Smoking: Is It Haraam (Unlawful)? – Dr. Saleh as Saleh


Smoking: Is It Haraam (Unlawful)?
Author: Sheikh (Dr) Muhamad Bin Ahmad Bin Ismaa’eel
Translated by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullaah)

Many Muslims regard smoking as disliked by Sharee’ah but not forbidden. When an advice is given about smoking and its ruling you often hear a defensive response. People know the killing effects of smoking, but Satan wants them to keep on spending and burning their chests.

Certainly, cigarettes were not present in the lifetime of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم). However, what was present and will continue to be present is the Revelation in its forms, the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah. The Qur’aan formulated the prohibition of everything that is evil:

He allows them all that is good and lawful, and prohibits them as unlawful all that is evil.” (Qur’aan 7: 157)

Evil manifests itself in things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, drinks, etc. Let us see whether smoking is evil or not?

1-Smoking is a killer:

It causes lung cancer, tuberculosis, and heart diseases, to mention a few. We know that Allaah forbids us from killing ourselves. He says:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ عُدْوَانًا وَظُلْمًا فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَارًا ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرًا

“And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allaah.” (Qur’aan 4: 29-30)

Allaah also says:

“And do not throw yourselves into destruction” (Qur’aan 2: 195)

The above ‘Ayaat are sufficient to prove the Tahreem of smoking.

2-Smoking burns wealth:

Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

 وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ

“But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the devils.” (Qur’aan 17: 26-27)

You see some Muslim smokers, may Allaah guide them to the truth, reserving their cash to buy a pack or a twelve-pack carton of cigarettes, or for the “pipe stuff”, etc. wasting their money and their chests: waste on top of waste.

3-Smoking inflicts harm on non-smokers:

The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“There should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm”

[An authentic hadeeth reported in Saheeh Al-Jaam’, # 7517.]

a-Smoking harms the body.

b-It is harmful to others. Many people encounter breathing problems when they smell a pipe or a cigarette, especially people suffering from bronchial asthma.

c-It is the cause of many devastating fires, etc.

4-Smokers cause the spread of evil: They smoke openly and thus encourage others to smoke.

5-Smoking effects worship: Many smokers dislike fasting and praying because they become impatient. They want to go for the next “round”. The smoker becomes like an addict.

6-Smoking makes people smell bad: His car, clothes, home, etc. Carry the bad smell too! He hurts others with his smell while in prayer. In fact the angels also get affected by the smell, because the Prophet ρ said:

“Whoever has eaten from such greens: garlic, onions, or leek should keep away from our mosque. Truly, the angels are harmed by that which harms the offspring of Adam.”

[Al-Bukaree, Muslim, At-Tirmithee, and An-Nassaa’ee from the hadeeth of Jaabir. See Saheeh AlJaami’ # 6089.]

The above points are clear evidences that smoking is evil, and thus it is Haraam (unlawful). If the Muslim is under any kind of stress, then he must turn to Allaah for help. The Book of Allaah, the Qur’aan is a healing. When the urge for smoking arise, resort to the Qur’aan and strive to comply with Allaah’s commands:

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“Those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths.” (Qur’aan 29: 69)

You may want to take by some of the following means while depending upon Allaah, seeking His help and guidance:

1-Try to minimize drinking the drinks that became “mentally related” to smoking:coffee, tea, etc.
2-Whenever there is an urge for smoking, try to make yourself busy with something else.
3-Minimize contact with smokers.
4-Try not to accept a cigerette from anyone.
5-Try not to finish smoking the whole cigarette. Go to two thirds, then half, etc.
6-Try not to deeply inhale the smoke.
7-Try to drink a lot of water one you quit smoking.
8-Try to remember that you want to gain the pleasure of Allaah.

Source: Pages 54 – 56 in the below PDF Document
The Three Letters – The Beard, Isbaal , Smoking – Dr Saleh as Saleh [PDF]


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