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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

‘Hookah….Harmless fun or Harmful Sin?’

hookah

Its evil has spread amongst us like wild fire.

From the West to the East, it is a slow poison that has permeated the societies, even among the Muslims.

In fact, it crept upon us so subtly that no one really thinks its bad. And it has blinded individuals who partake in this new fad to believe that it isn’t harmful.

What is this evil, this menace, this new fad that I am talking about?

It is the evil of smoking Hookah…..also called sheesha, nargeela, argila, ghalyan, as well as hubbly-bubbly.

Nowadays, hookah bars and cafes have popped up everywhere, fueled by the growing popularity of hookah smoking among teens and young adults.

It is a normal, everyday thing in some parts of the Middle East, when father and son, brother and uncle, all go out to smoke hookah while the ladies stay home. No hayaa, no respect, no sense of shame or guilt.

Hookah…evil ???

But I thought it was harmless…. .one might say.

Harmless ?

Lets see how “harmless” hookah is. Let the facts speak for themselves.

What science says about hookah?

Mayo Clinic research says: “Although many believe that the water in the hookah filters out all the “bad stuff” in the tobacco smoke, this isn’t true.

According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) advisory, a typical one-hour session of hookah smoking exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.

Even after passing through the water, the tobacco smoke produced still contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) .

Hookah smoking also delivers significant levels of nicotine (about 70 times more )— the very addictive substance in tobacco.” (Pulmonologist Mayo Clinic Edward Rosenow, M.D., )

“One single session (45-minutes) of Hookah smoking will result in the smoker breathing in 100 times more smoke than regular smoking.” (World Health Organization)

“Contrary to what many beginning users may think, hookah tobacco use carries many of the same risks as cigarette smoking, including being linked to lung cancer and other lung diseases.” (John L. Kirkwood, President and CEO of the American Lung Association) .

“Links have been found between water-pipe (hookah) usage andoral, lung and bladder cancer, in addition to heart disease and clogged arteries,” (American Lung Association) .

“The water moisture induced by the hookah makes the smoke less irritating and may give a false sense of security and reduce concerns about true health effects.” (Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics)

“Water pipes (hookah) smokers were five times more likely than non-smokers to show signs of gum disease. People who smoked water pipes had five times the risk of lung cancer as non-smokers. ” (Journal of Periodontology)

The World Health Organization (WHO) regional office in Cairo estimates that 17 percent of

Tuberculosis cases in the eastern Mediterranean are attributable to the smoking of water pipes.

Na’uzubillah! Cancer of the mouth, lung and bladder…tuberculosis, heart disease, lung disease, gum disease….exposure to toxic compounds like heavy metals, nicotine, tar, arsenic….you name it.

Is there any more evidence one needs to know that smoking hookah is bad for you? !!!

What our Shariah says about Hookah?

1. It’s harmful to yourself:

All these harmful materials collect in the person’s body over time, resulting in a gradual killing of the organs and tissues. These diseases may not appear all at once, but the one who smokes is most likely to suffer from some of them, and his suffering increases as he grows older.

And anything that cause harm to one’s body or to others is haram in Islam.

Allah says: “Do not kill yourself. Allah is Merciful unto you.” (Surat al-Nisa :29)

29. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la ta/kuloo amwalakum baynakum bialbatili illa an takoona tijaratan AAan taradin minkum wala taqtuloo anfusakum inna Allaha kana bikum raheeman

29. O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful!

“…make not your own hands contribute to your destruction. ..” (Surah al-Baqarah:195)

195. Waanfiqoo fee sabeeli Allahi wala tulqoo bi-aydeekum ila alttahlukati waahsinoo inna Allaha yuhibbu almuhsineena

195. And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for God loveth those who do good.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” (Ahmed, Ibn Majah-saheeh by Albaani)

2. It is a poison:

Don’t you see that it is a kind of slow poison with which a person kills himself?

The statistics show that over 3 million people worldwide die from smoking-related causes each year.

“Whomsoever consumes poison, thereby killing himself, then he will be consuming his poison forever in the fire of Hell and he will abide in it permanently and eternally.” (Bukhaari, Muslim)

It is suicide:

Knowing fully well the harmful effects of hookah, if someone still smokes it, it is suicide.

“Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhaari, Muslim)

It is a waste of money and extravagance:

Extravagance in Islam means spending on something haram.

The money that one spends on hookah is therefore an extravagance.

“… and do not be extravagant wasters. Those who are extravagant are kinsmen of Satan.” (Surat al-Israil 17:26-27)

26. Waati tha alqurba haqqahu waalmiskeena waibna alssabeeli wala tubaththir tabtheeran

26. And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.


27. Inna almubaththireena kanoo ikhwana alshshayateeni wakana alshshaytanu lirabbihi kafooran

27. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.

You will have to answer to Allaah for this:

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

Your body and life have a right over you:

Allah Subhaanahu wa Taala has given you this life and this body as an Amanah to you. You are supposed to take care of it and protect it from harm and haram.

What will you say to Allah when He asks you about it?

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam)said: “Your body has a right on you.”

27. WaAllahu yureedu an yatooba AAalaykum wayureedu allatheena yattabiAAoona alshshahawati an tameeloo maylan AAatheeman

27. God doth wish to Turn to you, but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that ye should turn away (from Him),- far, far away.

“Allaah wants to let you into His Mercy, whereas those who follow the desires want you to drift far away (from the right path).” (Surah an-Nisaa:27)

Don’t smoke it and don’t let people smoke it:

It is not only haram for someone to smoke hookah himself, rather it is equally haram to offer it to people, to sell it, buy it, or promote it in any way.

“Help you one another in Al­-Birr and At­-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” (Surah Maidah:2)

Do not even sit with those who smoke, even if you don’t smoke yourself:

And if you keep company with those who do smoke, even if you yourself don’t, or even sit with the people who are smoking it, then you are still counted amongst them.

Allah warns us;
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quran) that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be one of them. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell” [al-Nisaa 4:140]

We need to realize that smoking is haram, whether it is hookah, cigarettes or anything else. It is bad, not just for ones health, but also for other worldly matters and much worse for the Akhirah.

It is our duty to educate ourselves, our kids, family, friends and communities about this evil, and teach everyone to stay away from it and to help those addicted to it to get help.

May Allah guide us and enable us to stay on the right path and do only those acts that are pleasing to Him. Ameen.

by Asma bint Shameem.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Tips to Remove your bad habits – Ramdaan Reminder

Fasting is a means of learning self restraint and patience. With patience we are able to strengthen our resolve to worship Allah alone, with sincerity, and also cope with life’s ups and downs, 

Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.

However, the good news is, Ramadan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from “positive psychology” (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes 30 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.

In addition to the physical discipline in the 30-day boot camp of Ramadan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can transform your habits for life.

Try these proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits (during Ramadan and beyond!):

1. Acknowledge and identify your bad habits:

First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change.

2. Pick a habit for 30 days:

Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for 30 days. Take a 30-day trial to re-condition your habits. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, God-willing.

3. Realize that it’s in us to change:

Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.

4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent:

Prophet Muhammad said:

“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” [Sahih Muslim]

5. Intention & plan to change:

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.

6. Replace a bad habit with a good one:

Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.

For instance, it’s easier to replace or balance your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading, than to suddenly remove the TV from your life. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad, the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:

“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi]

7. Change your environment:

Resist the negative peer pressure by finding a better company of friends. Collective action to change is very powerful. Prophet Muhammad explained this peer pressure effect with this analogy:

“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Muslim]

8. Exercise (physical and spiritual): 

A habit of regular physical exercise is obviously important for lasting weight loss. But you may not realize that exercise helps in eliminating a number of bad habits. For example, among smokers who become competitive runners, for example, over 80% give up smoking.

Moreover, exercising your will power (struggle to fight temptations) for 30 days helps you kick all kinds of bad habits and form new good ones. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you strengthen it.

9. Think of yourself as a changed, different, new person: 

This simple psychological shift in your thinking about your own image can do wonders. Tell yourself, “I can’t continue this ill-behaviour. I am better than that. I am stronger. I am wiser.”

10. Reward success:

The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the “law of effect.” It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits.

Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks. As Muslims we should also remember that the ultimate reward is Allah’s Pleasure and Paradise in the Hereafter.

11. Schedule / limit your bad habits:

If you are really struggling to kick a bad habit, try limiting the habit to a specific time and place. Research and case studies confirm that this rather unconventional approach can be a useful first step in changing bad habits or learning new good ones.

12. Tell someone about your effort to change if it helps:

He or she may keep you on track.

13. Resolve to continue on and follow up

: Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as “Tazkiyyah” in Islamic terminology. It’s more difficult than the first few steps of change. (“How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?”)

14. Remind yourself of death and hereafter often:

Prophet Muhamamd peace be upon him said: “Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures [i.e. death],” the Prophet once stated. [At-Tirmidhi.]

15. Develop a relapse strategy:

How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the ‘cost’ of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways.

16. Ask Allah for help:

Last but not least, make Asking for Allah’s Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah’s Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to Help and to Respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him.

“And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He (Allah) will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” [Quran 65:2-3]

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