Smoking: Halal or Haram???

I was reading the Berita Harian on Saturday (22 July 2006) when my eyes were directed to a reader’s grouse in the Forum section, with regards to the concept of “Halalan Toyyiban“. I’m no religious teacher but from my understanding of the topic, it is the Quranic motto to consume only what is “Lawful, Wholesome and Blessed” (Halalan Toyyiban Mubarakan). Wealth should be circulated widely. Monopolies, usury and unfair practices are forbidden. Cooperation among different scriptural religions is encouraged for the benefit of humankind. At the same time wastefulness and excessiveness is deprecated. Pork, intoxicants, tobacco, blood, carrion i.e meats of animals that die of themselves and those offered to dieties are not considered as Halalan Toyyiban. Killing of meat-lawful animals for food must be done in the most expeditious and least painful manner.

The reader had pointed out that the concept should not just be limited to what we consume daily but also in our standard of living. He brought up a point which made my brains whirred in motion about banning tobacco in our lives, giving further examples that renowned Muslim leaders like Dr Yusuf Qardawi, Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddique and Sulaiman Bujarmi Al Misri Al Azhari As-Shafei have already released a Haram Fatwa on it. He then referred the readers to read “Reliance of the Traveller” (Nuh Keller), “Halal wa Haram fil Islam” (Dr Yusuf Qardawi) and “English Translation and Commentary of Sahih Muslim” (A.H. Siddique).

Actually, I’ve long asked myself this question. How do I see this interesting act called “smoking“??? Besides burning my throat, my lungs and eventually my life away, it is an absolute waste of money buying packs of cigarettes when I can channel it into buying myself or the family other stuff for daily use. Not only is it a hazard to my health but also to those around me. No offence to smokers out there but personally I feel you are endangering the people you are supposedly supposed to love by subjecting them to the poisons in the smoke you exhale. Not to mention the bad breath and smell that lingers, no matter how much perfume you spray on yourself or mints you suck.

Back to the Islamic point of view. We are taught that whatever is detrimental to the health and body system is deemed as non-permissible. Alcohol and misuse of drugs consumption are good examples. Whatever is wasteful is also deemed as non-permissible. Examples include the wastage of food, money earned and lost through gambling or through excessive spending. Being inconsiderate to the people around you is also not a good virtue. Come to think of it, it is no wonder that smoking is deemed as Haram in certain quarters. But here’s where the baffling part starts.

In Indonesia and Malaysia alone, the former being the country with the highest Muslim population, an extremely high percentage are smokers amongst the males. Everywhere you go, you’ll never fail to see “dragons” puffing their lives away. In Singapore, the percentage is more or less quite even. Heck, even some religious leaders smoke too. Which makes me sometimes wonder, how do we really classify smoking in the Islamic context??? I know that it is a very subjective matter but it is this subjectiveness that makes us all think, ponder and debate from time to time.

The holy book did not explicitly said that smoking is not a permissible act, even though it said that whatever destroys our body, health and well-being and wastages are all deemed as Haram. So with that I guess the different schools of thought have different interpretations on how it is perceived and are divided over it, or perhaps they might probably be afraid to upset the status quo. Can you just imagine if a Fatwa is released on the banning of smoking??? I tell you, pandemonium and disaster will strike the region with people demonstrating over it, even worse than the Middle-East war.

Personally for me, I chose to remain a non-smoker because I had a bad experience when I tried experimenting with it when I was just 11. My late grandfather was a smoker and lived with my family. I remembered borrowing a cigarette and asking him if I could give it a try. He just let me did what I wanted to do. I lighted up and took a deep puff. A burning sensation filled my throat and I instantly coughed. I thought to myself, how can someone enjoy burning his / her own throat and what kick do people get through it??? I immediately put the stub away and from then on, I vowed never to follow that path. What’s more, it was the reason that took my late grandfather’s life away as he succumbed to pneumonia and lung cancer a few years later. So if there is such a ruling being passed that decreeds that smoking is unlawful and non-permissible, I am all for it. Not that I’m being bitter towards smokers here, well far from it, but because I too care for your lives, even if my ideologies and beliefs do not coincide with yours.


I would like to reserve my shout outs to an old friend, Sarimah, otherwise known as “Lady E” in the local hip hop scene on the release of her debut EP album. A pity I was not able to attend the launch of the album last Saturday evening at The Arts House @ The Old Parliament building as I had other appointments to attend. Her EP album includes the hit tracks “No To Bounce“, “Keep Da Rock” & “Kembali“. If you are interested in getting her album, they are available at Mizz 29 stores. This hot chick is widely respected in hip hop circles as she is one mean rapper. Off stage, you wouldn’t believe she can be so hyper nor think that she can rap as from my brief friendship with her back in our Akademi Seniman days showed, she is quiet, reserved and demure. But she was one of those I could click very well, maybe because I was into hip hop music and R&B as well. Cheers to a job well done, sis!!!


Another shout out goes to one of our famous bloggers MamaFai, for making it to Berita Harian a few days ago for her lovely cupcake creations. I guess over the past year or so, her beautiful cupcakes have been promoted through word-of-mouth and endless displays in bloggers’ entries. Besides the birthday cupcakes which she made for Hazami at the “Santai Bersama Hazami” event in February and yours truly’s wedding gift to the bride last December (even though counting myself as a celebrity is definitely out of the equation), she received another feather in the cap on yesterday’s episode of “Suria Segar“, when she made her speciality for Nurul Aini‘s birthday. I hope her business will now pick up and she’ll get more orders than before. Proud to have a Malay entrepreneur doing something extraordinary in our midst.


Speaking of myself as a “celebrity”, I find it at times amusing, humbled even, that certain bloggers classed yours truly as one in their blog links, or to some extent in the same breath as famous television celebrities like “Nura J“, “Nurul Aini” and “Oniatta“. What have I done to merit myself to such a pedestal??? I’m just a nobody, a voice like anyone else on radio. In the blogging world, I’m also a nobody. Pray tell me what makes me qualified to be held in high regards, cos I cringe and shudder at popularity. Popularity attracts jealousy, it breeds contempt. Especially when I see bloggers clamouring for attention and popularity and dissing one another like nobody’s business and adopting a holier-than-thou approach. Which is why I’d rather much remain anonymous and just be the alternative voice you hear or read.

Of late, my activities on radio have also been limited to just two hours on Hafeez Glamour‘s “Kafe-Teh-RIA” segment. That too if I’m listening and not out lunching with my colleagues. Which stumped me somewhat when I stumbled upon a blog whereby the blogger linked me as “PM the RIA Fanatik” when I’m only listening to the station for just two hours nowadays. Just feel that the departure of Syah Ibrahim has had an effect on my creative juices being stifled. Ok, so I had said that he was coming back before I went for my short hiatus, but 3 months on, there is no sight of him, so I stand corrected if he really is not coming back though I had heard stories before that, that he was just taking a short break.

Listening to RIA is quite a bore these days, not like what it used to be from 2003-2005, which is why I now tune in to Glenn & The Flying Dutchman (Class 95FM) in the mornings. At least you can air your views without getting stick from fellow listeners and the topics are more edgy compared to how we have to be forever tactful on Malay radio. Just love the open concept of English radio compared to the sensitive typical Malay listeners who cannot take comments with pinches of salt. But I’m a proud Malay. Which is why I try to instill my ideologies on Malay radio, whether they like it or not.

Another gripe I have about listening to radio since ages ago (be it local or Malaysian radio stations), is that some presenters are not pronouncing the names of personalities, politicians, sportsmen or entertainers properly. A job as a radio presenter is a heavy responsibility, an utmost honour to be among a selected band. It is similar to a teacher’s job, just that the audience is not a class, but the whole country, probably the whole world. And as “students”, we the listeners hope to learn something new and politically-correct for that matter. It wouldn’t hurt to watch shows that have a lot of names pronouncing, sports for that matter, asking around on how to pronounce properly and having the will to want to find out more. I was dismayed when someone said that they are not sports commentators to be accustomed to name pronouncing. To me, that is not a good reason to get out of a sticky situation. It reflects badly on professionalism and attitude, something that one must have in a job envied by many and only an elite few are chosen.

I practically cringed everytime I hear the sports bulletin during last month’s FIFA World Cup as South American, European, Asian, Scandinavian, hell even English names were mispronounced. The most common mistakes I hear are normally “Grand Prix” is pronounced as “Grand Pricks” instead of “Grawn Pree“, “Ronaldinho” as “Ronal-din-ho” instead of “Ronal-di-nio“, “Trezeguet” as “Tre-zee-goo-et” instead of “Tghe-zee-gay” and “Renault” as “Ray-nolt” instead of “Ray-nal“. Get my drift??? I bet some of you would be surprised by the pronunciations yourself, just like how I was surprised that “Hyundai” is actually pronounced as “Hon-Day“. Sometimes I dunno whether to laugh at or feel sorry for the person reading the news or sports bulletin. Imagine if a foreigner were to tune in and listen to the name of his countryman being pronounced wrongly, he would definitely think the person reading was either out to mock his country or the person did not take the effort to do their homework.

I’m not trying to show off my knowledge on pronunciation here cos I know there are thousands and millions out there who know more than me. But we should share what is good to the masses so that we can all improve and learn as we go along in life. I always believe whatever that is good, especially when it comes to education, should be shared for the betterment of the society. Hand on heart, I really mean no absolute offence to all the radio presenters out there and hope those reading this will take this piece of criticism with an open mind. I apologise if anyone felt hurt with this piece of complaint. Please do not take it as a means to putting anyone down here cos that is not the intention of me voicing out here.

I hope you will still continue to improve and provide us with good information and knowledge in our daily lives listening to you. Where there is room to improve, I’m sure there are avenues for you to do so to seek help and assistance. I’m not complaining because I’m being a sour grape at not being able to make it as a radio presenter myself, far from it. I would just like to see our presenters be more refined as they share the daily scoops, juice, news and views with us. Remember, we look up to you as role models and educators as we seek knowledge through listening to you.


Here’s a bit of information for those interested to attend this event. Doing a favour for an old friend by promoting it on this blog…

EZS Music Productions Presents
in conjunction with Bulan Bahasa and Read Singapore! Campaign

Date: Sunday 30 July 2006
Time: 3:00 – 5:00pm
Place: Sakura Na Na @ 257 Changi Road
Guest Artistes: Khairil Yusuf & Andresha Andin
Event: Launch of Hafeez Glamour Book Club
Lucky Draw, Karaoke, Poetry Recital
Tickets: $35/- only.
Contact: Ema – 97630085 / Rahimah 96903206
* Seats are limited!!!


Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who had linked me without my knowledge and I’ve managed to trace you thanks to modern technology. Hey, even a school kid now knows what Technorati is all about. I’m cool with the linking, no worries about that. I hope that it is not a bore reading my grouses, gripes, rants and complaints. Not forgetting my “regular customers” who had painstakingly waited for my return. Thank you for the patience and understanding while yours truly was away for such a long period of time…

Author: Pujangga Malam™

Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.

9 thoughts on “Smoking: Halal or Haram???”

  1. hello! wooohoo. im so happy. bcuz kamu sudah update regularly. i loike i loike i loikeee! hmms.. smoking! talking abt smoking i teringat zaman2 sfogs dulu.. ada satu budak pompan tu merokok depan kubur/makam kat JB tu.. hah. angin naik jek. RIA! long time no hear. heh. alamak.. PM ni suka check2 sitemeter ke. seramnyer.. my blog takda links seh. but ur blog will alwiz be on my mind. k U RAWKKKK!

  2. Sitemeter harus dipantau dari masa ke semasa untuk mendapatkan nisbah dari mana asalnya pengunjung-pengunjung lelaman ini. Dari situ kita dapat menilai dari negara mana asalnya, ataupun adakah lelaman ini dilihat dari tempat tugas, pusat-pusat institusi dan sebagainya. Ini amat berguna apabila kita ingin mengetahui siapakah orang-orang yang tak bertanggungjawab yang melepaskan kata-kata busuk nan kaudu, lalu mencemarkan lelaman ini. Sekian terima kasih…

  3. bro, sempena bulan bahasa ni maybe u boleh blog dalam bahasa melayu. ur malay language also good mahh. k sapa sokong?!! sila sms skarang.

  4. Walaupun kita sedang berada dalam bulan bahasa, tiada nas yang mengatakan yang berbahasa dalam bahasa ibunda wajib dipraktikkan. Umum mengetahui bahawa Pujangga Malam adalah seseorang yang tidak mengikut arus ataupun konform pada kehendak orang ramai.

    Ada beberapa sebab kenapa saya tak selesa berbahasa ibunda. Salah satunya adalah kerana saya dibesarkan dalam keluarga yang bertutur dalam bahasa Inggeris. Dan setiap kali saya bertutur dalam bahasa ibunda, saya akan merasakan bahawa ada sikit kegenjotan dari segi penyusunan bahasa dan struktur ayat. Dan dari situlah datangnya rasa seolah-olah saya membuat sesuatu yang diperbuat-buat…

    Saya rasa cara pertuturan dalam bahasa apa pun tidak begitu penting asalkan mesej dapat disampaikan dalam grammar yang betul. Ramai di antara kita yang kurang fasih dalam kedua-dua bahasa Inggeris & Melayu, termasuk saya juga. Sedikit sebanyak, blog ini menjadi satu wadah untuk kita pelajari bersama agar kita dapat lestarikan penggunaan bahasa yang baik dalam kehidupan kita seharian…

  5. ok..ur malay i cannot carry…too good. my higher malay teacher would have loved to adopt u as he tried to kill me once so there you go…heh.

    on another note, welcome back to belogging, brudder blogger!!

    and congrats to u and the mrs on the little bun in the oven! 🙂

  6. mashaAllah ur malay is great really!!!! penyusunan dan kosa kata yg menarik dan sedap dibaca tu lah dia kalau suka membaca Alhamdulillah…

    ah… i miss reading ur entry :)ermm tahniah kerana tak lama lagi akan bergelar bapa…

    have a nice weekend bro 🙂

  7. Ok bro,

    I pun cannot ‘carryla’ ur usage of malay. Very good tau!

    Can ‘terplecok’ my lidah.

    Anyway, I’ve changed URL!

  8. Hey Mr Celeb, my mom in law rindu rindu u serindu rindunya tau.
    How come you never call in to RIA anymore?
    Anyway here I am saying a big HELLLOOOooooooo!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: