Monday, 20 June 2011

Is smoking haram?

A Social Poison

Muhammad al-Jibaly


  1. Introduction

    1. Discovery of Tobacco

    2. Smoking
      among Muslims

  2. Definintion

  3. Evidence
    for the Prohibition of Smoking

    1. Harm
      to the Deen

    2. Harm
      to the Human Body

    3. Harm
      to the Mind and Will Power

    4. Harm
      to the Environment

    5. Harm
      to the Property

    6. Moral

    7. Evil

    8. Resembling the People of the Fire

    9. Bad

    10. Hostility Toward the Good People

    11. Low

    12. Scholars' Verdict

  4. Warnings

  5. Treating
    the Disease of Smoking

  6. References

  7. Footnotes








Of Tobacco


Tobacco 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.

As early as
the Seventeenth Century, the European countries realized the dangers
of smoking and fought against it Laws were ordained in England,
Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and other countries, prohibiting
smoking and punishing violators.

Nowadays, the
Western countries continue their attempts to protect their peoples
from the harms of smoking. They employ media means, ordain laws
and regulations, and apply other methods to discourage people from
smoking. Because of that, the rate of smokers has declined to a
certain degree in those countries.


Among Muslims

Smoking was
introduced to the Muslim countries by the Europeans around 1000
AH. Its spread among the Muslims was similar to that in the West.
The unfortunate fact, however, is that in the Muslim countries,
no similar measures were exerted to protect the people from it.
To the contrary, the media continues to adom 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.

Smoking has
become the rule, and abstaining from it the exception. Often, people
look with astonishment and disdain at a person who when a cigarette
is offered to him, declines to smoke explaining that he does not

Offering cigaretles
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 generosity!

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 Islaam. 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 others.

Many Muslims
have been influenced by such statements, 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.

Thus, 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 (T) to accept it from
us as a sincere deed for His pleasure.






Smoking refers
to the action of lighting a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar, a water
pipe, or any other object made from tobacco or materials of similar
effects. The object is then sucked on with the lips to extract smoke.
This smoke is inhaled into the chest and then exhaled from the nose
and mouth as a thick white smoke. "Smoking" is now used to refer
to the action of producing this smoke in English, Arabic, and other



Evidence for the Prohibition of Smoking



There are many
reasons, any one of which aufficient 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 Deen

Smoking 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

said: Whoever 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

Those 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.

Smoking 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


To The Human Body

No 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.

Smoking 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.

The 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.

These 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.
Furthermore, statistics have established that smokers' age is, on
the average, ten years less than other people's.

This is aufficient
to prohibit smoking. Islam prohibits any action that causes harm
to oneself or to other people. Allah (T) says (what means):

<<Do not kill yourselves, Allah is indeed
merciful to you.>>

not cast yourselves, with your own hands, into destruction.>>


And the Messenger

says: No harm may be inflicted on oneself or others.(4)

The 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.

Whoever 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.


To The Mind and Will Power

Smoking 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.

When 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 insomnia.

Thus, 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 (T) 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 (T) said (what means):

<<Allah (T) wants to let you into His mercy,
whereas those who follow the desires want you to drift far away
(from the right path).>>



To The Environment

A 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.

In 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 () said: Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last
Day should not hurt his neighbor.

Thus, smoking
constitutes a definite harm to other people; this is prohibited,
as was indicated in the hadith cited earlier.

Also, a smoker
is certainly a bad companion to sit with, as is depicted in the
following hadith:

Verily, 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.


To The Property

A 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 (T) says (what means):


<<And do not entrust to the imprudent ones the possessions
that Allah has placed in your charge.. >>


<<And do not waste (your resources) extravagantly. Indeed
the squanderers are the brethren of the devils>>


And the Prophet
said: Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and
wasting money.

there are numerous cases of burnt carpets, furniture, and even complete
houses and establishments that have resulted from this disastrous



Smoking 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 does not have the money to buy cigarettes.
He is ill-mannered with his friends and family, especially when
he misses taking his necessary "dose" at the usual time.



Smoking involves
the consumption of an evil substance (khabeeth). It has a foul smell,
foul taste, and is harmful to the body. This is aufficient to: prohibit
it, because Allah (T) says (what means):

<<(The 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)
upon them.>>



The People Of The Fire

A 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

<<No food will be there for them but a poisonous thorny
plant, which will neither nourish them nor still their hunger.>>




A smoker, whether
he likes it or not, makes of himself an example for his children
and others to follow. He leads them to commit this evil. Actions
sometimes have a stronger effect than words. Thus, even if he advises
them or forbids them from smoking, his partaking of it provides
them with a strong excuse to do it.

The problem
is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In such
case, his harm becomes more emphasized, because more people take
him as guide and example, and are thus lead astray by him. This
multiplies his sins and increases his burden.


Toward The Good People

The 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.


Self Esteem.

A 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.



Since 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.






In discussing
the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some important
warnings that need to be mentioned:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 (T) says (what means):



    <<Help one another in righteousness and piety, and
    do not help one another in sinning and transgression. And
    fear and revere Allah; verily, Allah is severe in punishment.>>

    Also, Allah's Messenger ()
    said: Indeed when Allah prohibits something, he prohibits
    eating its price.




the Disease of Smoking



Only few of
those addicted to smoking are able to stop it. The reasons for this
are many, among which are the following:

  1. The addictive
    nature of the poisonous substances contained in it.

  2. The smokers
    are not totally convinced of its prohibition.

  3. They do
    not have a strong determination to refrain from it.

The following
are some suggestions to help a person stop smoking:

  1. Rely on
    Allah sincerely, with full determination not to return to smoking,
    in compliance with Allah's command:



    you decide on a certain course of action, place your trust
    in Allah.>>


  2. 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:



    <<Will you not then desist?>>(18) they 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.


  3. Avoid the
    bad company of smokers and smoking environments that are full
    with the smell of smoke.

  4. 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.

  5. Use medically
    tested and established procedures to help stop smoking, as directed
    by physicians, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc.

  6. 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)

    <<It is but Satan who instills (into you) fear of his
    allies; so do not fear them, but fear Me if you are (truly)
    believers.. >>

    <<Fight then against the allies of Satan; indeed, Satan's
    guile is weak.. >>






"The Ruling
of Smoking" by Muhammad bin Ibraaheem (r)

"The Ruling
of Smoking" by `Abdur-Rahman Bin Naasir as-Sa`di (r).

"The Ruling
of Smoking" by `Abdul-`Aziz Bin 'Abdullaah Bin Baaz.

"The Ruling
of Smoking" by Muhammad Bin Salih al-'Uthaymin.

Hukm ul-lslami
fit-Tadkhin by Muhammad Jamil Zinu.

Hukm ud-Dini
fil-Lihyati wat-Tadkhin by 'Ali Hasan al-Halabi.

"Smoking and
Its Effects on Health" by Dr. Muhammad 'Ali al-Barr.







Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jabir and other Sahaabah.

An-Nisa' 4-29.

Al-Baqarah 2:195.

Recorded by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah from Ibn `Abbaas and `Ubaadah;
authenticated by al-Albaani and others.

Recorded by at-Tirmithi and others from Ibn Mas`ud and AbO Barzah,
authenticated by al-Albaani.

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Jaabir

An-Nisa 4:27.


Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

An-Nisa 4:5.

Al-lsra' 17:26-27.

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

Al-A'raf 7:157.

Al-Ghaashiyah 88:6-7.

Al-Maidah 5:2.

Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud from Ibn `Abbas; authenticated by

Al-'lmran 3:159

Al-Maa'idah 5 91

Al-`Imraan 3:175.

An-Nisaa' 4:76.


No comments:

Post a Comment