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What is the philosophy behind the prohibition on Gambling ?

What is the philosophy behind the prohibition on Gambling?

Adopted from Tafseer-e-Namunah

Very rarely can one be found, who is unaware of the various harms of gambling, and in order to further explain this fact, we present here, succinctly, some of its evil consequences:

Gamblign - The Premier Cause of Agitation and Excitement

All psychologists are of the opinion that mental agitation and excitement is the principal cause for many of the diseases.  For example, reduction in (body) vitamins, ulcers of the stomach, insanity,

mild and severe nervous and psychological disorders and the like, in numerous instances, arise as a result of excitement - and the premier cause that brings about excitement is gambling

An American scholar has stated:

In this country only, more than two thousand individuals die every year due to excitement and agitation arising as a result of gambling, and on an average, theheart of a poker-player beats in excess of a hundred beats a minute.  At times, gambling also triggers cardiac and cerebral apoplexy and is undoubtedly a factor, which brings about early aging.

Apart from what the scholars have stated, one, who engages in gambling, not only is his soul subjected to tension but also the tracts of his body come to possess an unusual and an atypical state - his heartbeat increases, sugar level in the blood rises, there occurs a disruption in the secretion of the internal glands, the colour of his face pales and he suffers from a lack of appetite.  Upon conclusion of the gambling bout and subsequent to a battle of nerves and a tensed and critical state he goes to bed, predominantly resorting to alcohol and drugs in order to soothe his nerves and calm his body, in which case, the harms arising as a result of these ought to be added to those, which arise directly as a result of gambling.

Another scholar has to say: 

A gambler is a diseased person, who is in need of constant psychological attention.  An effort should be made to make him comprehend that there exists a psychological vacuum, which propels him towards this reprehensible act, so that he embarks upon treating himself.

Connection between Crime and Gambling

One of the world’s largest organisations dealing in statistics has established that thirty percent of all crimes are directly related to gambling, and it is also one of the factors which bring about seventy percent of offences.

The Economic Harms of Gambling

In the course of a year, people’s money in millions, rather billions are lost as a result of gambling and this is apart from the numerous man-hours that go down the drain as a result of it – even robbing the zest and vitality for continued work during the other hours.  For example, it has been stated in one of the reports that in the city of Monte Carlo - one of the well-known gambling centers of the world - a person, in a gambling spree spread over a period of 19 hours, lost a sum of 4 million dollars.  When the casino shut its doors he proceeded straight towards the woods where, shooting himself in the head, he terminated his life.  The reporter adds that the woods of Monte Carlo have repeatedly witnessed incidents of suicides on the part of such devoted gamblers.

The Social Harms of Gambling

Numerous gamblers, owing to the fact that they occasionally turn up winners and possibly pocket thousands of other’s money within a short time, are not inclined to enter into economic and manufacturing work as a result of which, the wheels of economy and production tend to become crippled in the corresponding ratio.  If we inspect meticulously, we would perceive that all the gamblers and their families are a burden upon the society, not only not contributing the slightest benefit to it but, on the contrary, exploiting it for their own benefit and at times resorting to theft to make good the losses incurred by them during gambling.

In short, the evils of gambling are in such great measure that many of the non-Islamic nations have prohibited it, in law, although they may extensively indulge in it, in practice; for example, England prohibited it in 1853, the Soviet Union did so in 1855, the United States implemented the prohibition in 1854 while Germany followed suit in 1873.

At the end of this discussion it is interesting to note that according to statistics compiled by some of the researchers, 90 percent of all pick-pocketing instances, 10 percent of moral offences, 40 percent of assaults, 15 percent of sexual abuses, 30 percent of divorces and 5 percent of suicides are brought about by gambling.

If we were to present a catholic definition for gambling, we would have to state: 

Gambling means sacrificing wealth and honour, for acquiring the riches of others by means of deception and craftiness, or, at times, for recreation - but not attaining either of the two objectives.

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