Under Islam, good things are allowable while bad things are forbidden. Islam calls on its followers to remain strong and not to allow their strength to be weakened by smoking and other harmful habits which pose a menace to the health and the mind and induce a state of stupor and addiction.
Smoking is a real hazard, not for being an intoxicant because it is not, and not simply on account of being a costly practice with dangerous effects on health but also because it is habit-forming. Once addicted the smoker cannot hold himself back from smoking for long intervals. There is another equally dangerous side to smoking. It is a simple practice and spreads quickly, and one can easily indulge in it at any time.
Recent medical findings have revealed that smoking poses such hazards to the respiratory tract as cancer of the lung, cancer of the larynx and chronic bronchitis, as well as cardiac thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis.
In the case of the digestive system, smoking contributes to the development of cancer in the lips, the mouth, the pharynx, the esophagus, and the pancreas. It is also associated with peptic ulcers. The urinary tract can also be affected. Such hazards as benign and malignant tumors of the urinary bladders and kidney cancer are associated with smoking.
So much for medical research on the hazards of smoking. From the standpoint of Islam, we find that people are enjoined to avoid inflicting harm on themselves.
The Prophet says: ‘Discard that which fills you with suspicion and hold on to that in which you trust’. He also says: ‘Do not harm yourselves or others’. He also ‘forbids taking any intoxicants or stupor-inducing agents’.
Perhaps you know that all populations of the world – Muslim and kaafir alike – have now started to fight smoking because they know that it is very damaging. Islam prohibits everything harmful, because the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah 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. Allah described them in the following terms: “The whole world knows that the money consumed on smoking is to be considered as money wasted, from which no benefit is gained; indeed, it is money consumed on something harmful. If the money which is spent on smoking worldwide were to be collected, it could have saved entire populations who have died of starvation. 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-worshippers with their smell. The smell of onions and garlic is easier to bear than the smell of the smoker and his mouth”.
These are some of the reasons why smoking is haram
- Islam and its impact can have an effective and positive role in precluding smoking, especially in Muslims. Islam as a religion has a very fundamental and positive role in all kinds of addiction prevention including tobacco smoking.
- Islam is both a spiritual and a legal tradition and impacts extensively on Muslim thinking and social customs. The central aims of the Islamic legal framework to minimize the risk of harm to society and individuals. The core objectives of religious law are to maintain life, protect belief, maintain intellect, preserve honor and integrity, and protect property.
- In the Arabic world, the legal status of smoking has further changed during recent years, and numerous religious edicts or fatwa, including from notable authorities such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt, now declare smoking to be prohibited. The reasons cited in support of the reclassification of smoking as prohibited include Islamic law’s general prohibition of all actions that result in harm. Smoking did not exist in the period of the Prophet (PBUH) but our great religion of Islam has laid down general principles from which many laws are attained. From these principles, Muslim scholars have come to the resolution that smoking is forbidden (Haram).
- Smoking causes fatal sickness, such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, and many more diseases. Excessive use of cigarettes can also cause death.
- Cigarettes consist of many poisonous substances and furthermore, the smoker wallows themselves in a slow suicidal act by smoking this toxicant.
It is evident from this study that Islam has a positive and effective role on smoking prevention and it will be true in all types of addictions and antisocial activities.
It is a horrible action that a human being should kill himself, or do something that brings his own ruin. There is no doubt that persistent smoking leads to such ruin in addition to its being a total waste of money. Life is a trust Allah has assigned to us, and money is a blessing He has given us. Every human being will have to account for both on the Day of Judgement. Everyone will be asked about their money; how it was earned and how it was spent. How he or she spent their lives, particularly the years of their youth. This has been pointed out by the Prophet. Studies have clearly shown that tobacco smoking causes no fewer than 25 serious and life-threatening diseases. Most of these are easy to prevent, delay or moderate by quitting the habit of smoking, a most destructive and wasteful habit indeed.
All believers must preserve and protect the blessings Allah has bestowed on them, one of the most important of which is health. No action a person does is more detrimental to health than smoking. Children are a gift from Allah to parents. Only when they take good care of their children do parents truly express their gratitude to Allah for this blessing. Allah has entrusted us all with wealth and children. He is certain to hold us accountable for our trust.
To refrain from smoking and to quit the habit of smoking is equivalent to repelling aggression and sparing oneself and other unnecessary harm. Therefore, religious teachings or seminars should also be arranged to combat the world-smoking epidemic.