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The Shar’Ri Judgment Regarding Smoking Of Tabbaco Products.

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Various QA websites run by anti-Islam elements and proponents of Najdi Kharijism neo-Hanbalism have argued Tabbaco related items are Haram in Shari’ah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Yet orthodox Muslims adhering to traditional Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki, and Hanabali Madhabs have judged the smoking of tabacco items as Makrooh (i.e. disliked). This short article will attempt to adress this topic.

Tabacco Related Items Are Permitted:

The Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and traditional Hanbali scholarship is in agreement; cigarettes, cigars, Hukah/Shisha are all Makrooh (i.e. disliked). Only the neo-Hanbalite breed originated from Najd and following foolishness of Khawarij have deemed it Haram. The general rule is given by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in the following Ahadith: “The Messenger of Allah was asked about ghee, cheese and wild donkeys. He said: ‘What is lawful is that which Allah has permitted, in His Book and what is unlawful is that which Allah has forbidden in His Book. What He remained silent about is what is pardoned.’” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B29, H3367]  and what He was silent about; then it is amongst which He has excused." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B22, H1726] “Allah has prescribed certain obligations for you, so do not neglect them; He has defined certain limits, so do not transgress them; He has prohibited certain things do do not do them; and He has kept silent concerning about other things out of mercy for you, and not because of forgetfulness, so do not ask questions concerning them. [Ref: Sunan Darqutni] And meaning of pardoned/excused is that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has excused them from reward or punishment and has allowed them: “… and that concerning which He is silent is allowed as His favor. So accept from Allah His favor, for Allah is not forgetful of anything. He then recited, "And thy Lord is not forgetful." [Ref: Musnad Al Bazzar] And cigarettes/cigars and other tobacco related items were not clearly probhited nor permitted and had there not been other eliments which prohibit their usage they would be permissible. And these reasons would be discussed in next two sections.

Onions And Garlic Disliked Due To Smell:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) prohibited eating of garlic and onions: “Narrated Ibn `Umar: On the day of Khaiber, Allah's Messenger forbade the eating of garlic and the meat of donkeys.” [Ref: Bukhari, B59, H526] “Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Whoever has eaten garlic or onion should keep away from us (or should keep away from our mosque).” [Ref: Bukhari, B65, H363] And this prohibition was in context of raw onion and garlic: “Narrated Sharik bin Hanbal That Ali said: "Eating garlic was prohibited except when cooked." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B23, H1808] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) disliking strong smell of onions and garlic: “Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah said: He who eats of this plant (garlic) should not approach our mosque and should not harm us with the odour of garlic.” [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1144] The prohibition of entering Masjid was in context of consuming raw garlic, as it is evident from following Hadith: “Narrated Ata: I heard Jabir bin `Abdullah saying, "The Prophet said, 'Whoever eats (from) this plant (he meant garlic) should keep away from our mosque." I said, "What does he mean by that?" He replied, "I think he means only raw garlic." [Ref: Bukhari, B12, H813] In another Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have not consumed even cooked garlic due to its odour: “The Prophet said: 'It contained garlic.' So he said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Is it unlawful?' He said: 'No, I dislike it because of its odor.'" [Ref: Tirmadhi, B23, H1807]

Implying Disliked Status Of  Tabacco Products From Garlic And Onions:

It is a well known fact that Tabacco products produce awful smell. One who smokes cigarettes their breath, clothes, emits disgusting smell of cigarettes and it is by far worse then pleasant smell of raw garlic and onions. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not consume even cooked garlic due to its odour even though it is not Makrooh in cooked form: “The Prophet said: 'It contained garlic.' So he said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Is it unlawful?' He said: 'No, I dislike it because of its odor.'" [Ref: Tirmadhi, B23, H1807] And this demonstrates his extreme vigilance in saving himself from bad odours. On basis this Hadith, it can implied that the foul smelling Tabbaco products are Makrooh and we should avoid them just as Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) avoided Halal garlic due to its offensive smell. It is Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to smell great. And we should use perfume and have good oral hygeine.

Disliked Of Tabacco Implied From Damage To Health And Wealth:

In addition to this it is waste of wealth and one who does so is said to be brothers of devil (i.e. Jinn), implying wasteful spender is doing bid of Iblees: "Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (your wealth) in wastefully. Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord" [Ref: 17:26-27] Smoking also damages health and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated regarding harming ownself: “…make not your own hands contribute to your destruction…” [Ref: 2:195] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has said: “Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you." [Ref: Bukhari, B62, H127] Body having right over the person means, the body is to be proteced and should not be harmed,  eyes have right in the sense that they should not see what is unlawful, and wife has right over the husband that, her sustenance, clothing, protection, sexual needs, need to be met and neither of them should be harmed.

The Precise Judgment Regarding Smoking Tabacco Products:

After considering all the avenues of matter, its smell, damage to health, and wealth, it would be sinful to smoke any Tabacco products. And therefore its proper status in Shari’ah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would be Makrooh Tahrimi. In other words, smoking is sinful activity for all the  reasons mentioned and is closer to Haram.

Instruction For One Smokes Tabacco Products:

Just as with all sinful activities repentance is first and foremost and one smoking should repent for the sins of wasting wealth and damaging health and smelling awfully. One who smokes should have a bath often as he can because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) use to instruct the companions to take bath if they had bad body odour: “Narrated Aisha: The companions of Allah's Messenger used to practice manual labor, so their sweat used to smell, and they were advised to take a bath.” [Ref: Bukhari, B34, H285] Than change his clothes, and  should clean his mouth to get rid of the odour of cigarettes. And this should be done by anyone who smokes and attends Masjid.


Tabacco produces are not Haram but they are Makrooh Tahrimi due to the smell, damage to health, and wasting wealth. And one who smokes them is guilty of sin and repentence is compulsory.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Edited by MuhammedAli
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