Is it permissible to keep an ashtray in ones lounge, or is it as if one is encouraging others to smoke?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
It is permissible to keep an ashtray in the lounge because it does not encourage a person to smoke. The purpose of it is to facilitate things for a smoker who already has the habit of smoking and he decides to smoke a cigarette while visiting . It is not there for the purpose of encouraging people to smoke. Furthermore, the ashtray is sometimes put to other uses too, such as disposing of the wrappings of sweets offered to visitors, etc. Thus, if a visitor perchance decides to use it for disposing of his cigarette ash, that is his prerogative. Yes, to offer a cigarette to a person would not permissible.
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
Euro-Sunni & Islamic Research and Welfare Academy