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What are the ruling of smoking shisha and shisha stick?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Definition of Shisha

Smoking shisha means smoking flavoured tobacco through a glass pipe-like apparatus. It is a traditional way of smoking tobacco and a symbolic custom in certain cultures. It is named as shisha (water pipe) explaining the character of the apparatus itself; the smoke is run into water before it is inhaled. Shisha is available in many types and forms according to the country and culture. Some of the names for shisha are Hookah, Huqqa, Arghile, Narghile, Hubble Bubble, Goza, and Boori.

Shisha also comes in various shapes and sizes. The basic structure of shisha is a bowl, body, hose and gromet. There are numerous types of tobacco. Sweetened and flavoured tobacco is called moassel. This tobacco is soaked in fruits extracts such as grapes, strawberry, apple or honey to get the sweet and flavoured taste. The tobacco is then lit producing a sweet fruit or syrup smell.

Moasselis tobacco is placed in the bowl and covered with aluminium foil that have small holes. A coal is heated on top of the aluminium foil heating the tobacco. The smoke produced is channelled into the water (which acts as a filter). Lastly, the water vapour mixed with the smoke is inhaled through the hose.

The Ruling of Smoking Shisha

The Special Muzakarah Fatwa Committee of National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia held on 17 July 2013, agreed that shisha is prohibited. This fatwa is issued after analysing the presentation by the medical experts from the Ministry of Health Malaysia regarding the medical and scientific evidences from the research done by world-renown researchers, where it is found that there are great harms of smoking shisha towards the health of the ummah, economic development and the establishment of future generations [1].

Fatwa and the Opinions of Islamic Scholars Towards the Ruling of Smoking Shisha

  • Syeikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz rahimahullah:

Smoking shisha and every type of it is prohibited for both are greatly harmful. Medical experts explained their harmful effects. Indeed, Allah SWT has prohibited Muslims from harming themselves. Thus, it is obligatory for those who smoke shisha to stop smoking it and avoid such actions again.

  • Syeikh Muhammad bin Salih al-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah:

Smoking cigarettes is prohibited and the same goes for shisha. It has been proven harmful through scientific and medical research, and thus, due to its harms, it is prohibited.

  • Syeikh Dr. Nuh Ali Salman (Former Mufti of Jordan) rahimahullah:

…And it is now known (due to the development of science and medicine) that cigarettes and shisha is greatly harmful for it contains dangerous and poisonous chemicals. It will result in chronic illnesses that could lead to death; whether it is immediate or delayed, and this has been agreed by doctors. Hence, it is prohibited to smoke them and should be avoided by the society…” [2]

  • Syeikh Dr. Salih bin Fauzan issued a fatwa that state it is prohibited to smoke cigarette and shisha. Furthermore, during the question and answer session, he was asked whether it is prohibited to smoke cigarette and shisha and he replied that it is prohibited and the profit from it is also prohibited. [3]
  • Syeikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid also ruled smoking cigarette and shisha prohibited. According to him, there is no difference between cigarette and shisha, while there is even research that state shisha is more harmful than cigarette. [4]
  • Lajnah Daimah Fatwa Council of Saudi Arabia agreed that it is prohibited to smoke cigarette and shisha for it is harmful and is also a form of wastage.

Reasons and Evidences on the Prohibition

The evidences supporting the prohibition of smoking shisha is taken from the Quran and the hadith of the Prophet PBUH according to fiqh. Its main purpose is to protect the five maqasid syar’iyyah of human, which is the religion, life, thoughts (mind), lineage and property.

  1. Evidence from the Quran

Allah SWT states:

وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ

“And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining].”

Surah al-Baqarah (195)

Islam prohibits its followers from exposing themselves to destruction. Shisha is proven to be harmful to human health and body. Thus, Muslims should try their best to avoid any actions that could harm themselves.

In another verse of Allah SWT:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ الطَّيِّبَاتُ

“They ask you, [O Muhammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, "Lawful for you are [all] good foods…”

Surah al-Maidah (4)

Allah SWT also states:

وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمْ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمْ الْخَبَائِثَ

“And makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil,”

Surah al-A’raaf (157)

Al-Maraghi said: “Al-Khabaith refers to food which when considered with rational mind and consideration as disgusting, such as disliking or disgusted to eat carcass and flowing blood. The same applies to situations when one rejects or refuse to eat harmful things, such as eating swine, for it is harmful to health or harmful to one’s religion (for it is prohibited). The permissible is animal slaughter that was slaughtered for the sake of Allah to get closer to Allah in the form of worship. As for the matters regarding property, al-Khabai’th refers to property obtained through prohibited means, such as riba (interest), bribe, excessiveness, stealing, confiscation and others.” [5]

  1. Prophetic evidences

لاَ ضَرَرَ ولاَ ضِرَارَ

“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”

Sunan Malik (1435), Sunan Ibn Majah (2341), Sunan Ahmad and al-Daraqutni

Shisha has been proven to be harmful to human health by medical experts. The above hadith is clear evidence that Islam commands the protection of all human. Islam prohibits self-harming and harm toward other people.

  1. Usul fiqh

سد الذريعة

“Closing the doors of harm.”


درء المفاسد مقدم على جلب المصالح

“It is prohibited to deny harm before seeking benefit.”

The probability that the flavours added in shisha may be made from drugs, strengthened the prohibition of shisha. It is a precautionary step and closing any opportunity of shisha being exploited to be a medium for the spread of drugs in Malaysia.

Another thing that needs to be considered, there is not any single scientific research that proves it as a treatment and medication to any type of illness. Furthermore, such statements are merely claims made. According to the website MyHealth of the Ministry of Health Malaysia, smoking shisha has the same harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. Tobacco products whether it is in the form of shisha, cigarette or others contain nicotine, while nicotine is a highly addictive substance. For every session of shisha smoking, you would have inhaled 100 to 200 times more smoke and 1.7 times more nicotine compared to smoking cigarette. Water that is considered as a filter could not filter all the cancer-causing chemicals. [6]

The Emergence of Shisha Stick/Pen

Recently, we are startled by the emergence of shisha stick usage by high school students. This has become a trend in school students and youths in our community and it is worrying, especially for parents and they fear that these shisha sticks may contain drugs or other harmful substances.

So far, what is known regarding this shisha stick is that it contains three main ingredients which are; propylene glycol, glycerine and water and fruit flavourings that are commonly found in the food industry. More research and analysis should be done by experts to confirm the ingredients and make sure that it does not contains harmful elements such as tar or liquid nicotine, which is an addictive substance, harmful towards our health, and could even lead to death.

When referred to the research made by World Health Organization on shisha, Britain newspaper in 2013 reported that the amount of smoke in an hour of shisha session is the equivalent to 100 to 200 more than compared to a cigarette. Whereas, a research made by the Royal University in Saudi Arabia reported that the country’s experts have found 142 chemical substances in shisha smoke. Thus, it is clear that the principle of prevention is better than cure is applicable.

The Ruling of Smoking Shisha Stick

According to the above-stated findings, it is clear that it is prohibited to smoke shisha. The rationale of the prohibition is in accordance with the following aspects:

  • The harm is the same as regular shisha
  • As Sad al-Zari’ah (closing the doors of harm)

Syeikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid issued a prohibition on the usage of shisha stick in his website. [7]


Shisha, whether it is the regular shisha or shisha stick is included as the matters that are harmful towards humans. Hence, shisha is prohibited in accordance with Quranic and prophetic evidences. We pray to Allah SWT for guidance to all Muslims with everything that is good and save us all. Moreover, we also pray for others from anything that is harmful to them in this world and the hereafter.

We also received numerous information from the middle east from medical experts regarding the harms of shisha. Hence, it is time for the prohibition of shisha so that we will be able to protect our community and the Muslims in general from addiction.


End notes:





[5] Al-Maraghi, Ahmad Mustafa. 1946. Tafsir al-Maraghi (Cet. 1). Mesir: Maktabah Al-Halabi. Juzuk 9. m/s 82-83.