Last updated Thursday, October 02, 2014 10:12pm

Lucas Hurnaum (left) and Adnene Daabak smoke a shisha pipe in the Touareg shisha cafe in Paris November 22, 2007. – Reuters picLucas Hurnaum (left) and Adnene Daabak smoke a shisha pipe in the Touareg shisha cafe in Paris November 22, 2007. – Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Shisha or waterpipe smoking is ‘haram’ (forbidden) for Muslims, the Fatwa (Edicts) Committee of the National Council for Islamic Affairs declared today. 

Committee chairman Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said Muslims were also prohibited from providing shisha-smoking services or any activity associated with shisha.

“After listening to the experts from the Health Ministry and scrutinising medical and scientific evidence from the country and abroad on the ill-effects of shisha, the committee decided to prohibit shisha (for Muslims),” he said in a statement.

Abdul Shukor explained that shisha would have a huge detrimental effect in terms of the health of the individual, national economic growth and shaping of the future generations.

The committee found that all scientific findings by way of comprehensive studies in the country and internationally proved that shisha had a most detrimental effect and its widespread use, particularly among youths and women, was most worrying.

“Shisha is clearly harmful to health; it is a wasteful activity that is categorised as a bad or despicable thing that all Muslims should avoid,” said Abdul Shukor.

On another matter, he said the committee also expressed disappointment over the actions of certain people who raised issues on purpose to incite Muslims and, in doing so, undermined the multi-racial harmony in the country.

“It felt that the these irresponsible people seemed to have planned to hurl these insults and more so during the Ramadan month which is holy for Muslims,” he said.

Abdul Shukor said their actions had exceeded the limits of patience of the Muslims.

“We do not want to see any more of these insults and uncivilised behaviour, by way of words or actions, brushed aside without stern action and maximum penalty in accordance with the law,” he said.

Abdul Shukor said stern action must be taken immediately by the authorities to stop people from continuing to insult Islam and to serve as a lesson for all.

He said it had become a sort of a game for certain quarters to incite Muslims and then apologise, and added that this should not be allowed to happen.

Abdul Shukor said the committee urged Muslims to be united in facing the malice of these irresponsible people for the sake of defending the sanctity of Islam and the dignity of Muslims in the country. – Bernama