Status of Cigarettes in Islam

By Mufti Shafiq Jakhura
Posted: 20 Muharram 1432, 26 December 2010

Q. What is the status of cigarettes in Islam, and what is the difference between haram and makrooh?

A.Haram and makrooh tahreemi both refer to something that is impermissible and sinful. However, there are some differences between them that may be explained as follows:

Haram is where something is clearly and unambiguously prohibited through a very high level of Shari’ proof and severe reproach has been mentioned for committing such an act. Makrooh tahreemi, on the other hand refers to something that is very close to it, in that either the proof is of a high level but not to the extent that is could be termed haram or there is not such a high level of reproach mentioned for committing such an act. Further, someone who denies a haram act being haram and states it to be halal will be deemed to be out of the fold of Islam (e.g. if one regards swine or wine etc to be halal), whilst one who regards an act that is makrooh tahreemi to be permissible will not be deemed to be out of the fold of Islam.

In terms of cigarettes, we are of the view that they are makrooh.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best