Q. Me and a friend were discussing whether or not smoking is considered haraam. We discussed the hadeeth where the Prophet (PBUH) said [something] close meaning that no member of his Ummah should poison his body. Also the hadeeth about (close meaning) that if you’re addicted to something, then you should abstain and leave that thing for it takes one away from worshiping Allah.
Given those two hadeeths, one would think that smoking would be haraam but we just wanted clarification on how severe it is to smoke, whether haraam, makrooh, etc.
Thanks in advance for your response.
Q. Why do some say smoking is haram? Others do not think it is haram.
A: (Our response is limited to the following portion of your question: ‘clarification on how severe it is to smoke, whether haraam, makrooh, etc.’)
Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and do not throw your own hands into ruin; and do good. For verily Allah loves the beneficent.
Two aspects come from the above Ayah: One is the prohibition of wasting money on an endeavor that has proven non-beneficial and destructive to self and those that surround the partakes of nicotine (and tobacco). Also, as a result of smoking, should proof continue to exist that smokers cause an unwanted expense upon society, then not only are they inflicting harm upon themselves, but they are violating the rights of fellow humans. This is also a sin. As Muslims, we have rights to Allah and rights towards humanity. To violate either one of these rights would be a transgression. And, as is said frequently in the Qur’aan, Allah does not like transgressors.
The second portion of the quoted Ayat deals with a person who knowingly causes destruction upon his/her being. Such behavior is opposed to the construct of Islam. Islam stands for a healthy mind and body. To knowingly consume anything that would have an adverse affect would be haram (forbidden).
Secondary smokers and suppliers
Those who sanction the usage of substances which are harmful are in violation of the ayah which states: ‘Kill not one another.’ This does not only refer to the more direct one-on-one conventional killing method. Rather, to do anything that would kill another, either through unhealthy feeding practices, irresponsible or reckless behavior, etc. would be forbidden actions for a Muslim. Such behaviors are against the inherent structure of Islamic accountability and functioning.
Thus, those who smoke within the presence of others as well as those who trade within such an industry are in violation of destroying human life. Such people are partaking in a reprehensible action. To do so with impunity is to have disregard for the phrase, ‘whoever does this (wrongful actions and carries them out) aggressively and unjustly’ will be punished. (Qur’aan 4:30).
Due to the propensity of proof from the health community, from suppliers of cigarettes with various claims on their packaging, as well as from claims of law officials, it is adequately deduced that smoking is severely harmful to anyone who comes into contact with any of its effects. Should this view continue in such an obstinate manner, eliminating all possibility of even remote worthiness in its consumption, then without prejudice and doubt we can state that smoking is haram.
On the other hand, should the propensity of its harm not be overwhelming, as it currently is, then we would say it is makrooh. Here, makrooh would mean that smoking is a highly reprehensible action within the religion. Anything that causes discomfort to self, discomfort to those around us — be it in the form of social interaction, religious setting, wrongful allocation of recourses, etc. — should be shunned. Thus, although the makrooh may have a technical aspect calling for the allowance, such a representation of the word would most certainly be incorrect.
Allah certainly knows best.
P.S. Regarding addiction, you can also look here for a brief view of our opinion on it, withstanding the differences between the topics.