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Qur’anic (Dynamic) Paradigm of Health – 7 (Gambling)

Quran

(Dr. Javed Jamil) Fundamental Prohibitions: Health Protective Measures

Gambling

Let us now concentrate on gambling, which too has been prohibited by Qur’an and along with Alcohol has been described as one of the mischievous activities of the devil. Gambling is recognised by medical scientists as a disease, which is called pathological gambling. According to the National Research Council, “pathological gamblers ‘engage in destructive behaviours: they commit crimes, they run up large debts, they damage relationships with family and friends, and they kill themselves.

With the increased availability of gambling and new gambling technologies, pathological gambling has the potential to become even more widespread'”(p. 4-1)3. The National Research Council of US states that “many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial, physical, and emotional problems, including divorce, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and a range of problems stemming from the severe financial hardship that commonly results from problem and pathological gambling. Children of compulsive gamblers are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs, and have an increased risk of developing problem or pathological gambling themselves.” Other problems include crime, loss of employment and bankruptcy. According to NRC, ‘As access to money becomes more limited, gamblers often resort to crime in order to pay debts, appease bookies, maintain appearances, and garner more money to gamble.’ It has been found that “28 percent of pathological gamblers attending Gamblers Anonymous reported either that they had filed for bankruptcy or reported debts of $75,000 to $150,000.’” (Ladouceur et al. (1994))4.

(Gambling) has been prohibited by Qur’an and along with Alcohol has been described as one of the mischievous activities of the devil. Gambling is recognised by medical scientists as a disease, which is called pathological gambling. According to the National Research Council, “pathological gamblers ‘engage in destructive behaviours: they commit crimes, they run up large debts, they damage relationships with family and friends, and they kill themselves. With the increased availability of gambling and new gambling technologies, pathological gambling has the potential to become even more widespread'”(p. 4-1)3.

The National Research Council of US states that “many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial, physical, and emotional problems, including divorce, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and a range of problems stemming from the severe financial hardship that commonly results from problem and pathological gambling. Children of compulsive gamblers are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs, and have an increased risk of developing problem or pathological gambling themselves.” Other problems include crime, loss of employment and bankruptcy.

The social problems due to gambling are even severer. Relatives, friends and employers suffer hugely. Employers complain of loss of work hours, embezzlement and inability to fulfil their financial obligations. NRC report further states: “How can we begin to measure the social impact of individuals who spend their children’s milk money or cash their welfare checks to buy lottery tickets, as the Commission heard during visits to convenience stores? We cannot, but the Commission can acknowledge that when gambling is promoted as ‘the only way to get ahead’ and, in particular, targets those who do not have ‘leisure dollars’ to spend, the economic and social, indeed, the moral fabric of our nation is damaged.” (p. 7-18) Reports say that one in fifth of gamblers attempt suicide; other reports speak of as high as two third contemplating suicide.

The impact on family is equally dangerous. In NORC’s survey, 53.5 percent of identified pathological gamblers reported having been divorced, versus 18.2 percent of non-gamblers and 29.8 percent of low-risk gamblers. Further NORC respondents representing two million adults identified a spouse’s gambling as a significant factor in a prior divorce. In a survey of nearly 400 Gamblers Anonymous members, 18 percent reported experiencing a gambling-related divorce. Another 10 percent said they were separated as a direct consequence of their gambling. The domestic violence and child abuse are significantly greater problems in the families of gamblers than non-gamblers. Several cases of children dying in cars have been reported, on account of their father or mother leaving them locked and forgetting them, as they joined the casino.

Gambling was always bad. History is replete with the havoc caused by gambling in social lives. With the growth of economic fundamentalism, gambling, like other human addictions, became an organised business at the global level. Owing to the money involved in it, market forces were quick to use it as a big money-spinner. Not only have casinos burgeoned, gambling of one kind or the other has also become associated with almost all the vistas of business to accelerate their growth. Casinos are a regular part of tourism and entertainment industry. Betting is associated with almost all the big fixtures including political, entertainment and sports events. Lucky draws are being used to collect money as well as to boost the sales of hosts of consumer items.

Gambling was always bad. History is replete with the havoc caused by gambling in social lives. With the growth of economic fundamentalism, gambling, like other human addictions, became an organised business at the global level. Owing to the money involved in it, market forces were quick to use it as a big money-spinner. Not only have casinos burgeoned, gambling of one kind or the other has also become associated with almost all the vistas of business to accelerate their growth.

Casinos are a regular part of tourism and entertainment industry. Betting is associated with almost all the big fixtures including political, entertainment and sports events. Lucky draws are being used to collect money as well as to boost the sales of hosts of consumer items. The globalisation of gambling also means globalisation of opportunities. The National Opinion Research Centre (NORC) of US has rightly stated that
“As the opportunities for gambling become more commonplace, it appears likely that the number of people who will develop gambling problems also will increase.”
Let us note a few facts about gambling:

· NORC found that the presence of a gambling facility within 50 miles roughly doubles the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers.

· Two key studies indicated that between 15 and 20 million Americans are displaying some signs of a gambling addiction. Further, the Commission emphasised that estimates of the number of problem and pathological gamblers may be significantly understated.

· A Harvard University meta-analysis concluded that approximately 1.6 percent, or 3.2 million, of the American adult population are pathological gamblers. . In Oregon, the lifetime prevalence of problem and pathological gambling is 4.9 percent. Recent studies in Mississippi and Louisiana indicate that 7 percent of adults in these states have been classified as problem or pathological gamblers.

· NORC found that approximately 2.5 million adults are pathological gamblers. Another three million of the adult population are problem gamblers. Over 15 million Americans were identified as at-risk gamblers.

· A survey of nearly 400 Gamblers Anonymous members revealed that two-thirds had contemplated suicide, 47 percent had a definite plan to kill themselves, and 77 percent stated that they have wanted to die.

· In NORC’s survey, 53.5 percent of identified pathological gamblers reported having been divorced, versus 18.2 percent of non-gamblers and 29.8 percent of low-risk gamblers. Further NORC respondents representing two million adults identified a spouse’s gambling as a significant factor in a prior divorce.

· One domestic violence counsellor from Harrison County, Mississippi, testified that a shelter there reported a 300 percent increase in the number of requests for domestic abuse intervention after the arrival of casinos.

· The NRC reported on two studies indicating between 10 and 17 percent of children of compulsive gamblers had been abused.5
According to WHO reports, more than 1 million people die of suicides globally every year. If many reports have shown that the gambling accounts for one in five cases of suicides, it means that as many as 200,000 people commit suicides on account of gambling related problems.

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Read the Sixth Part at
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/fundamental-prohibitions-health-protective-measures-alcohol
Read the Fifth Part
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/fasting-qur-anic-dynamic-paradigm-of-health
Read the Fourth Part
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/fundamental-duties-in-islam-impact-on-health-contd
Read the Third part at
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/fundamental-duties-in-islam-impact-on-health
Read the Second part at
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/in-principio-modern-sciences-mistresses-of-economic-fundamentalism
Read the first part at
http://worldmuslimpedia.com/quran-the-ultimate-guide-in-all-the-affairs

Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”, “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. Read more about him at http://www.worldmuslimpedia.com/dr-javed-jamil. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/javedjamil2015/, alsohttp://javedjamil.blogspot.in/. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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