Bint us Salaam | 02 September 2014/07 Dhul Qa’dah 1435

Users or addicts in most cases are not anonymous to the crowd they share their addictions with. They forget themselves and their surroundings to the extent that anonymity becomes unimportant. But addiction recovery associations have always been anonymous.

In most cases addictions are closeted, hidden. There is a sense of shame in being associated with the object of addiction and an acknowledgement by many that the act itself is wrong. Alcohol and gambling addicts, like other addicts, share this shame.

According to studies, gambling and alcohol addiction share greater similarities than previously thought. And problem drinkers are 23 times more likely to have a gambling problem than people who do not have an alcohol problem.

We have coupled the two addictions as they are mentioned together in the second chapter of the Noble Quraan, Surah Baqarah in Verse 219. “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In both there is great sin, and some benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit.””

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) conveyed to us that one of the signs of Qiyaamah is that the people of his Ummah will make wine lawful by giving it the name of a beverage and that alcohol will be consumed publicly.

The fact that alcohol carries a respectable status in society isn’t a secret. Despite its harms, the habit is openly promoted and encouraged. In fact it is known to be the product that increases the revenue of any restaurant or business by over 50%. A product that destroys the health, drains the wealth, breaks marriages, families and friendships and damages the Imaan has come to be regarded as acceptable to be around.

So accepted has alcohol become, it perplexes some Muslims that other Muslims will not eat in a restaurant that serves alcohol and is said to serve Halaal food also. Many Muslims have found themselves succumbing to alcohol and the temptation of easy wealth that gambling sneers its victims with.

In his book Kicking the Habit, Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh)says, “I always say that a Muslim should consider every Haraam Rand, Dollar or Pound won in a lottery or in gambling or coming in any Haraam way (interest, fraud, theft, insurance) as one pig. If we do not consider every Haraam Rand as a pig, there is a weakness in our Imaan. If a person wins…  13 million Rands… we should consider that the person has won… 13 million pigs.”

These addictions destroy a person’s physical and spiritual health. Families and friends of addicts complain of the verbal abuse of a drunken relative and a gambler on a losing streak. Women are disgusted by the filthy smell their alcoholic husbands carry with them. Drinking and driving brings harm to others people and both addictions affect ones finances and work production.

To help direct a person to give up these bad habits Maulana Yunus (rahmatullahi alayh) encouraged users to a praiseworthy addiction, that of Divine Love.  He explained that there are three types of intoxicants. The intoxicating wine of Dunya (the material world) is the first. A majority of people are intoxicated with something worldly, be it cars, fashion, property, gold or silver. But the world did not exist previously, it was created and will one day perish. It is not then worth being intoxicated with anything of this world.

The intoxication with the Aakhirah – the Hereafter – is the second. “Jannah is the drink of the Aakhirah.” It is a permissible intoxicant because even though Jannah is not from all times, it will not be destroyed and will exist forever. It is recommended to seek Jannah.

The third intoxicant is being intoxicated with Haq, Truth. “The drink of Divine Love. This is unique and unparalleled as it is neither created nor will it perish. It was. It is. It will always be.” This drink, writes Maulana, is reserved for the people of Allah. “If we desire the drink of the pure love of our Master, Allah Ta’ala, we will have to keep company with his lovers.”

Addiction is an obsession with the high it gives and in most cases addicts drown in the tool of their obsession because it helps them escape.

If a Muslims constantly remembers (makes Dhikr) Allah SWT, stays away from everything that is prohibited and develops a close bond with Allah SWT and chooses to drown in the Intense Love of Allah SWT and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) “then a Muslim is always on a ‘high’ – a spiritual high.”

“He enjoys such coolness, satisfaction and peace, that if addicts only knew or tasted of it, they would go nowhere near drugs.” This invaluable advice of Maulana Yunus (rahmatullahi alayh) has helped many who have sought to cut the noose they have tied with their addictions and opened their hearts to recovery. They all admit to gaining more than they had imagined.