Date : 24-08-2009

Question :

Recently, the ministry where I work has decided to disburse compensations for the tobacco farmers who were adversely affected ten years ago, so a committee, from amongst the employees, was formed to this end. It was also decided that members of the committee are to be granted a reward in appreciation of their efforts. The administration has also decided to add the names of distinguished employees to the reward list, although they weren`t members of the committee. Is the reward granted for working on compensating the tobacco farmers unlawful, and thus the money itself is ill-gotten? Also, is my receiving a reward for being a distinguished employee, although I wasn`t a member of that committee, lawful? This is knowing that I didn`t take a reward deserved by any other colleague nor was any of them displeased with that.


The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Tobacco is amongst the prohibited matters, as confirmed by many fatwas and resolutions of Islamic Fiqh Academies, because it does serious harm to the individual as well as the society. For example, Resolution No.(109)(2006) of the Jordan Iftaa` Council stated: "Fighting against smoking is an obligation and advertising for it is forbidden."


Since smoking is forbidden, then whatever helps in it is forbidden as well. This includes planting, manufacturing, selling, advertising and the like.


Instead of encouraging framers to grow tobacco and compensating  them for their losses, they should have been advised to quit planting tobacco in order to preserve the country and the society from its harms.


However, we  know that the state has compensated those farmers for abstaining from planting tobacco. If this is the case, then this is a grant from public money, which is permissible for them to take. Moreover, the employees who prepared the statements for those framers are allowed to receive a reward.


As for the other employees who didn`t take part in this task, they aren`t entitled to receive any reward for they have done nothing in this regard, even though they had delivered other tasks. And Allah the Almighty knows best.