The Mufti (priest with special concern for expounding Muslim law) of Egypt, Dr.Farid Wasil,
announced that he has received an
award from the World Health Organization (WHO) for the fatwa (religious
decree) that declared smoking as ''Haram'' (forbidden) in Islam because
of its damaging effects to human health. The WHO commended the Mufti
for his good action in the fight against smoking.
Speaking to the Website "Islam Online" in Cairo, Dr. Wasil stated that WHO believes the Fatwa benefits not only Muslim countries, but also non-Muslim countries worldwide.
He said some of the lawsuits filed in the West against smoking used his Fatwa as evidence against tobacco companies.
"We can clearly without hesitation say smoking is not permitted in Islam," said the Egyptian Mufti.
The Mufti said he would like to see tobacco manufacturing companies being closed in the long term because of the health, financial and cultural devastation they caused, according to their own evidence and documentation.
Dr.Wasil suggested to addicted smokers struggling to quit smoking that they should take medical, social and spiritual steps that would help them.
When asked about tobacco manufacturers, he replied: "It is unlawful according to the Islam to produce or sell tobacco in a Muslim country, and it is hazardous to the individual and society."
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), 20 May 2000