Dangers of smoking

Dangers of smoking

Many people are afflicted with the habit of consuming this poison, which wastes their money, ruins their health and weakens their bodies.

There is another, more evil, consequence that smoking has, which is materialised in those who smoke having an evil end. A smoker was on his deathbed, and his brother came to him and urged him to utter the two testimonies of faith before dyeing, but the smoker said: “My dear brother! I feel like someone is holding my tongue whenever I try to utter them, and I hear a voice, saying: 'I will not permit you to utter this because you used to harm me with your smoke.'”

Numbers and statistics:

Smoking results in the deaths of millions of people annually. According to the World Health Organisation, three million people die every year as a result of smoking, while two million others develop serious bodily defects. Smoking is considered a narcotic that people can become addicted to. According to an Egyptian newspaper, people smoke forty billion cigarettes in Egypt every year, which means that they thereby spend three billion Egyptian Pounds - every year.

Western news agencies have mentioned that cigarette companies have suffered from declining sales in the United States and Europe, but have made up for these by the sales that they made in third world countries, which are predominantly Muslim.

In the United States smokers dropped from being forty-percent (40%) of the population in 1965 to twenty-five and a half percent (25.5%) of the population in 1992. In England they dropped between the years 1970-1985 by twenty-five percent (25%). Likewise, some Muslim countries have taken positive steps to end smoking and tobacco consumption, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the following major steps in fighting smoking have been taken:

· Banning the import of chewing tobacco

· Banning smoking in films and television programmes

· Banning cigarette advertisements

· Banning smoking in schools and universities during working hours

· Increasing cigarette taxes

Despite all these efforts, statistics show that the consumption of cigarettes in the Kingdom is still very high: people here consumed one hundred and fifty-seven thousand (157,000) tunes of cigarettes between the years 1990 and 1996.

In Asia the number of smokers has increased from 1970-1985 by seventy-nine percent (79%). In Africa it has increased, in the same period, by one-hundred and sixteen percent (116%) which represents the highest percentage increase in the world.

One of the studies made on the harmful effects of smoking showed that smoking resulted in many fires, and that thirteen percent (13%) of all fires in homes and offices were caused by cigarettes. Also, it found that fourteen and a half percent (14.5%) of fires in public places, such as restaurants and theatres, resulted from smoking, while it was the cause for twenty percent (20%) of desert fires.

How much is spent on cigarettes?

If we assume that a person begins smoking at the age of fifteen, and continues until he reaches the age of sixty, and that he smokes on average, twenty cigarettes a day, then how many cigarettes would he have smoked during this period? And how much would he have spent? The answer is that he would smoke six hundred (600) a month, which means seven–thousand two-hundred (7,200) a year, which totals thirty-two thousand four-hundred cigarettes over forty-five years. This makes a total of sixteen-thousand two-hundred (16,200) packets, and if each packet costs six and a half Saudi Riyals, then the total cost will be one-hundred and five thousand, three-hundred (105,300) Saudi Riyals.

The ill effects of cigarettes are gradual and not immediate; they result in destroying a persons’ health over time, which is the main reason why many people take the issue of smoking lightly - they do not feel any immediacy in the dangers that smoking results in. This is quite unlike if, for example, they were attacked by cholera, or other dangerous diseases. The World Health Organisation has stated that smoking causes more deaths worldwide than all the other causes added together.

Recent studies and researches have proved that smoking is extremely dangerous to the human body; it causes various types of cancer, lung infections and asthma. In the United States sixty-thousand cases of lung cancer are diagnosed yearly, which occur as a direct result of smoking; out of this number, almost twenty-seven thousand die.

Smoking has a very detrimental effect on the nervous system, which results in the following:

· Nervousness and inability to sleep.

· Weakness in the nervous system, which can develop, for heavy smokers, to become paralysis

· Becoming hot tempered

· Weakness in memory

· Weakness in smell and taste

· Weakness of eyesight

Smoking also has a very detrimental effect on the heart; it can increase the heartbeat rate by fifteen beats a minute while a person is smoking; it also results in strokes and can cause sudden death. Smoking disturbs the circulation of the blood and can cause a person to become paralysed; it also raises blood pressure and causes infections in the major veins of the heart.

Smoking also results in loss of appetite and disturbances in the digestive system; it also causes severe constipation. Additionally, it causes general losses of energy, stomach ulcers and the shrivelling of the smoker’s kidney.

The urinary system is severely affected by smoking; cases of urine poisoning result from smoking, as well as ulcers in some of the parts it passes through.

Recent studies in the United States have proven that smokers have six times the level of Polonium in their bodies that non-smokers do, this undoubtedly comes from the cigarettes they smoke, which makes smokers far more likely to be afflicted with cancer.

Regarding the effects of smoking on one's religion, Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’di  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him stated the following:

· It prevents the person from performing some of acts of worship, especially fasting

· It results in one intermingling with an inferior class of people, and shunning mixing with the righteous

· It causes the youth to stray away from the right path, and leads them to indulge in dispraised behaviour

No sound minded person can doubt that smoking is prohibited after it has been proven that it contains poisonous ingredients and has seriously harmful effects on the body.

One may ask if there is any evidence in the Quran and Sunnah proving that smoking is prohibited. The answer is yes; there are many verses and prophetic narrations proving that it is prohibited to buy, sell, or smoke cigarettes, such as:

1. No one doubts that it is (smoking) one of the Khabaa’ith (i.e., any evil or harmful act) and Allah forbids all types of Khabaa’ith when He Says (what means): “…And (the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention )) makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil…” [Quran 7: 157]

2. Smoking destroys the person, and Allah Says in the chapter Al-Baqarah (what means):

“…And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction…” [Quran 2: 195]

3. Smoking is a form of extravagant spending, while Allah Says in the Chapter Al-Israa’ (what means): “Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.” [Quran 17: 27]

4. Smoking slowly kills the person, and Allah Says in the Chapter An-Nisaa’ (what means): “…And do not kill yourselves…” [Quran 4: 26]

Additionally, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “He who consumes poison and thereby kills himself, will have that poison in his hand in Hell, and will consume it therein eternally.” [Al-Bukhari]

5. Smoking harms others, while Allah Says in the Chapter Al-Ahzaab (what means): “And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned [i.e., deserved] have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.” [Quran 33: 58]

6. A smoker publicly commits this sin, while the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Every one of my followers will be forgiven, except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings.” [Al-Bukhari]

7. Smoking wastes one's wealth, whilst the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah dislikes idle talk, to ask too many questions (for things which will be of no benefit to one), and to waste one's wealth.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “One should not demand a specific evidence clearly mentioning cigarettes, or smoking, by name, in order for him to be convinced that it is prohibited; otherwise, he is either a short-sighted person, simple minded, or ignorant about Islam, because evidences in Islam sometimes come in the general form and are then to be applied to particular cases. Only those who follow their desires and are overwhelmed by Satan would demand such a thing.”

Shaykh Ibn Baaz  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Smoking is prohibited due to the numerous harmful effects it has.”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Cigarettes are prohibited to smoke, sell, or buy; it is also prohibited to rent a store to a person who would sell it in that store, because to do so would be to help him in his evil.”

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