Fatwas are Islamic rulings and opinions of qualified scholars. Have you ever wondered how do scholars arrive at new rulings not contained directly and explicitly in the Qur’an and Sunnah? How is it possible that Islam is such an amazing, practical religion that holds answers to all issues all the time?
Fiqh is a subject taught at the Islamic Online University in every semester. Students start from the evolution of fiqh, pass through the fiqh of worship, marriage, trade, etc., until they reach a stage where various fiqh principles are introduced, which allows them to peek to the world of scholars and their fatwas. An exciting period for all fiqh students.
IOU Insights magazine has selected and published in its 4th issue a few researched papers prepared by the IOU students in every subject and semester.
Smoking Cigarettes: A detailed ruling based on one or more of the 5 major maxims is an example of an independent research paper from the Fiqh class offered in the last semester.
May Allah bless our scholars abundantly who have struggled and sacrificed a great deal in order to make the life of future generations so easy and simple. Even though Islam claims to govern all aspects of daily life, the whole of governing rules can be classified in only five categories (six according to some scholars). These five core maxims, or Qawaid al-Fiqh as they are referred to, are as follows:
- Harm must be eliminated
- Acts are judged by the intention behind them
- Certainty is not overruled by doubt
- Hardship begets facility
- Custom is the basis of judgment
Where Does Smoking Cigarettes Fit in the Above Maxims?
Smoking has existed in almost all societies in one form or another. The core substance of smoking might change, the technique might be different, but the intention and the act of smoking and its ultimate results remain the same. This issue has been a hot topic of discussion for a very long time. People who are addicted to this habit go around fatwa shopping till they receive a verdict from some scholar who says what they want to hear.
Although the cigarettes of today did not exist at the time, the following maxim was formulated, we cannot have a better fit for the maxim “Do not harm yourself nor harm others” than the act of smoking cigarettes. Research has suggested that it is equally dangerous to others as to the one committing the act. Hence, this harm needs to be eliminated.
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