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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Youths and Drugs

Assalamu alaikum. Drug addiction is by far the most prevalent social vice in our societies today. We are loosing the future generation so rapidly to this monster at such an alarming rate that it can safely be said that almost every extended family has at least one person that has fallen victim to this anathema. Drug addiction as defined by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), is the dependence on a street drug or a medication. When you are addicted, you may not be able to control your drug use and you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. 

It amazes me when I see youths who grew up in the lap of luxury loosing their sanity to this unfortunate vice. I practically saw someone I knew lying down on a major street in Kano few days back being beaten for only God knows why. All I know is that he has long lost his sanity to drugs, this was a person who grew up in the lap of absolute luxury but look how he ends. These were normal people like us, they thought like us, understood like us, reasoned like us and socialized like us, but along the line something went wrong. This kept me wondering where, how and when do things start going off-track in the lives of these once innocent people. 

I categorically came into this conclusion that perhaps the genesis of this problem in the life of youths is in fact the influence of peer pressure. Allah paints the picture of regret that a person will express in His court on the Day of Qiyamat as a result of peer pressure : "Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend!" Q:25:28. In the same token the Prophet (SAW) said: "Man is influenced by the faith of his friend, so be careful whom you befriend". It starts innocently from little taste as a result of constant pressure from friend(s) to becoming an addict. What amazes me more is that most of these addicts were very much aware of the dangerous effects of drugs even before they started using them but yet  they submit to their whims and caprices to satisfy their ego or pathetically to please their friends. 

Most drug addiction starts with a casual or social use of a drug. The symptoms and the overall effect of these drugs on the life of these young men will make the hair of every concerned person to stand on ends. I am not here to list the symptoms  because I believe everyone reading this article knows something about the behavior of a drug addict. Anytime you go out on a street you are constantly  exposed to the sad sight of young people who have practically become a shadow of their former selves. This is the ugly picture of the youths who are presumably seen as the hope of the future generation and the society is indifferent to this act. What is more pathetic is the inclusion of the young females in the statistics.

I am inundated with questions on whether such things as cannabis also known as  marijuana, ganja, weed ("wee wee"), ecstasy, caffeine, heroin, crack and codeine are haram. Well, I usually ask a counter question of whether those things mentioned above are intoxicating.  The following hadith on intoxicants explains it all
"Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter (Muslim). Most of these young people are duped in to believing that these drugs are not haram. Wallah! they are haram.

The only remedy to prevent addiction is not to take the drug at all.  If you have not started then be grateful to Allah and never contemplate starting it because the consequences are not far-fetched.  Be mindful of the people you associate with and know the type of advise you receive from people. Allah has asked us to unite on righteousness and not on rancor.
Allah said: "Help you one another in AlBirr and AtTaqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment". Q:5:2. We have to unite and sensitize our family and friends on the inherent dangers of drug abuse. The over pampered are becoming downtrodden and the pauper is becoming the lowest of the low all as a result of this cancer in our social fabric.

May Allah bring our youths back to the path of sanity and wisdom. Yours in Islam Abdullah Abdul