Vaping is not strictly covered by Muslim teachings, although it is covered by some existing rules around things that smell and are addictive
Wudu is a special practice involving washing yourself before prayer in preparation to offer yourself to Allah
Muslims have differing opinions about whether vaping breaks Wudu or not, but these are mostly opinion-based
The best way to approach the subject is to speak to your own religious community about the matter before making a decision
Vaping’s place in religion is a widely debated issue, different faiths approach vaping in different ways, and there are lots of conflicting thoughts about whether it is acceptable or not between different faiths.
We’ve explored this subject from the perspectives of some of the UK’s biggest religions in our blog Is Vaping a Sin? In this piece however, we will explore a specific aspect of Islam, as we answer the question: does vaping break Wudu?
What is Wudu?
Wudu is the Islamic procedure for cleansing parts of the body, particularly in preparation for prayer or ceremony. It is sometimes referred to as ritual purification, or ablution.
There are four main parts of the process, which are described as Fardh, which means mandatory. They are:
Washing the face
Washing the arms
Wiping the head
Washing or wiping the feet
These steps are to be carried out in order, with minimal rest between each. You can see this process for yourself in this video from BBC Teach.
The Islamic faith has many rules specific to hygiene, including the practice of Wudu, which are governed by ‘Fiqh’, meaning Islamic jurisprudence. These practices are typically performed before prayer or ‘Salah’. The cleanliness bestowed through Wudu can be invalidated in a number of ways including urination or even deep sleep – but vaping is not specifically mentioned.
Vaping & Islam
Vaping in Islam is a topic that does not have clearly defined rights and wrongs. In reality a person’s interpretation of the scriptures dictates whether or not it could be considered acceptable or not. There are those with more orthodox vies that would argue it goes against Islamic teachings, whereas others would say it is acceptable given certain follow-up actions are adhered to, such as cleaning the mouth.
The challenge when researching this topic is that almost all of the thoughts on the matter are opinion-based, appearing in discussion groups and Islamic web forums where such topics are debated. No clear lines appear to be drawn.
The most clearly defined issue with vaping from an Islamic perspective is the nicotine, as it is an additive substance. HalalAdvisor.com says this on the subject:
“In general, vaping is considered haram if it contains nicotine or any other chemical substance that has the potential to harm the user’s health.
Some religious authorities also consider vaping to be haram if its use is intended as a way of showing off or emulating the behaviour of non-Muslims, or if vaping is done in public and could be seen as a disruption of the peace.
However, vaping is considered to be halal if done responsibly and without any nicotine or other harmful chemicals. The use of vaping is also considered to be permissible if vaping is done as an alternative to smoking, as long as the individual does not become addicted or develop any health problems as a result.”
Vaping & Wudu
According to the available information at first glance, it could be interpreted that neither smoking, nor vaping break Wudu, however this is not black-and-white and great care should be taken before choosing to do either after Wudu.
As previously mentioned Wudu can be broken by the use of ‘smelly things’ – both smoking and vaping produce a smell, and as such it could be interpreted that they do in fact break Wudu. Although in the opinion below taken from Quora, we can see there are a number of things to consider:
“Cigarettes and other modern E-Cigarettes do not break ablution. However, there are hadiths related to the aversion to praying after using smelly things. Therefore, the mouth should be washed thoroughly; So that the smell goes away. If such things have a pungent odour, should not attend Masjid until it disappears entirely.”
We can see from this comment on an article discussing vaping and Wudu however that some see it as very clearly in violation of the ablution:
“Vaping breaks wudu as well as fast, just like smoking because e-cigs contain chemicals that are harmful for us, even if it contains nicotine or not. Presenting yourself before God for prayer require total cleansing of body parts including mouth. It doesn’t seem fit to bow before God with a flavoury contaminated mouth. Hence, it definitely breaks wudu. If smoking does, why not vaping. It’s a simple inference.”
Ultimately it is clear that the relationship between vaping and Wudu, and indeed Islam in general is not one bound by clear-cut rules, and there is a lot of interpretation required to make a decision about your own practices.
The best advice if you are a Muslim concerned about vaping’s place in your life and faith, is to speak to your peers, speak to your religious leaders and consider your own interpretation of your faith and its rules. The context of your community and how strictly you follow the faith will have a big impact on how you approach vaping, and you should definitely seek council before making a decision.
With over 6 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge. Extending beyond e-liquids and devices, Ian understands every aspect of the vaping world, from safety and compliance to best practice and the law, to name but a few.
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