In this verse, Allah (swt) repeats the mention of intoxicants and gambling but not sacrificing on stone altars and divining arrows. This proves to human beings the greatness of the Quran and that:
وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفًا كَثِيرًا
(Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would have certainly found in it many inconsistencies) (An-Nisa: 82)
If it had been written by a human being, he would have added in sacrificing on stone altars and divining arrows, as this verse is a continuation of the previous verse. However, these activities are not mentioned, as Allah (swt), from His Infinite Knowledge, knows that they will soon cease, as opposed to intoxicants and gambling.
(… إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ) (Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling …): This will of the Satan is not one of coercion or persuasion, but rather, one of adornment. He will adorn evil to seem good, and he is our enemy, as Allah (swt) informs us:
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ
(Surely Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his followers to become inmates of the Hellfire) (Fatir: 6)
What then is the difference between the (animosity) and (hatred) mentioned in the verse? Animosity happens between two parties when both are not united, but hatred comes from only one side and does not have to be due to a clash with another party. Hatred leads to animosity and vice versa.
However, why are (animosity) and (hatred) caused by intoxicants and gambling? The answer is that since intoxicants will veil a person’s mind, his actions will go beyond the capacity of the mind to choose between alternatives. Thus, he might commit all types of indecent acts and might even commit acts that Allah (swt) has forbidden. Therefore, there is no shadow of a doubt that animosity and hatred will arise as a result of intoxicants and gambling. Ever since the revelation of the Holy Quran till today, we have found that both of these cause animosity and hatred between human beings.
(… وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ … ) (…and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer) Since intoxicants leads to the absence of the mind, it is thus a direct aversion from the remembrance of Allah (swt), a transgression upon that which He has prohibited and also a rejection of His laws. Similarly, prayer is a form of remembrance and is the human being’s relationship to his Creator. Since the basis of accountability of a human being is his mind, he is not tasked with prayer if he does not have a sound mind. In this way, the absence of the mind due to intoxicants is a direct aversion from prayer.
( فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ … ) (…So will you not desist?): The questioning style found in the Holy Quran is one of the most eloquent ways of affirming the Islamic legal rulings.