Strong Drink and Games of Chance

Lesson # 652 From Holy Qur’aan

Strong Drink and Games of Chance

‘Al-Maaa-‘idah (the Table Spread) – Chapter – 5)–Stage - 2

Verses – 90 & 91 of 120, Section – 12 of 16 (Part - 7)


In the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

90.  O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and diving arrows are only an uncleanness, of Satan’s handiwork, so keep away from them that ye may succeed.

91.  Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and to turn you from Remembrance of Allaah and from (His) worship. Will ye then desist?
90.  Yaaa-‘ayyu-hallaziina  ‘aamanuuu  ‘innamal-khamru  wal-may-siru  wal-‘ansaabu  wal-‘azlaamu  rijsum-min  ‘amalish-Shaytaani  faj-tanibuuhu  la-‘allakum  tuf-lihuun.

91.  ‘Innamaa  yuriidush-Shaytaanu  ‘any-yuuqi-‘a  bayna-kumul-‘adaawata  wal-bagzaaa-‘a  fil-khamri  wal-maysiri  wa  yasuddakum  ‘an-zikrIllaahi  wa  ‘anis-Salaah.  Fahal  ‘antum-mun-tahuun.               


‘Ansaabu – (Locality, dwelling place), sacrificing in the name of idols at a place, fixed on their names, this word has been discussed in the beginning of this Chapter (Surah). ‘Azlaamu – (arrows), it is plural of zalam, (like a dice for games). The Arabs used to play games of chance with these arrows. These were used to put near the idols also, upon which different words of command were engraved as “Do, Don’t, Good, Bad” etc. whenever, any work was required to be done, they used to draw an arrow, and act upon that command, which they used to see on that arrow. As though, it was a method of obtaining command of the idol.

It is being commanded in this verse that you should not wander near following four things:-
1.  Strong drink
2.   Games of chance
3.   Idols
4.  Diving arrows
The Arabian people had gotten addicted to above mentioned four habits before the Revelation of Holy Qur’aan. When this Scripture caused to learn the people real method of dwelling in this world, at first; it did not forbid them strictly from strong drink. Even that the commands of the religion were being issued as well as the people carried on use of wine. At last the experience taught that the drunkard persons cannot perform their religious duty as it is necessary. Moreover sometime they do such acts in intoxication condition, which they should not do. When the intelligent people were sure that the religion and the liquor cannot run collectively, then they desired clear commands regarding the strong drink.

In the beginning, such verses were revealed, in which the people were hindered from strong drink slowly and gradually. Omar (Radii Allaahu Ta-‘aalaa ‘anhu), the Companion of the Messenger of Allaah Almighty (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon him) prayed from Allaah Almighty for preventing the people from this bad thing absolutely. Then this verse was revealed and four things were settled in it as disgusting and impure. That is to say; you should run away from them in such a manner as you abstain away from filthy, stench things like urine and stool etc. Because Satan attains His object through these sources and ruins the mankind, and these are the things which are foundation of all depravities i.e. Strong drink, Games of chance, worship of Idols and asking them for help, and Diving arrows and knowing command in this manner.

The worst badness in strong drink and games of chance is that these both habits are very helpful for stopping the human being from that path, which takes responsibility of humankind’s goodness, and on which the Holy Qur’aan desires to carry on him. Because Satan (who remains in search of paths to mislead the mankind) becomes able to find many ways to get the upper hands over the human being.

Islam disciplines the mankind dwelling collectively, and desires to obstruct mutual quarrels and disturbance. Greed, selfishness and bad wishes are ground of sedition mutually themselves. Islam has produced the method of its prevention, “Believe in Allaah Almighty, remember Him every time and assemble at a place five times a day, only for the purpose that you may remember Allaah Almighty collectively, so that along with the remembrance of Allaah Almighty, you may think that you all are servants of Allaah Almighty. And that Allaah Almighty has commanded you to sympathize mutually with one another. Everyone should provide advantage to others, from that thing, which someone possesses. Nobody should follow the wish of collecting the money more and more by ensnaring others in labor and trouble. One should not be selfish, miserly and niggardly at the time of dealing with other people. Strong drink and games of chance (both) are enemies of these entire matters. These both habits make a mankind selfish, greedy and sensualist, and excite to do those deeds which become foundation of mutual quarrels and mischief. All wise people will agree to it that strong drink and games of chance are actual roots of enmity, quarrels and brawl. It is surprising that they know but do not give them up.    

Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif