Say NO to DRUGS


Praise be to Allah (SWT), the Lord of al-Alameen (the universe); peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[1]).

We will continue our campaign, “Say no to the five narcotics: cigarettes, shisha (hookah), qat, alcohol and drugs.”  Today, we will talk about drugs and how to deal with the issue?
Let us start with the project and see how you can participate with us in Sunaa’ al-Hayah (Life Makers):
·        What would be your role if you were a judge? We ask you to speed up the execution of verdicts, especially when it comes to death sentences, and make the punishments severe.
·        What if you were a policeman? We ask you to respond immediately to the calls made by citizens.
·        What if you were a lawyer? We ask you to refuse all cases related to drug dealers even if there were loopholes that would get any of them off the charge.
 
·        What if you were a father? Never smoke cigarettes or shisha in front of your children; you are their idol, they will definitely copy you since.  You also have to be alert and notice any signs of addiction on your children.
·        What if you were wealthy individual or a businessman? We ask you to establish rehabilitation centers for the drug addicted youth.
·        What if you were a street man? We ask you to report any person that you know of who might be working with drugs or selling them to others.
·         What if you were a young person who would like to participate in Sunaa’ al-Hayah? You can gather a few of your friends and contact us through the website, saying that you would like to participate in our campaign against drugs in one of the following places: schools, universities, clubs and youth centers. We will call this group ‘Guardians of the Future’ and we will send them all the necessary medical information with the help of some doctors so they can get trained to work in this field.  All this will be available on the website.
We would like to mention the results of our campaign since the outset of the program a few weeks ago:
1.      The tape titled ‘A Message to Smokers’ has been downloaded from the website, copied 121,298 times and distributed among people.
2.      The tape titled ‘Taubah (repentance) from Alcohol and Drugs’ has been downloaded from the website, copied 26,109 times and distributed among people.
3.      The survey concerning shisha has been copied 181,266 times.
4.      The biggest surprise was the essay titled ‘A Message to Smokers,’ which has been copied 762,000 times and distributed among the people.  Each one must have made a few photocopies of the essay as well.  Imagine the number of people this essay has reached?  This is clear proof that we have the power and that we can benefit our countries.
5.      We also received several messages from different universities in the Arab countries that the youth distributed these tapes in countries like Syria, Ajman, Egypt and Morocco.
6.      Furthermore, the deputy director of the Faculty of Pharmacy in Alexandria University in Egypt issued a by-law that prohibits smoking within the campus of the College.  This was due to the huge number of ‘No Smoking’ signs he found put up all over the college.
7.      The deputy director of the Faculty of Medicine in al-Qasr al-Einy in Egypt has personally started an inspection campaign to locate the smoking students of the university and prevent them from attending lectures if they continue to smoke within the campus.
8.      The al-Fatih University in Libya announced through the National Health Committee that it has arranged for a competition to stop smoking for a month and the prize for the winner would be a ticket to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage).
9.      The Faculty of Science in Monufia University, Egypt, issued a by-law to prohibit smoking on the 15th of each month for all professors, employees and students.  The deputy director of the college has already passed the by-law.
10.  The University of Ajman has arranged a campaign, in co-operation with the Department of Preventive Medicine in al-Sharja, to prohibit smoking not only in universities but also in the whole city.
11.  The College of Administrative Science in Kuwait, the Faculty of Pharmacy in Helwan University in Egypt, the Amr al-Mokhtar University in Lybia, and the Muhammadia Law College in Morocco, have all announced that they are arranging campaigns in their colleges to prohibit smoking and, thanks to Allah (SWT), a big number of students have shown a good response to these campaigns.
12.  On the level of clubs and schools, a group of five girls in Egypt, have arranged a campaign against smoking in a few schools and clubs.  Their first campaign was on April 22nd and it took place in the Shooting Club in Egypt, in co-operation with a number of doctors.  They addressed the issue of quitting smoking in their conference.  There were a large number of attendants and the tape titled ‘Say No to Smoking’ was distributed among them.  This campaign has also extended to a few schools as well.
13.  On the level of primary schools, the teachers of a primary school in Damascus have agreed with the students to help their parents stop smoking cigarettes and shisha.  They told them that whoever manages to do so, will get extra grades in his report card under a column called ‘Grades for Positiveness.’  The result was amazing; a large number of parents responded.
14.  A thirteen year old girl printed the essay called ‘A Message to Smokers’ off the website and put photocopies of it in all the teachers’ rooms in her school.  The result was that five teachers stopped smoking after feeling ashamed of the girl.
15.  On the level of companies, one hundred companies sent us messages that they issued an administrative by-law to stop smoking inside their companies.  The by-law of one of these companies read as follows, “The Company has issued a by-law that prohibits any employee from smoking inside the office.  Those who would like to smoke can do so outside and whoever does not comply with this by-law will have to pay a five-pound fine for each cigarette he smokes inside the company.”
Do you see all these achievements?  I will remind you again with the rule that says“Whoever believes in an idea and lives and works hard to achieve it, will definitely achieve it.”
 
16.  On the street level, al-Rai Jordanian newspaper published an article on April 21st titled, “A Jordanian Company offers incentives to its employees for quitting smoking.”  This was because the manager of that company, along with 85 employees, quit smoking after the manager watched the program of Sunaa’ al-Hayah.
17.  On April 17th, al-Ahram newspaper in Egypt published a copy of the by-law of the Ministry of Food Supply which imposes a fine on any factory that produces sweets for children in the shape of cigarettes.
18.  Al-Ahram newspaper in Egypt also stated on the same date that a campaign in the Council of Ministers is being carried out by its ‘Anti-Addiction Fund’ to visit all youth centers in Egypt and to increase their awareness of the hazards of smoking and addiction.
19.  On October 20th, al-Khalij al-Araby (The Arabian Gulf) newspaper published news about blocking permits to public entertainment clubs in al-Muharraq city which offer shisha as a preliminary step to ban the use of shisha throughout the city.
20.  There are inspection campaigns in al-Mansoura city in Egypt to impose a fine on any minibus with smoking passengers or a smoking driver due to the smoke that harms other passengers.
21.  The Administration Department of Makkah al-Mukarrama issued a by-law dated April 17th stating, “We want Makkah free of smoking.”
There are three types of people: one type that is part of the events, a second type that watches the events and a third type that knows nothing about the events.
We started these efforts in order to be part of the first type as Allah says in an ayah in the Qur’an which can be translated as, “Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).” (TMQ, ar-Ra’d:11)[2].   There truly is a great deal of hope.
Now, we would like to reduce the effect of drugs among the youth and I will read to you some statistics of some Drug Fighting Centers.  The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt provided the following statistics:
 
  • Among every 100 young men, 16 attempt to use drugs and 4 become addicts.
  • The number of heroin addicts in Egypt ranges between 20 thousand and 30 thousand.
  • The cost of providing medical care and running drug fighting institutions in Egypt during the last ten years has reached 178 billion pounds, exceeding the returns of the Suez Canal and Tourism in Egypt as well as any financial aid that has been given to Egypt.
  • In 2001, the amount of expenditure on drugs in Egypt reached 23 billion pounds.
  • In 2002, the amount of expenditure on drugs in Egypt reached 25 billion pounds.
  • In 2003, the amount of expenditure on drugs in Egypt reached 26 billion pounds.
  • In 2004, the estimated amount of expenditure on drugs in Egypt will exceed 26 billion pounds.
  • In the Arabian Gulf area: the number of addicts in a small Gulf country reached 20 thousand individuals.
  • Fifteen percent of students use drugs; girls included.
  • Twenty-two percent of preparatory stage students in the Arab world use drugs.
  • Thirty percent of schoolgirls smoke marijuana.
  • During last Ramadan, 40 individuals in one Gulf country died due to drug overdoses.
I will tell you of a story I know about a group of friends who consumed drugs collectively, along with alcohol and cigarettes.  When they ran out of the narcotics, one of them went to get more and was involved in a car accident.  When his friends realized that he was late, one went looking for him.  He found the car with his friend lying on the ground saying, “I cannot.” The friend then asked, “You cannot what?” The injured friend replied, “I cannot meet Allah, the Glorious.”  After that incident, Allah (SWT) guided this second friend to taubah.
Another addict tried to steel money from his mother. When she tried to stop him, he killed her.  A third addict sold his wife’s honor to get a dose of drugs.  A forth one sold his integrity and became a spy against his country to benefit a foreign association (his country’s enemy) in order to get money for drugs.  There are many more tragic cases that happen because of drug addiction.
Last week, al-Arabia channel presented an episode about spies who have been controlled by the enemy against their countries using the three following things, in this same order, starting with the mostly used:
1.      Drugs
2.      Sex
3.      Money
Do you know that the death of Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen and Dr. Abdulaziz al-Rantissi happened because of the treason of such spies?
The first thing that countries do, if they are planning to attack other countries, is to spread drugs at borders in order to destroy the youth so they would not be able to fight.  This is what the enemy did at the Egyptian borders between 1967 and 1973.  We will all be asked about why we did not try to give advice on the Day of Judgment.  Why did we stand by and watch? Why did we not try to help?
The person who is a drug addict usually turns into to a dealer, in order to be able to get the money he needs, by convincing others to buy and become addicts as well.  There is a statistical study provided by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood that shows the places where the youth consume drugs:
·        Eighty-two percent take drugs with their friends.
·        Forty-five percent take drugs in cars.
·        Forty percent take drugs in parties.
·        Twenty-five percent take drugs in WC’s.
·        Fifteen percent take drugs in night clubs.
Four reasons that motivate the youth to become addicts:
1.      Bad friends.
2.      Broken homes, the absence of parents, or lacking interest from the family.
3.      Unemployment and plenty of free time.
4.      The lack of Iman (faith).
Do you know that 99 % of drug addicts start by smoking cigarettes?  Seventy-three percent of drug addicts only wanted to try it once.  Ninety-four percent of marijuana addicts are turning into other more serious cases.
Some friends know that there is a drug addict amongst them, yet they do nothing to inform his family, thinking of it as an act of gallantry towards their friend.  They continue to watch the destruction of their friend and continue to do nothing.
The beginner addict gradually turns into a complete addict.  Some parents, who fear the scandal, prefer to lock up their addict sons at home instead of putting them in a clinic to receive proper treatment.
The United Nations and most countries of the world established three trends to fight drug addiction:
First trend: Preventing supply, i.e. preventing dealers from importing, planting, smuggling or selling drugs to others, and that is the role of governments and police departments.  As for individuals, they should inform the concerned authorities.
Second trend: Decreasing demand, i.e. creating a will power between the individuals so they would refuse drugs and loose interest in buying them.
Third trend: Intensifying sanctions through legal systems and legislation in order to inhibit drug trading.
We will start by the issue of intensifying sanctions; the legislative system in Egypt enforced the death sentence as a verdict on drug dealers who trade in drugs or import them from abroad, as they are trading with people’s life for the sake of money.  That sanction is an application for the Qur’anic ayah in which Allah (SWT), the Most Gracious says what can be translated as, “And there is (a saving of) life for you in al-Qisas (the Law of imposing a punishment similar in nature to the committed crime), O men of understanding, that you may become al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (TMQ, al-Baqara: 179).  As for the drug dealers, who trade in drugs and distribute them within the country, their verdict is life in prison.  Unfortunately, death sentences are very few because judges hesitate in ruling them.  As a result, drug dealers usually get life sentences.
We need a more powerful role from judges; we need strict rules that would be promptly executed.
We have a role for policemen too.  We need them to prevent the trafficking of drugs between individuals and to act swiftly to any report they receive about drugs.  After all, the reason for doing this would be only to please Allah (SWT).
Do you know that the United Nations issued a report stating that whatever efforts a country exerts, no matter how strong its security system is, it can never confiscate more than 30 % of the total amount of drugs inside that country.  It is impossible for a country to do the job by itself and fight alone; individuals should help too.
Also, experts have found out, after great efforts that any strategy that depends only on controlling supply and demand is an incomplete strategy and it is an impossible mission unless people exert their best efforts and participate in bearing the responsibility.
The United Nations underlined, in 1998, a statement that governmental efforts alone are not sufficient, people and private societies must also exert their best efforts.  Therefore, the solution is in our hands and we represent its cornerstone; do not isolate yourself.
Do you know that in the last century, Chinese products had the strongest influence in the European nations, and Europeans were not able to export anything to China?  They decided to use a ruse and export opium to the Chinese people.  China decided to inspect the imported products and discovered 20,000 boxes of opium.  The boxes were burnt and the dealers who imported them were sent away.  The European nations then decided to launch a war against China and bound it to a severe treaty.  Moreover, they kept re-exporting more drugs and opium.  The Chinese government decided to appoint a volunteer in each school, university and factory to remind individuals and draw their attention to the harmful effects of drugs.  They also distributed posters among them.  The result was astounding; addiction rates dropped dramatically because of the efforts of individuals and volunteers.
In al-Khandaq (the Trench) Battle, the disbelievers, who were 10,000, surrounded the Muslims from all sides except the southern side where the Jews were located.  The Muslims had previously agreed with the Jews to keep that side open.  Bani Quraysh (the disbelievers) agreed with the Jews to use that southern entrance in order to facilitate the extermination of the Muslims and defeat them.
Then a man from the disbelievers came to the Prophet (SAWS) and declared that he embraced Islam and requested to stay with the Muslims.  The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) asked him, “You are just a single man; you can’t do much here with us but you can help from your position on the disbelievers’ side.”  Can you imagine what that single man did? He went to Bani Qurayza (a Jewish tribe), who had an agreement with the Muslims, and told them that Quraysh will use their entrance and then will make reconciliation with Muhammad, so he advised them to take 70 hostages from the disbelievers as a guarantee for their treaty with them.  They agreed.  Then he went to Quraysh and told them that Bani Qurayzah fears the enmity with Muhammad so they made an agreement with him, to please him, by promising to take 70 hostages from the disbelievers and deliver them to him. However, Quraysh doubted the words of the man and intended to negotiate with the Jews and find out the truth.  Quraysh discovered that he was right and that their plan failed so they withdrew from the city.  Do you see what a single man can do?
The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Each one of you is a keeper, and each of you is responsible for his flock.  The ruler is the keeper of the people, and is responsible for his subjects.  The man is the keeper of his family, and is responsible for them.  The woman is the keeper of her husband’s house and children, and is responsible for them.  The slave is the keeper of his master’s property, and is responsible for it.  All of you are keepers, and all of you are responsible for your flock.”  Have you heard what the Prophet (SAWS) is saying; from the ruler to the servant, from the man to the woman.  Then he repeated, “All of you are keepers, and all of you are responsible for your flock,” to confirm that meaning and underline it.
Some Muslims in America have had amazing experiences especially those living in the Jamaica district in Brooklyn City, New York.  All the inhabitants of that neighborhood are black and as a result of persecution and racial discrimination, a large number of them embraced Islam which teaches equality between all individuals.  A widespread of drug trading, along with other crimes, pervaded in that neighborhood.  A group of 100 young Muslims decided to launch a campaign for 40 days.  They distributed signs saying, “We don’t want drugs in our neighborhood,” and they also distributed brochures explaining the harmful effects of drugs.  Photos of some people who died from drug overdoses were also passed around.  The results were glorious; 15 drug outlets were closed in that neighborhood, and the American police sent them an acknowledgment letter telling them that they have succeeded where the police department has failed.
We have received the following suggestions of solutions through our website:
  • Performing blood tests on school students every three months, and expelling those who have traces of any sort of drugs in their blood.  However, we found that this is a very difficult solution because it is not suitable for our countries and culture.  At the same time, this is the role that every parent should carry out.  We would like to ask the test labs and doctors to please reduce their cost of examination and tests. 
  • Encouraging lawyers to not accept drug cases by addressing a letter to them entitled ‘An Appeal to Honest Lawyers.’  That letter is on our website; you can copy it and distribute it. 
  • We invite businessmen to offer financial contributions to build and construct rehabilitation institutions for addicts, where they can spend two years studying and working until they regain their self-esteem and become responsible people, capable of assisting their countries.
Actually this project was implemented in the al-Natroun Valley in Egypt; the Egyptian church established it and exerted a tremendous effort to make it successful.  The project has actually achieved huge success in addicts’ rehabilitation.
We would also like to address an appeal to the ordinary man; you have to report anyone trading in drugs or distributing them, the service of reporting is also available through the Internet.
Now, we will move to the project of ‘Guardians of the Future.’  It will consist of a group of young men and their friends who agree to protect faculties, schools, clubs and youth centers against drugs.  They should be about four or five, and they must make a covenant with Allah (SWT) and promise Him that this is the project of their life; that this project will be presented to Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment.
You will find a page on our website for that project entitled ‘Guardians of the Future.’  Fill in the requested data for registration in order to start your participation.
In brief, these groups will be responsible for the project, ‘Say no to the five narcotics’ throughout the websitewww.amrkhaled.net, until the project expands and follows the examples of the American Muslims and China.  The project will be implemented in factories, clubs and schools.  We will provide them with all the necessary tools such as posters and tapes, along with some training courses and sessions with doctors to teach them about how to deal with addicts and their problems.
Requirements:
  1. To be responsible for the project, ‘Say no to the five narcotics.’
  1. To raise awareness in the whole faculty or school against drugs; the school principle or the faculty dean will support you.  We are not talking theoretically here; the Arab Union Society for fighting addiction (the Arab League’s consulting firm) has achieved these steps in reality.  The Society has conducted training courses for a group of 100 volunteer students from al Orman secondary school to teach them about how to deal with addicts and how to fight drugs.  The trainees started by announcing their responsibility for the school, and achieved a tremendous success by alerting them of the harmful effects of narcotics from smoking to drugs.    Several schools started to follow their example.  You can watch a recorded interview with them on the website.
  1. To continuously remind others of the harmful effects of the five narcotics.
Therefore I call for any doctor who likes that idea and wants to participate, to send us his information through the website and to inform us about the availability of his time for training so that we can contact him.
Allah says what can be translated as,Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah; of them some have fulfilled their obligations.” (TMQ, al-Ahzab: 23).   Let us all be responsible.  Don’t be a weak person, don’t be tired of responsibility, because after all, that will be a covenant with Allah (SWT), the Most Gracious and the Most Exalted.  In that regard, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, And of them are some who made a covenant with Allah (saying), “If He bestowed on us of His Bounty, we will verily give Sadaqah(voluntary charity in Allah’s Cause) and will be certainly among those who are righteous.  Then when He gave them of His Bounty, they became niggardly (refused to pay the Sadaqah), and turned away, averse.  So He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their hearts till the Day whereon they shall meet Him, because they broke that (covenant with Allah) which they had promised to Him and because they used to tell lies.” (TMQ, at-Taubah:75-77).
Which one of you can be responsible and follow the example of Yusuf (AS) (Joseph) when he was released from prison, and undertook the responsibility of the economy in Egypt?
Which one of you can be responsible like the Prophet’s companion, Ali Ibn-Abu-Taleb (RA), in protecting Islam and the Prophet (SAWS) himself?
Lastly, I beseech Allah (SWT) to grant us all success.  May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.
source: dar al tarjama article by  Amr Khaled


[1] Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.
[2] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an.  This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah)  of the Qur’an.  Reading the translated meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed
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