International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Sharī‘a Law and the Legality of Consumption of Khat (Catha Edulis): Views of Australian Imāms
Mr. Abdi Hersi, A/Prof Mohamad Abdalla

Khat is a natural amphetamine plant whose effects are similar to those produced by other known psychostimulants such as amphetamine and its congeners. Khat is indigenous to Yemen, Ethiopia, and East Africa, and is the new emerging drug in a number of countries in the West, including Australia. There is evidence to show that Muslims are the primary consumers of Khat. Literature on the consumption of Khatgenerally focus on the effects it has on communities in terms of consumption, trade and cultivation of the stimulant plant from a botanical, pharmacological, social and economic perspectives. There is a dearth of literature on the Islamic legal position on this stimulant plant. This gap is in part due to the failure to detect the extent to which consumers of Khat relate it to the religion of Islam. Given that there is a strong association between Muslims and the consumption of Khat, the purpose of this paper is to examine the legality of the consumption of Khat from an Islamic perspective using primary and secondary sources,and for the first time, the views of leading Australian Muslim religious scholars (Imāms).The findings can help in the reduction of the consumption of this new drug, and by extension its consequences. Findings can also help policy makers in Australia, and other interested parties, appreciate the legal dimensions of the debate and its possible impact on any regulatory frameworks.

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