Egypt's Dar Al Iftaa says Muslims who quit drugs 'guaranteed a place in heaven'

Country's top advisory made a number of social media posts on Monday to raise awareness around drug use

Egypt's Grand Mufti Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam. Reuters
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Muslims who stop taking drugs are guaranteed a place in heaven, Egypt’s official Islamic advisory board said.

Dar Al Iftaa, in a number of social media posts on Sunday, tried to raise awareness around drug abuse, particularly the increasing use of crystal meth or “shabo” as it is known in Egypt.

The Islamic month of Shaaban, the month preceding Ramadan on the Hijri calendar, is a time of reflection and penance, Dar Al Iftaa said in a Facebook post on Sunday night.

It urged Muslims to use this month to reflect on what they have done over the past year and ask God for forgiveness for any “shortcomings or disobedience”.

In another post on Sunday, the advisory singled out crystal meth by name and warned its followers that it “makes users’ minds absent” and causes severe damage to their bodies and psychological states.

“It leads to complete self-destruction and makes people put themselves in risky and dangerous situations,” it said, reminding followers that it is illegal to take meth.

Use of the highly addictive drug has been on the rise over the past 10 years when it first made its way into the Egyptian drug scene, one drug dealer told The National.

A wide range of new “designer drugs” in addition to Captagon pills and ketamine, have in recent years increased in popularity to dominate a scene where previously, hashish had been the drug of choice.

The advisory’s awareness campaign also included posts with Quranic verses underscoring the importance of taking care of one’s body and their moral health.

Egypt has been contending with one of the worst economic crises it has seen in years and a majority of its 104-million population have been struggling to make ends meet since early 2022 when prices of almost every good and service has doubled.

A 2018 study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine conclusively determined that there was a direct link between bad economic conditions and increased drug use.

The study found that around 60 per cent of participants reported a significant increase in their use of narcotics during an economic crisis.

Dar Al Iftaa urged followers to resort to a government-run addiction hotline if they need help quitting.

It promised all help would be anonymous and would include sessions to improve mental health.

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Updated: February 27, 2023, 8:54 AM