South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
Don't Kiss Up to the Kiss of Death
May 2010 : Jumaadal Ulaa 1431

Every time you wrap your lips around a cigarette and inhale its noxious fumes, you are playing the hazardous game of Russian roulette with no return with that which is viewed as sacred and inviolable, i.e. your life given to you by Allah Almighty.

With a lit up cigarette burning up to 700 degrees at the tip and 60 degrees centigrade at the butt, you inhale up to 4000 different chemicals containing at least 50 known cancer-causing carcinogens. These chemicals when heated to this extent breaks down the tobacco stuffed inside to produce various toxins causing irreparable damage to your body. Tobacco smoke contains a substance called nicotine, a poisonous algoid. It also has substances such as carbon monoxide, acrolein, ammonia, prussic acid, aldehydes and tar that seriously affect the heart, lungs, blood circulation, bones, stomach, mouth, throat, eyes, skin, reproduction and fertility, making it the number one legal killer of our times.

The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco caused 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century. There could be up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. And by the end of today, another 1000 people will die as they do daily from tobacco use and abuse. Why is it that today’s man with this knowledge at his disposal, continues on this path of destruction of himself and others affected through his passive smoking? Are we any less intelligent or have we not learnt from this danger since discovery of tobacco used as medicine by native Americans in the 14th century? The answer lies in the fact that the pharmacologic and behavioural processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine coupled with the most powerful marketing campaigns mounted by companies whose only mantra is profit at the cost of fellow man.

Does Islam permit smoking?

There is no Divine explicit text on the subject because cigarettes did not exist at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an in the 7th century CE. Therefore, one cannot find a verse of Qur'an, or narration of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, saying clearly that "cigarette smoking is forbidden. Muslim Jurists have however, based on various factors listed below, condemned smoking and ruled it to be either Makruh (detested and undesirable) or Haraam (forbidden):

Danger to one’s health - "...let not your own hands contribute to your destruction..." (Qur'an 2:195); "...nor kill yourselves..." (Qur'an 4:29).

Danger To Your Family's Health and the Environment - "Those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly bear on themselves a glaring sin" (Qur'an 33:58). And the Prophet peace be upon him said: "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour." (HADITH)

Inconvenience, harm and discomfort to others - "A Muslim is he who safeguards fellow Muslims from the evil of his tongue and hands." (ie causing verbal or physical harm) (HADITH)

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

Haraam Ingredients“He (the Apostle) forbids (those who follow him) from what is bad and impure” (Quran 7:157). According to Dr Yussuf Saloojee of the National Council Against Smoking who has confirmed the research of Sydney University, "that cigarettes may contain traces of pig's blood. The hemoglobin from pig’s blood may be used in the manufacture of some types of cigarette filters. Alcohol can also be added but tobacco companies are not always open about these claiming that some of the added ingredients are “trade secrets”.

We ask Allah to give courage, perseverance and steadfastness to all who endeavour to stub out the habit and guide family members to support those affected, Aameen.

Kick out the butt or kick the bucket!

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