Monday, 31 October 2011

Ruling on smoking the argileh or shisha – and a discussion on its harmful effects


Is shisha [water pipe, also known as hookah or hubble-bubble] haraam? What if a person does not use any kind of tobacco; rather he uses rosewater? Is it still haraam?.

Praise be to Allaah.


There is no doubt that smoking is one of the worst poisons
that many people are very keen to consume, not caring about the diseases
that it causes, which lead to death in many cases. The World Health
Organisation stated, in its 2008 report, that smoking tobacco kills 5.4
million people every year, i.e., approximately 14,000 people every day.
Unless urgent measures are taken, tobacco will kill ten million people
annually by the year 2020. 

In the answer to questions no.
7432 and
10922, we have explained that
it is haraam to cultivate, deal in and consume this evil plant. 


The tobacco – as well as jiraak (something similar to
tobacco) and mu‘assal (mild, flavoured tobacco) – which are smoked in the
shisha are no different from regular cigarette tobacco that is rolled up in
papers; in fact it contains bad ingredients that are not found in
cigarettes. It says on the website of the Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society: 

Components of shisha: 

These components are no different from the components of
cigarette tobacco and its smoke, as it contains no less than four thousand
toxic substances, the most significant of which are: nicotine, carbon
monoxide, tar, heavy metals, radioactive substances, carcinogens,
agricultural chemicals, insecticides and many other toxic substances. 

Some tobacco companies claim that all or most of the tar is
removed from shisha tobacco. A number of flavouring substances, the
components of which are not known, are also added to shisha tobacco, the
extent of the harmful effects of which we do not know. What is said about
smoking by means of the shisha or narghileh with tobacco or jiraak or
mu‘assal being free of danger is not true at all. A four-year study in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proven that mu‘assal is in fact pure tobacco
with a large amount of dyes, colours and flavourings that have been mixed
without any attention to health regulations, and it proved that it causes
various kinds of disease and cancer. 

Jiraak contains 15% tobacco, mixed with honey, fruits and
chemical additives that are cooked and fermented. 

End quote. 


Some naive people think that consuming this plant by means of
the arghileh or shisha is permissible (halaal), because the smoke passes
through the water of the arghileh pipe. But this is far from correct.
Experts say: 

One session of smoking the
arghileh is equivalent to smoking at least ten cigarettes.

Partial burning of the mu‘assal
increases the toxic substances in the arghileh.

Use of the arghileh by a number
of people increases the transmission of contagious diseases between them.

Water does not filter out the
toxic carcinogenic substances contained in arghileh tobacco. 

On the website of the Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society it says: 

Many people believe that smoking shisha is less serious than
smoking cigarettes, because of the prevalent belief that when the smoke
passes through the water in the shisha pipe, it removes harmful substances
from the smoke and thus reduces the harm that results from smoking shisha.
The error of this notion has been proven by means of analysing the smoke
that comes out of the mouth of the shisha smoker, which has been shown to
contain the same harmful and carcinogenic substances that are present in
cigarette smoke. Studies have also proven that smoking shisha: 

Causes addiction

Reduces lung function and
causes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which limits the person’s ability
to engage in any physical exertion.

It leads to cancer of the lung,
mouth, oesophagus and stomach.

It leads to a high
concentration of carbon monoxide in the blood.

It leads to a decrease in
fertility in both males and females.

It contributes to an increase
in the spread of pulmonary tuberculosis in shisha users.

In women who smoke shisha
during pregnancy, it leads to lower birth weight in the foetus; it also
exposes the foetus to respiratory disease in the future or to sudden crib
death after birth.

Offensive odours are spread
when exhaling and on one’s clothing. And it has other effects such as making
the voice hoarse, causing reddening in the eyes, and leading to the
appearance of wrinkles in the skin and face, especially at an early age.

This is in addition to the fact
that smoking shisha is regarded as one of the primary contaminants of air in
homes and near coffee shops where there are a large number of smokers. 

End quote from the website. 

Hence the prohibition of using tobacco by means of the
arghileh or shisha is definite. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him)
was asked about the difference between smoking a regular, rolled-up
cigarette and smoking jiraak in the shisha and so on. 

The shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) responded by stating
that smoking is haraam, then he said: 

Once this is proven, it makes no difference whether it is
smoked in a regular cigarette or by some other means, such as this foul
shisha, and whether the tobacco is smoked in a pure form or mixed with other
things like the jiraak. It is still mixed an evil mix. Names do not change
facts; if something haraam is mixed with something else, it is still haraam.
In the hadeeth it says: “At the end of time there will be people who drink
alcohol and call it by some other name.”

Narrated by Ahmad; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
al-Saheehah, 414. 

Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

Shisha, narghileh and smoking are all evil actions and are
haraam, because of the harm they cause to one’s body and wealth. Allah, may
He be exalted, said, describing our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him): “he allows them as lawful At‑Tayyibaat (i.e. all good
and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and
prohibits them as unlawful Al‑Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as
regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)” [al-A‘raaf 7:157].
It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” So it is not
permissible to use these things or to sell them or to distribute them. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allah Aal al-Shaykh; Shaykh
‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan; Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan; Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,


With regard to your question about using shisha without
putting any tobacco and using only rosewater instead, this is something that
we do not know of and we cannot imagine that it exists. What is the
combustible substance? What are you going to inhale?  The ruling on a thing
is to be based on the way it is understood, so we hope that you will explain
this matter. 

And Allah knows best.


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