How smoking causes cancer

How smoking causes cancer

 

Butted out cigarette

Smoking is by far the biggest preventable cause of cancer. Thanks to years of research, the links between smoking and cancer are now very clear. Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases.

The good news is that many of these deaths are preventable, by giving up smoking. Speak to your GP or pharmacist, or visit the NHS Smokefree(link is external) pages for free advice and support to give you the best possible chance of quitting.

Which cancers are caused by smoking?

Chemicals in cigarette smoke enter our blood stream and can then affect the entire body. This is why smoking causes so many diseases, including at least 14 types of cancer, heart disease and various lung diseases.

cancers caused by smoking

Smoking causes more than 4 in 5 cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers, and is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

Smoking also increases the risk of at least 13 other cancers including cancers of the mouth,  pharynx (upper throat), nose and sinuses, larynx (voice box), oesophagus (gullet or food pipe), liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bowel, ovary, bladder, cervix, and some types of leukaemia Smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer, but any increase in risk is likely to be small.

More information about different cancer types.

What influences the risk of cancer from smoking?

Smokers have a much higher risk of lung cancer than non-smokers, whatever type of cigarette they smoke. There’s no such thing as a safe way to use tobacco.

Filters and low-tar cigarettes make little difference – your lung cancer risk is not lower compared to smokers of average cigarettes. This may be because smokers tend to change the way they smoke in order to satisfy their nicotine craving, for example by taking bigger puffs or smoking more cigarettes.

The more cigarettes you smoke a day, the higher your risk of cancer. If you aren’t able to quit completely, cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke a day can be a good first step. Even light or social smoking can harm your health so keep trying to stop entirely.

Scientists have found that the number of years you spend smoking affects your cancer risk even more strongly than the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. For example, smoking one pack a day for 40 years is even more dangerous than smoking two packs a day for 20 years.

The serious damaging effects of smoking cannot be cancelled out by leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle, like keeping fit and eating healthily. The best way to reduce your risk is to give up smoking completely(link is external).

How does smoking cause cancer?

The main way that smoking causes cancer is by damaging our DNA, including key genes that protect us against cancer. Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage, including benzene, polonium-210, benzo(a)pyrene and nitrosamines.

This is already bad news, but it’s made worse by other chemicals in cigarettes. For example chromium makes poisons like benzo(a)pyrene stick more strongly to DNA, increasing the chances of serious damage. And chemicals like arsenic and nickel interfere with pathways for repairing damaged DNA. This makes it even more likely that damaged cells will eventually turn cancerous.

Smokers are also less able to handle toxic chemicals than those with healthy lungs and blood. Chemicals in cigarette smoke make it harder for smokers to neutralise or remove toxins, and can make their immune systems less effective too.

How long does it take for smoking to cause cancer?

It usually takes many years, or decades, for the DNA damage from smoking to cause cancer. Our bodies are designed to deal with a bit of damage but it’s hard for the body to cope with the number of harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke. Each cigarette can damage DNA in many lung cells, but it is the build up of damage in the same cell that can lead to cancer. However research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous. This is why it’s better to give up smoking sooner rather than later.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer/how-to-stop-smoking

 

Breathing in other people’s smoke, also called second-hand smoke, can cause cancer. Passive smoking can increase a non-smoker’s risk of getting lung cancer by a quarter, and may also increase the risk of cancers of the larynx (voice box) and pharynx (upper throat).

Second-hand smoke can cause other health problems too. Every year, second-hand smoke kills thousands of people in the UK from lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and the lung disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

How does second-hand smoke affect children?

Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children. Children exposed to passive smoke are at higher risk of respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death. Second-hand smoke has been linked to around 165,000 new cases of disease among children in the UK each year.

For children, the majority of exposure to second-hand smoke happens in the home. Smoke can spread throughout the home, even if you open the windows. Almost 85 percent of tobacco smoke is invisible and smoke particles might also build up on surfaces and clothes, although the impact of this is not yet clear. If you are a smoker, smoking outside can help reduce your child’s exposure.

Is smoking in cars bad for passengers’ health?

Second-hand smoke can reach very high levels inside cars because it is a small enclosed space.

During your journey, children in the backseat will be exposed to average smoke levels around three times the European recommended air pollution limit. But the level varies depending on how much you smoke, if you have all the windows fully open or air con on. Peak levels can reach as much as 35 times this limit.

Since 1 October 2015 it has been an offence to smoke in a vehicle carrying anyone under the age of 18 in England(link is external) and in Wales(link is external).

Does second-hand smoke contain dangerous chemicals?

There are 2 types of tobacco smoke:

  • Mainstream smoke, which is directly inhaled through the mouth end of the cigarette
  • Sidestream smoke, which comes from the burning tip of the cigarette

Second-hand smoke is made up of sidestream smoke and exhaled mainstream smoke, mixed with the surrounding air.

Sidestream smoke is about 4 times more toxic than mainstream smoke, although people inhale it in a more diluted form. This is because sidestream smoke contains much higher levels of many of the poisons and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes, including:

  • At least 3 times as much carbon monoxide
  • 10-30 times more nitrosamines
  • Between 15–300 times more ammonia

What’s in a cigarette?

 

You may think a cigarette is just tobacco wrapped in paper, but it’s much more than that. When a cigarette burns it releases a dangerous cocktail of over 5,000 different chemicals. Many of these chemicals are poisonous and more than 70 may cause cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). And it’s not just the smoker who is exposed to these chemicals, because there are also high levels in the smoke coming off the tip of a cigarette while it burns. So anyone around the smoker breathes them in as well.

This page has information on some of the poisons in cigarette smoke that we know are linked to cancer. To learn more about the impact of these chemicals in the body, see our How smoking causes cancer page.

Chemicals can get into cigarettes in different ways. Some are found naturally in the tobacco plant, some are absorbed by the plant from the soil, air or fertilisers, and some are formed when tobacco leaves are processed or are added by the tobacco industry. Others form when a cigarette burns, so are only present in the smoke coming off a cigarette.

What's in a cigarette?

Many of the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and cigarette smoke have other suprising uses too:

  • Benzene – an industrial solvent, refined from crude oil
  • Arsenic – a poison, used in wood preservatives
  • Cadmium and lead – used in batteries
  • Formaldehyde – used in mortuaries and paint manufacturing
  • Polonium-210 – a highly radioactive element
  • Chromium – used to manufacture dye, paints and alloys
  • 1,3-Butadiene – used in rubber manufacturing
  • Nickel – used to protect metals from corrosion
  • Vinyl chloride – used to produce plastic and vinyl products
  • Beryllium – used in nuclear reactors
  • Ethylene oxide – a disinfectant used to sterilise hospital equipment
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – a group of dangerous DNA-damaging chemicals, including benzo(a)pyrene
  • Ortho-Toluidine – used in the production of weedkillers
  • 4-aminobiphenyl and 2-naphthyl-amine – used in dye manufacturing until it was banned in the EU

And then there are tobacco-specific nitrosamines – a group of cancer-causing chemicals only found in tobacco.

This cocktail of chemicals is why there is no safe way to use tobacco and the best thing a smoker can do for their health is to stop smoking completely.

The free Stop Smoking Services help thousands of people quit every year, so if you are looking for the best possible chance of success, talk to your doctor or pharmacist or visit NHS Smokefree(link is external).

Shisha and other types of tobacco

 

paan with tobacco

Tobacco can be used in many different forms – but all are linked to cancer. There is no safe way to use tobacco.

Other tobacco products aren’t safer than cigarettes

Tobacco can be used in many different forms – but all are linked to cancer. There is no safe way to use tobacco.

  • Cigars and pipes are known to increase the risk of many cancer types including lung, mouth and upper throat, food pipe (oesophagus), voice box (larynx) and stomach. Smoking these products is just as bad for you as smoking cigarettes.
  • Roll-up tobacco contains the same cancer-causing chemicals as manufactured cigarettes. Roll-up cigarettes aren’t any safer than regular cigarettes
  • Smoking bidis, the most common form of tobacco in South Asian communities, also causes the same types of cancer as other tobacco products such as cigars.

Does smokeless tobacco increase cancer risk?

Smokeless tobacco includes a wide variety of products which can be used in different ways, chewed (‘dry chewing tobacco’), sucked (‘moist oral tobacco’) or inhaled (‘nasal snuff’). Scientists have shown that many forms of smokeless tobacco increase your risk of mouth, oesophageal (food pipe) and pancreatic cancers.

Most smokeless tobacco products in the UK are used by South Asian communities. In these communities, dry chewing tobacco is often used as part of a ‘betel quid’ or ‘paan’. These consist of a mixture of betel nut (or areca nut), slaked lime and various herbs and spices, wrapped in a betel leaf.

Betel nut itself can cause cancer, so chewing betel quids can cause mouth cancer even if no tobacco is added.

Most types of smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 different chemicals that can cause cancer. Smokeless tobacco users can be exposed to similar, if not higher, levels of cancer-causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) and nicotine than cigarette smokers. So, like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco is both dangerous and highly addictive.

Does shisha increase cancer risk?

Many people think shisha is harmless but this is not the case – shisha contains tobacco. Shisha, also called hookah or waterpipe, smokers inhale flavoured tobacco through a long pipe attached to a water bowl. Shisha smokers still inhale toxic cancer-causing chemicals and addictive nicotine.

A shisha pipe

Unlike cigarettes, shisha is burnt using charcoal so users can also be exposed to dangerously high levels of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide. Levels of carbon monoxide in the body from smoking shisha can be up to 17 times higher than from cigarettes and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Looking at all the evidence together suggests that smoking shisha could at least double your risk of lung cancer and may be linked to some other cancer types.

Does snus increase cancer risk?

Snus is a special type of smokeless tobacco that is used in Sweden. It is banned in most other countries in the EU. Snus is manufactured using a special process that considerably lowers the levels of TSNAs in the finished product. Because of this, snus may be less dangerous than other types of tobacco.

But it still contains these cancer-causing chemicals at a low level. Snus use has been linked to pancreatic cancer, but not mouth or lung cancer.

It is possible that snus could be used specifically to help hardcore smokers, who are unlikely to quit through other means, to stop smoking altogether. But so far the evidence is uncertain and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that smokeless tobacco should not be recommended for quitting smoking.

 

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer/smoking-facts-and-evidence

Friends


Friends

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

It is very important for every Muslim to make sure that his choice of friends and the company he keeps is correct. It has been proven through experience that the habits and behaviour of friends and associates slowly enter into an individual. Without realising, a person begins to adopt the style and behaviour of his friends. We are all witnesses to this fact. Sadly, I can recall many incidents where those who were pious, religious and good in character lost all of their good qualities because they kept bad company and associated with an inappropriate circle of friends. I have also seen others who were drowning in sins and evil, who underwent a complete revolution in their lives after adopting the company of a pious person of high moral standards. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam advised,

A person is on the way of his friend. Therefore he should think very carefully whom he is making a friend. (At-Tirmidhī, Abū Dāwūd, Ahmad)

Sincere Friends

We need friends who are sincere, genuine and, true in their friendship. Those who care for our well-being from every aspect are true friends. Those who have concern not only for the needs of this temporary life but also for the requirements of our everlasting life are our real friends.

Allāh is Sufficient for Love

There is only one Supreme Being Who is worthy of ‘true’ love and friendship and this is Allāh ta‘ālā. For love and friendship, He alone is enough. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam commented,

If I were to take a khalīl (intimate friend) other than my Lord, I would have taken Abū Bakr. (Al-Bukhārī) 

Here, despite such close ties and such a strong bond of friendship with Sayyidunā Abū Bakr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam explains that the highest level of intimacy is reserved only for Allāh ta‘ālā. However, when one becomes engrossed in Divine love and then in the light of this love, one befriends and loves somebody, then inshā’allāh this form of friendship will prove beneficial in both worlds.

This is an extract from the booklet ‘Friendship & our Young Generation’
 published by the Islāmic Da’wah Academy

Madrasah: An Asset for Us All


29th Rabi’ul Akhir 1437 AH ~ Monday 8th February 2016

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The UK’s Muslim community is no different from other communities in that they too desire peace, security and harmony in our country. When appropriate measures are put in place to achieve this they also welcome them, so that people of all communities can live together in peace and harmony without fear and suspicion. 

A recent Government initiative calls for the regulation of all supplementary schools that offer intensive courses, which is likely to significantly impact Muslim supplementary schools known as madāris (plural of madrasah). A natural reaction is to consider whether the proposed measures are justified. 

Any violence in the name of religion and the advocacy of such actions, is something which no doubt needs to be tackled. Any individual institute where activities threatening the security and social cohesion of our country are taking place should be held accountable. However, in the absence of clear evidence a wholesale attempt to accuse the madāris of being the issue and to propose remedies to address a perceived systemic problem, has the potential to lead to adverse outcomes. It may marginalise the very community the Government is seeking to engage. Therefore, it is imperative that the institution of madrasah in the UK is properly understood on the basis of evidence and facts, and not hearsay, suspicion or by adopting sweeping generalisations.

Many fellow citizens will have heard the term ‘madrasah’ for the first time in their lives in the context of the Prime Minister’s recent speech, and so regrettably may have formed a negative impression of this core institution of the Muslim community. The truth is that the madrasah in the UK is not an alarming new trend, but is as old as the Muslim community itself. It has been a strong positive influence on the moral, educational and social development of young British Muslims for decades, long before the modern phenomenon of extremism became an issue. If madāris were breeding grounds of hate and intolerance, surely the negative outcomes would have manifested in our society a long time ago. On the contrary, the authentic religious education and sound guidance of the madrasah have always helped young Muslims to understand their peace loving religion and so reject every type of hate and extremism.

Furthermore, the key Prophetic teachings of sidq (truth) and amānah (trust) form the basis of how Muslims must interact with others, and this teaching takes on even greater significance in a religious setting like the management of madāris. Where there is sidq there will surely be transparency, and where there is amānah, the law of the land will definitely be respected. Therefore, it is difficult to envisage madāris violating the law or being anything but transparent. 

The benefits madāris bring to Muslims and the wider society cannot be overemphasised. They are a priceless treasure worth preserving, not a threat that needs curtailing. Below is an extract from a previous article entitled The Legacy of the Madrasah (Dec 2006), in which I attempted to highlight some of the ways in which the madrasah is a blessing for us all:

The madrasah is not an insignificant institute. The flame of Īmān (faith) is first kindled in the madrasah. The light of Īmān first permeates the heart of a Muslim child in this environment. It teaches our young children moral values.

It is in the madrasah where we learned that to lie is a very great evil and that we should always speak the truth. It warned us against the use of bad language and that stealing, cheating and oppressing people are wrong. The madrasah taught us not to be a thorn in the side of our parents and to care for the elderly, orphans and widows. It was in the madrasah that we learned that we should be kind to our neighbours, be they Muslim or non-Muslim.

The madrasah even taught us things that we do as adults without paying attention to them, like the simple yet rewarding act of removing an obstacle from a path. The good morals and character we take credit for as adults were acquired through the madrasah. All the teachings we are familiar with and today practice in our lives spring from there. By taking stock of every good deed we are performing and every evil that we detest and avoid, we will be witnessing the legacy of the period of our lives between the age of four or five up to thirteen or fourteen: the years spent in the madrasah.

Madāris Benefit the Nation

The madrasah not only brings our children benefits in relation to the hereafter, it also provides them goodness in this world. Parents too, receive worldly gain: a child that spent its time well at madrasah will become a means of comfort and joy for its parents. The madrasah is a boon for the country as well because it produces good citizens, regardless of whether it operates in an Islamic country or a secular state. At madrasah, children are taught to respect the rights of all people and are warned against involvement in drugs, alcohol, theft, vandalism and all types of antisocial behaviour. It contributes towards a socially cohesive society and is a great blessing for humanity as a whole. 

Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam came into this world as a mercy and all his teachings are full of mercy. What is taught in the madrasah is what the Prophet Muhammad s taught. His life, his character, his dealings – they all form the basis of what our children learn. Every child who attends a madrasah becomes familiar with these Prophetic teachings and is equipped to go on to embody them and serve humanity and work for its betterment. 

During these times it is even more important that madāris are safeguarded and this precious institution is not lost due to misunderstanding or negligence. I also wish to draw the attention of madāris towards some beneficial suggestions:

1. Focus on the maqsad (objective) of the establishment of the madrasah, which is ta‘līm (religious education) and tarbiyah (spiritual and religious nurturing / character building). Every institute should endeavour to continually improve standards to the best of their ability. Careful consideration should be given to both, the content of the syllabus and wholehearted effort on tarbiyah.

2. Ensure compliance with all statutory requirements and that no regulation is overlooked. Negligence in this regard will not only make the institute accountable to the law, but will also render the institute as acting contrary to the very teachings it seeks to impart.

3. Liaise, interact, engage and share ideas and good practices with other madāris to benefit from each other. If a meeting forum for madāris is set up in every area, it would bring many benefits such as: 

  • Madāris will be able to compliment and support each other;
  • The Principals and Head-teachers understand the purpose, goal and the function of the madrasah more than anyone else and are sentimentally attached to the madrasah. Therefore, a forum will strengthen their efforts and striving for the safeguarding and promotion of these institutions; and
  • The authorities will also benefit as they will get direct exposure to those running the madāris, which will help to bridge gaps. Those running madāris will be able to directly explain their concerns and desires without third parties getting involved, resulting in more transparency and better understanding.

In future these forums can create a national network and as a result every madrasah will be able to benefit and enhance itself on all levels of ta‘līm, tarbiyah and general standards of quality and practice Inshā’allāh. 

May Allāh ta‘ālā safeguard the institution of the madrasah and bless it with continued acceptance, as a means of cultivating young Muslims into becoming assets for their parents, communities and our country. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 1, Jan 2016)


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The Legacy of the Madrasah

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Our children attend madrasahs every evening, yet we as their parents do not attach much significance to them, regarding them merely as places that look after the ummah’s infants. We hold them on a par with nurseries, as places of elementary learning. We should realise though, that as long as we fail to attach importance to them, we will remain ignorant of our children’s development and progress.

The Madrasah’s Legacy

The madrasah is not an insignificant institute. The flame of Īmān (faith) is first kindled in the madrasah. The light of Īmān first permeates the heart of a Muslim child in this environment. It teaches our young children moral values.

It is in the madrasah where we learned that to lie is a very great evil and that we should always speak the truth. It warned us against the use of bad language and that stealing, cheating and oppressing people are wrong. The madrasah taught us not to be a thorn in the side of our parents and to care for the elderly, orphans and widows. It was in the madrasah that we learned that we should be kind to our neighbours, be they Muslim or non-Muslim.

The madrasah even taught us things that we do as adults without paying attention to them, like the simple yet rewarding act of removing an obstacle from a path. The good morals and character we take credit for as adults were acquired through the madrasah. All the teachings we are familiar with and today practice in our lives spring from there. By taking stock of every good deed we are performing and every evil that we detest and avoid, we will be witnessing the legacy of the period of our lives between the age of four or five up to thirteen or fourteen: the years spent in the madrasah.

Madāris Benefit the Nation

The madrasah not only brings our children benefits in relation to the hereafter, it also provides them goodness in this world. Parents too, receive worldly gain: a child that spent its time well at madrasah will become a means of comfort and joy for its parents. The madrasah is a boon for the country as well because it produces good citizens, regardless of whether it operates in an Islamic country or a secular state. At madrasah, children are taught to respect the rights of all people and are warned against involvement in drugs, alcohol, theft, vandalism and all types of antisocial behaviour. It contributes towards a socially cohesive society and is a great blessing for humanity as a whole.   

Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam came into this world as a mercy and all his teachings are full of mercy. What is taught in the madrasah is what the Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam taught. His life, his character, his dealings – they all form the basis of what our children learn. Every child who attends a madrasah becomes familiar with these Prophetic teachings and is equipped to go on to embody them and serve humanity and work for its betterment.

Parents’ Responsibilities Towards their Children

In order for a child to get the most out of his/her madrasah education, parents need to work in partnership with the madrasah. Parents should not hand over their children to the madrasah and feel that they have fulfilled their share of educational responsibility. Some parents are content with just enrolling their children in any madrasah, but even those that take the time to find one that offers the best ta‘līm (education) and tarbiyah (upbringing) should not feel that after enrolling their child their duty has ended.

It is the parents who will be questioned by Allāh ta‘ālā about their children’s education. If the teachers, principal or the management committee failed in fulfilling their responsibilities, they will also be held accountable for their actions, but the parents will be questioned and held primarily responsible for any negligence regarding their children.

Allāh ta‘ālā will demand the answers to two questions from every parent concerning their child: what ‘ilm (sacred knowledge) did they give him and what ādāb (good manners/social etiquettes) did they teach him? Each mother and father will have to answer for each one of their children. And at that moment, no parent will be able to blame the child’s teacher or madrasah chairman.

It is the parents’ duty to give the correct ta‘līm and tarbiyah to their children. They cannot exonerate themselves from it. In light of this, the parents have to keep a close watch on the performance of their children. In the case of a madrasah not fulfilling its responsibility of educating and nurturing their children, parents should voice their concerns. And if the parents’ concerns are not addressed adequately then they should remove their child and enrol him or her in another madrasah. It is just like when a child becomes sick and we take him to a doctor; we check the progress of the child and if we feel he is not receiving adequate treatment, we talk to the doctor. If, after a couple of such discussions, the condition persists and it seems pointless talking to the doctor any further, we look for a better doctor. Just as the parents are responsible for their child’s physical treatment, they must shoulder the responsibility of their religious upbringing and education too.

Partnership Between Parents and the Madrasah

Parents should also cooperate with the madrasah and try to understand its aims and objectives. If a madrasah emphasises punctuality and regular attendance, with few breaks in between, parents should cooperate. For instance, if the board of scholars or committee of a particular madrasah consider it necessary to decrease holidays to allow enough hours to complete the curriculum, parents should ensure the attendance of their child. The people responsible are aware that if they allow longer holidays, the end result will be academic, religious and social underachievement. Therefore parents should cooperate with the madrasah; a vast amount of time and effort is spent in deciding what is best for our children.

Being involved with both the madrasah and dārul ‘ulūm educational systems, I am of the opinion that it is the madrasah more than the dārul ‘ulūm that is of crucial importance to the Muslim community, since ninety percent of Muslim children will pass through it. Not every Muslim child will participate in tablīgh jamā‘ah, associate himself to a shaykh for spiritual guidance, sit in the company of the ‘ulamā or pursue studies at a dārul ‘ulūm. However, nearly every child will study at a madrasah. This fact is enough for us to understand the primary importance of the madrasah system in educating our children to become good Muslims who will serve as role models for our society.

Therefore we all must work together: the principal, the teachers and the parents. Cooperation will enable us to build a secure future for our coming generations, in which the masājid will continue to be attended, the Dīnī environment we take for granted now will be maintained and society at large will continue to benefit from good citizens. Our children are the future. May Allāh ta‘ālā assist, bless and guide us in this noble task. Āmīn.

Taken from Riyādul Jannah, Vol. 15 No. 12, Dec 2006

© Islāmic Da’wah Academy


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Hey Mr?! Don’t step the line…

fine lne

There is a fine line between being nosy and trying to help out.

There is a fine line between being arrogant and being confident.

There is a fine line between being obnoxious and being bold or brave.

There is a fine line between being argumentative and speaking up (haqq).

There is a fine line between being passive or apathetic and being merciful.

There is a fine line between flirting and being polite.

There is a fine line between being two-faced and trying to compromise between two parties.

There is a fine line between treating your religion as a buffet (pick and choose) and having true spirituality and religiosity.

There is a fine line between being hypocritical and being sweet with someone (on their face).

There is a fine line between simply being a coward (afraid to say the truth) and using Hikmah (to avoid a worse situation).

There is a fine line between bribing someone and being generous.

There is a fine line between complaining, moaning or whinging and constructively criticising.

There is a fine line between being negative and being a realist (perhaps the reality is negative).

There is a fine line between free speech and free hate; one encourages debate whilst the other incites hatred and violence.

And finally, (lol) …There is a fine line between putting making up on and looking as though you had a fight with Crayola!

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia

(One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness and Pleasure and Mercy).

8 Rabiul Thani 1437

Spending to Success

by Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

Sadaqah does not decrease wealth. (Muslim)

We learn from this hadīth that no one will ever suffer financial loss due to spending in the path of Allāh ta’ālā. This principle is absolute. Financial experts and economists may not agree, but the words of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam can never be wrong. The intellect says that spending, whether in sadaqah or for worldly matters, decreases one’s wealth. It calculates that someone with £1,000 who spends £100 on helping an orphan or widow, or on building a masjid, will be left with £900, so spending decreases wealth. However, sadaqah does not decrease wealth, and the thought that it does comes from Shaytān, and is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.

Shaytān’s Promise

This ploy of Shaytān has been described in the Qur’ān:

 

Shaytān promises you poverty, and commands you to indecency… (2:268)

When dealing with people who are not particularly religious, Shaytān scares them with the threat of poverty and tries to persuade them not to spend in the path of Allāh ta’ālā at all. The approach he takes with religious people is to persuade them to spend only what is obligatory, arguing that anything beyond that would lead to poverty. He asserts that zakāh, which is fard, is already a drain on resources, so giving voluntary sadaqah will only incur a further decrease in wealth. Furthermore, he reminds them of their other religious financial obligations, like spending on their families etc. in an attempt to discourage them from spending voluntarily in the path of Allāh ta’ālā.

Shaytān will exert his energies to stop a person spending a mere £5 towards the construction of a masjid, scaring him with thoughts of poverty, yet he will allow the same individual to happily squander £50 in the marketplace, as he has no interest in preventing him from doing so. He stops believers spending in ways that bring the pleasure of Allāh ta’ālā, and encourages them to indulge in isrāf – being extravagant and wasteful with money – as it brings the displeasure of Allāh ta’ālā.

It is therefore essential that we do muhāsabah (self assessment) at every step in case our approach to spending is actually lowering our value in the eyes of Allāh ta’ālā, curbing our spiritual and religious progress and pleasing Shaytān.

Allāh ta’ālā’s Promise

…And Allāh promises you forgiveness from Himself and Abundance; and Allāh is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (2:268)

While Shaytān promises only one thing, poverty, Allāh ta’ālā promises two: forgiveness and an increase in wealth. The first of these is a blessing that secures success in the hereafter, and the second brings ease in the world.

If £1 is spent in the path of Allāh ta’ālā, the minimum He will give in return to the giver is £10, a tenfold increase. Thereafter, Allāh ta’ālā increases the return by whatever multiple he wishes, up to seven hundred times and beyond, depending on the level of sincerity with which sadaqah is given and the difficulties borne by the giver. Someone who only has £100 and gives £1 makes a bigger sacrifice than someone who has £1,000 and spends £1; if the latter is rewarded tenfold with £10, the former will be rewarded with even more.

The Return on Sadaqah

In fact, Allāh ta’ālā has appointed an angel who supplicates night and day:

O Allāh, bestow a [good] return on the spender. (Al-Bukhārī)

The manner in which Allāh ta’ālā, through His wisdom, gives this return can take a number of forms:

  1. Allāh ta’ālā rewards the giver with an actual increase in wealth, either straight away or after some time.
  2. When someone who is well-off spends in sadaqah, Allāh ta’ālā may not give the return to him, but instead He may give it to a needy member of his offspring in the future.
  3. By giving sadaqah Allāh ta’ālā protects the giver’s remaining wealth from future loss, and this is a return in itself. For example, a person was going to suffer a loss of £1,000, but by giving £200 sadaqah he is protected from that loss. He has, in effect, been given £800.

Become a Skilled Spender

Moreover, Allāh ta’ālā will reward the person in the hereafter too and will multiply his reward according to the same principles mentioned above, i.e. if a person spends £1 , Allāh ta’ālā will reward him for spending at least £10, and thereafter more according the level of sincerity and sacrifice.

Allāh ta’ālā uses a beautiful example to illustrate how He multiplies the reward for spending in His path:

The example of those who spend in the way of Allāh is just like a grain that produced seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains; and Allāh multiplies [the reward further] for whom He wills. Allāh is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (2:261)

Allāh ta’ālā compares the reward of spending in His path to planting a single grain, which produces a plant bearing seven hundred grains. Allāh ta’ālā repays a person who spends with sincerity in His path and patiently bears any difficulties involved, by giving a reward in the hereafter equal to having spent seven hundred times the amount that was actually spent. Further, at a time of His choosing He rewards the giver with seven hundred times the original amount in this very world. And that is not all: Allāh ta’ālā gives even more when He wills.

Allāh ta’ālā’s use of a similitude in this verse, instead of just saying that He will give a seven-hundred-fold reward, provides us with a number of important lessons related to spending in the path of Allāh ta’ālā:

  1. A seed will only germinate and grow if the ground it is sown in is fertile. Similarly, sadaqah will only produce reward and an increase in wealth if it is spent on a proper and deserving cause.
  2. The seed must not be rotten but must be healthy and sound. Similarly, the wealth given in sadaqah must not be harām, but must have been acquired by halāl means.
  3. The person sowing the seed must be proficient in planting. He must know how to plough the ground, how deep to sow the seed, how to water it etc. Similarly, the person giving sadaqah must be proficient in the masā’il related to spending.

So sadaqah will only produce a seven-hundred-fold harvest when the ‘ground’ and the ‘seed’ are sound and the giver is a competent ‘farmer’. And it is only then that sadaqah will be a true investment for the future.

May Allāh ta’ālā grant us all the ability to spend in His path and earn the vast rewards He has promised in both worlds. Āmīn.