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What Is the Ruling on Tobacco Shisha and Nicotine/Tar Free Shisha?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain


What is the ruling on tobacco shisha and nicotine/tar free shisha? With the new form of just vapour for the pipe.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Allāh Ta’ālā commands us to, “Spend in the way of Allāh and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Indeed, Allāh loves those who do good.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 2:195] [1]

Smoking increases your risk of cancerheart disease and respiratory problems. This is true whether you smoke cigarettes, bidi (thin cigarettes of tobacco wrapped in brown tendu leaf) or shisha (also known as a water pipe or hookah). Like cigarette smoke, waterpipe smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.

A 2016 analysis of several studies suggested that during 1 session on a waterpipe a person can take in up to:

  • the same amount of tar as if they had smoked 25 cigarettes
  • the same amount of carbon monoxide as if they had smoked 11 cigarettes
  • the same amount of nicotine as if they had smoked 2 cigarettes [2]

These chemicals can make the walls of your arteries sticky, so fatty material can stick to them. If the arteries that carry blood to your heart get damaged and clogged, it can lead to a heart attack. If this happens in the arteries that carry blood to your brain it can lead to a stroke.

As a result, shisha smokers can be at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers.

Pregnant women can also be at risk of the same kinds of heart and circulatory diseases and may want to discuss the risks of smoking shisha or cigarettes during pregnancy with their healthcare provider before smoking.

Even if you use tobacco-free shisha, the smoke still produces harmful levels of toxins which can be either just as bad for you or even more harmful than smoke from tobacco-based shisha. [3]

Tobacco-free shisha like herbal/fruit shisha is not safe. Tobacco-free shisha still contains tar, high levels of carbon monoxide, and other toxic ingredients. [4]

The corresponding link provides a detailed comparison between tobacco shishas and tobacco-free ones. [5]

Based on the information above, it seems that both will fall under the same ruling without any differentiation in them due to both having harmful effects on the body. Due to the harm, they both have on the body, smoking Shisha/Hookah would be deemed Makrooh Tahrimi (meaning that it is heavily disliked and very close to being Haraam). If done on a regular basis then it would be Haraam. [Radd ul-Mahtaar; volume 10, page 40] [6]

It should also be clarified that going to Shisha lounges is without doubt Haraam as the entire environment there, what it promotes and also the intermingling which occurs therein as well as many other sins, is strictly forbidden.

Only Allāh Ta’ālā knows best.

Written by Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[1] وَأَنفِقُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تُلۡقُواْ بِأَيۡدِيكُمۡ إِلَى ٱلتَّهۡلُكَةِ وَأَحۡسِنُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ {

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/paan-bidi-and-shisha-risks/

[3] https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/smoking/shisha

[4] https://www.harrow.gov.uk/health-leisure/effects-smoking-shisha

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407543/

[6]يَدُلُّ عَلَيْهِ مَا فِي غَايَةِ الْبَيَانِ عَنْ شَرْحِ شَيْخِ الْإِسْلَامِ: أَكْلُ قَلِيلِ السَّقَمُونْيَا وَالْبَنْجِ مُبَاحٌ لِلتَّدَاوِي، مَا زَادَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ إذَا كَانَ يَقْتُلُ أَوْ يُذْهِبُ الْعَقْلَ حَرَامٌ اهـ فَهَذَا صَرِيحٌ فِيمَا قُلْنَاهُ مُؤَيِّدٌ لِمَا سَبَقَ بَحَثْنَاهُ مِنْ تَخْصِيصِ مَا مَرَّ مِنْ أَنَّ مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ حَرُمَ قَلِيلُهُ بِالْمَائِعَاتِ، وَهَكَذَا يَقُولُ فِي غَيْرِهِ مِنْ الْأَشْيَاءِ الْجَامِدَةِ الْمُضِرَّةِ فِي الْعَقْلِ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ، يَحْرُمُ تَنَاوُلُ الْقَدْرِ الْمُضِرِّ مِنْهَا دُونَ الْقَلِيلِ النَّافِعِ، لِأَنَّ حُرْمَتَهَا لَيْسَتْ لِعَيْنِهَا بَلْ لِضَرَرِهَا.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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