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I am told the drugs like Marijuana (ganja) make the people think more deeply. Some people call it ‘holy weed’. Some tribes who still follow their ancient culture and tradition practice drinking some medicine which take them into a trance or a journey within themselves without harming the body, unlike alcohol. Does this kind of stuff really trigger our spiritual journey it is just a mind game. Has Islam totally banned intake of anything that harms our body? Marijuana, I am told, does not harm the health, except for the fact that it takes the user into a trance.
Zohra Mujeer

London, [email protected]

Maqbool Ahmed Siraj replies

Dear Zohra
To put it plainly, Islam prohibits intake of any kind of intoxicants. If large amount of anything causes intoxication, the faithful are prohibited from consuming even a smaller quantity of it. Not merely body, even the intake of things that harm the intellect are prohibited by Islam. All Islamic worships and prayers are held only in the state of full consciousness and with an alert mind. So getting into trance cannot be considered an ideal condition for Islamic prayer and supplication. Traditional fakirs and mendicants are addicted to several kinds of addictions and they should not be our role models. Islam requires the faithful to remain in conscious state of mind with intellect fully awakened in order to concentrate on what one beseeches from God. Unless one is aware of his utterances, how could he /she pray to God? Hadith makes it clear that a faithful must safeguard himself against all crimes and corrupting influences. Just as infliction of injury against one’s physical self is prohibited, even intellect has to be safeguarded. All intoxicants either harm the body or the intellect. Though some may improve the physical efficiency, such efficiency is not considered normal. Even regulations related to sports and games prohibit intake of such medicines which might unnaturally enhance the physical performance. It is why anti-doping tests are conducted against sportspersons who perform beyond the natural human capacity.