1. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    The Islamic faith. Any drug use?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by TimHarris, Jun 5, 2013.

    I am doing research for my book, in which one of my characters has to smuggle narcotics between planets in order to stop the apocalypse.

    What I am trying to find out is if Muslims use any drugs of any kind as a part of a ritual? Christians might drink wine in church. I know cannabis are sometimes used in Hinduism, and several amazonian tribes go the extra mile and drink powerful Ayahuasca spiritually, and are even allowed to import it to other countries for spiritual practices.

    For that matter, are there any religions at all that are completely drug free?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The Mormon faith is drug free, can't say all individual Mormons are. There is heavy opium smoking in a lot of Middle East Muslim countries that I've never heard Allah frowns upon. You'd get better information on this by Googling, I believe.

    Someone created a Wiki Page you should look at: Religion and Drugs.

    Apparently Allah does frown on the Poppy fruit after all:
    I'm guessing some Islam practitioners are fine with the cognitive dissonance the same way most religious followers are.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've talked to a Muslim girl about this before, and she told me that Muslims aren't allowed to do drugs or drink alcohol. Thus, even opium is forbidden. I know that several terrorist groups grow and smuggle opium to fund their cause, but I don't think many of them actually use it.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    That doesn't mean they don't. There are as many Muslim users out there as junkies/users of other or no religion. Same goes with alcohol. To say Muslims don't drink is a bit naïve. Isn't that one of the reasons for the Istanbul riots? Didn't the PM limit the hours of the day that alcohol can be bought in retail outlets?
    As far as Allah is concerned - I don't think he likes anything that alters the mind -

    "O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed." The Qur'an 5:90 http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_201_250/drugs_muslims_should_avoid.htm


    The UNODC says Afghanistan has around one million heroin and opium addicts out of a population of 30 million, making it the world's top user per capita.
    No estimates are available on how many women are addicted to opium or heroin. Nejat estimates around 60,000 women in Afghanistan regularly take illegal drugs, including hashish and marijuana
    . . .
    Afghanistan's female narcotics problem is now filling the country's largest women's prison, Badam Bagh or "Almond Orchard", on the outskirts of Kabul.
    Of its 164 inmates, 64 are opium and heroin users, double what it was when the clinic started in 2008

    taken from http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_(Alcohol_and_Drugs)
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As the others have already pointed out, a distinction must be made between what is permitted and what actually happens. Gingercoffee mentioned the Mormon faith as being a drug free faith, which is true according to their doctrine, but as she also makes note, this cannot be used to measure individual behavior. As an undergrad studying anthropology, one of the studies we looked was the Tuscan Garbage Project. In short, a nearly exclusive Mormon neighborhood in Tucson was polled, door to door, regarding consumption of alcohol. The results of the poll were a resounding, "No, we don't drink. We're Mormons." At the same time the garbage from this neighborhood was segregated and gone through prior to reaching the dump. The trash told a completely different story. Alcohol related garbage items were nearly identical in frequency compared to non-Mormon neighborhoods. It's called social lying. We read the study as part of the discussion of emic and etic data.

    From another thread wherein a somewhat related concept was being discussed:

     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The OP's question was about rituals, not general use. Since such things aren't allowed in Islam, they wouldn't be used in rituals.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, drugs are never used in rituals in Islam. Hash etc has been used for centuries medically. There is relatively low drug abuse among Muslims and not mush alcohol abuse as people eat, not drink, to have fun. It's not really part of any Muslim's culture. I'm not saying drubs and/or alcohol are never used, though. Also, there are incredibly draconian laws against drugs in practically all Muslim countries, and some have laws against alcohol.
     
  8. GriffinGarcon
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    GriffinGarcon Member

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    Well, most of Afghanistan is on heroin. I've seen scary pics in NatGeo of dudes totally out of it in small huts and stuff. As for a ritual including drugs in a church\mosque, i've never heard of it. I've known a lot of Muslims and drugs\alcohol is not part of their religion in any form.
     
  9. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    Not in rituals, and as posted earlier the laws are draconian, especially in sharia law countries. More westernized countries allow some amount of alcohol, and when i was in Egypt in the 1990's Egypt even had a national beer, Stella. I didn't say a good beer....I was approached on the streets frequently by citizens asking if i would buy them alcohol at duty free, though. They would always say it was for a wedding party, too, for some reason.
     
  10. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Not officially sanctioned in Islam, but it was stated in Black Hawk Down that the Muslims would chew khat during or right after Isha. Not a religious ritual, but a daily one.
     
  11. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Not allowed in Islam, although smoking hashish in hookah was big in the Middle East -- especially by assassins.
     
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  12. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Considering the fact nicotine and caffeine are also drugs of abuse (incidentally legal, but that doesn't change their nature) I'd say there's no such thing a 'completely drug free' religion or church. However, the more spiritual members, such as monks, might well be abstaining from all mind-altering substances, unless they are a part of the ritual, like wine in Christianity.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    A little fact I learned at uni to amplify your statement there, Jazz, we know of no culture with access to drugs that choses to never use them. If it's there, there is always use. In anthropology this is accepted as a rule, not a tendency.
     
  14. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=3885]Wreybies[/MENTION]: I don't want to derail a topic, I just wanted to briefly respond to what you said. It's been well documented in animals as well. The thing is, pharmacologically speaking, a lot of these natural drugs (I am excluding all synthetic stuff from this statement) actually have very discernible health benefits. Wine will vasodilate blood vessels leading to long term protection from various forms of vascular disease, cannabis will improve a whole host of issues (eaten or smoked) from inflammation, pain, spasticity, asthma and even it will improve immune status in people who suffer with repeated infections, tobacco is a well-known medication to treat respiratory problems, opiates will target physical and psychological pain, etc. Beer has been used instead of infected water for most of European history.

    Sure, some people abuse substances, but whenever they become freely available, loads more people enjoy improved health and well being whilst the hard drug criminal culture all but vanishes (shown in all free-drugs trials so far).

    Physiologically, you can go as far as to say that certain people are born with deficiencies or excess receptors (gaba, opiate, dopamine etc, ) that these natural substances compensate for, and as such, they've been used for centuries to promote health and well-being. These imbalances are very common and they vary between individuals, which is why people usually have 'their drug' and some other drug does nothing for them.

    The problem is that natural forms contain complex mixtures of substances that have multiple synergistic effects, which can't be replicated pharmacologically. The best pharma industry can do is isolate an 'active ingredient' and they end up with ineffective supplements (such as synthetic cannabinoids for example). And then they turn around and claim there are 'no discernible benefits' etc. We are just so far removed from our natural state, it's sad.
     
  15. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    I'm in Afghanistan and hash is extremely popular. I think it's officially illegal but that doesn't stop anyone. I also know Afghanistan and Iran have huge issues with drug addiction. They're not used in any religious capacity. It really depends on where you are. Possessing Hash in Saudi Arabia will get you killed. Possessing it in Afghanistan does nothing since there's really no rule of law here and there is a tradition of hash smoking in the country. Keep in mind that places like Pakistan and Afghanistan are not in the middle east, nor are the people ethnic Arabs. The opinion of a Sunni Arab Muslim can be vastly different from that of a Shia Pakistani Muslim.
     
  16. AgonyDrum
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    AgonyDrum Member

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    The Islamic faith prohibits drug use but as with all religions not everyone follows every rule, must afghan's that i saw dint let the religion stop them i didn't see any drinking at all but several of them smoke pot and a lot of them especially the Taliban carry tins of chewing tobacco laced with opium that they use medicinally/recreationally. Granted though my experience is limited to rural afghans and the afghan army guys
     
  17. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @TimHarris the OP asked about rituals, not substance abuse...

    www.1902encyclopedia.com/D/DER/dervish.html

    Apparently, some groups of sufi dervishes do practice the use of hashish (someone mentioned assassins in MidEast - that's actually the same word, "hashish"-"assassin")
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This may be a bit off-topic, but I thought I'd mention it anyways. I know a lot of Muslims and Islamic scholars don't see Sufism as a branch of Islam. There has been some violence against Sufi believers in Pakistan and Egypt. I've heard a Islamic scholar say that Sufism predates Islam and because it grew alongside Islam in the same region, it became associated with Islam and adopted some of its beliefs. So what drugs the practitioners of Sufism take may not be an accurate representation of Islam. This may be a minor detail, but I think it's still important.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is the zombiest thread ever. [​IMG] It just keeps coming back. LOL :D

    Also, I'm watching Dawn of the Dead on SyFy...
     
  20. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @thirdwind well, sufism is practiced by a very small minority of believers, dedicated and a bit exclusive... in christianity they'd be called a sect ... but they have some great music :)
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In his DUNE series, Frank Herbert references Sufis and what he calls sufi juice which they drink to attain knowledges not accessible through other epistemologies. Mentats also make use of the juice in the series. Makes sense given that the fremen of the Dune series are clearly based on Arabic peoples.
     
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Speaking of music, I've been learning about the Indian musical system for a few months now, and I recently came to find out that Sufi music is fairly big in the Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about Sufi music. Can you give me info on some songs or where I should start in terms of artists?
     
  23. Fadou
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    Fadou New Member

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    If I understood your first question correctly, you are asking whether Muslims use drug in religious rituals. The answer is no.

    I agree with previous posts that even though drug use is prohibited (Haram), some Muslims choose to consume it. However, I doubt that they would use it during religious ceremonies.

    Have you thought about incense (Bakhour or Bakhoor)? It is commonly used by Muslims for purification and setting the mood for spirituality. At least in North Africa, we burn incense in mosques, houses, during religious celebrations (at nights in Ramadan, Eids, etc.). The ingredients and shape of Bakhoor differ from one culture to another, but usage is nearly the same.
     
  24. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @thirdwind when you say "Sufi music in India" you probably mean Qawali - I'll PM you some links that I hope you'll enjoy :)

    @Wreybies I don't know, but I remember the first time I read Dune back in high school I thought : this guy had a nice copy of an "Encyclopaedia Islamica" on his desk :) ...and back than I had only vague (and mostly wrong and negative) knowledge of Islam... but now I think those references in Herbert's work are mostly superficial - serving to give flavor to his universe just like references to Dark Ages West Europe give flavor to most epic fantasy... sorry for getting waaaay off-topic :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  25. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I could have sworn I watched a show about an Islamic sect that allowed it's elders to use hashish to achieve higher mental awareness.
     

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