MARAWI CITY -- Maranao religious leaders or Ulama convened here on Thursday for a forum on cigarette smoking.

The Supreme Council of Darul Ifta of the Philippines recently released a Fatwa declaring tobacco or cigarette smoking "haram" or forbidden.

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The fatwa also prohibits the manufacturing and selling of tobacco or cigarette.

A fatwa is an Islamic ruling or a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law issued by a recognized religious authority called "Mufti".

Under the Islamic ruling, smoking cigarette is forbidden in the Sharia'h or Islamic Jurisprudence because of its being filthy, containing harmful chemicals.

"Almighty Allah has permitted only good things for His servants such as food, drinks and other lawful ones," the ruling stated.

According to the fatwa, smoking cigarette in all its form is prohibited because it does not belong to good things.

The fatwa further stated that Muslims should not do something that causes destruction to their body and that smoking is a form of destruction.

It was likewise proven from the Messenger of Allah that Almighty Allah forbids wasting money and "spending money in buying cigarette is wasting money."

Furthermore, scientific research showed that smoking cigarette is harmful to the body as well as to those people around the smoker.

"Harming is prohibited in the Sharia'h whether such harm is on oneself or other

people," the fatwa further stated. (PIA)