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Islamic Ethics: Alcohol, the mother of evils

Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (a.s.) declares:

“One who weds his daughter to a drunkard is like the one who has severed relations with her”.

(Wasaaelush Shia, vol. 20, p. 79,
Hadis No. 25081, New edition.)

According to doctors, liquor is the root of all ills. It ruins and destroys the body to such an extent that a day comes when it destroys his very existence. We mention hereunder some of the harmful effects of intoxicants like liquor on the generations to follow.

The advancement of science has proved beyond doubt that liquor and similar intoxicants have a fatal effect on the child being nurtured in the womb of the mother. After intercourse, the liquor passing through the mother’s womb enters in to the embryo (foetus) and could possibly lead to the birth of a defective child or even miscarriage. Recent scientific breakthroughs have established that liquor intake before or during pregnancy could result in a stillborn.

The great scientist of this era, Professor Nicolai, who has conducted extensive research on the ill-effects of liquor, has proved that in less than a month, the sexual hormones of a drunkard are affected because of alcohol intake, and this disorder is passed on to the children. Some times these bad effects are transferred through the ovule and/or mother’s milk. Its ill effects are evidently proved through practical experiments and studies and the parents who consume alcohol are definitely responsible for it. Similarly, fifty percent people who consume liquor regularly, fall prey to shaking palsy and shivering of body.

Heart trouble, shaking palsy, unconsciousness, epilepsy, insanity and sterility are but a few disorders that can be attributed directly to regular liquor intake. This is in addition to the decline in moral and ethical standards, which is more serious than all the above irregularities put together.

In the light of the above revelation, we can begin to realise the importance of the saying of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), who said:

“A woman habituated with drinking alcohol stands the risk of becoming infertile.”

One point should always be kept in mind – the diseases, which crop up by liquor intake, are generally transferred to the next generation as a legacy.

Salutations and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (s.a.w.s.) and on his pure progeny, who, 1,400 years ago, while living amongst the ignorant Arabs, made the people aware of the destructive prowess of alcohol. They also taught us that prevention was always better than cure, and to this effect, they announced unlawful as buying, selling and preparing liquor and similar intoxicants, thereby protecting us from grievous loss. Without the benefits of experiments and laboratories, doctors and medicines, they have elaborated on various components of the human body, like heart, liver, digestive system, brain nerves, lungs, limbs and body organs and stated in detail, both the material and spiritual aspects of our actions.

“O you who believe! Intoxicants and game of chance and (sacrifice to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness (and from) the Satan’s handiwork. Shun it therefore that you may be successful.”

(Surah Maidah: 90)

Now we shall elaborate on the adverse effects of liquor and other intoxicants, on the human body, from a medical viewpoint. Let us begin by discussing on foodstuffs (foods and beverages) that are prepared from alcohol.

  1. Liquor has a very deadly effect on the whole body i.e. the body is completely ruined and becomes weak. So it is next to impossible to state all the diseases related to nerves, muscles, breath and intestines. It should suffice to say that these intoxicants are poisonous, and make the body organs useless.
  2. When a person consumes liquor, then after it enters the mouth, it passes through the throat, windpipe, stomach and through the blood in the veins, it reaches the liver. Only 10% of it makes its exit from the kidneys while 90% remains inside the body, which in turn results in the following diseases:
  3. Blood oozes out of the windpipe, ruining the liver. This is but the first stage of liquor addiction.
  4. The liquor addict loses his appetite and his digestive system is ruined due to insufficient food intake, ultimately resulting in cancer.
  5. Lack of vitamins A, B and B12 – leads to eye defects.
  6. Heart gets weak, by which there is a fear of it stopping – resulting in consequent death.
  7. Malfunctioning or non-functioning of the kidney.
  8. Diseases like tuberculosis (TB) afflict the addict, because liquor reduces the food content in the body. As a result excess energy is destroyed. Moreover, the disastrous effects of liquor make the body extremely weak.
  9. The liquor addict is afflicted with pneumonia, because liquor injures the wind-pipe and lungs.
  10. Liquor also affects the brain. If the brain is seriously affected, blood oozes out from it, and results in death.
  11. The part of the brain that controls the balance of the human body, stops functioning. Liquor results in disorder and disturbance in the brain, resulting in bodily imbalance. That is why we generally observe addicts unable to control their body, and walk staggeringly.
  12. Liquor intake leads to shivering of the body in general, and parts of body like hands, legs and tongue in particular.
  13. It affects speech, leading to stammering.
  14. Eyesight is weakened and epilepsy attacks are common.
  15. Sensitive and delicate organs get weakened and their functioning is hampered. Their cells get destroyed.
  16. The whole body is ruined.

Over here we have stated only a few diseases and disorders, while in reality liquor is the root cause of every illness. The one and only one way of escaping from all these illnesses is to avoid liquor at all costs.