Health

World No Tobacco Day: Smoking in Islam

The general consensus is that smoking is either completely prohibited in Islam or abhorrent to such a degree as to be prohibited.

Keeping in view the dangers of using tobacco, World Health Organisation has declared 31 May as World No Tobacco Day. After passing a resolution in 1987, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a “a world no-smoking day, the World Health Assembly called for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.

Islamic principles also call upon people to look after their health, avoid health hazards and raise their standards of hygiene. With regard to the Islamic ruling on smoking, the general consensus is that smoking is either completely prohibited in Islam or abhorrent to such a degree as to be prohibited.

In Islam all human affairs are classified into one of five categories: fard (mandatory), mustahib (encouraged), mubah (neutral), mukrooh (discouraged), and haram (prohibited).

Although there is no direct mention of tobacco smoking in either of the primary sources of law (the Koran and Sunnah), smoking was earlier classified as an activity that was lawful but discouraged.

However, during recent years, keeping in view its harmful effects, smoking has been reclassified as prohibited in many parts of the Arabic speaking world. Numerous religious edicts or fatawa, including from notable authorities such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt, now declare smoking to be prohibited. The reasons cited is Islamic law’s general prohibition of all actions that result in harm.

Dr Zakir Naik also considers cigarette smoking is haraam in Islam. He quotes Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) hadeeth in which he said: “Every Intoxicant is Forbidden” (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 3, Hadith 4962) 

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