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What’s wrong with weed?



The message below was received from a concerned university student:

“Slmz. How are you Moulana.. Alhumdulillah I have started campus and its going well. It was quite a big adjustment for me but shukr I’m getting there.. It is very shocking to see our muslims are gone off the track on campus.. Many of them smoke weed and what’s even more shocking muslim girls are also smoking weed openly.” (END)

The message received makes disturbing and worrisome reading. It should serve as a wake-up call to parents, yet the probable reaction would likely be, “That must be someone else’s kid. My child would never do that!” We lie to ourselves because it allows us to remain in our illusion of happiness. As someone aptly pointed out, “Most people would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” Yet no problem was ever solved by the ostrich putting its head in the ground.

Weed or cannabis is general considered a recreational or soft drug. Because it’s only a mild narcotic and it does contain medicinal properties, some people have ventured to say that there is nothing wrong with it. They argue it helps the mind to open and makes life easier to cope with.

Let us explore this issue in the light of the Quran and Hadith. The first verse revealed regarding intoxicants was,

“They ask you regarding wine and gambling. Say, ‘In them is great sin as well as benefit for man. But the sin is greater than the benefit.” (Surah 2, Verse 219)

This verse provides a general guideline that an item having benefit does not necessitate it being permissible to use. Items must be weighed in totality.

While the verse mentioned previously speaks specifically about wine, the Ahadith of Rasulullah grants further clarity into the issue. Ummu Salamah Radhiyallahu Anha reports “Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam prohibited every intoxicant and narcotic.” (Abu Dawud)

Islamic rulings are based on Divine Wisdom. It is not just the mere individual that is to be considered but the benefit of society as a whole has to be considered. There are individuals who drink and gamble recreationally without that causing detriment to their lives, but there are many whose lives and families have been destroyed because of the same. Society as a whole suffers the ill effects of these evils.

A vivid example of this is displayed in a recent news article about Yemen titled, “A Nation Chewing Itself to Death” which speaks about the obsession of Yemenites with “qat”, another mild narcotic plant. It reveals statistics of a poor Arab nation of 26 million, where 72 percent of men and a third of all women are reported to be habitual users. By one estimate, 20 million dollars is spent each day on qat, and 80 million work hours lost to its consumption.

In Yemen, the day revolves around qat,” says Ali Ayoub, a leather merchant who chews qat for about four hours a day, or longer if there is a wedding or holiday celebration. “By 2pm, you won’t find anyone at work. Everyone leaves early to buy qat.”

This obsession has reached such levels that farmers have turned away from traditional crops to the planting of the more lucrative qat with the effect that the price of staple foods has rocketed due to insufficient supply. This in turn has led to widespread malnutrition, yet still many Yemenites spend more on the drug than on food for their hungry families.

Sure, there is fun in smoking weed, but there is always a price to pay when Allah’s commands are disobeyed. In the end, the price paid is always more than the enjoyment received.

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport, Durban

Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za

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