As pot continues its quest towards normalcy through legalization and regulation, cannabis culture is, slowly but surely, beginning to infuse with pre-existing societal standards. This even includes religion, where the plant is starting to leave its mark. It’s considered kosher, even for Passover, within the Jewish religion, and it has even made its way into certain sectors of the Christian faith—albeit, with some controversy. However, in addition to its pre-existing ties within the aforementioned clerical groups, there is one more question begging to be asked: Is marijuana halal?
The Burning Question
Unlike the Jewish faith, in which cannabis has been deemed inherently kosher, marijuana use is somewhat of a grey area in the Islamic religion. Most of it, quite frankly, is left up to interpretation.
The Quran explicitly states that alcohol is considered haram, or in other words forbidden. However, the same cannot be said about cannabis, as the plant’s use is not specifically outlined for followers of the holy book.
There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to the topic.
Recreational use, for example, appears to be forbidden by Islamic law. One of Prophet Muhammed’s well-known hadiths was: “If much intoxicates, then even a little is haram.”
This, by interpretation, would include cannabis.
So in lamen’s terms, if smoking a large amount of weed can get you high (which it clearly does), then, according to Muhammad’s school of thought, even a small amount of the plant should be outlawed wholeheartedly.
So upon first glance, it appears cannabis isn’t technically considered halal.
But we haven’t touched upon medical marijuana yet.
According to the vice-chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Ismail Ali, medical marijuana would not be considered haram, if used for the right reasons.
“Muslims believe that there is no disease or illness that comes from God that can afflict humans that doesn’t have some sort of cure, some sort of medicine or treatment,” Ali told Forward.com. “My interpretation of whether or not a substance itself is haram, or prohibited, depends on intention. The intention of behavior in Islam is one of the most crucial determining factors for whether something is wrong.”
However, the exact definition of medicinal use is also up for interpretation.
For example, some Muslims debate its usage for psychological ailments such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. While physical illnesses and terminal diseases would certainly constitute cannabis consumption, conservative members of the Islamic church still consider the plant harem in lesser cases.
Final Hit: Is Marijuana Halal?
So, is marijuana halal?
Well, the jury is still out on that one. But from what we have gathered, recreational cannabis is considered haram under higher Islamic laws, while medicinal use, in most cases, would be considered permissible.
However, despite the ambiguity surrounding recreational cannabis, it has long been considered a part of Islamic culture.
For example, Arab countries such as Afghanistan and Morocco, have grown the plant in their countries for centuries. Additionally, it has been prevalent in Muslim-majority countries for spiritual and ceremonial usage.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for what exact instances result in marijuana being considered haram, but we do know this— it remains a part of Islamic culture, halal or not.