4. Organ Donation

Q131: Is it permissible to donate the eye or kidney of a living human being for another?

A: It is not permissible to donate the eye. As for donating a kidney, for one who has another healthy one, it is permissible. (FM, p. 415)

Q132: Some people stipulate in their will that some organs of their body may be removed after death for the purpose of transplantation in the body of another human being in need of them. Is this kind of will correct, and is it permissible to excise those parts (of the body) in such a case?

A: [Certainly not. It is not correct and is not permissible] if the testator is a Muslim, except if the life of another Muslim depends on this, then it is permissible even if the donor has not made such a will. But [the diyah will be obligatory on the one who does the excision] except where it is done according to a will, in which case there is no diyah on him. (FM, pp. 415-16)

Post-Mortem Examination

Q133: Dissection of a corpse after death, if it is done for a reasonable purpose such as criminal investigation, teaching of medicine or similar purposes.

A: It is not permissible to dissect a Muslim corpse for these kinds of reasons. The dissecting of the body of an unbeliever whose blood is not protected during his lifetime is permissible, and likewise when the protection of his blood is doubtful, if there is no shar'i sign of it being so (protected). (FM, p. 416)

Artificial Insemination

Q134: Semen is taken from the husband and injected into his wife with a needle or by other means.

A: It is permissible as such. (FM, p. 432)

Q135: Is it permissible to inject it (semen) into a woman who is not his wife?

A: No, it is not permissible. (FM, p. 433)

Q136: The husband's sperm and the wife's egg are taken and fertilization is completed in a test-tube, then the egg is returned to the wife's womb.

A: This is also permissible as such. (FM, p. 433)

Q137a: The sperm of the husband and the egg of another woman who is not his wife are taken for fertilization, then are transferred to the wife's womb.

A: This is also permissible as such. (FM, p. 433)

Q137b: To whom is the child attributed in the latter case? To the provider of the egg or to the woman in whose womb it reached full-term. I mean, who would be his genealogical mother?

A: There are two possible responses to this question, and it is necessary to exercise precaution between both of them. (FM, p. 433)

Q138: An egg is taken from a woman and fertilized with the sperm of a man other than her husband, then it is returned to her womb.

A: It is necessary to avoid that. (FM, p. 433)

Q139: Sperm was taken from a man for the purpose of impregnating his wife. By coincidence, the husband died and after his death the sperm was implanted into the womb of his widow who bore a child. What is the ruling with respect to the status of the child and his entitlement to inheritance?

A: The child is to be attributed to the donor of the sperm, but based on this hypothetical question, he does not inherit from him (the father). God knows best. (MMS, p. 15, Q14)


Q140: It is easy to abort the foetus in the early phase of pregnancy. Does the mother have a right to abort it?

A: Certainly not, this is not permissible except if she is harmed by the presence of the foetus in her womb, or if its presence causes her difficulty to a degree that is not normally tolerable. (FM, p. 430)

Q141: In recent times, due to modern scientific instruments, it has become possible to know the situation of the foetus, whether it is suffering from any physical deformity or not. If the foetus is confirmed scientifically as being deformed and afflicted with maladies or a malady, is it permissible to abort it?

A: Deformity of the foetus in itself is no justification for aborting it. Yes, if its presence in the mother's womb is harmful to her health or causes her difficulty to an extent that cannot normally be tolerated, then it is permissible for her to abort it and that is before the soul enters it. After that, it is absolutely not permissible to abort. (FM, p. 432)

Q142: In some situations, the physicians can confirm that the foetus is afflicted with serious physical deformities which will not be treatable after birth, and it may not survive after birth, except for a short while in pain (for the child), causing toil for the parents. Then he will die. Is it permissible for the mother in such a situation to terminate (the pregnancy)? Does it make any difference if it occurs before or after the soul enters? And with the supposition that it is permissible, is diyah obligatory and who pays for it?

A: Abortion is not permissible in situations similar to the one mentioned, even prior to the entrance of the soul. (MMS, pp. 30-31, Q60)


Q143: Use of contraceptives is popular these days. If use of the pill and similar things causes harm or difficulty and the only remaining choice is (the insertion) of some devices -- by a male or a female doctor -- which requires exposing the local area, is it permissible for the woman, knowing that pregnancy would cause her harm or difficulty?

A: It is permissible as long as she faces, in both the pregnancy and the use of alternative contraceptive methods, such hardship and danger that cannot be normally endured. If this requires, in addition to exposing the genital organs, other parts of her body surrounding the genitalia, then she must refer to a female doctor. If this is not possible then she may refer to a male practitioner. (FM, p. 428)

Q144: Some women wish to avoid pregnancy, but their husbands want (them to get pregnant).

Follow up: How do they prevent the onset of pregnancy?

Response: By using pills, injections or the cleansing of the vagina after intercourse.

A: All of these are permissible if they do not entail substantial harm to her. (FM, pp. 428-29)

Q145: IUD?

A: If the woman knows that it will lead to the destruction of the egg after its fertilization with the husband's sperm [then it is not permissible for her to use it]. (FM, p. 429)

Q146: Coitus interruptus ('azl), by which they prevent their husbands from depositing the semen in the vagina during intercourse.

A: They do not have the right to do that. (FM, p. 429)

Q147: Is it permissible for the husband to force his wife not to get pregnant even though she wants to?

Follow up: How does he force her to do that?

Response: He forces her to take pills, injections or use an IUD.

A: He has no right to do that. (FM, p. 429)

Q148: What about practising coitus interruptus during intercourse?

A: Yes he has the right to do that. (FM, p. 429)

Q149: Is he permitted to use a condom during intercourse?

A: Yes [but he must obtain her consent for that]. (FM, p. 429)

Q150: Pills that women take in order to delay the onset of their monthly menstrual cycle.

A: They are permitted to use them. (FM, p. 429)

Q151: There are pills that women take to delay the onset of their monthly cycle in the days of the month of Ramadan and the days of hajj, but sometimes intermittent blood comes out during their cycle, but it does not have the characteristics of a cycle. What is the ruling, if, knowing that if she stops taking the medication, after 3 days, she will have menstrual blood, and with the medication no menstrual blood will come out except intermittently?

A: Based on this hypothetical question, the ruling of hayd is not applicable to the intermittent blood. God knows best. (MMS, p. 19, Q24)

Vasectomy and Tubectomy

Q152: Is it permissible for a man or a woman to undergo an operation, after they have had enough children, that would prevent them from ever having children again? If this is not permissible, would the ruling differ if they were living in an Islamic country that encourages birth control because of public welfare?

A: It is not free from objection, although its permissibility is not unlikely if it does not entail substantial harm, such as removing certain organs like the ovaries of the woman. God knows best. (MMS, pp. 19-20, Q26)

Genetical Analysis

Q153: Lately, science has reached a stage of being able to determine the relationship of the father to his son through blood analysis where their genes match. If the husband suspects that his wife has had relations with another man and as a result has gotten pregnant, and if the blood analysis leads to genes matching with that man, knowing that this analysis is never incorrect, is it obligatory to act upon the findings or should one follow the principle "the son belongs to the marital bed," or follow the result of this proof?

A: "The son belongs to the marital bed" is a principle made for the one who is doubtful. Whoever arrives at a knowledge through blood analysis or otherwise, that goes contrary to this principle should act in accordance with his knowledge. Adultery by the wife is not confirmed by this and the penalty of adultery cannot be implemented except after establishing it through specific stipulated methods in the shari'ah. God knows best. (MMS, pp. 14-15, Q12)

Q154: Lately, science has reached a stage where it can identify a murderer by analysing the blood without seeking recourse to other means. It has reached a degree of precision that makes it possible to determine the instrument that was used to carry out the homicide. Is it possible to rely on this to judge a criminal and apply the penalty or not? Or does one have to act only on the well-known principles of the shari'ah?

A: A murder is not proven and its ruling cannot be implemented except through the methods of the shari'ah or through clear scientific means unmingled with personal judgment. If what has been mentioned is conducted through this established way, then it is permissible for al-hakim al-shar'i to give a ruling in accordance with it. God knows best. (MMS, p. 15, Q13)


Q155: Before taking medication, is it obligatory to investigate and confirm the correctness of its components to find out whether it contains any prohibited ingredients?

A: Certainly not, it is not obligatory to investigate and confirm. (FM, p. 415)

Q156: Many medications and disinfectants contain a small amount of alcohol. Is it permissible to use them, and are they ritually impure?

A: They are not ritually impure and it is permissible for you to use them. (FM, p. 415)

Q157: Some companies experiment with medication on a patient without informing him in order to see if the medication is effective and successful.

A: It is not permissible for them to do that. (FM, p. 416)

Buying and Selling Blood

Q158: Buying and selling blood for a remedy.

A: It is permissible. (FM, p. 412)

Medical Examination

Q159: In hospitals, female nurses feel the pulse, measure blood pressure, dress wounds, etc.

1. Is it obligatory for the male patient to disallow the female nurse from touching his body?

A: It is possible for him to request a male nurse for the aforementioned acts or to request the female nurse to wear gloves or place a barrier like a handkerchief to interpose without touching his body. (FM, p. 426)

2. Sometimes out of necessity, a male patient requires direct touching and there is no male nurse or to request one is difficult, or the female nurse is gentler to the patient than the male nurse.

A: If necessity requires examination or treatment, and they depend on direct touching, then this is permissible based on the question, but only to the extent necessary. (FM, p. 426)

3. If the wound is in a private area, requiring bandage, what can be done?

A: The patient must request that the nurse -- male or female -- use gloves or place a barrier to avoid touching the private area. If this is not easy, then touching is permissible to the extent necessary to apply the bandage. (FM, pp. 426-27)

Q160: If we change the previous situations from touching to seeing, what is the ruling on seeing?

A: The ruling on seeing is identical to the ruling on touching and is applied as previously covered in detail. (FM, p. 427)

Q161: In the previous situations, if the patient is a woman and the nurse is a man, is the ruling similar to what has been mentioned?

A: Yes. (FM, p. 427)

Medical Students

Q162: Some students in the physical medical science study physiotherapy which requires touching the body of a female patient and handling her (body), to the extent required by the illness. Were the student to refuse to do that, he would fail the examination. Is it permissible to study this science and specialize in it?

A: This is permissible for the student if he knows or is confident that his specialization in this (field) is something upon which the preservation of some honored lives depends, even if it be in the future. His practice of physiotherapy should be in such a way that it does not lead to any sexual excitement. (FM, pp. 425-26)

Q163: In a medical college, it is necessary for the student to examine a non-mahram woman and man, and it might happen that he examines their genital organs or the anus. Is this kind of examination permissible for the student of medicine? Is it permissible for a graduate doctor to do this sort of examination if the preservation of some honored lives depends on it, even if it be in the future?

A: Yes, this is permissible for both the medical student and the doctor if the preservation of some honored lives depends on it, even if it be in the future. (FM, p. 426)

Q164: You have mentioned in your practical treatise (al-risalah al-'amaliyyah) something which can be summarized thus -- it is not permissible for a man to look at the private parts of a woman and vice-versa, even for treatment, except when unavoidable. Is it adequate to consider it a necessity for a person in a position of practice, e.g. a medical student?

A: It is inadequate unless removing a great harm from a Muslim depends on it (the practice), even if it be in the future. (MMS, pp. 29-30, Q59a)


Q165: Many medical bulletins clearly state the harm of smoking, among them the fact that smoking is the primary cause of heart disease, disease of the blood vessels and arteries, high blood pressure, lung cancer and ulcers, in addition to the harm brought on the family and to society.

Is it permissible for a non-smoker to begin smoking?

Is it permissible for a tobacco addict to continue?

Is it permissible for a pregnant woman to smoke while the doctors say that the foetus is affected by the smoking of its mother?

A: If smoking causes substantial harm to a male or female smoker or to the foetus, then it is prohibited, whether he/she is a beginner or is addicted, assuming that he/she would not suffer substantial harm by quitting. As for the one who would suffer harm by quitting, he/she should consider which one is less harmful: to continue smoking or to quit, and act accordingly. (FM, pp. 416-17)