Alcohol: Kills!

Danny Abdallah

It seems like months that the bushfires throughout Australia have been dominating the headlines on TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

Those fires have brought heartbreak to literally thousands of people: death and injury to loved ones, hundreds of homes burned to the ground, business owners facing financial ruin, the loss of half a billion native animals….and our tourism industry has been devastated.

However, these bushfires which continue to rage in some areas and have been a constant talking point all over the world have for the past 5-6 weeks at least have this week been relegated to the ‘inside’ pages of the papers and lost their number one billing among electronic media outlets.

If the collective heart of this nation hadn’t already been broken by the bushfire catastrophe, surely the events at Oatlands in Sydney’s northwest last Saturday night would have finished off the job.

Four beautiful young kids of Lebanese background, aged between 9 and 13, were sharing a peaceful evening walk when a car – driven by an alleged drunk driver – ran a red light and mounted the kerb, killing siblings Antony, Angelina and Sienna Abdallah and their cousin Veronique Sakr as they  headed to the local shops to buy ice cream.

PHOTO: Angelina, 12, Sienna, 9, Antony, 13, and Veronique, 11 were all killed in the incident. (Supplied)

The heartache suffered by parents losing even one child must be unbearable. To lose three at once, all under the age of 13, is hard for me to even comprehend.

Yet Leila Abdallah, who lost three of her six kids in the tragedy, says that she has forgiven the driver, 29 year old Samuel Davidson.

“Right now, I can’t hate him and I don’t want to see him,” she said on Tuesday.


Leila Abdallah (Photo Supplied)

“I think in my heart I forgive him but I want the court to be fair.”

“I think in my heart I forgive him but I want the court to be fair.”

The hearing into the case has been adjourned until April when the full facts of the case will be revealed.

What already is known, however, is that the driver is accused of being drunk behind the wheel.

The tragic events of last Saturday night have led to much outrage throughout the wider community, with many Sydneysiders feeling it’s time for it to be deemed illegal for drivers of any age to get behind the wheel with ANY alcohol in their system.

To some, this may seem a drastic move, but without wishing to play judge and jury, it would appear that alcohol was a huge contributing factor in this crash, particularly when you consider that Samuel Davidson is a driver by profession.

In May 2019, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced that the State Government had introduced a “zero tolerance policy for drink driving”.

Even first time low range drink drivers are now hit with a $561 fine and an immediate loss of licence for three months but with all due respect to the Government, this is little more than a ‘slap on the wrist’ when the basic wage in Australia is almost $750 a week.

Statistics show that a staggering 30 percent of fatal crashes in Australia are due to drink driving and without wishing to be even the slightest bit political, I don’t see how this figure sits well with any of our parliamentarian, state or federal, Labor or Liberal.

Of course, alcohol isn’t just a killer on the roads.

It causes major health problems which can cause death, leads to domestic violence and other family rifts, horrific assaults such as the “one punch” killings and can also be the major factor in financial hardship. 

As Muslims, we know that drinking alcohol is haram (forbidden), but I thought that given the tragedy which unfolded last Saturday night and the likelihood that alcohol was a major contributing factor, that it is timely for me to present the following reminder to you, as published by islamqa.info

Alcohol is intoxicating and contains substances that make people lose their minds.

It says in the hadeeth: “Every intoxicant is khamr and every khamr is haram.”

If this is the case, then alcohol is forbidden and to come under the heading of “khamr”, wine etc (which people drink for relaxation and enjoyment).

Allah has forbidden it and stated that it is a sin. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.

(al-Baqarah 2:219)

If sin is present and it is great, then it is forbidden. Undoubtedly the alcohol is harmful to the mind and body, and Allah has forbidden everything that harms the body and mind and saps the strength. Everything that is harmful to a person is not permitted because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And do not kill yourselves,”

(al-Nisaa 4:29)

“And do not throw yourselves into destruction.”

(al-Baqarah 2:195)

And because this is an extravagant waste of money, an action of the spendthrift which comes under the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayaateen (devils)

(al-Israa 17:27)

We send our sincere condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and we pray that ALLAH makes it easy on them in these tough times, ameen.