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This paan masala, gutka and tobacco is very harmful to the health…Is this gutka, paan, and tobacco still Makruh?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Asslamualikum. I understand that many Ulamaa have given the fatwa the “gutka”, paan with tobacco, chuna, khatta and other tobacco are Makruh. I have done some research that and there are some ingredients in these products that are very harmful to the health and could also be possibly regarded as haraam. I am writing out all of my research below.

I know that there are some natural ingredients in these products such as betel nuts, tobacco, lime and catechu, but these are also harmful. These are the products that are written on the ingredients label on the packet, but nobody there also other ingredients in there that the companies do not write on there.

One ingredient not written that the ghutka contains is Magnesium Carbonate. Magnesium Carbonate, if ingested, may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and gastrointestinal irritation. Ingestion of a large amount of magnesium salts may cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. More serious symptoms of hypomagnesaemia, such as electrolyte imbalance, central nervous system depression and neurological (brain) and cardiac (heart) impairment, are rare in the absence of intestinal or renal disease since magnesium is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and readily excreted by the kidneys.

Source: www.deq.state.mi.us

Another harmful ingredient not written is Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol. According to the University of Louisville , Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisville, KY , Phenyl ethyl alcohol is a compound that occurs naturally in flower petals and in many common beverages, such as beer.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Although Areca nut (supari) and betel nuts are natural but The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), these nuts are cancer causing and they are about to be put on a list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer. 

Source: www.oehha.org

Gutka, a cocktail of carcinogens contains many unhealthy addictives like magnesium carbonate, Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol along with harmful perfumery compounds like Musk Ketenes and other injurious fragrance compounds, which are not safe even in toiletries and is one of the major causes of Oral cancer.

Source: www.prweb.com/releases

“Oral fibrosis is spreading like a wild fire,” says Dr Prakash Gupta of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He has been investigating on the side-effects of paan masala for over two decades now. “Given the rate of spread of oral cancer, it will spread like a contagious disease in the near future,” he warns. The time taken by gutka is just half the time taken by cigarette to cause cancer, making people consuming paan masala more vulnerable to oral cancer.

“The chemicals that transform human body cells into cancer cells are present in 19 popular brands of paan masala/ gutka.”

Source: www.deccanherald.com

As you can see, this paan masala, gutka and tobacco is very harmful to the health. These sources, as you can see are mostly government sites and universities so this information cannot be made up or fictional. Besides, it is a waste of money and it causes a person to eat more and more. All of that money could go somewhere else, such as a poor family, etc. It also causes bad breath and horrible teeth.  My question is: Is this gutka, paan, and  tobacco still Makruh?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

It is clear that there is much harm in the use of the products.  All the experts are unanimous that those products are harmful to the body and cause cancer and therefore prohibited.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ (الاعراف)

And permits pure thing for them and forbids them from impure things. (Al-A’raaf – 157)

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ (النساء)

Do not kill yourselves (al-Nisa’-29)

وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ (البقرة)

And do not throw your own hands (do not lead yourselves) into destruction.


Haram and makrooh are different levels of prohibitions.  That does not make a difference from a practical point of view.  One has to abstain from haram as well as makrooh.

And Allah knows best


Ml. Ehzaz Ajmeri,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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