Cigarette smoking is a very debatable topic. Thousands and millions are engaged in this unhealthy act of destroying one’s own health to a larger extent and others to a little less extent. Prophet Muhammed PBUH said “Nor be hurt or injure others.” In spite of widespread public knowledge about the health hazards caused by smoking, the very addictive nature of cigarettes drives the smoker to buy them and smoke them.
Most of the people start smoking just to conform to social pressures. A feeling of a ‘grown up’ or “being cool” is sensed. Cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine, of course is a carcinogen (cancer causing substance). After smoking for a given period, the smokers develop a level of tolerance and bodily adjustment to nicotine, hence if the level of nicotine is not maintained in their blood they experience uncomfortable physical or psychological dependence problem. Smoking mainly attacks the lungs and respiratory system in the later
stage of a smoker’s life. Researchers say that smoking causes more illnesses and death than all other drugs.
Now let us look into smoking from an Islamic perspective; whether there is any forbiddance or acceptance? Well, to be precise there are no such clear instructions on this issue as smoking did not prevail at the time of revelation of Qu’ran. But there are many instances which go on to prove indirectly that the topic which is being discussed i.e. smoking is forbidden.
Allah SWT says in Qu’ran “O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. Eschew such abominations that you may prosper.” – Surah Al Ma’idah, 5:93. Theorists believe that the word ‘Intoxicants’ has three meanings:
• To induce, especially the effect of consumed alcohol.
• To stimulate or excite.
• To poison.
The latter two meanings stand valid and applicable to nicotine.
The other grave thing with regards to smoking is that it is nothing but a form of slow suicide. The Qu’ran says: And kill not the soul which Allah has forbidden. Surah, Al-Isra, 17:33 another verse says “And make not your own hands contribute to your destruction.” Surah, Al-Baqara, 2:195. “Nor kill or destroy yourselves for verily Allah has been to you most Merciful.” Surah, An-Nisa, 4:29.
Islam encourages cleanliness and hygiene to such an extent that it considered as basic part of Iman (faith). It is very much clear that a smoker’s mouth is unclean and foul smelling. Qu’ran says “And forbid them from what is bad.” – Surah Al-‘Araf, 7:157
Smoking is a sheer waste of money. Let us do a simple analysis. On a lowest limit let us assume that a smoker smokes just 5 cigarettes of Rs 5 each in a day for 30 years then the amount of money which he spends comes close to three hundred thousand. It is just a waste of so many thousands. Qu’ran is very stern on spendthrifts, it says: “But squander not your wealth in the manner of a spend thrift, verily spendthrifts are brothers of devils.” – Surah, Al-Isra, 17:26, 27
Former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia – Shaykh Abdul Azeez bin Abdullah bin Baaz said: In the view of the harm caused by tobacco; growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be Haram (unlawful/Forbidden). The Prophet PBUH said’ “Do not harm yourselves or others”. Furthermore, tobacco is unwholesome and Allah says in the Quran that the Prophet enjoins upon them that which is good and pure and forbids them that which is unwholesome.
Below are few heart touching facts about smoking
• Worldwide, approximately 10 million cigarettes are purchased a minute, 15 billion are sold each day, and upwards of 5 trillion are produced and used on an annual basis.
• There is enough nicotine in four or five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole. Most smokers take in only one or two milligrams of nicotine per cigarette however, with the remainder being burned off.
• Kids are picking up smoking at the alarming rate 80,000 to 100,000 a day worldwide.
• While they may look like white cotton, cigarette filters are made of very thin fibers of a plastic called cellulose acetate. A cigarette filter can take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose.