Question # 442: Is doing hookah is haraam allowed or disliked etc and also selling hookah allowed?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Smoking tobacco and Hookah (Shisha, Hubble-Bubble, Argilah Water-Pipe, or by whatever name it is called) is considered haraam by scholars, because of its harm to the human body. According to scientific evidences, a single water pipe smoking session generates on average 70 times higher levels of tar, 2.5 times greater levels of phenanthrene, and 11-fold higher levels of carbon monoxide (CO) than cigarettes. Furthermore, since water pipe smoking is a social activity, typical users are likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke from the product itself as well as secondhand smoke exhaled by users. In the view of the above, it is not permissible either to manufacture, sell or even help others with any related activities. Also Refer Question # 105: Vaping (Alternative Smoking)

Long Answer: Smoking Hookah is like smoking cigarettes; both contain tobacco which contains many products that harm the person and causes many diseases, like cancer and the like. [The tobacco – as well as jiraak (something similar to tobacco) and mu‘assal (mild, flavored 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.] [Since,] it is medically proven without any doubt that smoking is harmful to the body, …no one should differ about its prohibition, especially that it is considered as a slow killer for the person due to the fatal diseases which it causes. The general rule among the scholars  is that everything which is believed that it most likely causes harm is forbidden in Islam.

Here is list of fatawa by Scholars in this regard:

  • Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “There is no doubt that cigarettes, nargilah (shisha), smokeless tobacco and the like are haraam, because they are all evil and unlawful. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “He allows them as lawful At-Tayyibat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)”(Soorah al-A ‘raf, 7:157)

And because they damage people’s health and cause serious diseases that may lead to death, and Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And do not kill yourselves” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:29) and “and do not throw yourselves into destruction” (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:195)

And because it is extravagance and a waste of money on something that is of no benefit, and the spendthrifts are the brothers of the devils. We advise anyone who is tested with any of these things to repent and give it up immediately, and to resolve not to go back to it, and to seek the help of Allah in quitting it, and to be patient for a few days until he is able to give it up completely and put an end to the pain that it causes him. And Allah is the Healer. (Fataawa Islamiyyah)

  • Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Once this is proven [that smoking is haraam], 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 hadith 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 sahih by al-Albani in al-Saheehah) (Fatawa 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) said describing our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “he allows them as lawful AtTayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful AlKhabaaith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)” (Soorah al-A‘raf, 7:157). It is proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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)

[Also,] the money that is spent in this way is not spent in the right way, and it is counted among blameworthy extravagance. By [selling such product, one] would become an aide and cause of that evil, which means that he would bear a portion of the sins of those who smoke it… In confirmation of this, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said in an authentic hadith: “…and whoever lays the foundation of an evil tradition in Islam, shall bear its sin and the sin of those who act upon it to the Day of Judgment, without reducing anything of theirs.” (Muslim) Indeed, what Allah has made lawful is satisfactory and sufficient, and whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and provide for him from where he does not expect.

(The above reply is based on the following resources:

  • Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
  • Various answers provided by Islamqa.info on similar topics)

Scientific Evidence

The following is an excerpt from an article “Water Pipe (Hookah) Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association” published by AHA (American Heart Association) Journals on 8 March 2019:

“There is growing evidence that water pipe tobacco smoking affects heart rate, blood pressure regulation, baroreflex sensitivity, tissue oxygenation, and vascular function over the short term. Long-term water pipe use is associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease… Tobacco use remains a leading cause of disease and premature death. The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco accounts for 9% of deaths worldwide and that globally nearly 6 million people die of tobacco-related causes every year…

The range of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) found in water pipe tobacco smoke is similar to that of the chemicals found in the smoke of combustible cigarettes… The HPHC profiles of water pipes differ from those of cigarettes because of the use of charcoal to heat the tobacco, the temperature at which the tobacco is heated or burned, and the volume of delivered smoke. Moreover, the patterns of water pipe use and cigarette smoking differ, resulting in differing exposures. In water pipes, tobacco is heated to ≈450°C (≈842°F) with typical quick-lighting charcoal, which is lower than the temperature in cigarettes (≈900°C ≈1652°F) Thus, the temperature attained in water pipes is usually below that required for pyrolysis or outright combustion. Nevertheless, under standard smoking machine protocols based on Middle Eastern smoking patterns (which may be different from those in the United States), a single water pipe smoking session generates on average 70 times higher levels of tar, 2.5 times greater levels of phenanthrene, and 11-fold higher levels of carbon monoxide (CO) than cigarettes. Even when normalized per 1 mg of nicotine in the tobacco, the CO yield is ≈3-fold higher from water pipe than from a standard cigarette… Water pipe smoking is a social activity, and typical users are likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke from the product itself (i.e., sidestream smoke), as well as secondhand smoke exhaled by users (i.e., mainstream smoke)… The main HPHCs of cardiovascular concern in water pipe users include nicotine, particulate matter (PM), CO, volatile organic chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), acrolein, heavy metals, and arsenic.”

For complete article, refer //ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000671 (accessed on 7 November 2019)

(The above reply is based on the following resources:

  • Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
  • Various answers provided by Islamqa.info on similar topics)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam