By: Maged Taman
2:219 They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus doth Allah Make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider- يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَآ أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ كَذَلِكَ يُبيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
5:90 O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
5:91 Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain? إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ
It is clear from the verses above how Islam forbids Alcohol and gambling. I will mention below how they come to be socio-economic disasters:
1- Poverty: it is true there is some economic gain in alcohol and gambling. These gains are only for few and most alcoholic and gamblers loose. If you look at gambling as investment you find it does not create jobs equivalent to money spent. Money is lost and does not grow for most people and there is no product that benefit people as food and services.
2- Addiction: both alcohol and gambling lead in some people to addiction. We do not know who will become addicted. Though you may think may be Islam ought to allow light alcohol and gamble to its followers. The problem we do not know who will be addicted and to what extent. Islam consider life is mainly a preparation to the afterlife though alcohol and gambling are loss of time and resources and take from your time and soul to be with God.
3- Broken families: both alcoholism and obsessive gambling led to broken marriages and dysfunctional families.
4- Crime: crime rate is higher in areas where alcoholism and gambling are endemic. Gangs are well known to be associated with alcoholism and gambling.
5- Depression: as well other psychiatric diseases are known to be exacerbated by alcoholism and gambling.
6- Morbidity and mortality: gambling is one of main reasons of suicide as well alcoholism. Drunk driving contributes to a lot of death every year in western countries. The medical expenses due to alcoholism are enormous.Islam forbids alcohol and gambling to Muslims. For non-Muslims Islam does not dictate to them what to do. But Muslims like to illustrate like in this article the severe harm of both alcohol and gambling to non-Muslims. Muslims like to live around non-Muslims who enjoy intact marriages and mental and physical health.