Suicide by Smoking 

Most Muslims are aware of and try to avoid the major sins in Islam -
murder, suicide, adultery, alcohol, gambling, usury, etc.  Muslims are
forbidden to harm themselves or others.  Yet millions of Muslims all 
the world are doing just that - harming, even killing themselves and 
families.   Islamic scholars have historically had mixed views on the
subject, and the actions of these Muslims have not been unanimously
forbidden or even discouraged.

The danger is tobacco use - cigarette and cigar smoking, chew, etc.  
mixed views on the subject came about because cigarettes are a more 
invention and did not exist at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an 
the 7th century A.D.  Therefore, one cannot find a verse of Qur'an or
words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying clearly that
"Cigarettee smoking is forbidden."  However, there are many instances
where the Qur'an gives us general guidelines, and calls upon us to use 
reason and intelligence, and seek guidance from Allah about what is 
and wrong.  In the Qur'an, Allah says, ...he [the Prophet] commands 
what is just, and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful 
is good, and prohibits them from what is bad..." (Surah al-Araf 7:157).
So what are the evils of tobacco use, for your health and for your deen

1.    Danger to your health

Allah says, "...make not your own hands contribute to your 
(Surah al-Baqarah 2:195); "...nor kill yourselves..." (Surah al-Nisaa
4:29).  It is universally understood that cigarette smoking causes a
number of health problems that often ultimately result in death.  Men 
smoke contract lung cancer at 22 times the rate of non-smokers.  
are also highly at risk for heart disease, emphysema, oral cancer, 
etc.  There are hundreds of poisonous and toxic ingredients in the
cigarette itself that the smoker inhales straight into the lungs.  In 
authentic hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that
"Whomsoever drinks poison, thereby killing himself, will sip this 
forever and ever in the fire of Jahannum (Hell)."  Over 3 million 
worldwide die from smoking-related causes each year.

2.    Danger to your family's health

In the Qur'an, Allah says: "Those who annoy believing men and women
undeservedly bear on themselves a glaring sin" (Surat al-Ahzaab 33:58).
And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that "there should be neither
harming, nor reciprocating harm.  In another hadith, the Prophet (peace 
upon him) said: "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should 
hurt his neighbor."   Those around the smoker inhale what is known as
"second-hand smoke" - the unfiltered, poisonous waste that goes in the 
around the smoker.  There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke,
over 40 of which are known to cause cancer.  Second-hand smoke causes 
aggravates asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems, 
in children. 

3.    Addictive

The addiction to tobacco is a physical response that often interferes 
one's life and worship.  For example, most Muslims are aware that it is
forbidden to smoke during the fasting days of Ramadan.  Many of these
addicted smokers spend their fasting days sleeping, cranky, and
short-tempered, just counting the hours until they can have their fix.
There have been times when the most severely addicted will wait outside
the masjed door for the adhan, and break their fast by lighting up, 
taking even food or water.

4.    Noxious Smell

Muslims are advised to refrain from eating raw onions and garlic - 
as a courtesy to those around them.  Nobody likes the smell.  The same
goes even more so for the reek of cigarettes, which permeates 
around the smoker - hair, clothing, home, car, etc.  The Prophet (peace 
upon him) said:  Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions 
leek should keep away from our mosque. Many smokers try to hide the 
by using breath mints or perfume.  This does not get rid of the smell, 
only masks it.  Often the combination of smells is even more 

5.    Waste of Money

Allah says, "...But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of 
spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the devils... {Surah
al-Israa 17:26-27} And in an authentic hadith the Prophet (peace be 
him) said that: "Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, 
wasting money." In the U.S. and other countries, cigarettes are taxed
heavily in order to discourage this habit and reimburse the government 
the overwhelming health care costs to care for those afflicted with
diseases caused by smoking.  Smokers often spend thousands of dollars a
year that literally just go up in smoke.

Recent Opinions of Scholars

In more recent times, as these dangers of tobacco use have come to be
proven beyond any doubt, scholars have become more unanimous in
pronouncing tobacco use clearly haram (forbidden) to believers.  They 
use the strongest terms to condemn this habit.

How to Quit?

As mentioned, one of the dangers of tobacco is that it is so addicting.
It causes a physical response in your body when you try to give it up.
Therefore, quitting is often difficult.  However, with the help of 
and the personal commitment to improve yourself for the sake of Allah, 
for your own health, it is possible.  It is first recommended to make 
firm intention, from deep in your heart, to give up this evil habit.
Trust in Allah's words: "...When you have taken a decision, put your 
in Allah.  For Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.  If Allah
help you, none can overcome you; if He forsakes you, who is - after 
that -
that can help you?  In Allah, then, let believers put their trust" 
Al-'lmran 3:159-160).

Secondly, one must avoid situations where you are used to smoking, and
people who do so around you.  For example, if you have certain friends 
gather together and they all constantly smoke - make a choice (Allah 
you free will to choose!) to stay away from that environment for the 
being.  At a vulnerable stage, it is too easy to get sucked back in by
having "just one."  Remember, tobacco causes a physical addiction and 
must stay away completely.  Drink a lot of water and keep yourself busy 
other endeavors.  Go to the masjed.  Play sports.  And remember the 
of Allah:  "And those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will certainly
guide them to Our Paths, for verily Allah is with those who do right
(Surah al-Ankabut 29:69).

For more information about the proven dangers of smoking, and advice on
how to quit, visit's Smoking Cessation website.

Living With a Smoker

If you live with or are friends with smokers, first of all encourage 
to quit, for the sake of Allah, their deen, and their health.  If they
refuse (and ultimately we will face Allah alone), you have the right to
protect your own health and the health of your children.  Do not allow 
in the house.  Do not allow it in enclosed quarters with your family.
Even if the smoker is a parent, we are not to obey our parents in 
which are forbidden by Allah.


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