Muslim shops asked to stop selling tobacco
Muslim shop-owners are being asked to stop selling tobacco products for religious reasons.
The call has been made by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC). Several shop-owners have already acceded to the request, despite the fact that they are losing a small fortune.
Rosmead Supermarket in Claremont has lost R45 000 a month since it stopped selling cigarettes in June last year.
Rosmead director Yusuf Mohammat said that as researchers had proven that smoking was harmful, Muslims should comply with the MJC's call because according to the Qu'ran, it was a sin to do anything that harmed the body.
"Several Muslims in Claremont got together and we accepted that smoking is hazardous to your health and because we are religious we have no choice in the matter," he said.
MJC vice-president Igsaan Hendricks said it was in the best interests of the community that Rosmead and others stopped selling tobacco products. He said the council had a plan to eradicate the selling of tobacco products by Muslim-owned shops.
But Shahieda Marlie who runs a small shop in the Golden Acre said she was not prepared to stop the sale of cigarettes because that was where she made the most profit. She said she had the responsibility of providing for her family and if that meant sinning, then she was sure she would be forgiven.
Wembley group director Abdullah Gangraker said that they had not been approached by the MJC, but that they would stop selling tobacco products once they had been
consulted by the council.