A smoker, whether he likes it or not, makes an example of himself for his children and others to follow. He leads them to commit this evil. Actions sometimes have a stronger effect than words. Thus, even if he advises them or forbids them from smoking, his partaking of it provides them with a strong excuse to do it.
The problem is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In such case, his harm becomes more emphasised, because more people take him as guide and example and are thus lead astray by him. This multiplies his sins and increases his burden.
The majority of good people avoid smoking and stay away from smokers. Therefore, a smoker would be forced to stay away from them - at least while he smokes. He puts himself in selective exile, creating a spiritual distance and hostility between him and the good people, and a closeness to the evil people. The effects of this become more apparent and acute with time. Note that this applies equally to any sin that a person commits either large or small.
A smoker despises himself, because he feels that a little cigarette is controlling him. Realising his weakness due to his desire, this creates in him a feeling of defeat in the face of hardships.
Since smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions, conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.
In discussing the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some important warnings that need to be mentioned:
1. As indicated before, the prohibition of smoking is not restricted to cigarettes, but applies as well to other objects that have similar effects such as cigars, pipes, water-pipes, chewing tobacco or sniffing tobacco, etc.
2. The reasons mentioned above for prohibiting smoking apply as well, and more strongly, to various types of drugs such as hashish marijuana and ecstasy. These materials have additional problems such as causing drunkenness, death, madness, etc.
3. The prohibition of smoking is not restricted to consuming it, but applies as well to offering it to people, sitting with those who are smoking, or selling it. All of this involves helping people commit sins, which is prohibited, as Allah Ta’ala states (what means):
‘Help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sinning and transgression. And fear and revere Allah; verily, Allah is severe in punishment.
Also, Allah’s Messenger said: Indeed when Allah prohibits something, he prohibits eating its price.
(Ahmad and Abu Dawud: Ibn Abbas; authenticated by al-Albaani