Muslim and Non Muslim Nations alike have now started to prohibit smoking, because they have finally discovered that it is very harmful. Smoking is a habit which has spread like wild fire since its first inception hundreds of years ago.
This habit has caused major damage to the healthy living throughout history. Its one of those things that has caused damage in the form of wealth, health, relations and the way people looked at the world. Before we discuss this topic in detail, one should know that Allah the Almighty has divided things in the world into two types, good or permissible (al-tayyibaat, al-halaal) and evil or prohibited (al-khabaa’ith, al-haraam), and there is no third type.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning) in surat al-A’raaf (7:157): “And He makes good things halaal for them and bad things haraam.”
Considering this fact, smoking can either be permissible and good or prohibited and evil.
Islam forbids everything that is harmful, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.”
Undoubtedly there are foods and drinks which are beneficial and good, and others which are harmful and bad. Allaah described our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the following terms (interpretation of the meaning):
“he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods) [al-A’raaf 7:157]
Is smoking one of the good and lawful things (al-tayyibaat) or one of the evil and unlawful things (al-khabaa’ith)?
Thus, we present some of its characteristics and let the person who smokes see himself in which type lies smoking.
There is absolutely no disagreement between people with sane mind and physicians that smoking is harmful to health. There is not a single Medical Doctor of repute who can certify that smoking is good for health. It is one of the reasons for major health diseases like lung cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer etc. It is also one of the major causes of death. Since, it is known that the Islamic law prohibits everything that is harmful for a human being.
Allah said (interpretation of meaning): “Do not kill yourself. Allah is Merciful unto you.” (Surat al-Nisaa’ 4:29)
In addition, His Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him) said: “There is no harm or causing of harm (in Islaam).” (Arabic “laa darar wa laa diraar”)
He SAWS (peace be upon him) also said: “A person will not be able to move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about … his body as to what he engaged it in.”
Smoking also goes against the saying of the Prophet SAWS: “Your body has a right on you.”
People who don’t smoke but live around smokers are also prone to severe diseases. Since they inhale the exhaled smoked, they tend to suffer more than the smokers. Medical Research has proven the harmful effects of smoking on pregnant ladies, children and people with respiratory problems. The offensive smell caused by smoking also irritates the worshippers of Allah among humans and angels. The angels are offended and suffer from the same things that the human beings suffer from. Allah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those who cause harm to believing men and women without any reason do a great sin.” (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:58)
Secondly: it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah forbids you to trade gossip, to ask too many questions and to waste money.” And Allaah forbade wasteful extravagance when He said (interpretation of the meaning):
“and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) [al-A’raaf 7:31]
And He described the slaves of the Most Merciful as follows (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes)” [al-Furqaan 25:67]
The money that is spent on cigarettes is used on buying a harmful thing and is therefore an extravagance. Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): “… and do not be extravagant wasters. Those who are extravagant are kinsmen of Satan.” (Surat al-Israa’ 17:26-27)
Extravagance (in Islam) means spending on something haraam.
Spending money on cigarettes is a waste of resources as well. The Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him) said: “A person will not be able to move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about ….. what he owned as to how he spent it.”
There are billions of currency spent on smoking around the world. Money spent on smoking is considered as money wasted, from which no benefit is gained; indeed, it is money spent on something harmful. If this entire amount of money was collected, it could have easily saved an entire population which died of starvation. Is there anyone more foolish that one who holds a dollar bill and sets fire to it? What is the difference between him and the one who smokes? The smoking deal is absolutely insane. You pay from your wealth to buy cigarettes and when you smoke, your health also suffers. So wealth and health, both are put to harm.
Thirdly: Smoking has caused several major disasters that has burned down forests and public places. This happens when cigarette butts are carelessly thrown away and the surroundings catch fire. One incident reported in news was caused in the same way, as when a house was burned down with its occupants inside, when a man lit his cigarette when there was a gas leak.
Fourthly: The smoking habit of a person also offends people around him. There are many who do not like smoking or smell of it. But to deal with a smoker, they got to undergo the suffering. Especially when you are unfortunate enough to have one of them standing next to you in the mosque. Probably any nasty smell is easier to bear than the smell of the smoker’s mouth when he has just woken up. It is amazing how many women can put up with the smell of their husbands’ mouths! The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade those who had eaten garlic or onions from coming to the mosque so that they would not offend their fellow-worshipers with their smell. The smell of onions and garlic is easier to bear than the smell of the smoker and his mouth.
Considering all the evidences presented above, it can be clearly concluded that smoking is an evil among many others. It is not permissible to indulge in it, or buy and sell it, or even to offer it to others. It is incumbent on a person who is addicted to it that he must make all efforts and get whatever necessary treatment to stop it. If the unbelievers have understood the harm caused by smoking and made laws regarding it, the Muslims should be even more eager to stop it and treat those who are addicted to it.
We ask Allah the Almighty to cure everyone indulging in this evil and help him in giving it up. Allah is the Best Guide to the Right Path.
Check out some of the Global Smoking Statics below:
28 May 2002
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
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