Home Quranet Chapter 10 What can we say to adolescents who drink alcohol?
What can we say to adolescents who drink alcohol?
Chapter 10

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 (سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 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. (Surah 2, Verse 219)

During the annual school trip to Eilat, three problematic pupils disappeared for several hours. When they returned to the hotel, they behaved wildly and used insulting language towards the girls. It was clear from their behavior and the strong smell of alcohol that they were drunk. A teacher who came to see what was happening, found the girls on the verge of tears at the boys' crude and disrespectful language. They teachers decided to send the three boys home and to continue the trip without them. When the whole group returned to school after the trip, the principal assembled pupils and teachers and told them what had happened (although they already knew). He asked them what punishment they considered fit for the boys and told them to think about it for several days. He also turned to the culprits themselves and asked them to suggest how he should deal with them. One of them suggested that they read through the Quran and select all the verses relating to their unacceptable conduct. The principal agreed and assigned them this task. After several days, the boys returned with a list of a number of verses dealing not only with the ban on drinking wine but also with the prohibition against insulting others and the need to respect authority. The list commenced with the verse: "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.'"

The principal asked the boys to apologize to the girls in front of the entire school. He also informed their parents and finally told them that this time he would forgive them, but would not forgive them if they ever acted like that again.

Explanation: many boys feel the need to experiment with alcohol and drugs. The reason for these dangerous experiments is their urge to feel free of all restraints and inhibitions, and the desire to have new experiences and be drawn into new worlds. They want to detach themselves for a brief time from this world. However, they are facing great risks whether because of the danger of addiction or because, while on drugs, they may harm themselves or others, and sometimes drugs can be fatal. There are many acceptable ways of relieving tension and easing burdens, none of which entail using alcohol or drugs. We can relax at a movie or play, release energy in games, meet with friends etc. Anyone who works with alcoholics or drug addicts knows how difficult and often impossible it is to ‘kick the habit'. In this particular case, the Quran comes to our aid and the Divine command and authority can help those who refuse to listen to parents or teachers. The principal was right to use the Quran in order to explain the dangers of alcohol.