Praise be to Allah.
Marriage is a step towards happiness in this world, but many people seek happiness in this transient world and forget about the Hereafter which is eternal, so when it comes to marriage they do not pay attention to that which Allaah has prescribed, and they only think of finding pleasure and satisfying desires, and they only pay attention to the beauty, status or wealth of the woman they seek, and in most cases that is at the expense of religious commitment.
We do not think that you are one of these people.
The Muslim needs someone who will make him steadfast and help him to be righteous and adhere to the path of good and obedience. The best help in all of that is a righteous wife, who will tell him to do good and forbid him to do evil.
The Muslim also needs a decent and righteous mother who will take care of his children and bring them up properly, and instil strong morals and good values in them, teaching them to submit fully to Allaah and to respect the religion of Allaah in their hearts and be motivated to adhere to the rulings of sharee’ah in their lives, so that they will attain the pleasure of Allaah in this world and in the Hereafter, and so that they will be beacons of goodness and righteousness in their societies.
This is what you should look for in the woman whom you seek as a wife and companion, and this is what you should pay attention to when proposing marriage.
Think about the situation of this girl to whom you want to propose marriage.
If you see in her what we have described, then she is the one you want, so make sure you do not miss this opportunity. The sign of that is that if you explain to her that smoking is haraam and that helping with it and working in companies that produce and market tobacco is haraam, she will respond to you and will give up her job willingly, rejoicing that Allaah has guided her and diverted her from haraam and impure earnings. We ask Alala to guide this young woman.
But if she rejects your advice and does not listen to the fatwas of the scholars which are virtually unanimous in stating that this obnoxious plant is haraam and that it is haraam to work in producing it, and she insists on staying in that haraam job and mixing with non-mahram men who share this sin with her, then we do not think that in that case you will see in her the good qualities that we spoke of, and you will realize that our advice will – inevitably – be to forget about this proposal and look for another opportunity that is based on obedience, piety and commitment, and to avoid speaking to this girl, and not try to get in touch with her, because speaking to women unnecessarily is haraam.
Working in factories and companies that produce tobacco and cigarettes is worse than actually smoking, because the producer of tobacco is a producer of evil and a source of evil and harm who is working to corrupt society by destroying the health and well being that Allaah has given to people. So he bears the burden of sin for all the harm and damage that spreads through society because of smoking, even if his work is in the accounting department, because the company is a single entity whose work is basically haraam, and every job that helps in something haraam is also haraam.
We look forward to the day on which the tobacco factories and companies will become idle, shunned by every Muslim who feels a sense of protective jealousy towards his religion, his own self and his society, and when he protects himself against being a source of destruction and corruption.
Try to advise this girl concerning this matter, and quote to her the fatwas which state that. Neither you nor she should seek that haraam provision, for Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, erases blessing from that which is haraam but He blesses that which is halaal. If she responds, then go ahead and marry her, otherwise Allaah will make everyone independent of means by His Bounty, and Allaah is Most Generous and Wise.
See also the answers to the following questions which explain the ruling on smoking and its seriousness: 9083, 10922, 13254 and 20757.
With regard to the qualities of the righteous wife, please see the answer to question no. 71255.
On our site there are many fatwas which state that it is haraam to work in anything that involves helping in evil and haraam. See for example no. 7432, 41105 and 49829.
For guidelines on women working, please see: 6666, 20140, 22397 and 33710.
And Allaah knows best.