Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Ashes to dust

This goes out to all the smokers out there !!!

This post may stand out from the rest of my pieces primarily because it may not hold religious significance for many. However, do not undermine the importance of fighting this 'plague' which has unfortunately engulfed our society, men and women alike. Before i proceed I would like to mention that this piece does not give a Fatwa or a religious ruling, it's just personal opinion backed by some relevant Hadiths and Quranic verses. As long as you do not take this as a fatwa , feel free to criticize :)

Cigarettes might be the only product in the entire world where even its manufacturers,promoters and advertisers warn against the dangers of consuming it. Yet the irony is that approximately 12 millions cigarettes are smoked every minute around the world and 5.5 trillion cigarettes are produced in a year.

It is no secret that cigarette smoking is injurious to health , whoever believes otherwise is clearly in denial.
We are so careful with our material possessions, whatever we own, whatever we hold dear to us, we make sure that it's 'handled with care' and no harm comes to it.  However, when it comes to the possessions of Allah we are equally careless. This life and this body is a blessing of Allah, a possession entrusted to us by the Almighty Who will one day demand it back. Unfortunately, we will fail as trustees to this possession if we return His possession in a state damaged beyond repair.  

Having said that, we come to to an important question, why do people smoke ?  Some reasons I know of are:

  • the illusion that it helps attain salvation and euphoria
  • peer pressure
  • the misconception that it is the 'cool' thing to do - more applicable for the teens
  • a mistake turned into an addiction
  • the delusion that smoking drowns worries and sorrows
  • and then there are some who need an addiction in life, something they can hang on to in times of hopelessness and utter depression.

Whoever smokes believing that it helps attain euphoria, should try an overdose of morphine. The first stage after an overdose of morphine intake is that of euphoria irrespective of the fact that the second one is nausea and third is death.
The worst scenario is the fourth one where an occasional  smoke turns into an addiction so bad that it becomes unthinkable to survive without it. Quitting such an addiction is no less than a herculean task but then again it's all about will-power, support of loved ones, realization that self-destruction through smoking is suicide in disguise and most importantly, the fact that this body was never ours to begin with ; it belongs to Allah and we shall be questioned about how well we took care of His possession. Are we really ready to answer this question while we are continuously poisoning our organs through smoking ?

For those who smoke for the last two reasons, need to have this faith that cigarettes and addictions can only temporarily numb their mental turmoil and unrest and the constant state of helplessness, smoking cannot restore peace in their lives nor can it give hope when one feels that all is lost. If you are looking for inner peace and an outlet to drown your worries, turn to Allah because that's the only place where one can find solace and comfort. As Allah says in Surah Ra'd,

Verily in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find tranquility.

Smoking is an hindrance to spirituality especially for the chain smokers. For instance, those who cannot go without a smoke during the day, have the hardest time in Ramadan. such is their addiction that their fasts are spent waiting for the day to end , and when it does come to an end they hasten to break their fast with a cigarette.The smoker may not realize this that it's not he who is in control but a meager cigarette rules his mind, will and body and this realization is bad news for the his self-esteem. He is a slave to cigarette without which he loses all ability to reason. When the Almighty has defined such an esteemed position for us where we are slaves to no one except Him, why then do we resort to means where insignificant things rule our mind and body.

In Surah Nisa , verse 29 Allah says :

O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

Smoking is slow poison, a suicidal technique which takes away on average 10 years from the smoker's life. Medical research has proven that smoking is known to cause lung and heart diseases along with many other health conditions. These health issues develop gradually ( hence the repeated reference to the term ' slow poison' ) but be it with immediate effect or gradual, I personally believe that smoking is a suicidal attempt. No faith, no religion in this world allows its followers to harm themselves, this is one of the many universal messages preached by all faiths across the world.

Scholars take evidence from this Hadith of the Holy Prophet (saw) :

Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions  should keep away from our mosque. Truly, the angels are harmed by what harms the offspring of Adam

The smell that emanates from one's mouth after consuming garlic and onion disturbs the congregational prayers , in this regard scholars are of the view that the smell from cigarette smoke is no different.

The fools may mock this piece and find arguments against it but the wise may hopefully ponder over it (Even though this piece does not add to anyone's knowledge, it's just a reminder which we all need from time to time). Do yourself and your loved ones a favour, quit smoking and spare your loved ones  the misery of worrying about your health when they see you drown  years of good health in smoke.

For all those who are trying to make their loved ones quit, try reasoning with them and if that doesn't work the option of emotional blackmail is always there:) Just don't give up on them.Even if 1 out of 40 quit or even decide to quit after reading this, I will feel a sense of accomplishment:).

May Allah guide us to the right path. Ameen.