Wednesday, March 24, 2010


On Monday evening, I watched on TV-One a talk show organized by the Jakarta Lawyers Club with the topic: Anti-Cigarettes Fatwa/Edict.

The show was moderated by senior journalist Karni Ilyas, with speakers representing  Muhamaddiyah, the second largest Muslim organization which issued the Anti-Cigarette Edict/Fatwa; Nadhatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization, Doctors Association (IDI), Cigarette Producers Association, cigarette smokers, attended by an audience of mostly lawyers.

Wawan, head of Muhamadiyah's Legal Dept. explained that the edict has been planned for many years, but postponed due to differences of opinions among the organization's leaders. As a matter of fact few years ago Muhamadidyah has even issued an edict which neither forbid nor permit cigarette smoking.

The most interesting was when Wawan was cornered by the other speakers and the moderator who were not anti cigarettes, tobacco farmers and cigarette factory workers, that he said that the Fatwa/Edict is meant for Muslims who smoke cigarettes which he referred to as people who are not smart. He also said that smoking cigarette would weaken people.

Iskandar of NU protested by saying that cigarette smokers cannot be regarded as not smart, and cigarette smoking does not weaken people. He said that cigarette smoking NU clerics/ulama slept only few hours to teach pupils and prayed in the evening but still able to visit their four wives in the next morning, therefore they cannot be described as weaklings. Iskandar suggested that Muhamaddiyah cancel said edict and replace it with one that suggest smoking is not good for health but does not forbid it.

Considering the above, I hope that religious organizations would always based its Fatwa/Edict on the best interest of its disciples in particular and the country in general.
Because, although an Fatwa/Edict is not  part of our legal system, however it would surely have moral effect on the disciples, therefore might cause social-economical-political impacts in Indonesia.


Eci si Cami said...

Very interesting topic! I personally believe that smoking seriously harms health whatever the opinions of specialists in the field.
I smoke at the age of 28 years and daily smoking 1 pack. I feel the worst affected but I think it depends from person to person.
For example I know people who smoke and live a full life well and now at age over 80 years. Other smoking a few years or months and have cancer. Other never smoked but died of lung cancer.
Not get the examples but one thing I am aware! Smoking seriously harms!
Congratulations to this post with respect and greetings to all!

Herdoni Wahyono said...

Fatwa issued to ban smoking by Muhammadiyah has led to debate in Indonesia. There are currently no unanimous agreement about the smoking law. We respect the opinions and fatwas. Indeed smoking can harm our health. But the fatwa is not formally binding on us. The decision is on us each. Stop now or continue to smoke.

H. Nizam said...

@Eci si Cami,
I agree that smoking cigarettes will seriously harm our health, that's why I have stopped smoking many years ago. The last time I smoked 2 to 3 packs a day.
I also know some people who lived to 80 years old although their are chain smokers.

Yes my friend, stop smoking totally depends on how do we really want. Even if there is no fatwa, if we really want to stop then we will surely eb able to do that. I can say this for sure because I used to smoke 2-3 packs a day before I stopped many years ago.

umihoney said...

Fatwa's are binding on Muslims thus it's not a simple task.They are made not to serve nor please anyone.For Allah totally.As a believer we must know under what circumstances are fatwa required and whats the process involved. As the world grow older and nearer to Apocalypse,ulamas will be ridiculed and the ignorant and evil gain status,influence and power.Learn and be guided because Iqra" meaning "read" was the first word taught by God to the Prophet Muhammad through His angel Gabriel.Be an informed and learned believer,before all the ulamas are gone forever.