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Is Smoking Permitted? Is it a Munkar?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In the Reliance, Sh. Nuh translated a fatwa stating that smoking cigarettes is haram because it is like committing suicide on oneself due to the fact that doctors have come out and said that smoking does kill. What about smoking the Hookah (the smoking device found in most Arab countries)? Is there an opinion on that specifically? The Hookah has been around much longer than cigarettes and some classical scholars may have commented on it. I’m trying to understand if there is a difference between cigarettes and the hookah, either by the tobacco that’s being used, or how it works. Is it haram, makruh, etc to use such a device?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalaam,

Smoking is differed upon among scholars, and the ruling for hookahs follows that of smoking. The opinion mentioned in the Reliance is also taken by many major Hanafis in our times and in the past. This is certainly the more precautious opinion, and seems to make sense both socially and individually.

HOWEVER, other great scholars still hold that smoking is disliked and not impermissible. While one may not agree with them, their reasoning is has legal grounding and is certainly not baseless. Among such scholars are major Hanafis of India and Pakistan, who say that the actual act of smoking is disliked (makruh tanzihan) unless grave harm is feared from it in one’s specific case. They are well aware of the medical evidence, and take it into consideration in their ruling. I heard this opinion, for example, from Mufti Mahmoud Usmani (Allah preserve him), whose knowledge, wisdom and understanding where eye-opening.

NOW, one may not follow this opinion, but it opens a difference of opinion in the issue, which means that it is no longer obligatory for us as individuals to forbid the evil if one sees someone smoking, though, given one’s belief and the direction religious caution and worldly considerations point, it would be recommended and praiseworthy to advise such smokers to desist, out of nasiha.

May Allah guide us to the best of ways and manners, and grant us the success to follow His Beloved Prophet, for he who is like the beloved is beloved.

Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.