What Is The Islamic Verdict
FATWA IN THE MATTER OF SMOKING
Written by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim [(RH) (Hanbali) d. 1378 (1960 AD)]
Praise be to Allah alone, and peace and blessings be upon the one who there is no prophet after him. And what comes next:
I have already been asked regarding the judgement in tobacco, which many of the ignorant, idiotic and foolish people are fond of smoking.
Regarding what is known is that it is well known by EVERY ONE of its' prohibition. This includes us (the Hanbali people), our shaikhs, the shaikhs of our shaikhs and all of the people of knowledge from the imaams of da'awa in the Najd (a province in the Peninsula) and all of the people of knowledge of the same calibre as them from amongst the 'Ulama in ALL of the different places.
Who is pliant towards its' (tobacco) presence after 1,100 years or more until our time that we are in, claiming and calling to that it is on the Shari`a principles or the rules that have been laid down?! And I did not see an answer for that, but looking to that the questioner asked regarding the spreading of this filthy thing in what is not seen to be dangerous to the head, the answer follows upon that. So I (Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim) said,
There is no doubt in the filth of smoking and tobacco, its' addiction and its' stinginess. And its' prohibition is by the authentic text and the pure and unadulterated intellect and the words of the knowledgeable and esteemed physicians.
FIRSTLY: THE AUTHENTIC TEXT
Allah the Exalted says,
'Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who is illiterate which they found written in the Torah and the Injil, he orders them with righteousness and forbids them from evil. He makes lawful for them the wholesome things and makes forbidden the filthy things for them,' Surat ulA`araaf, ayah 157.
And it is narrated in the sahih from Ibn `Umar (RAA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, 'Every thing that intoxicates is a thing that covers the senses and all that covers the senses and intellect is haraam.' And it is mentioned in Muslim, 'And every thing that intoxicates is haraam.'
And it is related in a marfu' hadith from Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, classified as sahih, where `A'isha (RAA) stated, 'Every intoxicant is haraam and whatever damages the senses, causes addiction and numbs the senses.'
So all of the bountious ayaat and sahih ahaadith are a proof on its' (smoking) prohibition. For truly it is a filthy act, intoxicating, causing one too flee from their normal self and addictive, and there is no debating in that except by the one who is arrogant and an imbecile to the facts and the reality.
And there is no doubt moreover in acknowledgement of the prohibition of it because it is from the things that intoxicate and the things that cause addiction and the senses to flee.
And it is related by Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawud from Umm Salamah (RAA), who said, 'The Messenger forbid from every intoxicant and addictive thing that numbs the senses.' AlHaafiz az-Zain al`Iraaqi said, 'It's chain of narration is authentic and as-Suyuti classified it as Sahih in Jaami` us-Saghir.'
And in it (smoking) is the wasting of wealth and the destruction of the senses without reason. And the person that is buying it sees it as a necessity for life in this matter, and it is not of any importance. And it is narrated in the two sahih collections from the Prophet (SAW) that he said,
'Truly Allah, He has made it haraam on you the following: 1. Disobedience to the mothers 2. Abusing the daughters 3. Hindering and putting a stumbling block in front of the weak what you hate for yourselves 4. Unnecessary speech 5. Questioning incessantly and 5. Wasting wealth.'
It has now been explained, so next we will mention the words of the `Ulama from the heads of the four madhhabs. So from those who have mentioned its' prohibitions from the scholars of fiqh from the Hanafis is Shaikh Muhammad al`Aini. He mentioned in his message, 'The Prohibition of Smoking,' four points,
"One: It is harmful to the person by the admission of the knowledgeable doctors and all of what is like that is haraam to work with by the consensus.
"Two: It is from one of the agreed upon narcotics in their sight of the things that have been forbidden from working with by the Shari`a. The hadith of Ahmad narrated by Umm Salamah has, 'The Messenger (SAW) forbid from every intoxicant and addictive thing that numbs the senses.'
"And it (smoking) causes listlessness, numbness and stupor in the limbs and nerve endings by the consensus of the doctors. And their words are a proof in that and likewise, the scholars of fiqh, classical and modern have also made consensus on that.
"Three: Its' odour is disgusting and bothersome. It bothers and annoys people who don't do it and specifically those who are gathered in salaah and otherwise. In addition to this, it also harms and bothers the angels. And it has already been related by the two others of the sahih collections (Bukhaari and Muslim) from Jaabir (RAA) [from the Messenger (SAW)],
'Whoever eats garlic or onion, then let him isolate himself from us. And let him isolate himself from our masjid and let him sit in his house.'
"And it is already well known that the odour of the smoke is not less harmful and hated than the odour of garlic and onion. And it is mentioned in the two sahih collections moreover from Jaabir (RAA) [from the Prophet (SAW)],
'The angels are offended and bothered by whatever people are offended and bothered by.'
"And in the hadith from him (the Prophet) is that he has said,
'Whoever annoys or bothers a Muslim, then he has already annoyed me. And whoever bothers and annoys me, then he has already annoyed and bothered Allah,' related by at-Tabaraani in alAwsat from Anas (RAA) with a good chain of narration.
"Four: It is intemperance and extravagance when there is nothing in it that benefits in a halaal manner and the one who does it is harmed. On the contrary, it has harm in it, and this has been found in information well investigated by the people who have and know this information."
And from them is Abul Hasan alMasri alHanafi who said in his text, al Aathaar an-Naqliyyat us-Sahihah wad-Dalaa'il il`Aqliyyat is-Sarihah Ta`lanu BiTahrim id-Dukhaan ('The Distinguishing Mark of the Authentic Text and Evidences of the Pure and Wise Intellect in Informing of the Prohibition of Smoking'),
"And it first to be known in the turn of the century. And the first to appear with it was in the land of the Jews, Christians and pagans. And a Jewish man came with it , claiming that he was wise to the land of Morocco. And he (the Jew) called people to it. And the first one to take it to the land of the Mediterranean was a man by the name of Kline from the Christians.
"The first to bring it to the land of Sudaan were the pagans. Then it was taken to Egypt, Hijaaz (the Peninsula) and the other far reaching lands. And Allah has forbidden from every single thing that intoxicates. And it is said that, 'It does not intoxicate.' So it deprives and numbs the limbs and nerve endings of the one that is consuming that into himself, internally and externally.
"And the actual intent and purpose behind stupification and intoxication is the covering and enveloping of the intellect and senses.
"And if it is not an intensification and a magnification of those seeking gratification in it (smoking), then there is no doubt that it happens to the one who is given it the first time. And if he does not submit to that it intoxicates, then he is deluded, numb and stupid.
"It has already been related by Imaam Ahmad and Abu Dawud from Umm Salamah that the Messenger (SAW) forbid from all that intoxicates and is addictive and numbs the senses.
"The `Ulama said, 'That which causes listlessness is what causes numbness, addiction and weakness in the nerve endings.'
"And so you should consider this hadith as an evidence on the forbidden and prohibition of it (smoking). And it harms the body, the soul and corrupts the heart.
"It weakens the strength and changes the colour to dull yellow. And the doctors have gathered and agreed upon that it is harmful, it harms the body, the health and virtue, the dignity, the honour and the wealth.
"And in it is the imitation of the rebellious, disobedient and astray people. For no one consumes it in most instances except the rebellious and sinning people, debased and vile cowards and the odour that issues forth from the mouth of the one that consumes it is filthy and wretched."
And from the scholars of fiqh from the Hanbalis is Shaikh `Abdullah ibn Shaikh Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhaab (may Allah have mercy on both of them and sanctify their souls) who said in his second answer regarding tobacco after what he related of the texts that make haraam intoxicants and he mentioned the words of the people of knowledge in knowing intoxication of what is the text,
"And in what we mentioned from the words of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and the words of the people of knowledge in making clear to you that tobacco is haraam, which is being used frequently in this time. As well is the widespread narration among us and the witnesses and those who testified to its' intoxication in part of the times specifically.
"When it became the vast majority or established fact it for a day or two that he did not take it, then when he took it next, he became intoxicated and lost his intellect, until the point when the one who took it spoke in front of people without being aware of that, and we seek refuge in Allah from the horror and evil of harm and sin.
"And it is not right that one who believes in Allah and the Last Day should fall prey to the words of any of the people when it has been made clear to him the words of Allah and His Messenger in the likeness of issues and matters.
"And that is the witness by that the Messenger of Allah gave judgment to, in that his obedience in whatever he ordered and abstaining from whatever he forbid and warned people from and certainty in whatever he was informed about."
And Shaikh `Abdullah Abu Batin (RH) answered regarding tobacco, with the words,
"What we think about it is that it is haraam on the following two grounds,
"One: It carries the intoxication whenever it is consumed. So if the consumer of it is robbed of it for a period of time, then he consumed it or more of it, even if he does not gain intoxication from it, he will bear the effect of narcoticisation, addiction and numbness in the limbs and nerve endings.
"And it is related by Imaam Ahmad in a clear hadith that he (SAW) forbid from all that intoxicates and causes addiction and numbs the senses and nerve endings.
"Two: That it is a putrescent and foul odour in the presence of the one who does not take it. And the 'Ulama have argued with the wording of His, Exalted Be He,
'And He has made haraam upon them the filthy and putred things,' Surat ulA'araaf, ayah 157.
"And as far as the one who is taking it, making it or preparing it, and he does not think that it is putrescent and foul, then he has the likeness of the one who thinks he caused it to cease being filthy due to some excuse."
And from the scholars of fiqh from the Shaafi'iis is Shaikh ash-Shahir Bin-Najm alGhazi ash-Shaafi'ii, who said in his texts,
"And it is widely narrated that which happened when it (tobacco) came to Dimashq (Damascus) in the year 1015 AH (1606 AD). It was claimed that the one who consumes it does not get intoxicated.
"However, If he submitted to it, then he became addicted and that is haraam. And the hadith of Ahmad with the narration from Umm Salamah who said, 'The Messenger (SAW) forbid from all that intoxicates and is addictive and numbs the senses.'
He (the Shaikh) said, "It (smoking) is not from the major sins, if it is gone into once or twice. But on the contrary, persistence on it is a major sin like an abundance of minor sins."
And it has already been mentioned by some of the `Ulama,
"The small sin receives the judgement of one major sin from five ways,
"One: persistence on it.
"Second: Indifference to it, and it is frivolity and being unconcerned with doing the act and committing it.
"Third: Rejoicing and reveling in it.
"Fourth: Boasting about it among the people
"Fifth: Commencing of it by the one who knows regarding it or from the one who imitates it (the act of smoking where one person follows the others).
"And Shaikh Khaalid ibn Ahmad from the scholars of fiqh from the Maalikis said,
'It is not permissible for the one who consumes tobacco to be an imaam or to take the position of imaam. Nor is it permissible to trade and do commerce in it or in what intoxicates.'"
And of the `Ulama of Egypt that made smoking haraam is Shaikh Ahmad as-Sanhuri alBahuti of the Hanbalis. And the Shaikh of the Maalikis, Ibrahim al-Laqaani. From the `Ulama of Morocco, Abul Ghaith alQashaash alMaaliki
From the `Ulama of Dimashq (Damascus), an-Najm alGhazi al`Aamiri ash-Shaafi`ii. From the `Ulama of Yemen, Ibrahim ibn Jam'aan, his student Abu Bakr alAhdal
Zaidiyyah madhhab, translators note
From the `Ulama of the Haramain (Makkah and Madinah), The brilliant scholar of investigation, `Abdul Maalik al'Aasimi and his student Muhammad ibn `Alaan, the commentator on Riyaad us-Saalihin and as-Sayyid `Umar alBasri.
And in the lands of the Meditteranean and Turkey, Shaikh Muhammad alKhawaajah, `Isa ash-Shahaadi alHanafi, Makki ibn Furukh, as-Sayyid Sa'd alBalakhi alMadani and Muhammad alBarzunji alMadani ash-Shaafi'ii.
I (Muhammad ibn Ibrahim) have seen the one who takes it in the time of dispute, they (the `Ulama) say to him, "Say, 'La ilaha illallah (NOTE: the reason why the Hanbalis made the man say the Shahaada is that they classified him as a kaafir for arguing about something clearly haraam. This should be a warning to those who debate about it today).'"
Then it is said, "This is hot tobacco!" And all of these are from the `Ulama of the Ummah, the senior imaams that have given fatwa in that it is haraam and it is forbidden from
possessing it, translators note
and it is forbidden to take it.
SECONDLY: THE PURE AND UNADULTERATED INTELLECT
So what is known by widespread report and testimonial from what is collected and put together is that consumption of it in general is harmful to the well-being, body and intellect.
And death, fainting and difficult sicknesses have already been witnessed, such as clear and constant coughing due to the sickness of pulmonary tuberculosis, sicknesses of the heart, death due to the heart stopping and shrinkage of the blood arteries in the limbs.
Besides that, whatever carries with it intellectual deprivation, taking it is haraam. So the pure and unadulterated intellect is by necessity the authentic reasons for taking something are for achieving and attaining from it benefits.
Likewise it is judged to be sound by forbidding, refraining and abstaining from the causes and things that can cause harm, destroy and in large amounts causing dissension to someone.
There is no doubt in that for the one who has any sense or intelligence at all. And there is no lesson, advice or consideration for the one that is turning to likeness and untamed desire to destroy and harm his intellect.
So he is worshipping it (the desire and the addiction), panting and running after it with hallucinations, self-deception and delusions and foolish concepts and fantasies until all that remains is becoming a prisoner to his desire, in opposition to the causes and reasons for his righteousness and guidance.
translated by Ibn `Umar of SoS