How to deal with parents who smoke
Fatwa No: 218677

  • Fatwa Date:15-9-2013 - Thul-Qi'dah 11, 1434
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Question

How should we deal with smoking parents? To what extent can we go against them and limit their behavior? Sometimes it happens that either the father or mother (and sometimes both parents) smoke at home, which affects their children too. What can we do, if the mere exhortation is to no avail? Is it allowed to destroy the cigarettes secretly? Is it allowed, when somebody is still living with his/her parents, to throw them out of his own room due to their smoking or passive smoking and due to the fact that the smell of the smoke of the cigarettes gets on the clothes? What if someone is living alone or with his own family (married) and the parents come to a visit. Is it allowed to ask them to smoke outside the house or to completely forbid them smoking? Sometimes one loses his/her nerves and reacts a bit harsh towards the parents (due to the smoke smell), which might lead to a temporary improvement of the situation (they respect other persons more); but afterwards it is the same situation as in the beginning. How does one have to act and behave in such a situation, as we know that we are not allowed to raise our voices against our parents?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The right of parents is very great; so it is obligatory to observe dutifulness to them and deal with them in a good manner, whatever their conditions are. If one's parents are smokers, then it is obligatory upon him to advise them leniently, enjoin them  to do good and forbid them kindly from doing evil, avoiding any harsh words or rebuke.

Parents are not like others regarding enjoining good and forbidding evil, i.e. it is not permissible to offend them or raise one's voice over them, and thus, it is not permissible with a greater reason that one drives them out of the house or the room.

As for destroying cigarettes, it is permissible if this does not lead to a greater evil. If the parents insist on smoking, there is nothing wrong to ask them to do that outside the house or the room, but if they insist on doing that in the house, then the son should go outside until they finish smoking.

Finally, one should not despair of advising them leniently and politely along with supplicating Allah, The Almighty, for them.

Allah Knows best.

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