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The New Arab Staff

Two Saudi judges suspended over rulings prohibiting shisha, shaving

The judges had ruled against shisha smoking [Getty/ Archive]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2020

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The two judges are currently under investigation and could face penalties.
Two Saudi judges have been suspended by the kingdom's Supreme Judicial Council over their recent rulings prohibiting shisha smoking and shaving, according to local media.

The unnamed judges, who cited Islam in their rulings against Muslims smoking of water pipes and men shaving, are currently under investigation and could face penalties, according to Sabq.

"The two cases are currently being reviewed, because the commercial activity in the two deliberated cases is legally authorised, and the role of the judiciary is to enforce regulations," the Sabq report said.

The Sabq report added that judges, as part of an institutional system, are not allowed to bring their personal opinions into their work.

While there is broad agreement among the main Islamic schools of law about the religious merits of keeping a beard for men, scholars have differed on the finer details of this.

Some have ruled that shaving or shortening the beard is unlawful in Islam, based upon religious texts.

Shisha and smoking, meanwhile, are not explicitly mentioned in Islam's holy texts, though many Muslim scholars consider it prohibited or disliked.

Tobacco and shisha smoking are legal in all Muslim-majority countries and do not fall under the same restrictions often in place for the sale and consumption of alcohol.

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