What are the primary causes that lead to drug abuse?
I would say that this is something, which occurred even in the time of Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ). Even in his (ﷺ) period where Islam dominated in lots of part of his (ﷺ) life, there were people who were caught up in drugs, which is alcohol in these days. It is something which society can never really free itself from. The efforts should be to minimize the impact and to reform those who are caught up in this, and to tackle it effectively.
In these times one need to know what are the reasons? What are the causes, which have led to it? Well, I would say that ignorance, not having true Islamic teaching and its practice is a real reason. It’s not an excuse. It’s a real reason, people not knowing Islam. As we say, though Maldives is a 100% Muslim country but we have to say, to a large degree, this is nominal Islam. People would say, if you ask them, “Are you Muslim?” He would say, “Yes I’m Muslim” but then if you look into their individual lives, to what degree has Islam impacted on their lives? We have to say it's quiet limited.
I think there is an awakening to Islam in this recent last decade. There is more consciousness but there is still long way for people to really get back to what Islam is. I have talked to educators here in Maldives, those who are involved in educational system of the country, those involved in various level of that educational system and its clear that the infusion of Islam into the educational system remains according to the colonial model of separation of religion from worldly affairs, as the Christians statements say.
I would cite that as one of the reasons because that connection has not been made. We still have that separation, Islamic studies is something separate than our worldly studies. And worldly studies for the most part in the globalized version, which we are practicing here, has become demoralized. Morality has been taken out of it and it’s a secular system. So the moral foundation in education, which should be there in the Islamic educational system, is missing. So where the moral foundation is missing, people in times of need, of emotional, psychological need, they reach out for whatever is available, and if drugs are available so they start.
The compound, the issue, the fundamental issue, if the people are aware, really practically that this is something forbidden and why is it forbidden? If our teaching of Islam is only haram and halal, every time this is halal, that is haram, there is no understanding behind it, as they say what is forbidden becomes attractive because there is no reasoning behind it. That’s why I said go back to the educational system, that educational system of the past where Muslims for centuries ruled so many parts of the world and the alcohol or the drug problem was kept at minimum, not that it didn’t exist, but it kept its ugly head down, didn’t dominate those societies, why? Because of the integration of Islamic knowledge with the secular knowledge in such a way that people didn’t feel that separation between what is religious and what is secular.< Back to Questions