What are the Harms of Alcoholic Drinks?

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What are the Harms of Alcoholic Drinks?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

If something intoxicates in large quantity, its small quantity is also haram. As the Prophet puts it, “If one jar of something intoxicates, one handful of it is haram, too.” (1)

This verse, which renders alcohol haram, explains the reason and wisdom behind this prohibition: It is an abomination of Satan; it prevents attaining happiness; it causes enmity among people and brings about hatred and grudge; it destroys the body and prevents people from mentioning Allah's names and performing prayers. (2) Alcohol has great, wearing and negative effects on nervous system, brain vessels, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. It has fatal impacts on the brain. It causes partial paralysis by injuring the brain nerves and causes various disorders. It harms the eyes by destroying eye nerves. It injures and tires heart cells. The tiredness caused by alcohol in heart cells causes the wearing of the heart muscle, which is called "myocardium". It causes wounds in the kidneys and hampers the filtration of the blood. The kidneys that are harmed by alcohol cannot filter the toxins in the urine. These toxic substances mix with blood and causes blood poisoning called "uremia". It brings about calcification in blood vessels, which causes dementia. It numbs cells and weakens the resistance of the body against diseases. It causes the liver to enlarge through blood accumulation first and to shrink and then to die. 

The harms of alcohol to the spirit are more serious. It causes horrible disorders in the mind, concentration, consciousness and will. It also brings about grave despair and pessimism. It causes fights, murders, marital conflicts, family break-ups, end of so many friendships, so many traffic accidents and so many deeds that break the peace.

Alcohol causes irreparable harms and brings about painful disasters in the individual and the structure of the community, social and economic life. Those who spend the money needed to be spent for their families on alcohol waste their money and violate the rights of their wives and children. Consequently, a person who values his life, appreciates his earning, shows respect to others' rights and gives importance to health will not drink alcohol. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Alcohol is the mother of all evils.” (3)

The otherworldly harms of alcohol causes complete destruction on our personality, character, existence, spirituality, eternal hopes, bliss and joy - if Allah does not forget - not on our physical and social structure because the person who drinks alcohol is regarded to have ignored Allah's clear prohibition. 

Alcohol is one of the major sins. However, the pardon, mercy and forgiveness of Allah are large. There are strong news and glad tidings that Allah will inshaallah forgive and mercy a person who abandons sins and repents to Allah. Allah forgives all sins (4) as long as a person takes a step toward his Lord; Allah will hug him by running. If a person repents to Allah without associating partners with him, Allah will forgive him even if he has sins that fill the earth and the sky. (5)

It is not seemingly appropriate to give a judgment about dying in a drunk or impure (junub) state. It is not something nice. It is a very grave situation for a person to die before he manages to repent. We hope that Allah will forgive him. We cannot know the inside of the affairs.    

It does not matter whether one gets drunk or not after drinking alcohol; it will not alleviate the sin. One cannot perform prayers when he is drunk or under the effect of alcohol. However, the widespread view among people that the prayer of a person will not be accepted for forty days after drinking alcohol is not true. After becoming drunk, a person can repent and sincerely vow not to drink again and perform prayers. Who can enter between a person and Allah?   

Footnotes:

1-Ahmad, Musnad, 6/71, 72, 131;

2-al-Maida, 5/90, 91;

3-Suyuti, Jami’us-Saghir, 2/12;

4-az-Zumar, 39/53;

5-Riyadu’s-Sâlihîn, 412

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