PATNA – In a bid to curb the unhealthy practice, a group of Muslim scholars in India's northern state of Bihar have launched a campaign against alcohol consumption, deciding not to perform the funeral prayer (Janazah) for drunkards.
“It is a historic decision not to offer funeral prayers of the drunkards who die,” Hafiz Maulana Mahtab Alam Makhdumi, an Imams of Bihar's Nalanda district, told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) on Sunday, January 12.
“We hope that it will send a strong massage among Muslims not to consume liquor.”
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The scholars’ decision was announced on Saturday during the meeting of the Anjuman Faizane Mustafa Committee at Biharsharief, the headquarters of Nalanda.
Taking rigid decisions to prevent the growing practice, the scholars applied a symbolic punishment for the drunkards by socially boycotting them.
Escalating the opposition, the scholars warned that if there were no response to the boycott, they won't lead their Janazah prayer for the insisting drunkards.
“It is a tough decision as there is no other method left to warn the drunkards,” Makhdumi said.
“We have urged people that drunkards should be socially boycotted but even after that if they fail to end their habit, we will not lead their funeral prayers,” he added.
Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants. It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.
The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that get people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.
The scholars’ decision to boycott Muslims who consume alcohol has been welcomed by the Muslim community in the northern state of Bihar.
“It will help discourage consuming of liquors and serve as a warning for drunkards,” said Nayiar Fatmi, a Muslim activist in Patna.
Similar campaigns will be undertaken across Bihar's districts after the success of Nalanda's leading campaign.
Last Sunday, Muslim scholars in Bihar have decided not to conduct marriage contracts for those who give or take dowry, pointing at the disturbing social ills related to it.
The move won the support of the Muslim community.
Human life is so highly appreciated in Islam that the matters relating to health take precedence over acts of worship.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There should be neither harm nor reciprocation of harm.”
This hadith illustrates that a Muslim should not be a source of harm for others in any way.
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
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