Guarding Our Sacred Property
With respect to the sacred properties of mankind, Satan wishes to oppose and challenge human progress by causing hatred and resentment to flourish. He attempts to achieve his goal with intoxicating drinks, substance abuse, various forms of gambling and games of chance.
Satan’s objective is to divert our attention away from G-d and hinder or restrain us from cultivating and conditioning our hearts with reflection and prayer. True prayer is the devotional service that legitimates our faith. The words and deeds we employ begin with the glorification of G-d and ends with salutations of peace. G-d cautions us with revelation for our own benefit. Should we not respond to the prohibitions?
This Quranic verse refers to the well-known Arab custom of extracting a fermented beverage from grapes as it is done today in many societies. The desired effect of this pre-Islamic drink is the same as it is today – seeking pleasure by veiling or covering the senses. The state of drunkenness that results serves to create an imaginary state of mind that tends to abandon responsibility.
The impact of alcoholism and gambling on the health of the individual can be devastating. Financial as well as human resources are often depleted while family and social relationships suffer irreparable damages.
Intoxicants in the form of medicinal narcotics plague many communities today. G-d has warned that despite the benefits, there is great danger and harm. Relationships are placed at great risk and many families suffer the discord and even violence from those who partake of these substances.
We are warned that the most effective safeguard against this pre-occupation is the glorification of G-d in prayer. The man or woman who becomes detached from the remembrance of their Lord and loses sight of the true purpose of life will become vulnerable to Satan’s deceitful invitations.
Satan’s schemes exploit our weaknesses and deceive us with false notions of success. G-d guarantees prosperity when Satan’s invitations are rejected. The healthy intellect when free to function without interference will always produce for our benefit.
Healthy social bonds are necessary for individual human progress. Alcoholism, drug-addictions, gambling all undermine the family and community. Only faith in the higher reality of G-d can safeguard life and guarantee sustained success.