My uncle's gas station is one of the only gas stations that sells no pork and no alcohol, and no lottery tickets, (alhamdullilah). It is a very busy store, and I worked there for a couple of months, but I quit thinking because I assumed that the sale of tobacco was haram (forbidden). However, I need the money to support my family and buy a car, because my dad's budget can't get me a car, and I'm not old enough to legally work anywhere else (I'm 15). Is tobacco sale haram, and am I allowed to sell it if it's my only choice?
In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the merciful
Concerning what you asked:
Is tobacco sale haram?
The answer is that:
Buying, selling and using it, is not considered as a haram act by itself. But it would be counted as an impermissible practice to buy, sell or use it of it has a remarkable disadvantages for the person… (perhaps you’d consult to a credible doctor about that by paying attention from another aspect. Since actually it seems that it is not mentioned as a haram things directly, but its Horma (being haram) is related to the amount of its disadvantages if is remarkable or not.
But things such as hashish or opium are declared directly as haram things. Since apparently their remarkable disadvantages for the bodies are clearer.
On the other hand, about your last sentence as you asked:
and am I allowed to sell it if it's my only choice?
In case of supposing tobacco as a haram thing, then I think you cannot say “and am I allowed to sell it if it's my only choice?”, since your income could be haram too. So you have to choose another job even if its income in less than it. (If having halal income is important for you)
Buying, selling and using it is not considered as a haram act by itself. But it would be counted as impermissible practice to buy, sell or use it of it has a remarkable disadvantages for the person …
I appreciate your care for your family. Allah (Subhana-wa-Tala) will give you return on this. Dear brother sometimes the boundaries and limitations mean something that we do not know and only Allah knows.
May be Allah has given you/your family something that is more valuable than a Car. But you can still keep attempting to get enough money so you can give your Family an ease of life and a Car and a new home etc. But attempt in right way. It is clear that every suspecious way of earning money should be avoided at least your internal sole should be comfortable while doing that.
I am sorry to say but you are so young and yet learning and exploring the world and its complex systems. What if you get a car and it gets an accident and it takes a life loss to you? Will you afford?
You do not know the whole system that Allah controls. Maybe, people are coming to your store more because you have no Cigarette, Alcohol and what if people realize that you are no more following ethics right? And your sale goes down instead of increasing.
Do you like your child to have a Cigarette? Of course not :) If your store is selling Cigarette or Alhocol this is dangerious to others health atleast lungs Cancer. So you are spreading disease in society just for a Car? This is same society where you will marry and you will have kids. Now you have one store where there is not Cigarette or Alcohol but your children will not get this because you personally added a bad element in the society, you did not think to fight for good in the society, and be proud of, but you just preferred a Car or a new Home. You do not know whose life is left for how long. You are not allowed to work legally because society think that you should study and do as little work as possible because you are innocent and beautiful. And you are thinking to return society a wrong thing? :)
I appreciate what you Uncle did and doing. May Allah give him best return. My kid, do not do that. Please do good and first understand, study and learn the society. Every one of use gone very hard period, very hard period. Our family even gone through very hard period they lived in broken risky home for a long time. But we learn from their practices that only effort in right direction and for good. Never do something wrong only for your timely need. Sometimes it is very hard for a society to live in a high standard environment where every one has a bigger home and a great car. But its parents job to teach their kids rather than complaining of what they do not have. Because it forces kids to do something wrong which leads to no where good.
I really appreciate that you asked this before doing something wrong. Wish you and your family very good health and comfortable life in here and in here-after.