christian and islamic veiws on legal and illegal drugs

teachings and veiws

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christian teaching

The key Christian teaching in relation to the use of drugs is that the physical body is the natural home of the soul, and is therefore precious and sacred.

"Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit."

1 Corinthians 6:19

So Christians do not approve of the taking of illegal drugs, including most recreational drugs, especially those which can alter the mind and make people incapable of praying or being alert to God.

  • Christians will take prescription drugs when appropriate.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are examples of recreational drugs which are not forbidden to Christians.
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christian teaching

Alcohol is permitted by most Christians and, of course, is normally used for the celebration of the Eucharist:

"after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

1 Corinthians 11:24

The Salvation Army and the Methodist Church have always been opposed to the use of alcohol because of the bad effects it can have on people’s behaviour and lifestyle. For this reason some Christians do not permit the use of alcohol at the Eucharist and instead use unfermented grape juice.

Tobacco is not condemned by the churches but many Christians are concerned about the effect which it can have on people’s health, and many Christians would make a positive decision not to smoke

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islamic teachings

Islam is opposed to the use of any drugs except for those which are medically prescribed.

"Prophet Muhammad said, 'Every intoxicant is Khamr (alcohol) and all Khamr is Haram (unlawful or not permitted)."

In the Qur’an it says:

O ye who believe, liquor, gambling, idols and divining arrows are but abominations and Satanic devices. So turn wholly away from each of them that you may prosper. Satan desires only to create enmity and hatred between you by means of liquor and gambling and to keep you back from the remembrance of Allah and from Prayer.

Surah 5:91-92

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islamic teachings

So Muslims consider that all non-prescribed drugs are the work of Satan and are designed to lead people away from God. It is thought that all drugs enable people to escape from real life which would mean that they cannot serve Allah well.


Tobacco is, of course, not specifically mentioned in the Qur’an as being Haram but some Muslims say it is Makruh (strongly disliked).

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classification of illegal drugs


nClass A   Cocaine   Crack   Ecstasy   Heroine

nPossession  up to 7 years, a fine or both

nSupply up to a life sentence or a fine or both nMost dangerous, hard drug, can be physically  addictive


nClass B   Amphetamines nPossession  5 years, a fine or both nSupply    14 years, a fine or both nNot as dangerous as class A, sill harmful


nClass C    Anabolic Steroids

nPossession    up to 1 year, a fine or caution

nSupply    up to 3 years, a fine or both nSoft drug that is normally not physically addictive but can be habit forming

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why take drugs

nPeer pressure, nenjoyment, nsocial, addiction nfor the experience nease of access nto be part of a group  

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