Treating addiction
by GFH

Wa ʿalaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

i am working with young people who abuse illicit drugs and i wanted to know if there were any hadiths related to the treatment of addiction and how our beloved prophet peace be upon him dealt with people using drugs/alcohol.

All the verses and hadiths that relate to khamr address drugs and drug addiction as well. There are useful discussions at the following pages:

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and especially, x L 20120706

The latter provides the email of the Muslim director of center for the treatment of addiction who, no doubt, is the better person to ask for someone who works in the field.

There is glad tidings in the hadith of the man who kept being lashed for drinking, and about whom the Prophet said "I do swear he loves Allah and His Prophet," that this serious and gravest of offenses nevertheless does not negate love for Allah Most High and His Prophet, upon him blessings and peace. Such a hadith gives hope - as a start - to those of us who are addicted to their sin or sins.

I conclude with an old reply I gave to the following question:

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Question: i was talking with a friend of mine and i mentioned what is quoted from sahl ibn abdullah that if one were to abandon the world for fourty days sincerely then miracles would manifest in you (riasalah of imam qushayri). he said that the imam is not in a position to say such a thing especially by fixing a set tme frame of fourty days. Personally i have learnt the the kashf of the awlia which do not contradict the sharia are held to be in the category of possible or impossible and one is neither obliged to accept or reject. i have been looking for info for my friend to convince him that there is nothing wrong with this statement as it is possible that Allah subhaana wa ta''ala revieled this to him. do you know of anything mentioned on this point in traditional books.

Wa ʿalaykum as-Salam:

The statement related by Imam al-Qushayri in the Risala Qushayriyya from the great Wali, Sahl al-Tustari, whose speech consistently resembled Hadith, is a basic rule for ego-control and spiritual advancement in the sufi principle of supervised seclusion (khalwa) and is also reported from Imam Malik by his student Ibn Wahb, as cited by al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (Risala ed. 8:109), Allah have mercy on all of them, in the wording "None renounces the world and guards himself except he will speak wisdom," both of them paraphrasing the Prophetic Hadith:


Narrated by Ibn Abi Shayba (7:80), al-Qudaʿi in Musnad al-Shihab (1:285), Ahmad, Hannad, and Ibn al-Mubarak, all three in their Zuhd, al-Daylami in Musnad al-Firdaws (3:564), Abu Nuʿaym in the Hilya (5:189, 10:70) and others through so many chains both from Companions &#8211; Ibn ʿAbbas, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Abu Musa al-Ashʿari, ʿAli, Abu Dharr, and Anas &#8211; and mursal &#8211; from Makhul and Safwan ibn Sulaym &#8211; that it reaches the grade of hasan sahih according to Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari in al-Mudawi li-ʿIlal al-Jamiʿ al-Saghir wa-Sharhay al-Munawi (6:108-111).

Its modality refers to (1) observing congregational prayer from its very start as well as (in Imam Zayd&#8217;s narration in his Musnad) (2) fasting and (3) consuming only licit sustenance. Cf. Sharh Sunan Ibn Majah (1:58), Fayd al-Qadir (4:273, 6:43-44), and Kashf al-Khafa&#8217; (2:292-293). For four more similar hadiths see al-Mudawi (6:295-298). A fourth meaning is Godwary simple living as illustrated by Imam Malik's statement.

Its purpose also includes repentence as illustrated by the statement of Abu ʿAmr ibn ʿAlwan the student of al-Junayd: "... Then I sat alone somewhere, fervently asking for Divine forgiveness. I decided to live austerely for forty days.... " Cited by Ibn al-Jawzi in the chapter on al-Junayd in his Sifat al-Safwa.

Even if there were no Prophetic hadith to that effect it would be enough for a heart devoid of hypocrisy and fallacious reliance on its feeble nafs, to know that the experts of zuhd are lavishing on our undeserving persons the benefits of their experience and that this is an agreed-upon matter of tajriba and tibb al-qulub for our benefit, not a vain advertisement for themselves such as what we might interpret through the self-pleased prism of our own sin-glutted souls.

Moreover, even if there were no teachings of the Awliya to that effect, it was known even to Aristotle that "Human nature is a matter of habits" and it is a truism of contemporary psychology that if you can control a habit for 21 consecutive days you can break it once and for all. Otherwise how could people break the evils of cigarette and drug addiction? So this is a karama given to all humankind and not only to the Believers.

However, Hikma is the lost property of the Believers and they are the first ones to take it and bow to its truth wherever they find it, contrary to every proud satan that loves to find fault in the teachings of the Awliya because he himself is a shaykhless orphan. How truly wonderful is the Divine generosity toward the Friends of Allah in the fact that Allah Most High, in order to raise their levels ever more, keeps employing the wagging tongues of arrogant imbeciles against them, not only in their lifetimes but for centuries on end!

Tawfiq is from Allah.

GF Haddad
[SP 2006-10-06]

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latest update: Wed, 7 Jan 2009


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