Islam is distinct from all other religions in that it forbids alcohol and bases this prohibition on reason; its harms outweigh its benefits. The fact that the prohibition was revealed when mankind was not ready to completely comprehend its significance only serves to increase one’s appreciation for Islam.
The world of science has now proven alcohol is indeed dangerous, even in small amounts, though there may be some beneficial aspects to it. The headline-making landmark studies published in The Lancet over recent years in which scientists have been studying the effects of alcohol on human health only go to prove what the Holy Quran expressed 1,500 years ago:
يَسۡـَٔلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الۡخَمۡرِ وَالۡمَيۡسِرِ ؕ قُلۡ فِيۡهِمَاۤ اِثۡمٌ كَبِيۡرٌ وَّمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ ۫ وَاِثۡمُهُمَاۤ اَكۡبَرُ مِنۡ نَّفۡعِهِمَا
“They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: ‘In both there is great sin and also [some] advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.’” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.220)
Where Allah tells us there is certainly benefit in alcohol (as studies have now shown), He also declares alcohol as completely forbidden due to its negative effects – physically and spiritually – outweighing any positive elements.
For Muslims, the constant progress of science and research continues to show the truth of their religion – time and time again, we are given empirical data on how Islamic teachings reign supreme. Sometimes it takes science to catch up but ultimately the truths of the Quran and the religion of Islam being in perfect harmony with the human condition will never be negated.
In 2022, where the world stands in peril and disaster, innovation, research and science continue to grow exponentially. These advancements in knowledge were foretold to manifest during the era of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi as alluded to in Surah al-Takwir and mankind is creating mind-boggling material progress.
Just recently, NASA released stunning, never-before-seen images taken by the $10-billion James Webb Space Telescope of stars forming, black holes and even the clearest views of galaxies 13 billion years ago.
These discoveries will elate believers as they give further insight into Allah’s endless and magnificent creation; such breakthroughs make us ponder, ask deeper questions and let our minds grapple with the universe’s hidden secrets. As Allah says:
اِنَّ فِيۡ خَلۡقِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ وَاخۡتِلَافِ الَّيۡلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَاٰيٰتٍ لِّاُولِي الۡاَلۡبَابِ
“In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding” (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.191)
Science and research should be welcomed with open arms by the Muslim world as by understanding the world around us, we not only stand firmer in belief and wonder over Allah’s majesty but key questions are also answered. Science can help with answering pertinent questions about the purpose and wisdom behind Islamic teachings, while also giving food for thought and meaning for life.
If we did not have researchers looking at the health implications of alcohol and drawing empirical evidence, we, as Muslims, should of course still firmly believe in the Quran and its truth but when science eventually also confirms Quranic claims, our faith is strengthened further and others begin to wonder over the Quran and Islam.
The Quran instructs Muslims to “reflect” and “ponder” over the “creation of the heavens and the earth”; Allah declares true believers to be those who deeply ponder over His creation. Where this will instil the power and majesty of Allah in our hearts, verities of the Quran and the wisdom behind Islamic teachings will also come to the surface.
In turn, the act of Allah and the word of Allah will be shown in perfect harmony to our youth who have been brought up in material culture and Islam’s reality will manifest with every discovery.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has urged Ahmadi students and researchers to pursue science and research and bring back the golden age of Islam in science. We end with Huzoor’s advice to Waqf-e-Nau students:
“I wish to inform students that they should pursue various fields of scientific research – and this includes waqifeen-e-nau and other students. If we produce the best scientists in various fields of scientific research, then in the future Ahmadi Muslims will be the ones to provide religious knowledge. And where the world will be in need of you for religious knowledge, they will also be in need of you for secular knowledge. In this context, waqifeen-e-nau will have secular jobs, but the purpose of their work and knowledge will be to demonstrate the Oneness of God Almighty and the spread of His religion.” (Friday Sermon, 28 October 2016)