Page 84 - Islam In Focus

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properly and enjoyably. Among the measures taken in this respect is inhibition of
gambling which is really more tension-accelerating than tension-reducing. It is a
grave abuse of life to make it subject to luck and mere chance. It is a deviation from
the normal course of life, if one entrusts his lot to the mad wheel of games, and
invests his abilities in the most unpredictable moves on a gambling table. To protect
man from all these unnecessary mental strains and shattering of nerves, and to enable
him to lead a natural life in means as well as in ends, Islam has forbidden gambling of
all forms and kinds
Similarly, it is a shameful retreat from reality and an irresponsible insult to the best
quality in man, i.e., mind, to get entangled in the tight strands of intoxication or
cornered in the vicious whirl of alcohol. The menaces and tragedies of intoxication
are too obvious to be elaborated. Many lives are being lost every day on this account.
Many families break up because of this menace. Many billions of dollars are
swallowed in the drinking channel every year. Countless doors are closed on misery
and unhappiness arising from the drinking habits. Besides the destruction of health,
the depression of mind, the dullness of soul, the absorption of wealth, the
disintegration of families, the abuse of human dignity, the sabotage of morality, the
humiliating retreat from realty; everyone of the so-called social drinkers is a highly
potential alcoholic. Islam cannot tolerate these menaces or let man abuse the very
sense of life in this tragic way. That is the reason why Islam does not associate
gambling and drinking with good sports and refreshing amusements and, instead, has
banned them once and for all. To appreciate the viewpoint of Islam in this respect one
has only to check any news medium, read any medical report, visit any social service
agency, or watch any court proceedings. Of all the agonizing social problems,
alcoholism is by far the most serious. More than one-half million Americans become
alcoholics every year. One in every ten to twelve people who take their first drink in
any given year is destined to become alcoholic. All these painful tragedies and real
losses speak much louder than any theological or trade arguments
The Family Life
There have been many definitions and descriptions of the family. For our purpose, we
shall adopt the following simplified definition. The family is a human social group
whose members are bound together by the bond of the blood ties and / or marital
The family bond entails mutual expectations of rights and obligations that are
prescribed by religion, enforced by law, and observed by the group members.
Accordingly, the family members share certain mutual commitments. These pertain to
identity and provision, inheritance and counsel, affection for the young and security
for the aged, and maximization of effort to ensure the family continuity in peace
As can be clearly seen from this, the foundations of the family in Islam are blood ties
and / or marital commitments. Adoption, mutual alliance, clientage, private consent to
sexual intimacy, and “ common law” or “ trial” marriages do not institute a family in
the Islamic sense. Islam builds the family on solid grounds that are capable of
providing reasonable continuity, true security, and mature intimacy. The foundations
of the family have to be so firm and natural as to nurture sincere reciprocity and moral
gratification. Islam recognizes that there is no more natural relationship than that of