The Scourge of Thousands

The Scourge of Thousands

Sheikh Saalih al Humaid
April 4, 2008 ~ Rabee al Awwal 28, 1429

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All praise is due to Allah and He deserves all Praise. All that is good is in Allah’s hands and He has the power over all things. I praise Allah and thank Him for His abundant blessings and favors. I bear witness that there is no God except Allah, the only One God, who has no partner in worship. Glory be to Allah, the unique God who has no equal. I bear witness that Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is Allah’s servant and messenger. He brought us all that is good and warned us against all that is evil. Oh Allah, send your peace and blessings upon Muhammad, his family and companions, and whomever follows them in righteousness.

Oh people, I advise myself and you to fear Allah. Fear Him so that He may have mercy upon you. Hasten to do good deeds and turn unto Allah in repentance before deaths comes upon you, as no one knows the time death will come. How can a person expect to attain Jannah if he is negligent of these teachings. How can it be that one turns sincerely to Allah in repentance while he does not care about his fate in the hereafter? Indeed happiness and success are with the person who keeps in mind that Allah is Ever Watching over him.

Fellow Muslims, stand before Allah in submissiveness, pray to Him in humility, and weep tears of regret in fear. Allah says: “On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allâh warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allâh is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves.” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: Ayah 30]

Fellow Muslims, Islamic law enjoins all that is beneficial and forbids all that is harmful. In other words, our Islamic law is based on providing and promoting benefits and preventing and reducing harm and evil. Therefore, Allah permits good things and forbids bad ones. Allah says: “They ask you (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you…” [Surah Ma’idah: Ayah 4] An essential part of the Prophet’s (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mission was enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and make pure things lawful and make the impure things unlawful.

This principle is stated by Islamic law and agreed on by all schools of thought, so let us ponder on the great catasrophe that is being inflicted on society and about which all wise individuals are upset, not to mention the efforts by physicians and scholars to stop it. It is smoking. Many specialists say that the greatest threat to human health these days is smoking. They also say that people are not as weak when facing an enemy as they are when confronted with the issue of smoking. This habit brings about destruction, defeats people, and kills them. It destroys peoples health and threatens the safety of children. It causes misery to families and a great deal of dispute. It also effects the economy and the success of nations. I am talking about all kinds of smoking and the chewing of tobacco. Smoking is a real enemy to humanity and destroys people. Smoking is a widespread habit which is the most dangerous. Educators, media staff, psychologists, economists, sociologists, doctors, and the ulama all agree that this habit is dangerous to humans and that it should be prevented and resisted as well as all the means that lead to it.

No one denies that smoking is a negative thing and harmful to humans, and moreover, it has no benefit. Also no one denies that it causes destruction, loss, and great harm to human health. A smoker obtains no benefit from smoking but only allows poisons to enter his body. The whole matter ends up in ashes. It is not just smoking, but the problem lies in poison and poisonous gases that enter the smokers blood, thus destroying his health and his mind. Smoking is a disease which causes destruction to the family and society.

Oh servants of Allah, I am not exaggerating. Let me explain some more things to you on this subject. Physicians and doctors state that smoking causes cancer of the throat and lips. It also causes cancer of the tongue and pherinx as well as the esophagus and the urinary bladder. It also causes bronchitis and diseases in the blood vessel. Moreover, it causes stomach ulcers. Continuous smoking may also cause heart attacks. What do you think will happen to a person who smokes tens of cigarettes a day? The World Health Organization and medical institutions state that smoking is the most serious danger to ones health. It is the second most common cause of death. Most people who die lived a bad life because of the diseases caused by smoking. Most people who are afflicted by this disease have this problem because of smoking. The number of those who die due to smoking exceed the number of those who died because of drugs, plagues, leprosy, tuberculosis, and AIDS. This comparison is not intended to belittle the danger of these other diseases, especially drugs and AIDS. This is just meant to show the danger of the great disease of smoking.

Smoking affects the whole body, including the respiratory system, the heart, the teeth, the brain, the digestive system, the nervous system , and the skin. It makes a person age more quickly. It also causes sleeping disorders, depression, infertility, and disorder in the menstrual cycle and as well causing harm to the unborn child. Specialists stress the fact that smoking opens up a way for drug addiction as well as immorality and irresponsibility. Smokers tend to tell lies and steal easier. Concerning the negative effects of smoking on the economy, it brings about poverty, bankruptcy and economic destruction.

If you look at the issue of smoking in the light of the diseases we mentioned earlier as well as the economic consequences, the one who has a conscience must do something to prevent smoking. Statistics failed to indicate the exact extent of the negative consequences of smoking in terms of the economy and financial institutions. In reality, smoking causes harm to smokers as well as non smokers. It is enough to say that in this regard the cost of health care for the smokers exceeds hundreds of millions. Unfortunately half of all the smokers around the world are from third world countries. This is not to mention the economic consequences on the individuals themselves and personal health care costs paid by the family. Smokers may pay a lot of money to cure themselves and their families from the negative effects of smoking, such as coughing, allergies, and weak immunity. The money and funds that are spent on smoking and health care revenues exceed the revenue in producing tobacco and selling it. Countries around the world loose billions of dollars and the number of victims are increasing. Victims include smokers and non smokers. In some countries, medication for the side effects exceed a third of the nations budget. The consumption of smoking increases the gap between the poor and the rich. The families of smokers in poor countries cannot secure the necessities of life including health and education. The annual cost of smoking may b sixty times more than the cost spent on health care and double that given to education. It is a big sin for the countries who should care for their people and it is also a sin for the individuals themselves as it causes loss to the family. These are some of the negative effects of smoking in relation to the economy and health.

Another aspect we have to stress on is passive smoking, which is the involuntary inhalation of tobacco. The pollution caused by smoking affects clothing and walls and ceilings of houses. Passive smokers inhale tobacco and all the poisons that affect the smoker will also affect the passive smoker. This requires preventive actions to protect individuals and the society. Studies prove that the campaigns that are held to prevent smoking are largely ineffective, especially in public places such as schools, restaurants, transportation stations. Therefore, it is the duty of everyone to resist the trend to smoke and its industry.

Dear smokers, kill smoking before it kills you. Break the shackles of smoking before it imprisons you. Protect yourself, your wife, your children, your family, and your wealth. Listen to the information provided by the scientific studies on this subject. These reports stress that by quitting smoking it will improve the persons health and economic situation. If you stop smoking, you will have more benefit for your health than medication. It is sure that smokers love their family and they have pure hearts, however they have been afflicted by this destructive disease. They do not deny the harmful effects of smoking. Also, they may confess that smoking is a sin and a prohibited action and they may wish that they could quit in one day and stop this bad habit once and for all. From this point, it is a duty on everyone to help such people and encourage them to quit and to make it easy for them to do it.

Dear smokers, listen to this beautiful statement said by Ibn al Qayyim (Rahimahullah): “It is difficult to abandon a habit or something that you like, if you do not do it for Allah’s sake. Likewise, if he leaves that habit or something he likes for Allah’s sake, it will not be difficult. It will only be difficult in the very beginning. He will be tested if he will continue or not and if he is sincere in seeking Allah’s pleasure or not. So if he proves to be steadfast in leaving the bad habit and bears this difficulty in the very beginning the whole thing will become easy for him.” So dear smokers, be serious and be courageous and make the decision today to quit. After that remain steadfast in your decision. Try to reduce the harm of smoking to yourself and to other people around you. Beware of introducing the habit of smoking to others, whether young or old. When you quit smoking and Allah the Almighty helps you to rid yourself of this habit, the result will inshaAllah be a long life and good health. You will also look younger and feel younger. Your sense of taste will increase and you will save a lot of money and lead a happier life. This is not to mention that you will receive Allah’s reward in the hereafter for those who believe in Him and trust in Him. I am addressing this issue now to the decision makers. All the categories of society including educators, doctors, reformers, traders and scholars have to cooperate to save the smokers and the society from this disease.

Oh people, cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. Seek to protect the nation, protect the youth, protect peoples health and the economy. Protect the wealth, and indeed the greatest wealth of the society is its youth. You could do this by combing efforts and having a strong determination along with strict laws. In this way we can get rid of this habit and remove it completely. Unfortunately our region is classified as one of the most afflicted places when it comes to smoking. Moreover, our region is one of the largest markets for these harmful commodities. We have to implement strict laws that prevent smoking and restrict it in all public institutions and places. Advertising and promoting smoking should not be allowed. Strict instructions have to be given to people on the dangers of smoking. If such instructions are given by people of authority then the people will abide by these rules and reap the benefit. Allah says: “And spend in the Cause of Allāh and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allāh), and do good. Truly, Allāh loves Al-Muhsinūn.” [Surah Baqarah: Ayah 195] Destruction inevitabely ends up in ruin.

Fellow Muslims, I ask Allah to bless us all with the noble Quraan and benefit us with all its clear signs and with the guidance of the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his judicious speech. I ask Allah’s forgiveness for me, you and all the Muslims. So ask Him to forgive you, indeed He is the Most Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving.

All praise is due to Allah and all people should praise Him. I praise Allah and thank Him. I bear witness that there is no God except Allah, the only One true God, who has no partner in worship. What Allah wills will be, and what He never wills will never be. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah, who was sent to mankind and jinn. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his companions and all those who follow them in righteousness until the day of Judgment.

Fellow Muslims! Smoking is a great destruction. It is a great disease that has afflicted many people including those who are learned and those who are ignorant, the rich and the poor. A smoker only gains bad health, so it clear that a production industry and marketing in tobacco are all destructive means that we can never accept or defend. Tobacco manufacturers spread death and destruction everywhere. This destruction affects the environment and causes great losses in terms of wealth and property. Indeed it is trading in loss. Everyone will loose, the trader, the buyer, the producer, and the smoker, as well as the importer and the exporter. On the day of Judgment a person will not move from the place of judgment until he is asked about his health and how he used it, his money and how he spent it, and his life and how he used it. People can never escape these questions on the day of Judgment. Look deeply into the commercials about smoking and see how people deceive and tempt others. See how they draw simple people into adopting this habit. This is not to mention how this market is involved in deception and bribery and the pressure of the people involved in this harmful business apply to the decision makers. This is indeed disloyalty and treason to their people. Smoking is an industry of death and trading in it is destruction.

They address the youth and young children including the girls. Protect yourself from falling into this habit that destroys your soul and spoils health. It weakens a persons strength and wastes money. Oh youth, beware of being deceived. Do not be deceived and think that smoking is a sign of manhood or adulthood. Do not think that it is the sign of independence.

Oh people, fear Allah and protect yourself and families and protect your wealth and property. Fellow Muslims, invoke Allah’s peace and blessings on the selected Prophet and chosen Messenger, Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Allah says “Allâh and His angels send Salât on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayah 56]

Oh Allah, confer your peace and blessings upon your servant and messenger, Muhammad, his purified household and his wives the mothers of the believers.

Oh Allah, be pleased with the four rightly guided khulafa, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan, and ‘Ali, as well as the Prophet’s companions, the tabi’een, and those who followed them in righteousness until the day of Judgment. And be pleased with us along with them by Your Grace, Bounty, and Benevolence, oh Allah, the Most Generous amongst those who are generous.

Oh Allah, cause Islaam and the Muslims to triumph….

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