South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
May 2015 : Shabaan 1436

From the “glamour” associated with smoking that hooks teenagers with their first puff to the lag of several years before their health suffers and leads to a painful death, we see an increase in the death toll today. It has caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century and if the trend continues, it will result in one billion deaths in the 21st century. Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death which kills more people every year than all drugs combined, alcohol and vehicle accidents.

SANHA has over the years presented compelling arguments with irrefutable evidence backed up by scientific research on the harmful effects which we summarise below:-


Most of the world’s religions regard smoking to be a sin and forbid it. Islam as the Final Revelation to mankind has condemned smoking and Muslim Jurists have ruled it to be either Makruh (detested and undesirable) or Haraam (forbidden) on the basis of causing harm to one’s health (Qur'an 2:195 & 4:29), danger to your family's health and the environment (Qur'an 33:58), inconvenience, harm and discomfort to others (Hadith), waste of money (Qur'an 17:26-27) and possible ingestion of Haraam ingredients (Quran 7:157).


The tobacco smoke you inhale contains 4000 different chemicals with known cancer-causing carcinogens. Then there is a poisonous algoid called nicotine whose pharmacologic and behavioural processes that determine addiction are similar to those of drugs such as heroin and cocaine.  It also has substances such as carbon monoxide, acrolein, ammonia, prussic acid, aldehydes and tar that seriously affect the heart, lungs, blood circulation, bones, stomach, mouth and oral, throat, eyes, skin, reproduction and fertility and even Alzheimer’s disease.


If all of the above and your own inner voice is not persuasive enough for abstention then here is a new reason to wrap your head around the smoking gun - it damages the brain. Professor Ian Deary from the University of Edinburgh who led the research scientists and Dr Sherif Karama of McGill University of Montreal, found the brain cortex is thicker in non-smokers than smokers. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain in which critical cognitive functions such as memory, language and perception take place. It's the most highly developed part of the brain, often known as grey matter. Most of the actual information processing in the brain takes place in the cortex.

Although the cortex grows thinner with normal ageing the study found that smoking appears to accelerate the thinning process leading to cognitive degeneration. The good news that the scientists mention is that “Subjects who stopped smoking seem to partially recover their cortical thickness for each year without smoking.

With all this evidence in front of you, do you really want to subject your family and yourself to a sentence of ill-health in the years to come and painful heartache for your loved ones to bear? Allah Ta'ala has given us intellect which resides in our head. The clear message is:


Some suggestions to quit:-

  • Use the coming Mubarak month of Ramadaan as your quitting point. You already have a head start in that you don't smoke from dawn to dusk while fasting.
  • Take a calm look at the facts on smoking, the costs and its harmful effects on your body. Consult this regularly to reaffirm your determination to quit.

(Click below for articles and cost calculator):

  • If possible, rope in family and friends who also want to quit, so that you can support each other. Do not hesitate to seek help from your Doctor or Imam.
  • Change your lifestyle with exercise, a new hobby and frequenting the Masjid daily.
  • Download your free copy of the booklet “Kicking the Habit” by the late Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb RA whose discourses helped thousands in improving their lives.

Your Duas, constructive comments, criticism and feedback is truly appreciated
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