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Shisha ‘haram’, says a Malaysian fatwa body

  • Published at 05:10 am June 30th, 2013
Shisha ‘haram’, says a Malaysian fatwa body

The Perlis Fatwa Committee of Malaysia on Saturday issued an edict, banning the sale and smoking of shisha (flavoured tobacco) in the state.

The ban may gather momentum as Perlis’ move to declare it haram (forbidden in Islam) has also received the support of Johor Islamic Religious Council adviser Datuk Noh Gadut, who called for a nationwide ban.

The Mufti of Perlis, Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya, said after an oath-taking ceremony of the state assemblymen yesterday that the decision to declare the sale and smoking of shisha as haram was made at the Perlis Fatwa Committee’s meeting in Kota Kinabalu on Monday, according to the New Straits Times.

“We hope that the state government and the Kangar Municipal Council (MPK) will immediately enforce this ban as we are concerned that it will become an unhealthy trend in the long run.

“We noticed that this substance is popular among students, especially those at institutions of higher learning in Perlis.” Dr Juanda said a letter had been issued to the state government and the MPK to act against those who defied the ban.

“We have decided that it is haram to sell or smoke shisha in any form. We hope all parties will abide by the ruling.”

Malacca and Kelantan were the first to ban the sale of shisha in 2011.

The Malacca government implemented the ban after a French Anti-Tobacco Agency’s report revealed that a single puff of shisha contained the same amount of carbon monoxide as smoking 52 cigarettes.

The decision to ban the sale of shisha was made in 2009 and implemented in 2011.

In Kelantan, the ban was confined to Kota Baru when the municipal council banned all food outlets from allowing shisha smoking at their premises in February that year.

Noh said shisha smoking should be banned nationwide on religious grounds and that it had been brought to the National Fatwa Council’s attention.

“The syariah panel had discussed the matter but there has yet to be a final say.”

Noh said he felt that shisha should be deemed haram as other than being a waste of money, it was even more hazardous than cigarettes.

National Fatwa Council Chairman Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said a decision whether to declare shisha “haram” or otherwise would be made soon.

He said the council was working with the Health Ministry to study the implications of smoking shisha.