The young Muslims of today are facing an ever-increasing number of plights, one of the most important of which is drugs. But, what is Islam’s view on this issue? How should Muslims regard drugs? To know this, we must see what the Quran and the prophet’s and Imams’ conducts (Sirah) say regarding narcotics.
Since drugs were not known at the advent of Islam, therefore we cannot see any direct evidence in the Sirah on this issue throughout history; so the only way is referring to general rules and principles of jurisprudence.
In general, it has been indicated, firstly, that since drug consuming inflicts tremendous losses, it is considered as forbidden (Haram), unless medical emergencies and necessities require it. Secondly, buying and selling it, is forbidden except where rational, lawful benefits are received, such as medicine production. This form of usage must be under precise official supervision and control. Based on these facts, Muslim scholars hammered out four rational and crystal clear reasons for the forbiddance of drug consumption:
All intoxicants are regarded as forbidden because of their inebriant repercussions, as well as their physical-mental adverse effects on individuals and communities. Moreover, drug consumption causes moral degeneration, body and intellect corruption, inflicts severe cultural, social and economic losses and finally ruins societies.
Someone who suffers drug addiction is not able to oversee his behavior, loses his zeal, motivation and common sense, and as a result is ready to do anything to obtain drugs without any consideration. A Drug-addicted person, also, cannot fully adhere to his Islamic practices, since drugs turn him into an irresponsible and a total inefficacious human.
Wise men throughout history always avoided using drugs and this attitude is entirely in line with the Islamic law (Shari’a). Following in the footsteps of great personalities and considering their lifestyle is an authoritative way and a logical ground to reason against drug consumption.
This rule is one the most important and fundamental jurisprudential rules which is applied to a wide range of Islamic teachings. On this basis, people should not engage in deeds that inflict excessive losses. Today, we can say from experience that drug consumption encompasses significant social and individual damages and creates completely irresponsible generations. Accordingly, the rule of “No harming nor reciprocating harm” can provide us with the most rational ground to argue against drug consumption; its adverse effects are not only directed to the drug-addicted person himself/herself but also his/her family, relatives and even the whole society.
Furthermore, drug addiction is one of the most significant causes of self-destructing and life-ruining behaviors. We have a clear affirmation about this reality as Allah Almighty says: “and do not cast yourselves with your own hands into destruction” (2:195).
In Islam, every evil thing which results in heavy losses is forbidden (Haram); clearly, the drug with its many negative effects on a broad spectrum of people is categorized as highly harmful. There is a vivid indication on this claim in the Holy Quran: “He makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things” (7:157).
The weakness in wisdom and perception power can be considered among the most important disadvantages of drug consumption; therefore, Islam names “common sense preservation” as the most important obligation for a Muslim. Now it is easy to understand why the Islamic law (Shari’a) bans all sorts of intoxicants like alcohol, drugs, etc.
It is noteworthy that based on the first-ever report on worldwide addiction statistics released by researchers, which uses data from sources including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drug addiction has reached epidemic levels across the globe and there were 230 million drug users worldwide in 2015. The report found that drug takes a higher toll on “productive years of life lost” than does any other intoxicant. That means people dependent on drugs not only die younger but also have poor health over a more extended period. Drugs affect their work, relationships, and consequently reduce their quality of life .
These results prove how far Islam predicts the disadvantages of using drugs and why it is declared as forbidden (Haram) on almost all of the Islamic decrees.
How high is the power of his religion that even 1400 years after his death, some people try to tarnish his personality? The religion of Islam brought and spread by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is gaining more and more followers and lovers. This vast amount of conversion to Islam has negative consequences for the materialist and capitalist rulers in the world. By following Islam, people learn to stand for their rights and oppose the tyranny of oppressors. The rules of Islam question the rules made by the oppressor rulers in different societies.
Therefore, the increase in the number of people who embrace Islam and the Islamic lifestyle frightens those tyrant rulers, and they make plans to decay the status of Islam in different ways. One of the plans that they have been applying throughout the past decades was to introduce a violent personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). In this text, we will study the conduct of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and the representation of his manners and behaviors in the Quran to review his kind and merciful character better.
Sending messengers by Allah Almighty to people implies His deep care for them and His will to guide them toward prosperity. But His messengers were supposed to follow specific rulings in their invitation of people toward Him. Being kind and merciful to people is one of the characteristics that Allah Almighty ordered His messengers to observe.
When Allah was sending Prophet Moses and Aaron (PBUT) to Pharaoh, who claimed to be Allah, He told them that if they want their words to be heard, they should speak to him in a lenient manner: “Both of you go to Pharaoh, for he has indeed rebelled. Speak to him in a soft manner; maybe he will take admonition or fear.’” (20: 43-44)
Prophets were commanded to be patient with their people and never become angry at them. The only prophet mentioned in the Quran who became disappointed of his people and left them was Prophet Yunus (AS), who was punished by Allah for his impatience and disappointment: “And [remember] the Man of the Fish, when he left in a rage, thinking that We would not put him to hardship. Then he cried out in the darkness, ‘There is no god except You! You are immaculate! I have indeed been among the wrongdoers!’” (21: 87)
Therefore, when Allah Almighty’s criterion in choosing His messengers is mercifulness and kindness, how can He keep a violent prophet among His servants?
Like any other prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had the characteristics of a chosen prophet. He was kind and merciful by the Mercy of his Lord as mentioned in the Quran: “It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely scattered from around you...” (3: 159)
But the kindness and mercy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) throughout his call toward Allah (SWT) come to a point where Allah Almighty tells him to be easier oh himself: “You are liable to imperil your life [out of distress] that they will not have faith.” (26: 3)
When Allah Almighty sees the unfriendly behavior of people toward Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), He starts to point out and count Prophet’s kindly manners to people: “There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has a deep concern for you and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.” (9:128)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was not only merciful to the people in Arabia, but he was sent to be a caring for all human beings in all times: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations.” (21: 107)
All presentations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in the Quran are about his great kindness and his caring personality. Allah describes his manner and behavior as being the perfect example for humankind: “and indeed, you possess a great character.” (68: 4)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was so kind to people that even if they harmed him, he did not reply to them violently. It is narrated from Ibn Mas’oud, who said: I saw people hit the prophet and made his face full of blood, but while he was rubbing the blood off his face, he prayed, “O Lord! Please forgive my people as they are ignorant.”  In the early years of his prophethood, people kept harming the Prophet (PBUH&HP), but instead of cursing them, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) kept praying for their guidance.
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) never violated the heads of Quraish for their aggravation and torture and kept asking Allah Almighty to forgive them, until Allah Almighty by His knowledge of their persistence in remaining infidels sent him the following verse: “It is the same for them whether you plead for forgiveness for them, or do not plead for forgiveness for them: Allah will never forgive them. Indeed Allah does not guide the transgressing lot.” (63: 6)
Allah Almighty then described the characteristics of Muslims in a way that at the same time that they should not oppress anyone, they shouldn’t undergo any oppression, and defined the real Muslim society with the following manners:
“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in worship], seeking Allah’s grace, and [His] pleasure...” (48: 20)
Like any other human being, despite his great and kind personality, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had to react in different manners with different people. Therefore, if he had any serious encounter with people, it was not because of his violent attitude, but because of the correct reaction that any sane and smart man should have in facing different people.
- Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, P. 20.
The concept of responsibility in Islam covers all the aspects of human beings and considers different situations one may encounter in his/her life. Islam is not only a religion but also a life plan; a divine plan that addresses all the humans throughout the history of humankind. Since religion, as a plan deals with the daily life of humans, it has illustrated the tasks and responsibilities in Islam of humans.
These duties can be summarized in four items:
The rights that God has over humans;
The rights that one has over himself;
The responsibilities towards other humans;
And, the responsibilities towards other creatures in this world.
These four categories will be discussed under separate topics each considering one responsibility in Islam. Here the focus is on the humans’ responsibility in Islam towards God.
According to Imam Sajjad (AS), the rights that God has over human beings, which are the most important rights over everybody, are to know that we are His servants, to pray Him and not ascribe any partners to Him . This means that we have two main responsibilities in Islam towards God: first, to recognize and believe in God then, practically demonstrate it.
The first thing is to accept the existence of the one true God and to recognize all his divine attributes such as very powerful (Qadir), the provider (Razzaq), generous (Karim), etc.
By knowing these attributes and then believing that they are unique to God, one will be more successful in his duties responsibilities in Islam towards God [i]. For example, knowing that God is the only provider (Razzaq) in the universe, a true Muslim does not worry about livelihood, nor he\she will be greedy for more wealth. He\she knows that if he\she works adequately according to his\her capacities, he\she will be provided with the sustenance that God has reserved for him\her.
Imam Ali (AS) has advised his son Imam Hassan (AS) to recognize God since it is a duty over every human being: “He is One Allah whom we should all recognize and worship” .
Then, Imam (AS) enumerates some of the attributes of God that a Muslim should believe in :
“Nobody is a partner to Him in His Domain”;
“He is Eternal, has always been and shall always be”;
“He existed even before the Universe came into being, but there is no beginning to His Existence”;
“He shall remain when every other thing shall vanish, and there shall be no end to His Existence”;
“His Glory and His Existence is so supreme, pre-eminent, transcendent, incomparable and excellent that it is beyond the grasp of intellects”;
“No one can understand or visualize Him.“ .
To recognize God and to believe in Him deeply in the heart are not enough; one should also say that he\she believes in God; otherwise, no one will be aware of his\her belief if it is not declared. That is why one should pronounce two testimonies (Shahadatain) to become Muslim.
In Surah Fatir, it is said that “To Him ascends good speech” (35:10), which means that the verbal admission to God is appreciated and is surely beneficial. But, it should be accompanied with good deeds and obedience to God to be more valuable: “and righteous work raises it.” (35:10).
Indeed, demonstrating the belief in God in practice is as important as believing in Him. If a child loves his\her parents but ignores their expectations and advice, he\she, in fact, does not respect them and the parents will not believe the his\her claim of having affection for them.
The same happens between a Muslim and God. A Muslim who ignores God’s commands, which are beneficial to him\her, does not truly believe in Him. Otherwise, he\she knew that everything that God has ordered to is to help him\her to live a better life, to improve and to reach the perfection that he\she merits.
According to Imam Ali (AS) , after accepting the facts mentioned above about God, a Muslim’s behavior should be like that of a person who realizes God’s superior status and power. He\she should try to gain His blessing through prayers and obedience, fear His wrath as well as His Punishments and feel him\herself absolutely in need of His help and protection .
In the Quran, it is stated that humans are created to worship God (51:56). Prayer and worship of God are duties over every Muslim as they remind him\her of the his\her creator and the fact that there is a reason to be in this world.
Another practical duty is to obey God’s commands that are mentioned in the Quran or explained in the narrations from prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and Imams (AS). Simply said: to do what is obligatory (Wajib) or advised to (talk pleasantly to others (2:83); to do good to others (16:90); to fast (2:183) and pray (4:103); etc.) and to leave what is Forbidden (Haram) (talking behind back of others (49:12); wasting water and nutrition (7:31))2.
Briefly, there are three main duties over every Muslim about God: to recognize Him, to declare the admission to Him, and to obey and worship Him. Duties of a Muslim towards him\herself and his responsibility in Islam, other people, and other creatures will be discussed in the next parts of the article.
[i] Recognition and belief are two different concepts. The recognition of God means to accept His existence and all His divine attributes, while the belief in God means to have faith in Him.
[ii] The two other categories of acts according to Islamic jurisprudence are: Recommended (Mustahab) acts and Detestable or abominable (Makruh) acts. Recommended (Mustahab) acts are those practices which are not compulsory in Islam, but a believer prefers to do it for God’s satisfaction. Detestable or abominable (Makruh) actions are not subject to punishment, but a believer abstains from them for God’s satisfaction.
- Imam Sajjad (AS), Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).
- Nahj al balagha, Letter 31.