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Which is a bigger sin, Smoking or Music?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

OK Burhan,

Heres a tough one.

Between smoking cigarettes & listening to music/songs , which is a bigger sin ?


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Which is a bigger sin, Smoking or Music?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


The truth of the matter is both, smoking and music, are displeasing to Allah. And whatever is displeasing to Allah Subhanah is a sin. Although neither smoking nor music are regarded as ‘kabaair’ (major sins) in Islam, they are still sins and one must strive to avoid both of them. There is an authentic narration where the Prophet of Allah (saws) said, that if one does a minor sin repeatedly, it takes the position of a major sin.


To directly answer your question of which sin is bigger, it is very difficult to determine between two minor sins, which one is bigger. For a believer, both should be considered as sins and he should strive hard and beg Allah to help him stay away from these sins. It is not that one has to choose one of the two minor sins and do the smaller one! Its best for the believer to stay away from all things that are displeasing to His Creator… major and minor!


Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 7 Surah Al-Ara’af verse 157: So, now Mercy has been assigned to those who follow this Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel. He (Mohamed (saws)) enjoins them to do good and forbids them for evil. He makes pure things ‘halaal’ for them and impure things ‘haraam’. He relieves them of their burdens and frees them from the shackles that they bound themselves with (of customs and pagan rituals).


Allah and His Messenger (saws) declared all the pure things ‘halaal’ for the believers, and the impure things ‘haraam’. If something harms the body or the soul, it will be considered impure and thus illegal in Islam. There is absolutely no doubt that cigarettes harm the body, and music harms the soul; thus both are forbidden to the believers.


Although cigarettes have not been specifically mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, the scholars are unanimous that cigarette smoking is detrimental to ones body (which has been given as a trust to the human being by Allah). And thus it is a sin to abuse anything which Allah has bestowed upon His slaves. Some scholars have even declared cigarette smoking ‘haraam’ in light of the Quran and Sunnah.


Music (string/blowing instrument music) has been specifically mentioned in the many ahaadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and has been termed the ‘handiwork of Shaitaan’. Music/songs that stir or arouse ones sexual desires or propagate shirk are absolutely illegal and forbidden in Islam.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


May Allah guide you and us all to the Straight Path of Islam.


Your Brother in Islam,









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