Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anti-Cigarette Fatwa

As a person who has stopped smoking cigarettes for 15(fifteen) years, I believed that there should be strict regulations to limit cigarette smoking so as to keep our environment clean.  

But I also realized that people who smoke must also be given a choice whether they want to endanger their health by smoking, or stop smoking. As long as they do not disturb non-smokers, it's okay for me.

Based on this thought, I was happy when I heard that on Tuesday, 9 March, Muhamaddiyah, an Islamic organization in Indonesia that based its actions on intellectual analysis, issued a Fatwa (Edict) which declared Smoking Cigarettes as Haram (Forbidden). Muhamaddiyah said that the Fatwa has been planned 20 years ago, with the intention to save millions of  people from the danger of smoking cigarettes.

Although a Fatwa is not part of our national legal system, therefore there is no legal consequences, however it would bring moral obligations among Muslims, especially members of Muhamaddiyah,  to follow such Fatwa, thus would prevent cigarette smokers from doing their bad habit arrogantly.

However, I was very surprised when I heard that the said Fatwa was connected with financial aid amounting to Rp 3.7 Billion that Muhamaddiyah received from the USAID, AUSAID, Global Fund and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, for conducting clean air campaign in Indonesia.   

For details, please click here, here and here

Considering the above, I wish that the issuance of said Fatwa has not been related with the aid Muhamaddiyah received from the foreign institutions, thereby would not effect Muhamaddiyah's image as a religious organization. 

Photo :  Courtesy of  VivaNews/Yahoo.

11 comments:

colson said...

I can't but agee with you: if an organization 'sells' moral stands, both the organization and it's stands are worthless ( or worse).

H. Nizam said...

Colson,
Precisely. As the 2nd largest Islamic organization in Indonesia they should not be so explicit in showing its gratefulness for the aid it received from foreign institution.
If the aid is given sometime after issuance of the fatwa, the case would have been quite different.

Herdoni Wahyono said...

We are concerned about the negative impact caused by smoking. Very nice if no-smoking areas in facilities or public places are strictly applicable in Indonesia, next is a special room for smokers. They must be explicitly prohibited from smoking in any place. We respect the Muhammadiyah fatwa on smoking laws is forbidden. In this case there is no unanimous agreement of ulama muslim in the world. Some say smoking is mubah, makruh, and haram. We strongly support clean air campaign in Indonesia.

H. Nizam said...

Herdoni,
Hopefully there more serious efforts will be made to keep our air clean a.o by strictly limiting smokers. That way our next generation will enjoy better live.

Marc said...

That's good news - even if smokers choose to harm their own health, they also harm those around them. Hope it works to change the laws eventually.

H. Nizam said...

Marc,
Good news indeed. In a democratic society human rights should be honored.

Yari NK said...

Actually I don't really care whether smokers do harm to their own health. What seems to be the real problem is that smokers don't realise that by smoking in public places they are harming others' health. And researches proves that secondhand smoke is as harmful as the smoking itself.

But passing a fatwa on forbidding smoking is too much (In my personal opinion). I'd agree more if the Muhammadiyah (or other Islamic clerical bodies) revises the fatwa to become something like: "smoking in public places is haram..."

H. Nizam said...

Yari,
I agree with you, but a democratic society require us to tolerate differences including with smokers.
Yeah revision as you said would be more favorable.

ambiguous_angel said...

cool photo.
love that!
and the writing too..

ambiguous_angel said...

and cigarette smoking always a factor in cancer..
just saying..

H. Nizam said...

Angel,
Welcome back, longtime no see.
Yes, cigarettes is dangerous because it can cause cancer.