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Smoking during the fast


Salaam Alaikum.

Like most smokers, I find it very difficult to give up smoking during the month of Ramadhan.

I have read a lot of information from both Sunni and Shia sides about this topic and can find no basis of Islamic laws to say that smoking during Ramadhan is not allowed. Cigarettes weren’t invented during the time of the prophet or the imams (peace and blessings be on them) and so the ban on using nicotine based products is not something borne out of historical context. I also recall a time when members of the community did in fact smoke during this month but then stopped, all of a sudden. I can only surmise that this was due to political and environmental pressure rather than because of historic Islamic ruling.

Please don’t misunderstand, smoking is bad and should be given up; I am trying to quit through use of electronic cigarettes but even these are not allowed during the fast. Nicotine patches have no effect on me so have proved to be a waste of money and effort.

I look forward to hearing back from you as to why smoking is not allowed during fasting.

With duas.


First of all, I should clarify that, this fatwa is based on an obligatory precaution.

1615. As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing fasts, should not allow the smoke of cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.

Few points in reply to your query:

1. There is a scholarly discussion that the smoke inhaled while smoking where it goes? If it goes to stomach, the fast is invalid same as food and drinks and if it just go to lungs, it doesn’t invalids. Moreover, few scholars do distinguish whether it reaches to throat or not and if it doesn’t reaches to throat, they do allow it. Due to the complex nature of this, probably scholars go for the option of obligatory precaution. 

2. You know this: Fasting is a way of control over desires. So why not on smoking?

3. Yes, cigarettes were invented at later stage but the formulae of not consuming food and drink (if smoke goes to stomach directly) or letting dust reach to throat etc were obviously there and based on the implementation of smoking on either one of the formulae, the maraje should have been giving fatwa.

Kumail Rajani