Question: Over the last year about FIVE Shisha restaurants opened in my local town, so is smoking Shisha allowed?
Answer by Shaykh Salim Giza
In the name of Allah the most Beneficent and Merciful.
Smoking Shisha or Huqqa carries a ruling depending upon the ingredients. If the ingredients is only sweet smelling flavoured fruits then the ruling is Makrooh (preferably disliked). If the ingredients have harmful ingredients then the ruling would start at Makrooh Tahrimi (reprehensible) to Haram (forbidden). This depends upon the harm that it may cause the human body.
Allah says in the Quran:
"And do not throw yourself into destruction with your own hands." (Baqarah 195).
"And do not kill yourselves". (Nisaa 29)
Therefore we are now aware that continuous intake of tobacco can cause lung cancer and hence cause one harm, therefore to become an addict of smoking Shisha would be Haram.
The reason why the non harmful Shisha is preferably disliked is because there could be chance that it may lead to making a habit of it or adding ingredients that are Haram. Imam Tahtawi in his Hashiyat al Maraqi writes it is not permissible to say the words Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem' (In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind) when smoking Shisha even permissible Shisha/Huqqa as it is Makrooh.
As far as going to Café's where Shisha is being served is Makrooh. The reason for this is that places like this encourage idle gossip, waste money and integration between men and women. Therefore it is improper for a Muslim to visit a place where the product is either Makrooh or Haram and the by-product (intermixing with the opposite sex) is a likely possibility. Even if an all women's or all men's event was held there it would still be improper.
Of course Allah knows best.