Why do you drink?
Let me ask you that once again:
Why do you drink alcohol?
Alternatively, why do you NOT drink alcohol?
Have you ever asked yourself that?
I had never met a single person who did not drink alcohol until my family migrated to Australia when I was eleven years old. Sure, cultural norms dictated that women should drink less than men, but to not drink at all? That would simply be rude, not to mention wierd! It would make you an outcast and cause you difficulties every where you went, for it seemed as though every single social interaction was made more enjoyable and more ceremonial if there was a bottle of something involved.
As I got older, I made more and more friends from more and more different cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. And as we all walked through life, our paths often diverged in ways that I could not have imagined possible as an innocent child.
I observed people and I thought. In fact, I thought a lot, because overthinking everything is my curse.
I realised that most people actually don’t ever make a choice. It doesn’t matter whether you are an open-minded atheist who refuses to live up to gender-stereotypes, or a God-fearing, parent-obeying young girl for whom the choice between suitors is much more important that the choice between universities, I am yet to meet a person who has ever sat down and contemplated this question.
So that is the purpose of this post. Not to tell you to drink. Not to tell you not to drink. Simply to ask you.
Maybe some day I’ll get a Ph.D. in neuroscience by studying the effects of mild doses of alcohol on the human brain during its different developmental stages and there will be scientific proof that “there is a gross sin [in alcohol], and some benefit for the people, but [its] sinfulness far outweighs [its] benefit”. (Qur’an 2:219)
Or maybe someday science will prove the elderly neighbour of my childhood right – a bottle of beer CAN cure a critically ill child and therefore there should be no issue with a mother bringing some for her hospitalised child, just like in the old days.
But there will still be people who will believe that God forbade all intoxicants.
And there will still be people who will laugh at them, as they drink another countless shot, claiming that only a hypocrite can declare that they have never been drunk in their life.
And, in some cases, they will be right.
But where will be the good people?
Everywhere and nowhere at once, for we are all sinning human beings with golden hearts.
P.S. I wrote this a few months ago when I was determined not to let another sip of alcohol pass my lips. I have since changed my mind. So if this post sounded self-righteous or judgemental at any point, now you know why 🙂