I had a conversation today with a friend who says he cannot fast in Ramadan because he is unable to abstain from smoking due to his strong addiction.
Then I remembered Gamal al-Banna's opinion that smoking does not break your fast.
Although it is an opinion that I don't completely agree with, I think it gives leeway to an option that avoids an all-or-nothing approach in favor of a do-what-you-can approach.
It's is better to bend than to break is my principle. If I were my smoking friend and it was extremely difficult for me to abstain from smoking, I would fast during Ramadan by abstaining from all food and drink, except smoking. Isn't that better than not fasting at all?
Many people will say, "Allah will not accept your fast, so you shouldn't even bother," but how do they know? We can choose to view God as caring and benevolent or rigid and mean. I prefer to view Him as Caring and Benevolent.
After all, there is no mention in the Quran of a punishment for those who don't fast in Ramadan, yet there are caring and considerate ayahs regarding fasting that say "Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire for you difficulty" (2:185) and "It is better for you that you fast, if ye only knew." (2:184)