In this entry, comparison will be made on the prohibition of alcohol in Islam and the west.
Most muslims understand the word 'jahilliyah' as the period of ignorance
in Arabia before the coming of the Prophet salallahualaihiwassalam.
During this period, the arabs of Makkah are involved in a lot of
activities where we would say are backwards, disgusting and immoral.
In this period of ignorance (jahilliyah) also refers to individual
education. Most of them were illiterate, barely have any understanding
of science and basically no system in life. One thing for sure is that,
the arabs during jahilliyah heavily rely on alcohol as part of their
lives. They had about 250 names for alcohol which shows their obsession
for alcohol. Having 250 names for a type of drink is exceptional for any
The came of Islam brought changes to this jahilliyah or backward
culture. The changes are in the sequence manner. First they asked
Prophet Muhammad salallahualaihiwasalam for guidance on liquor. "They
ask you about strong drinks and games of chance. Say :"in both is great
evil, even though there is some benefit for people, but their evil is
greater than their benefit." They ask: "What shall we spend in the Way
of Allah?" Say :"Whatever you can spare." In this way Allah clearly
expounds His injunctions to you that you may reflect upon them." (Surah
albaqarah verse 219) Then, as they were difficult to part with alcohol,
some offer their solah while intoxicated hence making errors in Qur'anic
recitation. Then the verse was revealed "O you who believe! Do not draw
near to the prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you
are saying; nor when you are defiled..." (Surah nisa verse 43) Liquor
still showed its harm as people fight with each other and etc hence the
following verse was revealed. "O you who believe! Strong drink and game
of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's
handiwork. Leave it aside in order that you may succeed." (Surah al
maidah verse 90)
After receiving this clear instruction from Allah, the arabs of
jahilliyah who were so attached to alcohol part their ways with alcohol.
Until today, muslims still stay away from alcohol. Of course there are
some of those black sheeps, but generally muslims avoid alcohol. The
punishment for a muslim to be caught drinking alcohol was 80 lashes.
Even without the practise of this punishment, muslims generally manage to keep a distance from
In the U.S around 1930's they tried to banned liquor. They spend about
600 million dollars for campaign and all the expenses to prohibit
alcohol. Even with most of its population who are literate and generally
have good knowledge of science, the prohibition of alcohol didn't last
long. In the end, the community caused the prohibition to be taken off.
The law of prohibition of alcohol in this context was created by human.
The rationale of the law comes from the will of the people. Therefore if
people do not will such prohibition, it will then be lifted or taken
off. This shows the weakness of the so called "democracy" - the voice of
majority. The voice of majority doesn't necessarily proves that it is
the correct guidance/path. Hence if the voice of majority is being
followed, the minority will then suffer. The rationale of the law also
comes from the feelings and influence of what the majority receive.
Creating a law following instinct or feelings can cause a great error in
our lives. Hence we actually need a law that does not originate from
Islam managed to prohibit alcohol without even spending one penny/cent
for campaigns and etc. It is done through iman and fear of Allah. This
is the strength and benefits of Islam that victory can be obtained
through iman. Usually the west is being labelled more advance compared
to the muslim countries. Despite their "advance" they could not achieve
what the muslims did and it lasted for more than 1400 years. I'm of the
opinion that Islam is more advance because it takes into consideration
of the next life or the life in hereafter. The west only 'advances' in
this life in the world and do not have a clue or preparation for the
life of the hereafter.