Monday, June 7, 2021
Participating in the panel held on the occasion of “31 May – World No Tobacco Day,” President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş said, “We must fight against smoking altogether.”
Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş, the President of Religious Affairs, participated in the panel that was held on the occasion of "31 May – World No Tobacco Day."
Delivering a speech at the panel titled “The Importance of Cooperation Between Institutions in Fight Against Tobacco and Tobacco Products” that was organized at the University of Health Sciences on the occasion of "31 May – World No Tobacco Day," the President of Religious Affairs Erbaş thanked everyone who took an active role in the fight against tobacco.
Stating that over 100,000 people lose their lives each year in Turkey due to smoking, the President of Religious Affairs Erbaş said, “No disease or no event kills over 100,000 people annually in Turkey, but smoking does. In this regard, we must attach more importance to the fight against smoking.”
Stating that he has been fighting against smoking on every occasion since his youth, and that he has been working to keep his relatives and friends away from smoking, President Erbaş added that he organized a "Smoking Cessation Campaign" in the past, and that they hung the names of Turks who quit smoking on the wall of the mosque, and prayed for that person with the congregation after the Friday prayer. He also explained that many people tried to quit smoking and that more than 20 people gave up smoking with this method.
“Smoking is haram”
Explaining that the fight against smoking involves collective efforts, President Erbaş emphasized that there are religious, medical, and economic evidences that render smoking haram.
Drawing the attention to the fact that because it was widely known in the Muslim societies that alcohol was haram, it was used much rare than smoking, however, the same opinion was not established regarding smoking, President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“Alcohol is clearly forbidden in the Qur'an, it is clear that its derivatives are also forbidden by comparison. That is, the things that intoxicate a person are haram. These are explained by hadiths. In other words, even though the Holy Qur’an does not mention anything other than wine, Muslims unhesitatingly believe that other intoxicants are also haram by comparing it with wine. For this reason, we must persuade our people that smoking is also haram. On that account, I believe that this is the most important way in getting the believing societies quit smoking.
“Smoking harms religion, mind, life, property and generation”
The 184th fatwa in the book‘Fatwas’ published by our High Board of Religious Affairs comprises a phrase as follows: ‘People’s lives, minds, properties, generations and religion must be protected. This is called “al-Dharurat al-Khamsa that means the five things that need to be protected. It is fardh to protect these five things and everything that harms these five things is haram. Smoking harms religion, mind, life, property and generation. In other words, we are faced with a substance that harms all the five things that need to be protected.”
“In Turkey, 120 thousand people die every year as a consequence of smoking”
Drawing the attention to the fact that smoking kills 120 thousand people per year only in Turkey, President Erbaş said, “Smoking kills. Smoking harms not only our lives but also our properties, minds, generations and religion. It is harmful for al-Dharurat al-Khamsa.”
The President Erbaş emphasized that they, the Presidency of Religious Affairs, initiated a fight against smoking and would continue this fight in determination.
“People who are before the eyes of the community should be very attentive on this matter”
Stating that a unit should be established within the Ministry of National Education (MEB) and the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) in the fight against smoking, the President Erbaş noted as follows:
"What kind of precautions can we establish to prevent people from starting smoking in the first place, rather than convincing them to quit? This should be taught in schools. People who are role models and are before the eyes of the community should be much more attentive on this matter. Let me give the example from ourselves. An Imam who smokes cannot be effective on his community of 300-500 people, or however many people are in his community, at the point of persuading them to quit smoking. He is not supposed to smoke, and if he does, then, he needs to quit. How can a teacher say his or her students ‘do not start smoking’ or ‘quit smoking’?”