Use of Tobacco in Islam -1 [Archives:2007/1076/Health]

August 13 2007

Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany
[email protected]
For Yemen Times

Discovery & uses 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 17th Century, the European countries realized the dangers of smoking and fought against it. Laws were designed 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. 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 its advertisement on smoking and encourage people to do it. This has caused the epidemic of smoking to continue and spread in those countries to such an extent that it has become hard to control. Smoking has become the rule, and abstaining from it, an 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 smoke. Offering cigarettes to the guests has become 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! Furthermore, some of those who pretend to represent the religion 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 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. Therefore, it forces us to write an article which provides clear evidence concerning the ruling of the use of Tobacco in Islam. We hope that this will benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters; and we ask Allah to accept it from us as a sincere deed for His pleasure.

(“Smoking: A Social Poison”, Muhammad al Jibaly, by Al Quraan wal Sunnah Society of North America)

Injunctions of the Quraan & the Sunnat:

A cursed thing like Tobacco is being used in blind following of western societies. Islam, the religion of peace confers the perpetual benefits to its followers. In order to save human form the poison of Lucifer, Allah bestowed the Shariat. The foundation of Shariat is upon the Fitrat. Shariat clarified what is Halal and what is Haraam. Anything harmful which in any way is injurious, either physically or spiritually, has been explicitly been declared as Haraam. How is it possible that there should be no clear injunction for a thing which is injurious to human health? Tobacco users for a justification of the use argue that there is no clear injunction of the Quraan in this respect. This lame excuse is not only an admission of ignorance with the Quraan, but also a declaration of revolt against this Comprehensive Code of Life. Quraan says:

“Each wet and dried thing is available in the Kitaab”.

How is it possible that while science explains the side effects and harms of Tobacco, Shariat do not guide in this regard. Ignorant with the Talim of Islam should know that the Creator has declared Haraam the use of everything which is injurious for the health of human being. It is mentioned in Quraan as follows:

“For them (people) pious things have been made Halal and impious things declared Haraam”. (Surat al Airaff, Ayat No. 157),

Therefore according to Islam no impious thing can be treated Halal till the Qiyamat.

Tobacco involves the consumption of Khabisth, an evil substance. It has a foul smell, unpleasant taste, and is harmful to the body. This is sufficient to forbid it, because Rasulullah (S) says:

“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”.

(“Smoking: A Social Poison”, Muhammad al Jibaly, by Al Quraan wal Sunnah Society of North America).

This Hadith should draw the attention of those, who try to find a lame justification for the use of Tobacco. Rasulullah (S) bestowed following principle on which we can examine which is legal or illegal:

“Even a small quantity of that thing is also Haraam which produces intense intoxication” (“Masnad”, Ahmad bin Hanbal).

A Hadith says:

“Every intoxicating thing is Haraam and if its excess use causes intoxication, its use even in a small quantity is Haraam”, (“Durre Mukhtaar”, vol. 5, Kitab al Mashrabah, narrated by: Umm al Mumeneen Umme Salama).

Another Hadith says:

“All those things are forbidden which intoxicate”.

According to the Hadith Literature, Rasulullah (S) has clarified Khamar as Haraam. Khamar means not only Hard Drinks but every intoxicating thing included in the definition of Khamar, which is Haraam. This clarification is enough evidence for the class that wish to understand. Mufti Abd al Rahman Muhaddis Mubarakpuri explained in his Book: “Tahfat al Ahwazi, vol. 3, pg. 44, that “Tobacco is an intoxicant”. He says: “If anybody doubts that whether Tobacco is harmful or not, he may see what happens by eating Tobacco even equal to one fourth quantity of a Dirham. Those using Tobacco are habituated to it, and continue to make an increase in its doze day by day. Eventually the result is that without Tobacco their minds do not function properly, and they can not do anything without it. Air and water are the two most important sources of survival, which should be immune from every kind of impurity and filth. This Hadith clears the matter, Rasulullah (S) asks:

“Out of two which companion is better? The one from whom you get anything good or the one who harm you any way”?

A virtuous companion is one who is a source of benefit, and he is like a trader of fragrance from whom you would buy Atar, or simply inhale the sweet smell freely. And the other companion is like a blacksmith. If you sit with him at his place of job, you would gain nothing except hot air, heat and soot. The example of a tobacco user is like the second person that provides you nothing but bad smell, sense of heat, and possible chances of catching fire-ashes. Mufti Abd al Rahman has stated in” Kitab al Sunan wal Mubtadiyaat” on page 4, “the use of a cursed thing like Tobacco is Israaf in the language of Quraan and also foolishness, extravagance and ignorance. Quraan says:

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

Rasulullah (S) said:

“Allah hates for you three things: gossips, begging, and wasting money”.

Smoking is veritably not only Israaf but it is Haraam and wastage of money. Rasulullah (S) says:

“Allah dislikes three things in His creatures the most:

(1) To talk about Religious matters undeservedly.

(2) Wastage to money and property.

(3) Questioning frequently without any aim or objective”.

Smoking is really Israaf and wastage of money and to argue as a justification of its use is tantamount to irrelevant talk. Quraan says:

“Do not indulge in Israaf. The Musrefeen (extravagant) are brothers of Shaitan”. In another Ayat, it has been stated that “eat and drink but do not be extravagant because Allah does not like the extravagant”.

Furthermore, there are numerous cases of burnt carpets, furniture, and even complete houses and establishments that have resulted from this disastrous vice. (“Smoking: A Social Poison”, Muhammad al Jibaly, by Al Quraan wal Sunnah Society of North America) Azaab would surely fall on its user. It is essential, to prevent its users from entering Masjid, because it's bad odour is even worst than that of onion and garlic, whose users had been expelled from the Masjid by the order of Rasulullah (S)”. As per Hadith,

“One who believes in Allah and Qiyamat should not cause any discomfort to those around him”.

A Hadith says:

“La Zararin Wala Zirarin”- Do not cause discomfort to anybody nor allow anybody discomfort to you i.e. do not harm anybody nor let anybody harm you. (Narrated by Ahmad).

By smoking, not only the nearest and dearest are inconvenienced, but all people who come in touch are also discomforted. Very unfortunately non-smokers have also to inhale the smoke emitted by smokers. Is this not causing distress? Can those sitting beside a smoker remain safe from dirty smoke? Rasulullah (S) says:

“Jahannam is the abode of one who harms others on account of his desire”.

Smokers blow out smoke hither and thither and cause inconvenience and discomfort to others, unethically, they do not feel ashamed. Tibrani has quoted on the authority of Syedna Jabir bin Abdullah al Ansari that Rasulullah (S) said:

“He who caused inconvenience to any Muslim, he caused inconvenience to me and the one who inconvenienced me, inconvenienced to Allah and his abode is Jahannam”.

Who can deny that Tobacco isn't harmful for health? Who can say that its smoke does not cause inconvenience to others? Even smokers are well aware of the harmful effects of this cursed thing; but they prefer to be persuaded by its supposed or imaginary utility, just like an ostrich, which, while seeing a dust storm coming in a desert, hides its face in the sand, and thinks that by doing so it can save itself from destruction.

Lame Excuses by Addicts:

Smoking is a precarious habit in which every class of society is indulging blindly following the West. Smoking is now-a-days considered a habit of modern and cultured class. It is a matter of great sorrow that women are also involved in this bad habit. Rasulullah (S) says:

“When you indulge in sins, conceal them”.

Openly smoking is not a sign of cultured or elite class but is an open act of sin, which destroys the health and wealth both. They are ideals for wicked not for good. Quraan guide us in this matter very clearly as follows:

“For you the Uswat of Rasulullah is the best example”.

He is the pivot of submission, and an ideal personality for Hidayat. Smokers say that they have become so habituated to smoking that they cannot live without it. When smokers, who observe Siyam of Ramazan, remain quite normal for sixteen hours, than why cannot they live without smoking? No body will die without smoking, but will,with the use of Tobacco. It is disclosed in “New England Journal of Medicine” that Tobacco users have three percent higher risk of paralysis. According to the report of medical Journal, Doctors closely monitored seven thousand eight hundred seventy two persons, in people who totally avoided the use of Tobacco, the risk factor of paralysis automatically reduced up to fifty percent. One should know how to control self by suppressing one's desires. The seekers of 'Peace' through cursed Tobacco in grief, worry, anxiety, fatigue and illness should turn to Allah and offer Doa and seek His help. Inshallah, they would be blessed with Tawfiq. The principles of Islam are not confined to time or location, community or vicinity, but its benefits for all to come. The principles of Shariat cannot be changed neither be reform as Agent of the Lucifer demanded again and again. Quraan guide on this point and says:

“You would never find any change in Sunnatullah (the commandments of Allah)””.

Tobacco is such a cursed fire which burns not only the smokers