E-cigarettes, vaping haram, says Indonesian Muslim organisation

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): Muhammadiyah has declared electronic cigarettes and vaping as haram in a fatwa issued recently by the second biggest Muslim organisation in the country.

The organisation’s central executive board's tarjih (lawmaking) and tadjid (reform) council outlined the fatwa in a decree on e-cigarettes issued on Jan. 14 in Yogyakarta.

Wawan Gunawan Abdul Wahid, a member of the council's fatwa and guidance development division, said the fatwa was issued to underline Muhammadiyah’s stance against all kinds of cigarettes.

“Smoking electronic cigarettes is haram, just like smoking conventional cigarettes, because it is categorised as a form of consumption that can damage or endanger [the user's health]," Wawan said on Friday (Jan as quoted by tempo.co.

Like conventional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes contain addictive substances and toxic chemicals, Wawan said, emphasising that e-cigarettes were as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.

“Those who do not smoke should not let themselves or their family members [smoke] electronic cigarettes, while those who are already active smokers must try their best to stop, ” Wawan said.

He also said Muhammadiyah had advised the central government and regional governments to institute a total ban on tobacco products and e-cigarettes, including banning sales, distribution, ads, promotions and sponsorships.

Muhammadiyah is by far the first of the biggest Islamic group in the archipelago to declare a fatwa against vaping. The country's biggest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and even the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) have yet to issue a fatwa that strictly declares e-cigarettes as haram.

In Malaysia, the National Fatwa Council declared e-cigarettes and vaping as haram in 2015, arguing that the products were "detrimental to health", New Strait Times reported. - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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