His non-Muslim driver smokes when driving him to the mosque
Fatwa No: 95992

  • Fatwa Date:20-5-2007 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 4, 1428
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Question

Assalamu aleikum I have a big problem. I am a teenager and cannot drive as yet since i'm underage. Our family employs a driver who is a non-muslim. Sometimes when i go to the masjid with this driver, while he parks the car and waits for me to finish salah and come, there is a little shop near the mosque , which probably sells cigarettes, he sits near that shop and smokes. I have noticed that this has now become a habit of his. It's not everytime i go to mosque that he does it(Allah knows best), i'v noticed it only during Asr Salah.I saw him doing it once and sometimes get the smell on the way back. I do not mean to expose his sin,May Allah Forgive me if i was wrong in telling you his sin.Was i wrong it exposing his sin to you? Now, i know i'm not responsible for his sins, but since he may be purchasing cigarettes and using them , while waiting for me to come from mosque, am i responsible? What should i do? I feel a bit reluctant to ask him not to smoke since he is much older than me and is a non-muslim.And also there is the whole human rights and freedom thing. What should i do? I cant drive until i turn 18 in about 4 months time. What should i do? Even after i warn him not to smoke, if he doesnt listen to me, then what should i do? Please advise me on this issue as soon as possible. Thank you. Assalamu aleikum.

Answer

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

 

First of all, we ask Allaah to protect your religion and increase your enthusiasm for doing good, and make you a youth who grows up on His Obedience.

You are not sinful for telling us that your driver smokes, because you told us this while seeking a Fatwa about the issue, and it is permissible to backbite a person for this reason. However, backbiting a non-Muslim who is not a Muhaarib (one who is in a state of war against Muslims) is forbidden in principle and many scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them issued a Fatwa to this effect. Moreover, you are not sinful when your driver smokes while waiting for you outside the mosque.

You should start by calling this person to Islam and encouraging him to become a Muslim before forbidding him from smoking, as he might embrace Islam and become a good Muslim, and so, he will abandon the prohibitions among which are cigarettes.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 86169, 84349 and 81589.

Finally, it should be noted that if your family can hire a Muslim driver then this is more appropriate as such a non-Muslim cannot be trusted and using him may be dangerous.

Allaah Knows best.

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