Islamic Perspective: Mediation vs. Drugs — Which is the Shortest Way to Lose Your Mind?

Sayed Abdelhafiz
23 min readAug 13, 2023

I have searched extensively on the internet for articles discussing the difference between meditation and prayer, but I have not found any that address the Islamic perspective on this topic. In Islam, the difference between meditation and prayer is a significant and crucial gap, unlike prayer in other religions or divine laws. Therefore, I have written this article to clarify and explain this difference. Additionally, I will address an important aspect that may not have occurred to the reader before: What is the relationship between drugs and this matter? This article is fully supported by references from the Quran and Sunnah, and it is not a personal opinion. It presents an Islamic perspective. In this topic, you will find the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is prayer in Islam, how is it performed, and why is it extremely important?
  2. What role does the Qur’an play in prayer?
  3. Why does modern meditation practice conflict with Islamic prayer?
  4. How does the Holy Qur’an predict mental illness that may affect those who practice modern meditation?
  5. According to the Qur’an, why can drugs lead to the same issues due to the same root cause?

What is prayer in Islam, how is it performed, and why is it done?

To become a Muslim, you would need to declare and believe in the Shahada, which is the declaration of faith in Islam. It is stated as: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and messenger”. Then, you have to pray five times a day:

  • Fajr: This prayer is performed before sunrise. The time for Fajr starts at the break of dawn and ends just before sunrise.
  • Dhuhr: This prayer is performed after the sun has passed its zenith (highest point in the sky), and starts to decline. The time for Dhuhr starts just after the sun has passed its zenith and ends when the size of an object’s shadow is similar to the object itself.
  • Asr: This prayer is performed in the afternoon. The time for Asr starts when the shadow of an object is the same length as the object itself, plus the length of its shadow at noon, and ends just before sunset.
  • Maghrib: This prayer is performed just after sunset. The time for Maghrib starts just after the sun has set and ends when the red light has left the sky in the west.
  • Isha: This prayer is performed at night. The time for Isha starts when the red light is gone from the western sky and ends before the break of dawn.

As a Muslim, you must perform your prayers at the beginning of their respective times. Refer to the following Quranic verses and Hadiths about Muhammad (PBUH) to understand the importance of praying in Islam:

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allāh — Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them [2–3:2]

Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times. [103:4]

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Recorded by Al-Tabarani] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Between a man and disbelief and paganism is the abandonment of Salat (prayer).” [Sahih Muslim] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer are expiation for what is between them.” [Sahih Muslim]

And a lot more…

Here is a basic step-by-step guide on how to perform the Salat (prayer) as a Muslim, starting from the hearing first call to prayer (Adhan) to Ending the prayer (Tasleem):

  1. Hear the Adhan (Call to Prayer): The Adhan is the Islamic call to prayer. When you hear it, the prayer time is started. Listen to Adhan.
  2. Perform Ablution (Wudu): Before you pray, you must perform ablution, which is a process of washing specific parts of your body. This includes washing your hands (3), mouth (3), nostrils (3), face (3), arms (3), head (1), ear (1), and feet (3) in that order with specific times without wasting water.
  3. Go to the nearest Masjid: If you are ill with a disease that makes you unable to go out, or there is something outside that threatens your life, such as a pandemic or war, you can pray at home. At least, you must pray with someone also.
  4. Iqama (Standing for Prayer): The Iqama is another call to prayer that is recited just before the actual start of the prayer.
  5. Start the prayer (Takbir): To start the prayer, stand with your hands at your sides, then raise them to the level of your shoulders or ears and say “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest).
  6. Recite or listen to the Opening Chapter (Al-Fatiha): After the Takbir, recite the opening chapter of the Quran, Al-Fatiha. If you know any other part or chapter of the Quran, you can recite it after Al-Fatiha if you like. But If you pray the Fajir, Marghib, and Isha you won’t recite in the first two Ruku (Units of prayer) you will listen to the Imam, who is the guy who stands In front of all prayers and they follow him In prayer, he will recite aloud in first two Rakat.
  7. Perform Ruku (Bowing down): After the recitation, say “Allahu Akbar”, then bow down. Your hands should be on your knees, and your back should be at a right angle. Then, say “Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most Great) three times.
  8. Stand up from Ruku: After Ruku, stand up straight and say “Sami Allahu liman hamidah” (Allah hears those who praise Him), and then say “Rabbana lakal hamd” (Our Lord, all praise is for You).
  9. Perform Sujood (Prostration): Say “Allahu Akbar” and prostrate on the ground. In prostration, your forehead, nose, both hands, knees, and all toes should touch the ground. Then, say “Subhana Rabbiyal A’la” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High) three times.
  10. Sit and perform the second Sujood: Say “Allahu Akbar”, sit up from your prostration, and then say “Allahu Akbar” again to go into prostration one more time. Repeat the phrase “Subhana Rabbiyal A’la” three times again.
  11. Stand up and repeat: Stand up again and repeat everything from step 6 to 10 for the second, third, or fourth Rakat (unit of prayer), depending on which prayer you’re performing — Fajr (2), Dhuhr (4), Asr (4), Maghrib (3), Isha (4) -.
  12. Tashahhud: After the second Rakat (and the last Rakat if the prayer is more than two Rakats), you remain seated and recite the Tashahhud, which is a form of prayer that glorifies Allah -SWT- and sends blessings on the Prophet Muhammad.
  13. End the prayer (Tasleem): To end your prayer, turn your face to the right and say “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (Peace be upon you and God’s mercy), then to the left, and repeat the phrase.

We talk about what and how, but why?!

Muslim In Arabic, means someone who submits to Allah -SWT- and follows the guidance of Allah in his life, In the second surah of the Qur’an (Al-Baqarah) you will read the following verse: This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allāh [2:2].

If you want guidance, you have to follow this book, which tells us that there are some things that can lead you astray:

[We said], “O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allāh.” [ 38:26 ] — In this verse Allah -SWT- tells David that If he follows his desire, it will astray him.

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? [ 25:43 ] — Here, Allah reprimands Muhammad (peace be upon him) when the disbelievers deny him, telling him that he is not responsible for those who take their desires as their god. This is a great description of some people who only follow their desires.

I do not absolve myself of blame. Indeed, the human soul prompts one to evil, except those to whom my Lord may show mercy. Indeed, my Lord is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [12:53] — In this verse, the wife of al-’Azeez is speaking. This woman was trying to seduce Prophet Joseph, but she failed and accused Joseph of trying to seduce her, causing his imprisonment. The Qur’an documents her words in this verse after the truth was revealed and her husband found out that she was the one who tried to seduce Joseph. As the Qur’an documents any sayings, this saying is the truth: the human soul prompts one to evil! All praise be to Allah, Who has sent down upon His slave the Book and has not allowed any crookedness therein [18:1].

Now there are two components that can lead you astray, but there is a third thing that can also lead you astray: the Jinn! If you had any thoughts about Jinn before reading this article, please ignore them now.

Let’s start with the creation story in the Qur’an

I highly recommend watching Dr. Jeffrey Lang’s video in which he reflects upon the verses of creation: — English Audio, Arabic subtitles.

Let’s read those verses from Surah Al-Baqarah and explain in a nutshell:

And [mention, O Muḥammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we exalt You with praise and declare Your perfection?” He [Allāh] said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” — Verse 30

And He taught Adam the names — all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.” — Verse 31

They said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise — Verse 32

He said, “O Adam, inform them of their names.” And when he had informed them of their names, He said, “Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.” — Verse 33

And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers — Verse 34

And We said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.” — Verse 35

But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, “Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.” — Verse 36

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of Repentance, the Merciful — Verse 37

The verses may be clear and may answer many questions you have. If you reflect upon them and cannot understand, you can watch the above video because Dr. Jeffrey talks about it in detail, but I won’t do that now. Anyway, there is someone interesting in this story: who is Iblees? You can find in the Qur’an that Iblees is someone from the Jinn. Jinn are creatures like us, but the Qur’an does not tell us much about them. Among them, there are believers and unbelievers, and they do good and bad deeds. They can see us, but we cannot see them. Who is Satan? In fact, in the Qur’an, Satan can be referred to as a human or Jinn. Anyone who does not believe and does bad deeds is Satan. As happened with our father Adam in paradise, Satan from the Jinn caused him to slip and disobey Allah by eating from the tree that God had forbidden. Have you noticed that it was only a slip that this Satan caused? He didn’t do something big or dangerous; it was just a slip! Contrary to the Bible, Satan did not incarnate in the form of a snake or anything else. Instead, Allah in the Qur’an says in Surah Tā-ha:

Then Shaitân (Satan) whispered to him, saying: “O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?” — Verse 120

Please note, that Satan whispered to Adam, not Eve! This is contrary to what was distorted in the Bible.

We want to discuss the word “whispered”. The original word in Arabic text is “وسوس” — wuswus. This word is deep and difficult to translate into English. However, in an attempt to make the meaning more comprehensible to the reader, we can say that this word might mean: thoughts, reflections, impulses, or recurring, parasitic, and possessive images that cannot be controlled. Listen to this verse to hear how this word sounds:

The word sounds like the hiss of a snake, right? But it’s not a snake. We’re not here to discredit the Bible or show how it was altered. However, Allah -SWT- says, “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn thereby.” [2:79] — Woe means death and destruction.

This is how Satan was able to slip Adam to disobey Allah -SWT-, through waswasa! The prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said: There is none among you who does not have a companion from the angels and from the Jinn.’ They said, ‘And you, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘And I, except that Allah has helped me against him, so he submitted (became a believer, aka Muslim), and he does not command me except to do good.’

Everyone has two types of voices in their mind: the one who commands him to do good things, and another who commands him to do bad things — but this one is sly and devious — , We will read verses from the Qur’an to learn more about the nature and truth of this voice:

That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers. [ 2:175 ] — This verse tells you that Satan frightens his supporters, making them afraid of anything, maybe they fear from tomorrow, maybe fear from being lost, fear from anything even if there is -no real reason- to be fearful (just thoughts).

Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion. [ 4:120 ] — Do you remember those long scenarios that pop into your mind? Fake scenarios that will never happen, but only give you a false ego! Yes, that’s Satan!

By Allah, We sent [messengers] to nations before you, but Satan made their deeds fair-seeming to them. He is their ally today, and for them, there will be a painful punishment [ 16:63 ] — In this verse, Allah declares that Satan is capable of normalizing sins for people, making them perceive sins as fair and good deeds.

I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance. [ 24:27 ] — And here, in this example (but a real one), Allah -SWT- tells us about a people and their queen who worshiped the sun, and Satan had made their deeds appear fair to them! Absolutely, they must have had their own thoughts for worshipping the sun!

The satan may be able to make you lose the distinction between right and wrong, destroy this innate compass within you, and make you feel devoid of meaning in life!

Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest [2:275]. Allah -SWT- tells us that there are some people whom Satan has driven into insanity. Why? Because Satan made a bad thing, which is interest, seem like a fair and good thing! And these people had no problem seeing something bad as a good thing. These people lost the innate compass that tells them what is right and wrong! This is a big problem because Allah -SWT- says: ‘So direct your face [i.e., self] toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fiṭrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know [30:30].’ These people tried to change the creation of Allah within themselves, which led them to insanity! In the Arabic text, I can tell you that in this verse there is a hint of what we now call a ‘Panic Attack’, not insanity literally.

fiṭrah: refers to the innate disposition and natural inclination towards virtue, knowledge, wisdom, and truth that Allah has created in every human being.

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy — devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. [ 6:112 ] — I will let this verse with no comment, give you a chance to reflect upon it, As Allah commands us to reflect on His book so that we can extract many beneficial meanings from it, I will leave you with this opportunity to reflect on the Holy Quran for the first time! Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [ 4:82 ]

Why this long story about Satan in Islam?

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When one of you stands to pray, Satan comes to him and confuses him until he does not know how many units he has prayed.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 571)

Muslims can greatly relate to this Hadith, as during our prayers we might get distracted and truly forget the number of units we have prayed. This problem is very common among many when they are first getting accustomed to prayer, and it may disappear and reappear. This Hadith provides evidence that Satan always tries to distract those who are praying. That’s why in Islamic prayer, we do not pay attention to this inner voice, but instead, we concentrate on our actions in prayer, our words, and most importantly, the Quran. When we pray, we should focus all our attention on the Qur’an.

And certainly, you must focus all your attention on the Qur’an during your prayer, and ignore any inner voice. Read the following verses to understand the importance of the Qur’an and how it can purify souls:

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allāh [ 2:2 ]

He will prosper who purifies himself, Who remembers the name of his Lord and prays. [ 87:14–15 ]

Indeed, I am Allāh. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance [ 20:14 ]

Indeed, it is We who sent down the remembrance ( Qur’an and Sunnah ) and indeed, We will be its guardian. [ 15:9 ]

And whoever turns away from My remembrance — indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [ 20:124 ]

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [ 23:115 ]

Does man think that he will be left Suda [neglected without being punished or rewarded for the obligatory duties enjoined by his Lord (Allah) on him]? [ 75:36 ]

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. [ 57:20 ]

Race one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty. [ 57:21 ]

And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives, And that his effort is going to be seen, Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense, And that to your Lord (Allah) is the End (Return of everything). [ 53:39–42 ]

A lot more, the Qur’an verses is 6,236, I like to end this section of this article with the first verse of Surah Hud (11th): Alif-Lam-Ra. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings]. (This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge, etc.), and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things).

Notice: The Arabic verses of the Qur’an have deeper meanings than the English translations, but we do our best to translate these verses with their deep meanings into English.

A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur’ān for a people who know [ 41:3 ]

Modern-Mediation (aka. Satan prayer)

Nowadays, there are many types of meditation, but we can discuss the common element among all these types. Meditation requires a few very simple things from you: to sit in a quiet and comfortable place, assume a comfortable posture, and begin by learning how to relax your body through some breathing exercises and developing visualizations in your mind. This is done so that, as they say, you can feel your entire body and enter a different state of consciousness!

But, What is being meditated upon or focused on during the session?

To be honest, all the techniques you learn initially are there to help you reach a stage where you feel different about your physical body — a kind of deep relaxation — and you can focus on your inner voice, thoughts, or feelings. This is the most important point in meditation!

Yes, what is being meditated upon is you, your inner peace, your internal thoughts, your musings, your feelings, etc. The list can continue for what you can focus on during a meditation session. Because the list is long, there are many different sources that consistently discuss the same idea in meditation, in case someone dares to say that this phase is not important or not very present in meditation! Is it really not present in Mindfulness Meditation? Transcendental Meditation? Zen Meditation? Metta Meditation?

  1. In Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life”: “Your thoughts are like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. They appear like that, and through mindfulness, you can see them. Mindfulness is this moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as non-reactively, as non-judgmentally, and openheartedly as possible.”
  2. In Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s book “Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation”: “The nature of the mind is to go to a field of greater happiness… It is not necessary to ‘stop’ thoughts. They can be left alone to follow their own nature.”
  3. In John Daido Loori’s book “The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza”: “Thinking about not-thinking is just more thoughts. When a thought comes up, just let it come up and let it go away. It’s as simple as that. Don’t make anything out of it.”
  4. In Sharon Salzberg’s book “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness”: “When we are distracted by a strong emotion, we can stay with it, treating it as a predominant object until it dissolves… Watch the emotion’s birth, its peak, its subsiding, its ending. As we watch, we learn the truth of change.”

The list can, of course, go on! But we’ve gathered as much as we can from the proponents of the idea that revolves around reconciliation and acceptance without being a bad person or being judgmental towards your inner voice! Satan likes to hide himself and call himself ‘yourself.’ And you have to deal with ‘yourself’ ;)

A group [of you] He guided, and a group deserved [to be in] error. Indeed, they [i.e., the latter] had taken the devils as allies instead of Allāh while they thought that they were guided. [ 7:30 ]

Here, my friend, you are in a situation I don’t want you to be in at all. You, your evil-commanding self, your desires, and your devil are all in one session without discernment. As meditation courses state, the task is simple: the goal is to reach a kind of acceptance and deal with these thoughts.

Let’s share some quotes from the guys who do meditation:

In an article called “How a Non-Judgmental Mind Connects & Transforms Us [1],” Melli O’Brien, a mental strength coach and entrepreneur, said:

When you first start to meditate, the first thing you discover (if you haven’t already) is the fact that you have a ‘voice’ in your head. Not only do you have a voice in the head, but a voice that never stops. It talks incessantly, from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep (and for some of us it won’t even stop then!).

Did you notice the article title? Please read the following verse again:

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy — devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. [ 6:112 ]

Also, Sam Harris says in his application, Waking Up:

“Reflecting on conclusions can reveal the inner voice in the mind, and that can help achieve peace with this voice and reduce the anxiety and tension it can cause.”

Do you see how simple the matter is, man? We want to reconcile and build relationships of friendship and love with this voice in our minds that sometimes causes us anxiety and tension. It’s better to become friends, indeed. As Allah -SWT- said: “And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful — We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion.” [ 43:36 ]

The idols of ‘know yourself’, ‘let it go’, ‘inner self’, and ‘inner chatter’ are all facets of the same coin. They are all terms that differ according to the whims of the speaker and the devil’s deception, without methodology but with the same essence of the issue.

There’s a research paper that was published and it was studying the challenges associated with meditation that Buddhists face. The study was huge, done on different types of meditation categories, different ages, races, colors, and everything you can imagine. It’s a good study. If you look at Table 4 in the research, which shows you the statistics of mental illnesses in these people, you’ll be surprised. What!! [2][3]

  • Delusional, irrational, or paranormal beliefs (47%) — 10 categories, 93% reported
  • Hallucinations, visions, or illusions (42%) — 7 categories, 78% reported
  • Fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia (82%) — 13 categories, 100% reported
  • Sexuality-related changes (15%) — 15 categories, 88% reported
  • Pain (47%) — 15 categories, 88% reported

Did you notice those symptoms? do you remember the Qur’an verses about the devil?! Let’s read those verses again:

That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers. [ 2:175 ] — — Fear, Paranoia or re-experiencing of traumatic memories.

Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion. [ 4:120 ] — — Delusional.

And whoever turns away from My remembrance — indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [ 20:124 ] — Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-encompassing and Knowing. [ 2:268 ] — — Anxiety, depression, and sexuality-related changes.

Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” [ 2:275 ] — Hallucinations, Panic. [We explained the verse above]

I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance. [ 24:27 ] — — Irrational or paranormal beliefs.

And remember Our servant Job, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, Satan has touched me with hardship and pain.” [ 38:41 ] — — Pain.

Actually, you may find the Qur’an discussing all of those symptoms and relating them all to the same issue — Satan, your inner bad voice, which you focus on during meditation sessions, aka. Satan prayer!


Now, get ready for the next round with your Satan!

Right now, we want to understand why Meditation causes something like this. Simply because the person who does it enters a state of intense relaxation, and gives himself/herself the space to dive deep into all this mess, but! Meditation alone is not the whole problem! Drugs of all kinds can put you in this state because they put you in a state of mind, perhaps stronger than Meditation. Many people use drugs, especially marijuana, in Meditation, under the name of Cannabis Meditation [4]

The Qur’an was not revealed all at once, but it was revealed gradually, verse by verse, or a group of verses together. When Allah (SWT) revealed any new verses to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through Angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would tell Muslims where the verse should be placed in the Qur’an. For example, the first verse revealed in the Quran is the first verse of Surah number 96. This is a miracle. If you open the Qur’an now, you will feel that it was revealed all at once, but it was not. ;)

In the Qur’an, there are three verses that mention alcohol. Two of them don’t clearly prohibit alcohol but instead prepare Arabic Muslims for the permanent prohibition because they were addicted to alcohol and even wrote poems about it! Let’s read those verses according to their order of revelation:

  1. “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, ‘In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.’ And they ask you what they should spend. Say, ‘The excess [beyond needs].’ Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.” [2:219] — This verse doesn’t prohibit alcohol permanently, but some people, upon hearing this verse, stopped drinking wine because its sin is greater than its benefit. However, other people continue drinking wine because it has some benefits! The verse doesn’t give a clear law, and that was exactly what was intended. Amidst this confusion, Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, who was one of the most intense people who loved it, was called and informed about the revelation of this verse. He said, ‘Oh Allah, provide us with a comprehensive clarification regarding alcohol.’
  2. “O you who have believed, do not approach PRAYER while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying…” [4:43] This verse also doesn’t permanently prohibit alcohol, it merely instructs not to drink wine before prayer. This verse was revealed when someone was praying and reciting the Qur’an, and he made a clear mistake in his recitation of the Qur’an. Many people stopped drinking alcohol entirely after this verse, while others would drink after Isha, and after Fajr.
  3. “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” [5:90–91] Now it’s clear, alcohol is forbidden. Why? Because it’s the work of Satan. Why? Satan only wants to cause animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from PRAYER!

Did you notice the mention of prayer in the last two verses? As the Qur’an is the miracle of Muhammad (PBUH), you have to take every single word very seriously! Why is PRAYER especially mentioned when talking about alcohol? In Islam, all drugs are forbidden based on these verses and Muhammad’s (PBUH) Hadith: “What intoxicates in large quantities, a small quantity of it is also forbidden.”

If you are non-Muslim, try to read the Qur’an and reflect upon it!





Allah knows best.