Friday, May 24, 2024

As Eid Starts, is Cannabis Halal?



Millions are pouring into Mecca where the heat is around 110 degrees at the height of the day.  The Hajj is an event of the faithful and a dream for many despite the temperature and the crush of bodies.  The crowd avoids all alcohol at all cost. The Qur’an explicitly forbids drinking and a reliable hadith forbids even indirect association with alcohol. The truly faithful can not associate with someone who drinks, even if they are a family member or a close employee at work.

But what about cannabis and its healing powers? And as Eid starts, is cannabis halal?

medical marijuana
Photo by simpson33/Getty Images

It is believed that the Qur’an forbids alcohol because it harms one’s health, can lead to addiction and disrupts society. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, outlaw alcohol altogether. Drinking there can be punished by flogging, fines, imprisonment and, for foreigners, deportation

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

A tobacco fatwa (an Islamic legal pronouncement) prohibits using tobacco by Muslims. Arab Muslims tend to prohibit smoking.  Despite this, Saudi Arabia ranks 23rd in the world for their smoking population. Over 16% of all Egyptians smoke (led by men at 33%). And in South Asia, smoking tends to be considered lawful but discouraged.
The Qur’an does not directly forbid cannabis. There is a controversy among Muslim scholars about cannabis as some deemed it, by analogy, to be similar to khamr (intoxicants/alcoholic drink) and therefore believed it to be haraam (forbidden). However, other scholars consider cannabis to be halal (permissible). Lebanon in 2020 become the first, and so far only, middle eastern country that allows cannabis and it is with medical marijuana.
A widely accepted account (hadith-e hil) says, ‘Everything is allowed for you [halal lak] until you learn it is forbidden”. Hence, cannabis does not carry a total prohibition among most Muslim scholars.
Photo by Flickr user Anton Raath

In 2018, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), a deliberative body comprised of Islamic jurists and medical consultants, stated while the use of intoxicating substances is proscribed by Islamic law, medical cannabis was permissible for Muslims to use with the following stipulations: Non-psychoactive preparations of cannabis are permitted to treat illnesses for which therapeutic effects of cannabis are certain, and psychoactive preparations are contingently permissible in cases of dire necessity.

RELATED: Study: Cannabinoids (THC/CBD) Beat Opioids In Managing Chronic Pain

A wise traveler would not consume and not carry or consume in strict countries.

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice. The sacred observance coincides with the final rites of the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Eid al-Adha commemorates the Quranic tale of Prophet Abrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God.


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