the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 243:
Prophet said, "All drinks that produce intoxication are Haram
(forbidden to drink).
smoking Halal or Haram?
was discovered by the Spanish sailors on the American shores at about
1500 CE (900 AH). Since its discovery, the epidemic of smoking has
continued to spread all over the world. In our times, one seldom
finds a house not afflicted by it. (1)
Europeans around 1000 AH introduced smoking to the Muslim countries.
Its spread among the Muslims was similar to that in the West. The
unfortunate fact, however, is that in the Muslim countries, no
measures are exerted to protect the people from it. To the contrary,
the media continues to promote smoking and encourage people to do it.
This caused the epidemic of smoking to continue to spread in those
countries to such an extent that it has become hard to control.
has become the rule, and abstaining from it the exception. Often,
people look with astonishment and disdain at a person whom when a
cigarette is offered to him, declines to smoke explaining that he
does not smoke.
cigarettes to the guests has become among the first rules of
hospitality. Anyone who does not offer them to his guests or insist
on them to smoke would be violating the ethics of hospitality and
some of those who pretend to represent the Deen are among the worst
addicts to smoking. When they are reproached or reminded of their
vice, they respond by providing weak excuses to justify it in the
name of Islam. They slyly remark that there is no clear text
prohibiting smoking. Therefore, they conclude, smoking is not
prohibited, but is only makruh (disliked). By this, they provide a
poor excuse for the ignorant, and establish a very bad example for
statements have influenced many Muslims, falling into the snares of
addiction to smoking. This is observed all over the world. A striking
example is that all American airlines now prohibit smoking, even on
most international flights; on the other hand, for Muslim airlines,
one travels in a near-suffocation state, even on short trips, because
of the high number of smokers.
it becomes incumbent to write an article, which provides evidence
concerning the ruling of smoking in Islam. We hope that this will
benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters; and we ask Allah (SWT) to
accept it from us as a sincere deed for His pleasure.
for the Prohibition of Smoking
are many reasons, any one of which sufficient to rule smoking
prohibited. Most importantly, it is harmful in numerous ways. It is
harmful to the Deen, health, environment, family, brotherhood and
social relations, property, etc. The following sections will briefly
outline some of its harms and evils.
To the Human Body
one can deny the harm of smoking to the human body. The medical
evidence for this is well established and overwhelming. Because of
this, the law in the United States and many other countries requires
including a warning on any smoking advertisement.
contains poisonous materials, such as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide,
arsenic, benzopyrene, etc. that the smoker swallows in small
proportions. Their harm accumulates with time to result in a gradual
killing of the human organs and tissues.
hazards of smoking to the health are hard to enumerate. Cancer,
tuberculosis, heart attacks, asthma, coughing, premature birth,
infertility, infections in the digestive system, high blood pressure,
nervousness, mouth and teeth diseases, etc., are among the many
health hazards that have been strongly linked to smoking.
diseases may not appear all at once, however a smoker is most likely
to suffer from some of them, and his suffering increases, as he grows
older. It reduces smokers' life expectancy by 15 to 25 years, and is
the single most preventable cause of death. In one study only 42% of
male lifelong smokers reached the age of 73 compared to 78% of
smoking kills nearly about 420,000 people a year, making it more
lethal than AIDS, automobile accidents, homicides, suicides, drug
overdoses, and fires combined. (2)
is sufficient to prohibit smoking. Islam prohibits any action that
causes harm to oneself or to other people. Allah (SWT) says:
the Messenger(SAW) says:
harm may be inflicted on oneself or others.(Recorded by Ahmad and Ibn
Maajah from Ibn `Abbaas and `Ubaadah; authenticated by al-Albaani and
feet of a human being will not depart, on the day of Judgement, from
his standing before his Lord, until he is questioned about five
things: his lifetime - how did he pass it, his youth - how did he
used it, his wealth - where did he earn it and how did he spend it,
and how did he follow what he knew. (Recorded by at-Tirmithi and
others from Ibn Mas`ud and AbO Barzah , authenticated by al-Albaani.)
consumes poison, killing himself with it, then he will he consuming
his poison in the hellfire, and he will abide in it permanently and
eternally.( Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jaabir)
To The Deen
spoils a person's acts of worship and reduces their rewards. For
instance, it spoils the prayer, which is the pillar of Deen. Allah's
Messenger (SAW) said:
eats garlic or onion, let him avoid us and our masjid, and stay in
his home. The angels are surely hurt by things that hurt the human
beings (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jabir and other Sahaabah)
with clean and undefiled fitrah (nature) have no doubt that the smell
emanating from the mouth of a smoker is worse and more foul than that
from the mouth of one who ate garlic or onion. Thus, a smoker is in
between two options, either to harm the praying people and the angels
with his foul smell, or miss the prayer in jama'ah.
also spoils fasting. Fasting is very hard for the smoker. As soon as
the day is over, he hastens to break his fast on an evil cigarette
instead of sweet dates or pure water. Even if he fasts through the
month Ramadan, a smoker is reluctant to fast on other days. Thus he
loses the great reward of those who fast even one day in Allah's way.
To The Mind and Will Power
is harmful to the human mind and reason. An obvious demonstration of
this is that one who is addicted to it passes through periods of
severe craving, making it hard for him to think, concentrate, solve a
problem, or do any important matter, until he smokes.
one smokes, his muscles slacken, and he passes through a brief period
of delirium that curtains the thought. His digestive system is also
affected, causing him frequent nervousness and trembling of the
hands. He passes through periods of excitability, in itation, and
instead of being Allah's slave, a smoker becomes slave to his
cigarette. He develops a weaker control of his sense and reason. The
faculty of reason, clear and unobstructed, is one of Allah's great
bounties on people. He (SWT) praised it in numerous places of the
Qur'an; and He called on people to use it to see the truth and obey
Him in a better way. Allah wants of the believer to be strong and
capable of controlling the reigns of his desires. He (SWT) said :
To The Environment
smoker emits his poisons in the faces of his companions, wife,
children, and the environment. It is well established that
second-hand smoke is almost as dangerous as first-hand. Thus, whether
they like it or not, a smoker's associates are forced to inhale the
smoke and be themselves smokers as well.
addition to the poisons normally carried in the smoke, if a smoker
has an contagious disease, such as tuberculosis or influenza, his
exhaled smoke and coughing carry the disease to those around him.
a smoker irritates people by the foul smell and poisonous nature of
his smoking. If they suffer from asthma or allergies, they are forced
to move away from his vicinity. The Prophet (SAW) said: Anyone who
believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbor.(
smoking constitutes a definite harm to other people; this is
prohibited, as was indicated in the hadith cited earlier.
a smoker is certainly a bad companion to sit with, as is depicted in
the following hadith:
the example of a good companion and a bad one is like that of a
perfume merchant and a blacksmith: As for the perfume merchant, he
would either grant you (some perfume), or you would buy (some
perfume) from him, or (in the least) you would get a good smell from
him. And as for the blower of the bellows (ironsmith), you would
either get a foul odor from him, or he would burn your clothes.(
Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)
To The Property
smoker wastes his wealth on that which harms and has no benefit; he
will be asked about his wealth and how he spent it, as has been cited
in the hadith earlier. His wealth belongs to Allah, so how would he
dare to waste it in disobedience to Him? Allah (SWT) says:
the Prophet (SAW) said:
hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting
money.(Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)
there are numerous cases of burnt carpets, furniture, and even
complete houses and establishments that have resulted from this
is a form of moral decadence. It is most spread among the low-class
immoral people. It reflects blind imitation of the non-Muslims. It is
mostly consumed in bars, discos, casinos, and other: places of sin. A
smoker may beg or steal if he/she does not have the money to buy
cigarettes. He/She is ill mannered with his friends and family,
especially when he/she misses taking his necessary "dose"
at the usual time.
involves the consumption of an evil substance (khabeeth). It has a
foul smell, foul taste, and is harmful to the body. This is
sufficient to: prohibit it, because Allah (SWT) says:
Prophet) who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right, forbid
them the doing of what is wrong, make lawful to them the good things
of life, prohibit for them the evil things, and lift from them their
burdens and the shackles that were (previously) uponthem.>>(
The People Of The Fire
smoker inhales the smoke that does not give him any nourishment. This
is similar to the action of the people of the Hell fire who eat
harmful thorny plants:
smoker, whether he/she likes it or not, makes of himself/herself an
example for his children and others to follow. He/She leads them to
commit this evil. Actions sometimes have a stronger effect than
words. Thus, even if he/she advises them or forbids them from
smoking, his/her partaking of it provides them with a strong excuse
to do it.
problem is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In
such case, his/her harm becomes more emphasized, because more people
take him/her as guide and example, and are thus lead astray by
him/her. This multiplies his/her sins and increases his/her burden.
Toward The Good People
majority of good people avoid smoking and stay away from smokers.
Therefore, a smoker would be forced to stay away from them - at least
while he smokes. He puts himself in a selective exile, creating a
spiritual distance and hostility between him and the good people, and
a closeness to the evil people. The effects of this become more
apparent and acute with time. Note that this applies equally to any
sin that a person commits, small or large.
smoker despises himself, because he feels that a little cigarette is
controlling him. Realizing his weakness before desires, this creates
in him a feeling of defeat in the face of hardships.
smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have
the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree
to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions,
conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.
Fatwa Committee has passed a ruling on smoking that says:
has definitely been proved to be detrimental to health as stated by
knowledgeable persons and international medical conferences. It has
been established that smoking causes cancers of the lung and larynx
and poses serious hazards to the arteries. Furthermore, it wastes
money being spent on something that brings no good to human beings.
The Prophet PBUH has banned everything that causes harm to both
health and wealth, whether of oneself or of others. Therefore, we are
of the opinion that it is haram to smoke, import, export or trade in
tobacco. God knows that which we do not know.
International Islamic Conference to Combat Intoxicating Substances
and Drugs, at which scholars declared that smoking, growing and
trading in tobacco were haram. (Held in Al-Medina al-munawarah, 27-30
Jumada Al-Ula 1402 AH (22-25 March 1982). )
Muhammad Ibrahim al-Sheikh, former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. In
his ruling he declared that smoking was undoubtedly foul, noxious,
languorous and sometimes intoxicating. He further stated that smoking
was haram on the basis of authentic quotations, sound judgment, and
the opinion of authoritative physicians. (Smoking according to
medicine and religion, by Sheikh Ahmad al-Qattan)
Yusuf Al Qaradawi in his book " The Lawful and Prohibited In
Islam" wrote the following:
we may say that if it is proved that the use of tobacco is injurious
to health, it is haram
Shirnibali of the Hanafi school. In no ambiguous terms Sheikh
Shirnibali decided it was haram. He summed up his ruling in the
following statement: "It is forbidden to sell or smoke tobacco.
To smoke while fasting undoubtedly breaks the fast".
Ibrahim al-Laqqani of the Maliki school ruled it to be haram.
Al-Najm al-Ghazi of the Shafie school quotes the author of Addur
al-mukhtar as saying: "Even if one does not dispute the smoker's
claim that smoking is not intoxicating there is no denying that it
causes languor, and is therefore haram on the basis of the saying of
the Prophet quoted by Ahmad through Umm Salama to the effect that
whatever caused intoxication and languor was haram. Indulging in
smoking once in a while may not constitute a major sin, however if
the ruler forbids its use, it becomes categorically haram, as its use
may harm the body. And, like all minor sins, persisting in it makes
it a major sin."
scholars of Najd: Sheikh Mustafa al-Rahibani says: "In all the
four schools of fiqh there are those who ruled that smoking was
haram, those who ruled it was reprehensible, and those who ruled that
it was permissible. Most Shafie and Hanafi scholars were of the
opinion that it was either pemissible or reprehensible, but some of
them went further and declared it haram. Maliki scholars, on the
other hand, are mostly of the opinion that it is haram; so are our
Hanbali scholars, especially those of Najd. However, it has not come
to my attention that any of our Hanbali colleagues has explicity
ruled that it was haram." (Mataleb ulin nahi fi sharh ghayatel
discussing the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some
important warnings that need to be mentioned:
As indicated before, the prohibition of smoking is not restricted to
cigarettes, but applies as well to other objects that have similar
effects such as cigars, pipes, water-pipes, chewing tobacco or
sniffing tobacco, etc.
The reasons mentioned above for prohibiting smoking apply as well,
and more strongly, to various types of drugs and hashish such as
marijuana and -tat. These materials have additional problems such as
causing drunkenness, death, madness, etc.
The prohibition of smoking is not restricted to consuming it, but
applies as well to offering it to people, sitting with those who are
smoking, or selling it. All of this involves helping people commit
sins, which is prohibited, as Allah (SWT) says:
Allah's Messenger (SAW) said: Indeed when Allah prohibits something,
he prohibits eating its price. (Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud from
Ibn `Abbas; authenticated by al-Albaani )
suggestions on treating the Disease of Smoking
few of those addicted to smoking are able to stop it. The reasons for
this are many, among which are the following:
The addictive nature of the poisonous substances contained in it.
The smokers are not totally convinced of its prohibition.
They do not have a strong determination to refrain from it.
following are some suggestions to help a person stop smoking:
Rely on Allah sincerely, with full determination not to return to
smoking, in compliance with Allah's command:
Stop immediately instead of claiming it is best to do it gradually.
The gradual approach is the way of one who does not trust his
determination and the will power that Allah has granted him. Let the
example be taken from the Sahabah who, as soon as Allah's command
reached them regarding alcohols:
Al-Maa'idah 5: 91 )
immediately poured out all the alcohol that they had and said, "We
desist our Lord, we desist!" They did this despite the fact that
alcohol has a greater addictive power over those who drink it.
Avoid the bad company of smokers and smoking environments that are
full with the smell of smoke.
Change the food diet by abstaining from foods and drinks that would
entice the craving to smoke such as spices, meat, tea, and coffee;
and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits.
Use medically tested and established procedures to help stop smoking,
as directed by physicians, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum,
Expel the secret whispers of Satan who continuously dictates to the
human being that he is weak and incapable of refraining from sinning,
as Allah (T) says (what means)
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