Thursday, February 23, 2012

Haram: Wine, Gambling, Stone Alters and Divining Arrows.

At the earlier after the prophethood of Muhammad, drinking was as usually normal. When he perform hijrat (emigrates) to Medina, drinking and gambling were widely popular among its resident. People were enjoying these two items attracting its external benefits. Though there were some peoples among the companions of Muhammad, who never touched alcohols. However some companions feel the bad effect of drinking liquors. And then Omar ibn Khattab, Ma’aj ibn Jabal and some Ansar asked Muhammad-‘Alcohol and gambling makes one senseless and knowledgeless and at the same time destroys wealth too. So what is your instruction regarding this?’

Answering this question, the following verse of Qur’an sent down- They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and (yet, some) benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit." (2:119)

In the past, God prohibited alcohol through Torah for Hazrat Aaron and his decendants those would serve as Imam and would take care of the Tabernacle. But now in this verse, there is no indication of any verse of Torah, nor does this verse clearly prohibit alcohol. It only declared that, in them is great sin though there are some benefits and sin is greater than benefit. However, after sent down this verse, some companion immediately give up drinking liquor and others those were not gave up, take caution.

One day Abdur Rahman ibn Awaf invited some of his friend in his home. After dinner it has as usual arrangement of Wine Party and they all took their drink. Under these circumstances, at the time Salat (prayer) of Magrib, they all stand for it and one of them presided as Imam. And the Imam made a mistake during reciting a Sura (chapter) in the prayer. And when the incident told to Muhammad to know the fate of that Salat, the following Verse of Qur’an sent down- O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying…(4:43)

With this verse, it is just adviced not to approach prayer while intoxicated, but not declared drinking is prohibited or punishable at other times.

Then one day Atban ibn Malek throws a small party in his home to celebrate some occasion. Sa’ad ibn Abi Wakkas was one of the invitees. However after lunch, it was the phase of drinking liquor as usual. When all were in a little or much intoxicated, they started reciting poetry one by one. It was natural with Arabian culture. However, Muhajir Sa’ad recites a poetry, in which he praises Muhajirs downing the images of Ansars. And hearing this poetry, a angry Ansar throws a bone of Camels neck aiming to Sa’ad. And the bone hits Sa’ads head and injured him. So Sa’ad filed a case to Muhammad against that Ansar. This time the following Verses of Qur’an sent down- O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, (sacrificing on) stone alters (to other than Allah), and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?(5:90-91)

These verses advice's peoples to avoid liquors as it nothing but the defilement from the work of Satan to avert one from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer.

Stone Alter
In the above verses, people were advised to avoid divining arrows too. There were various types of divining arrows played in Arabia. Say 10 (ten) man buys a Camel in partnership for meat. And then they gamble among them instead of sharing the meat equally. They put ten arrows for ten shares in a ‘tun’ (in which arrows kept) and then shaking the tun, each of them take one arrow. Among those ten arrows, seven were marked with various shares. Say, five arrows marked one share, one two shares, one three and the rest three arrows were blanked. Thus one would get shares that marked in his arrows and get nothing those got blank arrows.

However, after sent down these verses of Qur'an, Muhammad appointed one to announce it all over Medina. Hearing this announcement, who had a wine glass in his hand, he pour down it at once; who have wine bottle in his home, he throws it outside his home. And those who have a ‘Lot’ for a business, they collect it in a place for destruction without any hesitation.  

One of the companions of Muhammad had a business of wine. He was in Syria at that time for the purpose of importing wine. When he returned with his goods, he was informed before entering Medina of the advert of Muhammad. Then he stored all of his goods at the valley of a mountain and came to Muhammad to know his advice regarding his goods. Muhammad said, ‘Destroy all.’

So, the man pours down all the wine to the sand of the valley of that mountain where it stored, with his own hand, which was brought for profit.


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