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Is Smoking Cigarettes Akin to Committing Suicide?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


If someone’s lifetime is reduced due to smoking or he gets cancer due to smoking, then is it considered suicide?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The scholars of the Hanafi school (especially the contemporary scholars) agree that smoking cigarettes are impermissible for multiple reasons:

  • It is proven to cause health risks, such as cancer, emphysema, and heart disease.
  • It is a waste of money
  • many more…[al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]

The first of these reasons is supported by the verse, “O believers! Do not devour one another’s wealth illegally, but rather trade by mutual consent. And do not kill ˹each other or˺ yourselves. Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you.” [Quran, 4:21]


If a person smoked cigarettes intending to kill himself thereby, this is known as ‘active suicide’ (intihar bi’l-ijab). [al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]

However, It is unlikely that a person begins smoking cigarettes with this intention.

Thus even though the risks are clear, since it is not a certainty that one who smokes will get such diseases or the like, it is not considered suicide. It is possible for a smoker to not get cancer, even though unlikely.

Despite it not being considered suicide, smoking cigarettes is prohibited. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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