Project Cigarette: Fiqh of cigarette smoking and smokers



Q 1: Is it permissible to listen to the Qur'an on the Radio, from another person, or on television while smoking a cigarette?

Q 2: Is it permissible to enter a Masjid (mosque) while a person is carrying a lighted cigarette in his hand, or should it be thrown away before entering the place of Wudu' (ablution)?

Q 3: Is it permissible to read the Qur'an, while holding it, or recite it from one's memory while smoking a cigarette?

Q 4: is smoking cigarettes Makruh (reprehensible) or Haram (prohibited)?

Q 5: Some people claim that Allah's saying,Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maitah (the dead animals- cattle- beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering applies to cigarettes, i.e. that it is among the things on which Allah's Name is not mentioned. Is this true?

Answer By Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' of Saudi Arabia   answered these five questions collectively, as they are all relevant.

Smoking cigarettes is a sin, as it is harmful to the body and a waste of money, so it is prohibited by Shari`ah (Islamic law). It is also implied in Allah's saying, he allows them as lawful At-Tayyibât (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods) Cigarettes are not good, lawful things, but unlawful ones.

If smoking cigarettes is a sin, committing this sin in the Masjid, while listening to the Qur'an from a person or on the radio, or while reciting the Qur'an is a much graver sin, as it entails violating the sanctity of the places designed for `Ibadah (worship) by committing a sin there, and violating the sacredness of the Qur'an, which is the word of Allah, the source of Islamic legislation, and the source of wisdom and good preaching by committing this sin while listening to it or reciting it.

If people observe decency in the presence of honorable people and while performing formal rites, how can they dare to commit a sin in the Masjid, a place designed for `Ibadah and getting closer to Allah, or while listening to the Qur'an or studying it? A person should quit smoking, and especially at the time of Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah), reciting Qur'an or listening to it.

It is not true what is mentioned in the fifth question, that Allah's saying, on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). applies to smoking cigarettes; the truth is that it refers to the slaughtered animals on which names other than Allah's Name are mentioned while slaughtering, which entails the desire to get closer to someone other than Allah through slaughtering animals. It was narrated by `Aly ibn Abu Talib from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said, Allah curses the person who slaughters (a sacrifice) to anyone other than Him. Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith. It is enough to prohibit smoking cigarettes because it is something unlawful, harmful to the health, and a waste of money. Thus, it applies to Allah's saying, and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods) It also applies to the Hadith that states, There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. Narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (Hadith compilation) and Ibn Majah in his Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes), on the authority of Ibn `Abbas from the Prophet (peace be upon him). It also applies to the Hadith that states, A person who causes harm to Muslims is cursed. Narrated by Al-Tirmidhy on the authority of Abu Bakr from the Prophet (peace be upon him).

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!


Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

`Abdullah ibn Mani`
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan
`Abdul-Razzaq `Afify
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al Al-Shaykh

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