By Suzanne Zacharia
Muslims in South Africa have been told to quit smoking because of fears of contamination of cigarettes with pig produce and alcohol. A halaal products organization, the South African National Halaal Association, or Sanha, made the claim in mosques and via the Internet.
Sanha stated that “Muslim Jurists have for a long time condemned cigarette smoking.” Now that makes plenty of sense. Having read the Quran from cover to cover in Arabic, I have no doubt that if the prophet Muhammad were alive today, he would forbid the smoking of cigarettes.
Now Muslim-owned businesses are being urged to stop selling cigarettes. I think this is also sensible. How can a God-fearing person possibly knowingly sentence people to a slow and painful death? How can a Muslim pray five times a day and then go to his shop and sell cigarettes to a pregnant mother, for example?
And how can any dutiful Muslim wash and take care of their body as prescribed by Islam and then go and put the many poisons from smoking cigarettes in their body? This not only makes no sense but is a great hypocrisy indeed.
Whether cigarettes contain pigs’ blood or rum or wine products should be irrelevant. As a matter of fact, any doctor would agree that there is far worse in a cigarette than any minute amount of pig or alcohol product can possibly be.
South Africa’s largest cigarette manufacturer, British American Tobacco SA (Batsa), naturally denies it all in a report in the local Cape Argus, a local newspaper in Cape Town. However, what the cigarette manufacturers cannot deny is the thousands of deaths and illnesses their industry regularly causes. Cigarettes are the leading health concern in South Africa after HIV/AIDS. And that is not in dispute by anybody, regardless of their religion.
So if you are a Muslim smoker, what should you do? Do you wait to find out if there is indeed pig and alcohol additions to cigarettes? Do you find a way to quit in the meantime? And what if you quit and then find that cigarettes are free of these things. Do you then take up smoking again, fully aware of the other, and one may argue, more serious health risks?
Perhaps Muslim or otherwise, we were given a body to look after with love and respect. I was taught that we were created in God’s image and that we are the creation of God. How sad that so many religious people then go on to desecrate this great gift of our body by regularly and systematically abusing it with toxins from cigarette smoking.
If you are a smoker and any of this resonates with your beliefs, for God’s love, quit. There are many good ways to help you quit smoking wherever you are. You may find that to stop smoking is the greatest show of gratitude you can give to God. And in return, going through the process in a responsible and healing way can bring you spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally closer to God and closer to a life of true contentment.
© Suzanne Zacharia 2010. Complementary and alternative health education and empowerment is my passion. My name is Suzanne Zacharia and I am committed to empowering people to take control of their health and wellness. A virus caught along with 5 other students at university at the end of 1986, plus medical negligence, meant that I got smokers lung at a relatively young age. In desperation for help with my symptoms and quality of life, I turned to complementary therapy, and this is beyond a decade that I have outlived one doctor’s prognosis. I am now a complementary therapist, author and trainer. My big passion is to to help others stop smoking, as in my http://www.stop-smoking-ebooks.com
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