Monday, 31 October 2011

Ruling on using smokeless tobacco; does it break the fast?


My father suffers from anxiety, tension and depression, and he has been using a remedy for 10 years. From the beginning of Ramadan this year he experienced increased anxiety and could not sleep until 10 a.m. For a long time he has been using smokeless tobacco (which is a form of tobacco that is placed inside the mouth, under the lower lip -- sometimes known as “dipping tobacco” or “moist snuff”). He has been using it for twenty-five years and he used it in Ramadan this year. He also used it last year during the fast because, according to what he says, it reduces the pain and anxiety he is suffering from. What does he have to do with regard to those days when he broke the fast (if it is regarded as breaking the fast)? It was approximately 13 days this year and 5 days in Ramadan last year. Should he also feed the poor?.

Praise be to Allaah.


We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to give you and your father,
and all the Muslims, well-being, for He is most generous and kind. 


“Smokeless tobacco” is a type of tobacco that is not burned
and may be mixed with other substances; it is used by some people who place
it in their mouths. The ruling on this substance is no different from the
ruling on cigarettes. 

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him)

There is no doubt that cigarettes, nargilah (shisha),
smokeless tobacco and the like are haram, because they are all evil and
unlawful. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“He allows them as lawful
At-Tayyibât (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs,
persons, foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ’ith (i.e. all evil
and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)”

[al-A ‘raaf 7:157]. 

And because they damage people’s health and cause serious
diseases that may lead to death, and Allah says (interpretation of the

“And do not kill yourselves”

[al-Nisa’ 4:29]

“and do not throw yourselves into destruction”

[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 (cf. 17:27). 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. End quote from Fataawa
Islamiyyah, 3/446 


Smokeless tobacco breaks the fast, because when it is placed
in the mouth it dissolves and some particles of it enter the stomach with
the saliva. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: 

What is the ruling on using smokeless tobacco in general, and
what is the ruling on using it during the day in Ramadan in particular? Does
it break the fast if someone uses it during the day in Ramadan? Please note
that some of the people of Tihaamah Qahtaan use smokeless tobacco during the
day in Ramadan and claim that it does not break the fast.

 They replied: Smokeless tobacco is an evil substance because
it is composed of an evil, haraam substance. If it is used by one who is
fasting, in addition to it being sinful, it also breaks his fast, the same
as any other substance that breaks the fast. 

And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah sent blessings
and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his Family and Companions. End

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allah Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh
‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,
vol. 1, 22/142 

Based on this, your father has to make up the days that he
broke the fast by using smokeless tobacco during last Ramadan and the one
before. But if your father did not know that smokeless tobacco breaks the
fast, then his fast is valid, because the one who fasts is excused for
ignorance of what breaks the fast. 

For more information please see the answer to question no.

You should try to advise your father to give up this evil
substance. Tell him that it is of no benefit in treating insomnia and
anxiety; rather it causes more insomnia and anxiety. We ask Allah to guide
your father and accept his repentance. 

For more information on dealing with stress and anxiety,
please see the answer to questions no.
106614 and

And Allah knows best.

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