Kindly clarify three things for me:
1) I own a property that I am renting to a brother who has a shop. He does sell cigarettes. Is this permissible for me?
2) Is it permissible to hold shares in BTI (British American Tobacco) who are one of the world’s largest cigarette manufacturers?
3) Is it permissible for me to sell cigarettes in a shop of my own?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
With regards to your first query, it is permissible to lease a property to somebody whom you know will sell cigarettes.[i] The tenant will be responsible for the repercussions of selling cigarettes.
One should not purchase shares in a company manufacturing cigarettes.
The harms of cigarettes and smoking are known to all. Cigarettes are corrupting and polluting the Earth as a whole. Smoking is ruining lives at a micro and macro level. Consider the following:
Smoking and Death
Smoking causes death.
- The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.
- More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
- Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.
- An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.
Smoking and Increased Health Risks
Compared with non-smokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of:
- Coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times.
- Stroke by 2 to 4 times.
- Men developing lung cancer by 23 times.
- Women developing lung cancer by 13 times.
- Dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
- Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries) and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease (i.e., obstruction of the large arteries in the arms and legs that can cause a range of problems from pain to tissue loss or gangrene).
- Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm (i.e., a swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body the aorta where it runs through the abdomen).
Smoking and Respiratory Disease
- Smoking causes lung cancer.
- Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs.
Smoking and Cancer
Smoking causes the following cancers:
- Acute myeloid leukaemia
- Bladder cancer
- Cancer of the cervix
- Cancer of the oesophagus
- Kidney cancer
- Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
- Lung cancer
- Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth)
- Cancer of the pharynx (throat)
- Stomach cancer
- Cancer of the uterus
Smoking and Other Health Effects
Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for:
- preterm delivery,
- low birth weight
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Smoking is associated with the following adverse health effects:
- Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked.
- Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.
Cigarettes affect families, children and the environment as a whole. How many children embrace smoking due to being raised in an environment of cigarettes? Children smoking leads them to adopting the ‘bad boy’ image. This opens the door to crime and violence. Societies across the world are puzzled with the state of the youth. Violence, rape, murder, theft and the like are just a few crimes the juveniles of today are performing. Smoking is not just ‘smoking’. Smoking cigarettes has a whole image with it.
Once a person is accustomed to smoking, it no longer fulfils his appetite. The buzz he would experience dwindles. He begins to crave for something stronger. Drugs and other intoxicants are the only option.
On a daily basis, how much money is spent in purchasing cigarettes? If all that money was saved, a person would have adequate funds yearly for other errands.
Keeping all the above in mind, dealing in cigarettes is not permissible.[ii]
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam,
Student Darul Iftaa
Leicester, United Kingdom
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
[i] في حاشية ابن عابدين
(قَوْلُهُ وَجَازَ إجَارَةُ بَيْتٍ لِيُتَّخَذَ بَيْتَ نَارٍ أَوْ كَنِيسَةً أَوْ بِيعَةً أَوْ يُبَاعَ فِيهِ الْخَمْرُ) هَذَا عِنْدَهُ أَيْضًا لِأَنَّ الْإِجَارَةَ عَلَى مَنْفَعَةِ الْبَيْتِ، وَلِهَذَا يَجِبُ الْأَجْرُ بِمُجَرَّدِ التَّسْلِيمِ، وَلَا مَعْصِيَةَ فِيهِ وَإِنَّمَا الْمَعْصِيَةُ بِفِعْلِ الْمُسْتَأْجِرِ وَهُوَ مُخْتَارٌ فَيَنْقَطِعُ نِسْبِيَّتُهُ عَنْهُ (ج 6 ص 392 ايج ايم سعيد)
[ii] في حاشية ابن عابدين
وَهَكَذَا يَقُولُ فِي غَيْرِهِ مِنْ الْأَشْيَاءِ الْجَامِدَةِ الْمُضِرَّةِ فِي الْعَقْلِ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ، يَحْرُمُ تَنَاوُلُ الْقَدْرِ الْمُضِرِّ مِنْهَا دُونَ الْقَلِيلِ النَّافِعِ، لِأَنَّ حُرْمَتَهَا لَيْسَتْ لِعَيْنِهَا بَلْ لِضَرَرِهَا.(ج 6 ص 457 أيج أيم سعيد)
This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).