In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Regardless what a person holds regarding whether a face mask is effective in preventing such and such disease or not, this article is not intended as an opposition to the specific government directive that unless exempt, people should wear face masks in supermarkets, shops, banks, post offices, public transport and hairdressers; rather it is a reminder regarding two affairs about which there is no dispute – unhealthy diet and smoking. Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah] said: And how many types of food are there that leads to illness due to an unrestrained desire! [Ref 1]
Imaam As-Sa’di [rahimahullaah] said: Shaytaan does not call the person except to every blameworthy habit. So he calls him to miserliness and to refrain from spending, but when the person refuses to obey him, he calls him to overspending and extravagance; but Allaah calls to the most just and balance of affairs and He praises the person for that, as He [The One free from all imperfections] stated about His faithful slaves: [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنْفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا – And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes)]. [Surah Furqaan; Ayah: 67] [Ref 2]
The Prophet [alayhis salaatu wassalaam] said: ‘’The best of the people are those living in my generation, then those who will follow the latter and then those who come after them. Then there will come after them people who will be treacherous and will not be trustworthy, they will bear witness without being asked to do so, and they will vow, but will never fulfil their vows, and fatness will appear among them’’.
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said: “And regarding the statement, ‘And fatness will appear among them’ – Meaning: These people give importance to the means of fattening themselves – food, drink and over-abundance. So, their only concern is their bodies and fattening themselves. As for being fat without choice, then one cannot be blamed for that, just as a person cannot be blamed for being tall, short, black or white…’” [Ref 3]
Indeed, we hear very little mention regarding healthy eating and employing the means to good health because of uncontrolled desires; therefore, we must refer back to the following articles as a reminder, strive to eat healthily and leave the final outcome to Allaah [The Exalted].
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Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said:
Smoking is forbidden due to the evidences found in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and based on sound opinion. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said: [وَلا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً – And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you] [Soorah Nisaa: Ayah: 29]
It is well-known that smoking causes harm to the body which may appear sooner or later, and this is an affair agreed upon by the doctors of today after the advancement of medicine. Smoking also disfigures the teeth, the lips etc.
Also, Allaah [the Most High] said: [وَلا تُؤْتُوا السُّفَهَاءَ أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً – And give not unto the foolish your property which Allah has made a means of support for you]. Therefore, Allaah clarified the wisdom behind wealth and that He made it a means of support through which the Religious and worldly benefits are established. And it is well known that spending wealth on cigarettes neither supports Religious nor worldly benefits, rather it does the opposite.
And from the evidences in the Sunnah concerning the impermissibility of smoking is that the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] forbade the squandering of wealth, and squandering wealth is when it is spent in other than what is beneficial. It is well known that spending wealth on smoking is a spending in which there is no benefit, rather it is spending in that which is harmful.
As for sound opinion, then sound intellect necessitates that a person does not partake in that which harms him and wastes his wealth, whilst he is a believer and that he will be brought to account. Therefore, sound intellect necessitates that a person does what benefits him and leaves what harms him, and from the perfection of [one’s religion and character] is to leave that which is of no benefit.
The affairs are three: Beneficial things, Harmful things and Things in which there is neither harm nor benefit. The first affair is sought after, the second affair is blameworthy, and regarding the third affair, a person refrains from it out of seeking perfection in his affairs, but there is no blame on him if he does it. [Ref 4]
Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: Every smoker should know that smoking is Haraam. Many scholars have issued verdicts to show that it is Haraam based on many evidences from the Qur’aan and the [authentic] Sunnah. [From them is the statement of Allaah]: ”And do not throw yourselves into destruction.” [Surah Al-Baqarah’ Aayah 195]. And Allaah said: ”He allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.)” [Surah Al-A’raaf. Aayah 157]. Smoking is khabeeth.
Secondly, all doctors are unanimously agreed on the fact that smoking harms a person’s health and it is one of the greatest causes of cancer.
Thirdly, smoking is a waste of wealth and a means of placing wealth in the hands of the enemies [of Islaam]. So, the cigarettes harm his health and strengthen his enemy. If the smoker was asked, “You have been smoking for forty or fifty years, what benefit have you acquired from it?!” There is not a single benefit; however the harms are great indeed. He will realise the harm on his health, wealth etc [Ref 5]
[Ref 1: Dhammul Hawaa’ pages 36-38]
[Ref 2: Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan]
[Ref 3: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 10/1056]
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from the link below:
[Ref 5: Sharh Usool Ath-Thalaatha’ Audio lesson number 5