Selling cigarettes & not smoking

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 13, Page 63, Question No.1 of Fatwa No.16502

Question: I am a trader and buy cigarettes for my trade, is this permissible for me, knowing that I do not smoke the cigarettes? Also, I have a television [in the shop] where the youth gather and watch football matches and soap operas and [as a result] they miss their salaah. Is it permissible for me to have this television under such circumstances? As my shop is next to the marketplace and between the masjid and me there is approximately 200 meters, I pray inside my shop and leave the congregational prayer. What is the ruling about my action?

Response: Cigarettes are an evil and harmful thing. It is not permissible to smoke them or sell them because if Allaah has made something haraam then its trade is also haraam. So, it is obligatory upon you to seek repentance from selling it and limit yourself to selling permissible items since there is many blessings in this. One who leaves something for the Sake of Allaah, [then] Allaah compensates him with [something] better than it.

Also, it is not permissible for you to leave the youth to gather [in your shop] with you and leave the salaah. It is obligatory for you to close the shop and you and them go to the masjid, for that which Allaah says:

{O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers} [Soorah al-Munaafiqoon, Aayah 9].

Also, the saying of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

«Whoever hears the call [to prayer] and does not respond [to it] then there is no prayer for him [if he prays in other than the masjid] except for a [valid Islaamic] reason».

It was said to Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhi-yAllaahu ‘anhu): ‘what is the (valid Islaamic) reason?’ He said:

«Fear and illness».

Also, from that which is confirmed is when he (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked by a blind man: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I do not have a guide to guide me to the masjid, so is there permission for me to pray in my house?’ So the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him:

«Do you hear the call for prayers?».

He said: ‘Yes’. He (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

«Then respond [to it]», [reported by Muslim in his Saheeh].

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

– from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee’ah in 2004.