Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
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Why We should Shun Gutka, Other Tobacco Products

Cover Story

, by HAMID AKHTAR

Without going into the debate whether Gutka and similar tobacco products are banned or not in Islam, let us be aware that one of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence is that all that is harmful and filthy is considered Haram (forbidden). There is unanimity among health professionals that the main cause of oral cancer in India is Gutka and Zarda. Apart from cancer, it causes a variety of other medical conditions like heart attack, infertility, respiratory and cardiac depression, hypertension and reproductive health dysfunction.

Having known the ill effects, let us understand as why drugs like Gutka and tobacco are used widely by people all over India. The reasons surveyed are:

To relieve tension;

To get stimulation; and

To be part of group (peer pressure).

Basic reasons of tension are poverty, unemployment and poor social condition. For believing Muslims the following two Hadiths should be quite relieving:

1. “The affairs of Muslims are amazing. The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him; and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him.”

2. “The world is prison for the believers and paradise for the unbelievers.” (Reported by Abu Hurairah- Sahih Muslim)

For a Muslim knows that the world is a testing place and wealth, poverty, health, disease, name and fame and lack of these are all tests by Allah the Exalted. It is equally, if not more, possible that a poor, unhealthy or tormented person is really successful if he has patience (Sabr), than a well off, employed person whose life seems to be roller coaster, but he is not thankful.

Main life i.e. life in the hereafter depends purely on Taqwa and a Muslim should know that this world is like a prison and so he should be more worried about the life in the hereafter which is eternal. If the situation is tough, he should face it, do hard work to his capacity and finally be contented with what Allah the Exalted has bestowed on him. He will definitely find inner peace in this world and reward in the hereafter for doing Sabr.

Of course basic needs are essential in this world, but these basic needs do change from person to person.

In the workplace a Muslim should not go along the wave of culture, rather he should make his impact on the work place with his honesty, truth, justice and personal examples of Salat, and adhering to values of Haram and Halal. It is also mandatory that the Muslims who are comparatively well off, should pull their family, friend and youths out of unemployment, poverty and ignorance.

To make people aware that Gutka and other tobacco products like cigarette, bidi, khainee and paan are deadly for their health, Imams should use pulpits of the mosques and enlightened people should use their clout to win people away from such drugs.

Finally, the persons involved in such addiction should search their souls and ask themselves: why can’t they find solace in patience and prayers as Allah the Exalted instructs in the following verse:

“O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient. And speak not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, (they are) alive, but you perceive not. And We shall certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits. And give good news to the patient, Who, when a misfortune befalls them say: ‘Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall return.’ Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord; and those are the followers of the right course.” (Al-Qur’ān 2:153-157)



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