Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Let there be no harming, nor reciprocating harm.” [Sahih – Ibn Majah]
The meaning of this hadith is the prohibition of all forms of harmfulness, great or small, since the grammatical indefinite (of the words “harming” and “reciprocating harm”) in a negative context indicates generality. Thus, harming oneself or any other creature, without reason from the Shariah, is prohibited.
Based on this hadith many contemporary scholars hold it to be unlawful to buy, sell, use, or grow tobacco, because of the unlawfulness of consuming what has been proven to be harmful.
Epidemiological data link smoking and lung disease in the following ways:
1. Up to 50% of smokers may die of smoking-related diseases.
2. Smokers are three times more likely to die in middle age than are non-smokers.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
1. COPD is very rare in non-smokers.
2. 90% of deaths from COPD are attributed to smoking.
3. 98% of people with emphysema are smokers.
4. 20% of smokers suffer from emphysema.
5. Deaths from pneumonia and influenza are twice as high among smokers.
1. Smokers are 18 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
2. One-third of all cancer deaths are a direct result of cigarette smoking.
3. 25% of smokers die of lung cancer.
4. The risk of developing lung cancer increases if smokers inhale; start young; increase the number of cigarettes smoked per day; use high tar cigarettes; smoke for a long time (smoking one packet of cigarettes per day for forty years is eight times more hazardous than smoking two packets for twenty years).
5. The risk of developing lung cancer starts to decrease as soon as smoking is stopped, but it takes ten or more years to return to the same risk as a non-smoker.
Cigarette smoking is also a major cause of cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, and larynx. It is a cause of bladder cancer and a contributory factor in the development of cancers of the pancreas, kidney, and cervix.
Experimental evidence shows a direct causative link between smoking and lung cancer:
1. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemical compounds. Chemical analysis has shown that at least 60 are carcinogens and 400 are other known toxins.
2. A study on 48 dogs made to smoke through machines showed that tumours similar to those found in humans develop in animals exposed to cigarette smoke.
3. When carcinogens from cigarette tar are painted on the skin of mice, cancerous growths develop.
Thus, the connection between cigarette smoking and disease is irrefutable. Therefore, is it considered Makruh (offensive) by some scholars and Haraam (forbidden) by other scholars to consume it, since Muslims are required to not harm themselves or others.