The caution on cigarette cartons in India reads “Cigarette Smoking Is Injurious To Health”. In foreign brands the cautions are much bolder and bigger, such as “SMOKING KILLS”. The statistics given by WHO (World Health Organization) tells us that tobacco kills up to half of its users. Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century.
It kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person EVERY SIX SECONDS thus more than 14000 people EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Second-hand smoke kills
Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. There is no safe level of second-hand tobacco smoke.
Second -hand smoke causes 600 000 premature deaths per year. Over 40% of children have at least one smoking parent. Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke. In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
Cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year.
Is smoking cigarettes Haraam?
Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be on His Prophet SAWS.
Smoking is one of the things which has caused a lot of problems and harm these days and it has spread like wild fire. Before we discuss this topic in detail, we should know that Allaah 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. Thus, we present some of its characteristics and let the person asking the question see himself in which type lies smoking.
There is no disagreement among the physicians and sane people that smoking is harmful for health. It is one of the major causes of lung cancer and other diseases. 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.”
There is no disagreement among the physicians and sane people that smoking is harmful for the health of others who inhale the polluted breath of the smoker. Medical research has proven the harmful effects of smoking mothers on their children. The offensive smell caused by smoking is a source of pain to 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)
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 and spending beyond limits.
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.”
Considering all that has been presented, it can be clearly seen 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.
Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Compiled By: Suhail Bagdadi (IRF Research Executive)