The Ruling On Selling Cigarettes, Shisha, Tobacco, Vape products etc.

The Messenger (ﷺ) taught us an important principle when he said:

إِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا حَرَّمَ شَيْئاً حَرَّمَ ثَمَنَهُ
“When Allaah forbids a thing, He (also) forbids its price.”

[Narrated by Abu Dawood (3488); classed as ṣaḥeeḥ by Shaykh al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, 318.]

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbali (raḥimahullah) said, “Whatever Allaah has forbidden us to make use of, it is also ḥaraam to sell it and consume its price, as is stated clearly in the ḥadeeth: “When Allaah forbids a thing, He (also) forbids its price.” This is a general, comprehensive phrase which applies to everything which is intended to be used in ḥaraam ways.” [See: Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Ḥikam, 1/415, 416]

Therefore, the ruling on selling cigarettes depends on the ruling on smoking cigarettes. What we find according to the Law of Allaah is that smoking is undoubtedly and emphatically ḥaraam for the following reasons:
First, all doctors, scientists and all sane people agree that smoking causes harm to one’s body. One only needs to look at a box of cigarettes to see the “WARNING: SMOKING KILLS” to be reminded of this, or “SMOKING CAUSES LUNG CANCER”. Undoubtedly, smoking causes death, and many different illnesses, not only lung cancer. Let us look at what the Shari’ah says about harming the body. Allaah says:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمً
“And do not kill ˹each other or˺ yourselves. Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you.” [Nisaa` (04:29)]

And Allaah says:

وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ
“And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction.” [Baqarah (02:195)]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ
“There should be neither harming, nor reciprocating of harm (unjustly).”

[Narrated by ibn Majah (2341); classed as ṣaḥeeḥ by Shaykh al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, 68.]


وَلِنَفْسِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا
“You have a duty to your body (it has a right over you!).”

[Narrated by Bukhari (1867)]

3. In another ḥadeeth, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The feet of the slave of Allah shall not move [on the Day of Judgement] until he is asked about five things. About his life and what he did with it, about his knowledge and what he did with it, about his wealth and how he earned it and where he spent it on, about his body and how did he wear it out. (Meaning how did he cause it trouble, pain or distress)”

[Narrated by Tirmidhi (2417); classed as ṣaḥeeḥ by Shaykh al-Albaani due to various reports in al-Mishkaat (5197).]

Therefore, the Shari’ah is extremely clear in that which causes harm is considered ḥaraam, and whatever is considered ḥaraam, then buying it OR selling it is also ḥaraam.

A second reason for the prohibition of smoking is that it not only harms the smoker, but rather it also harms those around the smoker as well as the environment. The smoker will then incur the sin of harming himself, as well as all those who are harmed subsequently.

Last but definitely not least, smoking is also a serious waste of money. Our wealth is a favour from Allaah, and therefore we will be questioned regarding our wealth, how did we earn it and how did we spend it. Refer to ḥadeeth number 3 above. Allaah says about those who waste money:

وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا
“And do not spend wastefully. Surely the wasteful are ˹like˺ brothers to the devils. And the Devil is ever ungrateful to his Lord.”

[al-Israa` (17:26-27)]

From the above we can conclude that smoking is a sin, and a harm the body of the smoker, those around him, the environment and a serious waste of money. It is therefore not only ḥaraam to consume, but also to buy it, sell it, as well as offer it to others. We are instructed in the Qur’an to cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and not to cooperate in sin and transgression [Maa`idah (05:02)]. Selling or sharing cigarettes is a form of cooperating in sin and transgression, which only adds to the evil and to the sin of the smoker, and Allaah’s aid is sought. We ask Allaah to rectify our affairs, and to make it easy for those who are addicted to give it up. Allaah Knows best.

– Written by Shaykh Imraan Mollagee