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The whole story about tobacco started 15 years back from Saudia. Their grand Mufti declared tobacco as 'Haraam'. However, centuries ago, Shia Muftis had declared tobacco along with many other things as 'Haraam' by their own logics. They treat tobacco as an intoxicant. Let me firstly mention here the logic of Saudi Mufti, which is different than Shia Muftis in regard with declaring tobacco as 'Haraam'. But very first of all, I should mention here the fundamental Ayat which deals with all kind of Haraam (sinful) and Halaal (lawful).

"Do not use your tongues in declaring by your own discretions "This is Halaal and this is Haraam". This will be your fabrication of lie on ALLAH. Verily those who attribute their own lying inventions to ALLAH will never attain success." Holy Qur'an chapter 16 verse 116:

The above quoted Ayat strictly tells every body not to use their tongue in declaring anything 'Haraam or Halaal' by their own selves. To declare a thing as 'Haraam or Halaal' is totally concern of ALLAH and HIS Rasool (s.a.w.s).

Another quotation for not using our tongue in such matters is from chapter 7 verse 32: "Ask them: Who is there to make Haraam the décor/adornment/beauties/amenities which ALLAH has produced for HIS creatures, and the good things from HIS provisions?........."

It is very much clear that no body should give opinion in such matters which are not categorically defined by ALLAH or HIS Rasool (s.a.w.s). But unfortunately the various Muftis treat such Ayaat not applicable to them. So now there is the jungle of foolish Fatwas throughout the globe by such ill informed Muftis.

Let me quote here one Hadees also which is from Ad-Darqutni on the authority of Abu Thaulba: "Allah has imposed certain moral obligation, do not abrogate them. HE has made Haraam certain things, do not indulge in them. HE had laid down certain limits, do not transgress them. HE is silent on certain matters, do not knowingly argue/opine over them."

See the underline, how clear it is! So when ALLAH and HIS Rasool (s.a.w.s) have not categorically defined anything about a particular matter, no body should provide his opinion about such things in public. One should put his own efforts and use his common sense and do it according to his own findings but should not give opinion to others. But these poor Muftis are doing the same since so many centuries. They do not do any trade and industrial activity for their own. But they provide fatwas to others.

There are many verses in Holy Qur'an showing us how people asked questions to the Prophet (s.a.w.s) and the answer came from ALLAH Himself. It was the system of the Prophet not to give his own opinion and wait for the Divine Writ. Please refer first part of all these verses, numbers are mentioned here. Chapter 4: verse 127, 177, chapter 2: verses 189, 215, 217, 219, 220, 222 and 5/4, 7/187, 8/1, 20/105, 79/42 etc.

Now a day our ill-informed Muftis give their authoritative opinion about anything without the reference of any Ayat or any Hadees. This is the root cause of all such mockeries. Our Deen now became a laughing stuff due to these people. Once upon a time they gave Fatwas that using loud speakers is Haraam, putting money in banks/post offices is Haraam, (actually, to earn interest or usury is Haraam). Services in banks or post offices also declared by them as Haraam. Family planning is Haraam. Insurance is Haraam. Photography is Haraam. And freshly TV is Haraam. If you want to see what our Muftis had prepared for the world, you may read a book, "World of Fatwas" written by Mr. Arun Shourie. It is available at all the book shops.

I am mentioning here the whole story behind this tobacco Haraam from Saudia. Since few decades, a blind person named Abdullah Bin Baaz was the chief Mufti of Saudia. He expired a couple of years back. Due to his blindness, he was not able to read himself. Hence he was dependent on the things others were telling him. He was making opinion very authoritatively and his opinions were followed by his frenzy followers and the government also. His logic about declaring tobacco as 'Haraam' is also quite ridiculous. Even it does not make clear whether its consumption, production, cultivation, processing, transport, trade, agency, all are Haraam or some out of it.

This grand Mufti made room for his fatwa by quoting a very little part of verse 195 of chapter 2 which reads: "... and let not your own hands throw you into destruction/do not expose yourselves to ruin by your own hands.." and issued the fatwa that suicide is Haraam. He is right that suicide is Haraam. But some of his followers informed him that cancer is a deadly decease and its root is tobacco. He assumed that anybody who consumes tobacco in any form and quantity is trying to make suicide! So about 2 decades back, he gave the fatwa that tobacco consumption is ' Haraam' because it creates cancer. Now there is much room for other ill informed Muftis to declare its trade, cultivation, transport, brokerage, medicinal use etc as Haraam for thousand times.

Interestingly, the current Mufti of Palestine is also blind and he is the chief of Hammas force fighting with Israel since last few years. This Mufti had declared suicidal attacks on even civilians and children of the enemy as a pious job like Jihad. And such Jihadi fellows will be treated as Shaheed, Martyrs by ALLAH on the basis of such mad fatwas! A Mufti of Saudia says quite opposite of another Mufti of Palestine.

Now another scene from Afghanistan. We know that all the narcotics are prepared from opium. The biggest opium producing nation is Afghanistan. It is cultivated and marketed by these mullahs to buy the weapons for their Jihad. Probably it is not Haraam for them for their so-called Jihad.

Now my opinion on all such matters. No body on this earth should provide his opinion as 'Haraam or Halaal' unless he is putting forward any verse of Holy Qur'an or any categorical Hadees from the authentic sources. It is all the matter of ALLAH and HIS Rasool (s.a.w.s) to declare Haraam or Halaal and they had done it. Hence in every Qur'anic Arabic class, I try to convey the students not to give opinion on matters they do not know perfectly. It is a great sin to provide opinion for the things we know not. Please refer chapter 17 verse 36 which says: "And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge: verily, your hearing and sight and heart - all of them - will be called to account for it on Judgment Day."

We have to follow the commandments of this Ayat and above referred Hadees and never term those things not described categorically in the Quran and Hadees as 'Haraam or Halaal'. It is on the liking or disliking of a person to use anything, but he can not define it 'Haraam' from his own. To define the things from our own is a great sin according to these Ayaat and Hadees Shareef.

But these crazy Muftis have all the rights reserved for them however they do not know the knowledge of modern world,

its developments and its needs. And very often such Muftis do not have eyes even, but they try to lead the people.

Now remains the question about Haraam of intoxicants. Does tobacco falls in this category? I will mention here the reference of the verse making intoxicants 'Haraam'. It is chapter 5 verse 90: "O you who have attained to faith, intoxicants (KHAMR) and games of chance, and idolatrous practices, and the divining of the future are but a loathsome evil of Shaitan's doings: shun it, then, so that you might attain to a happy state."

The original word is 'KHAMR', means a thing which covers another thing. Intoxicants cover the state of mind, thatswhy 'KHAMR' is translated as intoxicants. Now if one has to define which thing can fall in the category of 'KHAMR', i.e. intoxicants, there is another verse which defines it. It is chapter 4 verse 43: "O you who have attained to faith, do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of intoxication (SUKARA) unless you know what you are saying..."

One can translate the original word in any form, but it is defined there only, that if someone does not know what he is uttering, it is the state of 'SUKARA'. By consuming intoxicants, man comes in this state that what he utters, he does not know. Things consumed, however it may be little, if its major quantity creates such condition, its small quantity will also fall in this category, I assume. Beer or a small peg of wine does not put man in this drunkenness situation. But its large quantity creates such conditions. Thatswhy its small quantity will also fall in this category. The word 'SUKARA' will cover all the narcotics/drugs also, small or large in quantity, orally or by injections or by smelling, I assume.

Now we should work out whether any large quantity of tobacco, if consumed, can put the man in the condition of 'drunkenness' and in a condition that he does not know what he is uttering? I feel that if I consume big quantity of tobacco or I smoke heavily without stop, it can create health problems for me, but not a condition of drunkenness. So the Shias are putting tobacco in this category does not seem fit to me.

Saudias have other logic to declare tobacco as Haraam and I had mentioned it above. Now the whole matter rests only with the reader of this. I may be wrong in my observations for which I beg forgiveness from my LORD. I mentioned here the points which are not of my own but from Holy Qur'an and authentic Hadees having references also. The reader should cross-check it. I beg pardon for it, but to put the things categorically, one has to use harsh words. May ALLAH help you, me and all in finding the 'Sirate-Mustaqeem'. Aameen.

Finally one more references from The Divine Writ of ALLAH, it is chapter 5, verses 87-88: "O you who have attained to faith, do not deprive yourselves of the good things of life (Haraam) which ALLAH has made lawful (Halaal) to you, do not transgress the bounds of what is right: Verily ALLAH does not love those who transgress the bounds of what is right. So partake of the lawful good things (Halaal) which ALLAH grants you as sustenance, and be conscious of ALLAH in whom you believe."

Tobacco consumption is injurious to health, no doubt. One should be cautious about his health and avoid consuming tobacco. But he can not declare it as 'Haraam'. He can put a ban on its consumption due to such reasons. But if some one says it 'Haraam', it is against the injunctions of Holy Qur'an.

We know that exhaust of all the vehicles is injurious to health. In a scientific survey, they say that in metros, every person inhales carbon daily which is equivalent to 20 cigarettes. On such grounds, none can opine that plying of petroleum vehicles are Haraam! We have search out the means to control it. To say something Haraam which is not defined in the Qur'an and Hadees is very great sin, I assume.