Whoever Guides towards Good Is Like the One Who Does It

Every science has its own men of expertise and scientists who represent it and carry it to other people. Those people are supposed to abide by its guidelines and practice its teachings, making a lot of acceptable behavior from others unacceptable from them.


An example is a Faqih (expert in Islamic Fiqh or jurisprudence), whose actions might be taken as a guide to indicate the legitimacy of what he does, and if the expert goes astray he also misleads many others.


By the same token, medicine has its experts and scientists who represent it and practice it in their actions and demeanor, inviting others to follow their beliefs and act as they preach, leading to a harmony between what they do, believe in and the way they act.


Every doctor is considered by people as a representative of medicine; they identify the science with the man and look up to the doctor as a role model concerning everything related to health, nutrition and treatment.


Based on this principle, smoking doctors in America became rare to find, as you can seldom find one doctor who smokes, and those who do choose to do so in solitude.


The relation between smoking and cancer has become a fact that goes without saying, it has been even discovered that the total number of mortalities from smoking is higher than that from car accidents, drugs, HIV and alcohol combined.


The National Cancer Institute published in its 1996 report some horrifying statistics, such as the fact that the rates of lung cancer among smokers are 2000% higher than in nonsmokers, knowing that lung cancer makes up the largest portion of cancer cases around the world. The report also mentioned that smoke contains more than 2000 chemicals, 60 of which are cancerous. Moreover, it was recently discovered that passive smoking increases the rates of developing lung cancer in 30-50%.


Based on this point, the majority of doctors in America gave up smoking during the late 80’s, and only a very small portion of them still smokes in solitude, ashamed and embarrassed by what they do; they know they are supposed to be role models for others and practice what they preach to their patients.

In our Arab world, however, a lot of doctors still smoke, and a lot of them do so in their clinic and see their patients while the smell of cigarettes smoke emanates from their offices and their clothes. How are these doctors supposed to be an example for their patients?


And if only things ended there! Some doctors enter into public places, showing no consideration to the harm they might impose on their companions even if they were the only smokers in the group. Some of them even argue and insist on smoking, come up with excuses and fail to apologize, and some find a way out to save their face – not minding the misleading information they give out to people – as to say that they smoke a pipe and that it is less harmful that smoking cigarettes; it is a misleading statement that is more wrong than right: while smoking pipe might decrease the chance to get lung cancer compared to cigarettes, it leads to higher rates in mouth and esophagus cancers.


It is a hard test to be in a position where one needs to be a good example then fails to live it to its requirements and abide by its etiquettes.


On the other hand, it is a great gift to be in a position of a role model and be enabled by God to be a leader and a guide to others.


It has been narrated that the prophet (PBUH) said “Whoever guides to a good deed will get rewards similar to the ones who perform it without taking away any of their rewards, and whoever guides to a bad deed gets a penalty similar to the ones who perform it without taking away any of their penalties,” the holy prophet was right.