What is the ruling of smoking cigarettes is it forbidden or disliked?
The legal ruling of tobacco has been differed over amongst the Scholars. This dispute filters down to the different uses of tobacco including cigarettes.
However, modern cigarettes contain harmful poisons which according to some researchers are more than seventy cancer-causing chemicals. This would entail that cigarettes are prohibited. The Prophet of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, guided humanity to take benefit from medicine and avoid harmful practices or substances.
Abu Nu’aym reports in Kitab al Tibb (Book of Medicine) that the blessed Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) pointed out the harms in eating soil. In another report three detrimental harms of consuming soil are pointed out:
- Chronic illness
- Bloating of the belly
- Change in colour.
[As narrated in al Jami’ al Kabir]
The medical prophetic guidance tells believers to avoid: cities in which the plague has broken out [Bukhari], not to sleep with half the body in the open sun and the other half in the shade [Musnad of Imam Ahmad], and similarly not to use water which has become warm in the sun, or to eat dates during fever. These and similar examples as found in the books of prophetic medicine exhort humanity to avoid harmful lifestyles and encourage the use of medicine.
This is aside from the extortionate amount of money spent on cigarettes. Some people quote the verse from the Qur’an in Surah al A’raf,
‘..Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?” Say, “They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.”‘
However the verse prior to this verse has,
‘…….O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess..‘
[Surah al A’raf, verse 31]
The nauseating and repugnant smell of tobacco would necessitate it being reprehensible in the Masjid like onion and garlic. The beloved Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,
“Anyone who has eaten any of this plant, should not come near us or pray with us.”
In another wording, “Anyone who eats any of this plant (garlic) should not come near our mosque.”
Sayyid A’lawi Maliki (رحمة الله عليه) writes “Know, Allah have mercy on you, that modern smoking was non existent in the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) and in the time of the Companions and that is why there is not in the Book or the Sunnah an unequivocal evidence for its prohibition. It is from the matters pertaining to juristic differences.”
[Fatawa of Sayyid Alawi]
It is imperative that people do not label other Muslims as transgressors based on juristic differences. It is prohibited for the laymen to condemn an action which is differed over by the four Sunni schools or within the confine of one school with no preferred verdict.
Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Asrar Rashid