x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Sermon urges strong family ties to combat drug use

Avoiding too much free time and negative influences also cited in Friday sermon to steer worshippers away from addiction.

ABU DHABI // Consuming drugs and alcohol is a form of suicide, worshippers will be told today during the Friday sermon. God forbids people from doing anything that will harm themselves or others, it says. "Everybody knows the connection between drug abuse and various physical, psychological and social illnesses."

It adds: "Therefore, when a person takes narcotics and alcohol he is considered to be leading himself to destruction, and Allah says [in the Quran]: 'Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin.'" There is a consensus among Islamic scholars that drugs are prohibited in Islam, because the Prophet Mohammed said: "Every intoxicator is alcohol, and every alcohol is forbidden," imams will say in the sermon. Mohammed Moustafa, a social behaviour expert and former imam, said anti-drug campaigns should also focus on how drug problems can be fixed.

"You should give him concrete steps on how to stop," Mr Moustafa said. To avoid falling into the cycle of drug abuse, imams will advise people to have stronger family ties, avoid too much free time and distance themselves from associates who can be a bad influence. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae