Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be on His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
Is smoking cigarettes Haraam?
Smoking is one of the things which has caused a lot of problems and harm these days and it has spread like wild fire. Perhaps you know that all nations of the world – Muslim and Non Muslim alike – have now started to fight smoking, because they know that it is very harmful. Islam forbids everything that is harmful. Undoubtedly there are foods and drinks which are beneficial and good, and others which are harmful and bad.
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."
Is smoking one of the good and lawful things (al-tayyibaat) or one of the evil and unlawful things (al-khabaa’ith)?
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 the health of others who inhale the polluted breath of the smoker. It is one of the major causes of lung cancer and other diseases. It is also one of the major causes of death. 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)
"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."
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 whole world now knows that the money spent on smoking is to be considered as money wasted, from which no benefit is gained; indeed, it is money spent 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. 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? Indeed, the smoker is more foolish, because the folly of the one who burns a dollar bill ends there, whilst the one who smokes burns his money and also harms his body.
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."
How many disasters have been caused by smoking, because of cigarette butts which are thrown away and cause fires. Other disasters have been caused in other ways, as when a house was burned down with its occupants inside, when a man lit his cigarette when there was a gas leak.
How many people are offended by the smell of smokers, 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 Allaah 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.
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.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Shaykh Sa’d al-Humayd
Jazak Allah Khair for reading