the force went up," the four-star general said. "So there were some very therapeutic outcomes from the fact that no alcohol was available whatsoever in the kingdom."
 
 

ALCOHOL HERE = tinat al-khabal in the HEREAFTER

    A man from Yemen once asked the Prophet about a liquor made from millet called mizr which people drank in his country. The Prophet asked whether it was intoxicating and when the man replied in the affirmative, the Prophet(pbuh) said "Every intoxicant is prohibited. Allah has made a covenant regarding those who drink intoxicants to give them some tinat al-khabal to drink." He was asked what that was and he replied that it was the sweat of the inhabitants of hell, or the discharge of the inhabitants of hell. (Muslim) He who drinks alcohol ( wine,liquor or beer) in this world will be made to drink poison from Asawida (black and poisonous snakes) that will cause both the skin and the flesh of his face to fall into the vessel he drinks from. God Almighty shall accept neither the fasting, prayers nor even the pilgrimage of the one who drinks, brews, sells, or uses money obtained from selling alcohol unless he or she sincerely repents, vowing never to commit that evil again, and Allah accepts his or her repentance. Otherwise, that person will be made to drink the pus of Hell for every single drop of alcohol he or she had imbibed in this world.
    Abdullah bin Umar related that the Prophet(pbuh) said: "Do not sit together with drinkers, nor visit them when they are sick. Do not even attend their funerals. The drinkers of alcohol shall come on the Last Day with black faces, their tongues leaning on one side and sliva coming out of their mouths. Anyone who sees their filthy appearance will know that they were the drinkers of alcohol." Wa'il al-Hadrami said that Tariq bin Suwaid asked the Prophet(pbuh) about wine and the Prophet(pbuh) forbade him. When Tariq told him that he made it only as a medicine, the Prophet(pbuh) replied, "It is not a medicine but a disease." (Muslim) Jabir reported the Messenger of Allah as saying "If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also prohibited." (Tirmidhi, Abu Daud and Ibn Majah)

    In closing, let us hope that the followers of the prophets of God, be they Muslims, Christians or Jews, will abstain from all intoxicants and find true meaning in their own lives.
 

REFERENCES:

Prohibition of Alcohol in Islam, by Muhammad Samiullah (Pakistan), The Message International, Oct. - Dec. 1987, pp. 18 - 20; published by ICNA, 166-26, 89th Avenue, Jamaica, New York 11432.
 
  by: Muhammad Ishaq Zahid Feb 25, 1998 updated: May 27, 98

 

"Alcohol paralyses the senses, makes one lurch, and vomit, extinguishes the feeble glimmer of reason which flickers in our poor minds. It soon overcomes the strongest man, and turns him into a raging beast who with empurpled face and bloodshot eyes, bellows forth oaths and threats against his surroundings and insults imaginary enemies. Never in any animal species, not among pigs, nor jackals, nor donkeys, is such ignominy to be found. The ugliest thing in creation is the drunkard, a repulsive being, the sight of whom makes one ashamed to belong to the same living species." (Dr Charles Richet, Paris - Nobel Prize Winner of Physiology)

"O ye who belive! Intoxicants and gambling...Are an abomination, - of Satan's handiwork: Shun such (abomination), That ye may prosper." - (Holy Quran 5:93)

"O ye who believe! Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining of arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave them aside in order that ye may succeed. Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drinks and games of chance, and turn you from remembrance of Allah and from His worship. So will ye not then abstain?" (5:90-91)

 

 

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