Islamic Education- Rights- Muslim's rights upon other Muslims- Lesson (5-8): The right of visiting the sick- Legitimacy of receiving medical treatment

1989-12-31

What is the Shari'ah ruling on medication?

 Dear brother, we are still dealing with the subject of Rights. So far we've talked about the rights of husbands and wives upon one another, the rights of parents and children upon one another and the rights of Muslims upon their fellow Muslim brother. While we were discussing those rights in the previous lectures, we mentioned other rights, such as the right of giving advice, answering Da'wah, and visiting the sick. The subject of visiting the sick moves us to a sub-subject which is Shar'iah ruling on receiving medical treatment. Seeking medical care is derived from the guidance of the Prophet, peace be upon him as you are Divinely assigned to obey Allah the Almighty according to His Commands.

 I always say that there are two conditions to have the righteous deed accepted: The first condition is sincerity and the second one is correctness. Sincerity means you should perform the righteous deeds for the Sake of Allah Alone, while correctness means you should perform the righteous deed exactly as it was prescribed by the Prophet, peace be upon him. Thus, all your acts, attitudes, behavior and activities should be according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, because Allah the Almighty orders us to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him. He says:

"And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it),"

[Al-Hashr, 7]

 In this Noble Ayah there is a Shari'ah ruling that is Qat'i Ad-Dalalah (definitive): Allah the Almighty orders you to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

The limits of the believer's choices:

 The believer should not make Ijtihad (the decision-making process in Shari'ah through personal effort which is completely independent of any school of jurisprudence) against the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, because no Ijtihad is accepted as long as there is a sound text whether in the Noble Quran or in the Noble Hadith. In such a case the believer has no option in making decision regarding Shari'ah. Allah the Almighty says:

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision."

[Al-Ahzab, 36]

 This indicates the matters Allah has decreed in the Noble Quran and the ones the Prophet, peace be upon him, has mentioned in the Noble Sunnah. Hence, If you find a Quranic text that is Qat'i Ad-Dalalah (Certain evidence) with or a Prophetic text that is Qat'i At-Thuboot and Qat'i Ad-Dalalah (Certain implication with certain evidence) or Dhanni At-Thuboot but Qat'i Ad-Dalalah (doubtful implication with certain evidence), you should apply the Shari'ah rulings that are mentioned in the Quranic text and the Sunnah.

The utter ignorance:

 Someone may make false Ijtihad regarding his health or the health of those whom he is responsible for. For example, he may refuse to take his wife to a doctor claiming that he deeply cares about her and he does not want any doctor to see her out of jealousy or piety. However, if his wife dies because of that negligence, he will be called to severe account on the Day of Resurrection. It is better for him to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, than to make a false Ijtihad. The proof is mentioned in the following story: The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade riding stubborn camels, but one of his noble Companions made a false Ijtihad and rode a stubborn camel in order to fight with the Prophet, peace be upon him, for the Sake of Allah. As a result, he fell down, his neck was broken and he died. The Prophet, peace be upon him, refused to perform the funeral prayer for him, because he died as a sinner. Accordingly, you should not follow your own desires when you worship Allah the Almighty, but rather you should act upon His Commands which are mentioned in the Quran in general and in the Noble Sunnah in details. In fact, whoever refuses to seek medication thinking that it is enough for him to depend on Allah the Almighty Alone to cure him is extremely ignorant.

(Whoever eats soil is like one who has facilitated his suicide.)

 It is a reference to eating fruits and vegetables before they are washed. People eat them saying, "There is no need to wash them; you just have to say in the Name of Allah, the Protector." Doing this is absolutely ignorance. The true believer has no right to make decisions regarding Shari'ah, and he has to make no Ijtihad when there is a sound text in the Noble Sunnah, as the Sunnah is a precise method that was not composed by the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself, but rather it was revealed to him from the Creator of the universe.

"Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.* It is only an Inspiration that is inspired."


[An-Najm, 3-4]

 It is utter ignorance to make Ijtihad and refuse- according to it- to receive medical treatment or to take your wife to a doctor claiming that it is enough to depend on Allah the Almighty, that no one heals but Allah the Almighty and that your jealousy toward your wife prevents you from allowing a foreign doctor to see her face.

One of the causes of Muslims' backwardness:

 Let me repeat the following words again: You should worship Allah the Almighty in accordance with His Commands, not to your own desire. Maybe one of the causes of Muslims' backwardness is their misunderstanding of Tawheed (monotheism) and Tawakkul (reliance on Allah). Allah the Almighty tells us about Dhul-Qarnain in Surat Al-Kahf, He says:

"Verily, We established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything. * So he followed a way."

[Al-Kahf, 84]

 Anas Ibn Malik narrated that a man said:

("O Prophet of Allah, do I tie it and rely (on Allah that the camel will be where I left it after I come out of the Mosque), or do I leave it here loose and rely (on Allah that the camel will be where I left it after I come out of the Mosque)?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied, "Tie the camel and then rely on Allah that the camel will be where you tie it when you come out of the Masjid.")

[At-Tirmidhi in his Sunan]

 Is there a contradiction between tying it and relying on Allah? No, there is not. The hidden Shirk is to make use of the available means and forget about relying on Allah, but the true Tawheed is to make use of these means, adopting them and putting your trust in Allah the Almighty. This is the clear-cut line between hidden Shirk and true Tawheed. Thus, the true Tawheed is to make use of the available means and trust in Allah the Almighty, while the hidden Shirk is to rely on these means only and to forget about trusting in Allah. Hence, it is definitely Shirk to think that your money or intelligence can solve all your problems, or to think that there is no need to depend on Allah, because everything will be of no avail to you against Allah the Almighty.

Is there any contradiction between Tawheed and benefiting from available means?

 The following Noble Ayah talks about the Jews whom Allah the Almighty expelled from Al-Madinah, and their story was mentioned in Surat Al-Hashr. Allah the Almighty says:

"You did not think that they would get out."

[Al-Hashr, 2]

 According to the concrete reality, Muslims doubted, thought or were sure that the Jews would never get out.

"And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah!"

[Al-Hashr, 2]

 The Jews relied on their own fortresses, and the believers thought in a moment of heedlessness of Allah that the Jews were strongly fortified:

"You did not think that they would get out. And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah's (Torment) reached them from a place whereof they expected it not, and He cast terror into their hearts"

[Al-Hashr, 2]

 Allah the Almighty is the Real Doer of all things, and keep in mind that making use of the available means does not mean that you are not a true monotheist. For instance, when you take your wife to a doctor, when you go to a doctor or when you take a medicine, this does not mean that you rely on these means of healing because depending on them alone is an act of Hidden Shirk while relying on Allah the Almighty besides making use of them is the true Tawheed. Thus, there is no contradiction between Tawheed and making use of the available means.

What is the meaning of this Ayah?

 The subject of our lecture today is medication. Allah the Almighty narrates in the Noble Quran what Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, said:

"And when I am ill, it is He who cures me."

[Ash-Shu'ara', 80]

  Allah the Almighty is the True Healer of diseases. However, He has set accurate physical rules for curing the human body. If He wants to heal you, He inspires the doctor to diagnose your disease correctly, helps you take the medicine as prescribed and makes this medicine effective by His Will. Only then you recover from that disease by Allah's Will. This is the meaning of the following Noble Ayah:

"And when I am ill, it is He who cures me."

[Ash-Shu'ara', 80]

 Some people misunderstand this Noble Ayah thinking that Allah the Almighty cures them regardless of making use of the available means for recovery, while the truth is that Allah's Bestowal is related to certain available means, and He deprives you due to other ones. When He wants to grant you something, He grants it according to the means which He created and made the whole universe and everything inside the human body based on them. Thus, when you say that Allah the Almighty is the true healer, this means Allah the Almighty will cure you when you follow His Commands and receive medical treatment. In other words, Allah the Almighty first inspires the doctor to diagnose the disease properly, next He inspires him to prescribe the best medicine, after that He helps you take the medicine as it is prescribed, then He creates a curing power inside the medicine and finally your illness will be cured by His Permission.

What is the meaning of the following Hadith?

 You will notice later in this lecture that extremely essential facts about p Tawheed are mentioned in the Noble As7adeth which are related to medication. Abu Az-Zubayr narrated from Jabir that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.)

 This means Allah the Almighty created the malady, and He created a cure for it.

(There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.)

 Allah the Almighty says:

"Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.* It is only an Inspiration that is inspired."

[An-Najm, 3-4]

  When does the drug not work? That happens when it is not the suitable one for a disease. It is out of Allah's Guidance when He inspires the doctor to diagnose the disease properly and to prescribe the right medicine, and so help the patient to recover by Allah's Will.

Are the available means enough to have the intended results?

 Now let's discuss a critical point regarding Tawheed: Thinking that the available means are enough to get the intended results, and that they are sufficient for you to recover is an act of hidden Shirk. For example, the fire itself cannot burn except by Allah's Will. The Scholars of Sunnah and Jama'ah summarized this belief in few words, "The results do not lie in the available means, but in making use of them." Accordingly, the fire will not burn except by the Will of Allah, the water will not be useful for irrigation or for planting except by the Will of Allah and so on…. Thus, things have no effectiveness without Allah's Help and things can neither bring benefit nor cause harm except by Allah's Permission. It was reported in Sahih Muslim the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.)

[Muslim in Sahih]

 If the Prophet, peace be upon him, had not said, "with the permission of Allah", he would have meant that the available means had been enough to get the required results.

 Consider the following words of Imam As-Sibki:

 Imam As-Sibki said, "The majority of Islamic jurisprudence believes that medication is permissible in Islam, unlike some unreasonably rigorous Sufis who said that it is not." Those Sufis mistakenly thought that receiving medication is against believing in the Divine Decree and Predestination. Regarding this point, I would like to tell you about a story which you all know. When our master Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was about to enter Syria, he heard about the outbreak of plague in that country. His companions had two different opinions: either to enter the country and rely on Allah to protect them from that plague or to refrain from entering it as a way of making use of the available means. Our master Umar chose the second opinion out of taking caution. Abu Obadiah bin Al-Jarrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Running away from Allah's Preordination!?" Umar replied, "Wish if someone else said that, Abu Obadiah! Yes, we are running away from Allah's Preordination towards His Preordination." which means that being afflicted with a disease and being cured of it happen according to the Divine Decree of Allah the Almighty. Our Master Umar gave his companions an example saying, " See, if you had camels that were landed over a valley of two slopes; one of them was fertile and the other was infertile; so, didn't you when you herd the fertile slope, you herded it because of Allah's Preordination, and when you herd the infertile slope, you herded it because of Allah's Preordination? Yes, we are running away from Allah's Preordination towards His Preordination."

When do backwardness and deterioration affect the believer's life?

 The scholars differentiated between Al-Qada' (it is the Divine Decree which is Allah's Acts and Will and which is all good and for man's benefit), and Al-Maqdi (it is whatever happens because of man's good or evil deeds, and you should confront the evil ones, but when you fail to do that you should invoke Allah to protect you from them.) When the believer is afflicted with something bad in his life, he should not give up immediately, as this is not one of the good manners or the beliefs of the true believer, but rather he should repulse it because this thing occurs according to Allah's Decree, and it is repulsed according to Allah's Decree as well. Without this sound belief, life would not be right, and whoever does not believe in it, his life will be affected by backwardness, retardation and deterioration. Let me ask you the following questions: Doesn't everything happen according to the Divine Decree? Why then does Allah the Almighty order us to make Du'a? (It was narrated in the Hadith that nothing turns back the Decree except Du'a) Why then does Allah the Almighty forbid us from throwing ourselves into destruction? Actually, the misunderstanding of the Divine Decree and Predestination causes us to be backward and underdeveloped, while this should not be the situation of true Muslims.

One of Allah's Laws on His Creatures:

 Usama Ibn Sharik narrated:

 (I came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, while his Companions were sitting as if they had birds on their heads. I saluted and sat down. Then some Bedouins came from here and there. They asked, "O Messenger of Allah, should we make use of medical treatment? He replied, "Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age".)

 This means aging is one of Allah's Laws on His creatures.

A comment:

 By the way, let me make a brief comment: Whoever accustoms himself to doing something in his youth, he will keep doing it till he reaches old age, he will die doing it and he will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection doing it. You all hear about the Islamic scholar who reached the age of 96 or 97. He spent 70 years of his life teaching sh3er to be good people and teaching them the Noble Quran. At his old age, he still enjoys good health, and he has a straight back, excellent eyesight and sharp hearing. Also, his teeth are in a good condition. One of his students asked him wondering, "O honorable teacher, what good health had Allah bestowed on you! He answered, "O my son, I controlled my extremities and senses form Haram in my youth, so Allah the Almighty maintained them for me at my old age." In fact whoever spends his life as a pious man enjoys excellent health at his old age". Thus:

 (Whoever learns the Noble Quran, Allah the Almighty will keep his mind in a good condition until he dies.)

 The real success is to enjoy good health at old age, not in youth. When someone makes every effort to obey Allah in his early age will enjoy a great life at his old age. As much as you perform righteous deeds, remain pious, abide by Allah's Orders and Prohibitions and seek the Islamic knowledge at your youth, Allah will grant you excellent life at your old age, and you will feel that you reap the fruits of your righteous deeds at that critical age.

What is the form of this verb?

 Consider the following Hadith which was narrated by Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i, and which At-Tirmidhi considered as Hasan (good) Sahih (authentic): The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(Make use of medical treatment, for Allah the Almighty has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.)

 Ibn Massoud narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically.)

 What is the form of the following verb "treat"?It is an imperative verb, and so it implies obligation, as every order the Prophet, peace be upon him, entails obligation. Actually, the imperative verb in Arabic indicates many meanings: allowance, obligation, threatening and desirability. The imperative verb in this Noble Hadith "treat" entails obligation, so you have no choice. However, if you are not sure that this medicine is effective, you can either take it or not, and the Shari'ah ruling on medication in this case becomes religiously neutral. When you think that the medicine most likely is affective, the Shari'ah ruling on medication becomes obligatory, but even a compulsory duty. Nevertheless when you doubt its effectiveness, it becomes a permissible matter (it is neither forbidden nor recommended).

Does the following Hadith encompass all diseases?

 As long as there is a cure for every disease, does this Shari'ah text encompass all kinds of diseases even the malignant ones? Actually, there are some incurable diseases. Therefore, the Islamic scholars interpreted this Noble Hadith in two ways: Some scholars said that the following Noble Hadith encompasses all kinds of diseases:

(There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.)

 However, the cures of some diseases have not been discovered yet. Other scholars said that Allah the Almighty created curable diseases and incurable ones, and He has kept the healing of such diseases for Himself. You can follow either the first or the second opinion.

What's the cause of AIDS?

 Consider the following Hadith which is related to Zakah: Abdullah Ibn Umar said:

(The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, turned to us and said, 'O Muhajirun, there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with Allah lest you live to see them: Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them.')

[Ibn Majah in his Sunan]

 "They commit it openly" means they openly boast of committing immoral acts, to the extent that they are given the green light to commit adultery and other immoral acts. You all know that AIDS becomes the most terrifying disease in the world. According to latest statistics, 50 million people may get infected with this disease next decade, and the cause of this disease is simply moral deviation.

The logical relation between the sin and its consequences:

 Some scholars said that there is a logical relation between the sin and its consequences; it is a cause and effect relationship. Whatever Allah the Almighty prohibits has a logical effect that is related to the reason for prohibition. For example, AIDS is one of the diseases which were mentioned in the following Noble Hadith and which proves the Prophecy of the Prophet, peace be upon him:

(But plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them.)

 When man disobeys Allah the Almighty and follows his own desires, whims and lusts he will pay a heavy price for that. Allah the Almighty says:

"Then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery."

[Ta-Ha, 123]

  His mind never goes astray and his soul never falls into distress and misery.

"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship,"

[Ta-Ha, 124]

  Also, Allah the Almighty says:

"Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgment that they make."

[Al-Jathiyah, 21]

 Allah the Almighty grants good health, intelligence, beauty and wealth to many of His creatures, but He grants the feeling of tranquility and calmness -in due measure- only to His true believers.

When does the doctor succeed?

 When does the doctor succeed in treating the patient? When he is guided to two things: He succeeds when he diagnoses the illness correctly, and when he prescribes the appropriate drug. Hence, the patient is treated successfully when his illness is diagnosed correctly and when the suitable medicines is prescribed to him.

 A poet said:

The doctor can apply his medical knowledge
when the appointed time of death has not come yet.
But when the journey of life comes to its end,
the doctor will get fairly confused and
all drugs will become useless.
 In such a case the doctor gets fairly confused, and he will not be able to diagnose the illness. Besides, whatever medicine he prescribes will be ineffective. Some scholars said, "Perhaps Allah the Almighty has kept the cure of some incurable fatal diseases for Himself; when He wills, the patient will be completely cured of this incurable disease." The doctors call this "the self-healing". For example, sometimes a fifth-degree malignant tumor shrinks without any medicine that causes it to shrink. Probably Allah the Almighty has kept the healing of some diseases for Himself; He heals the patient when He wills, and the doctors will not be able to find out the reason for that. This is one of the interpretations of that Noble Hadith.

Some Shari'ah rulings on medication:

 Let me refer to some of the Shari'ah rulings on receiving medical treatment: The Islamic scholars said, "The doctor who treats Muslim patients should be Muslim." Is there a reason for that ruling? Yes, of course. The non-Muslim doctor may prescribe something prohibited as a medicine. For instance, he may prescribe wine for the patient to give him energy. Thus, the doctor who treats Muslims should be a Muslim doctor, because he abides by Allah's Orders and Prohibitions. You ask Allah to recover from a certain illness, but your Du'a won't be answered if you disobey Him; Allah has not made the things which He prohibits as a means of healing. Another point regarding the non-Muslim doctor is that he may unnecessarily look at some of the female patient's body which should be covered, and he may prescribe something which is prohibited in Islam. Thus, the doctor who treats Muslims should be a trustworthy Muslim doctor, because every advice or instruction with regard to fasting, fast breaking and abortion are not given except by the pious reliable experienced Muslim doctor. Being a Muslim refers to his Islamic affiliation, being experienced refers to his skillfulness and being trustworthy refers to his piety. If a doctor orders you to break your fasting, you should not obey him except if he is a pious reliable experienced Muslim doctor. Some scholars said, "It is not preferable in Islam to seek treatment from a non-Muslim doctor." A doctor who does not fear Allah the Almighty may prescribe cortisone which has immediate calming effect, but it also has serious side effects, while the true Muslim doctor would rather let the patient feel pain than prescribe to him a drug that will badly affect his life in the future.

When is it permissible to seek treatment from a non-Muslim doctor?

 The scholars said, "It is permissible to go to a non-Muslim doctor when it is necessary to do so." The proof of this opinion is that the Prophet, peace be upon him, hired a non-Muslim man as an expert guide on the way to Al-Madinah during migration. As a Muslim, first you are supposed to go to a Muslim doctor, but if that doctor is not skilled enough, and you suffer from a serious illness, you can go to a non-Muslim doctor if he is highly experienced. Hence, when it is necessary, it is permissible to go to a reliable experienced non-Muslim doctor. It was narrated that the prophet, peace be upon him, sought treatment from a non-Muslim doctor.

Is it permissible for a female doctor to treat a non-Mahram man?

 It is not permissible for a foreign female doctor to treat a man except when it is necessary. The word 'foreign' here does not mean a non-Muslim women but a woman who is not one of your Maharem (your relatives whom you are not allowed to marry). Thus, it is not allowed for a foreign female Muslim doctor to treat a man except when it is urgent to do so, and the reason is clear enough. Also, the Muslim women should seek treatment from a female doctor. If your wife suffers an ordinary illness, and there is a Muslim female doctor who can treat that illness, you should be pious and refrain from taking your wife to a male doctor, because it is better for a woman to be treated by a female doctor. I think the reasons are very clear to you. However, when necessity arises, the male doctor can treat a foreign woman, but he has to cover her body.

Pious Muslim doctors do the following while treating foreign women?

 Many pious Muslim doctors, may Allah bless them, have white sheets with a small hole; when one of them wants to treat a female patient, he covers her body with this sheet, and keeps only the part of her body which he wants to treat uncovered through that small hole. Accordingly, he can treat her without exposing unnecessary parts of her body out of his piety. Thus, the true Muslim doctor innovates many ways to treat women without exposing unnecessary parts of their bodies, whereas the non-Muslim doctor or the one who does not fear Allah the Almighty may have wicked ways to look at some parts of her body with no need to do so. Also, the Muslim doctor should lower his gaze as much as possible, and no one can know that and can hold him accountable for prohibited gazes except Allah the Almighty since no one but Allah Alone knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the breasts conceal. Hence, he should lower his gaze as much as possible, and he should look only at the inflicted part of her body.

A proof from the Noble Sunnah:

 According to Shari'ah and to the Noble Sunnah, you should choose the best doctor. The proof of that is mentioned in the following Noble Hadith:

(Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that a man received a wound in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. The blood clotted in the wound and the man called two men from the Banu Ammar tribe. They looked at it and claimed that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said to them, "Which of you is the better doctor?" They said, "Is there any good in medicine, Messenger of Allah?" Zayd claimed that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, "The one who sent down the disease sent down the remedy.")

[Reported by Malik in Al-Mauta']

 "Which of you is the better doctor?" means that heath is really priceless; it is the most precious thing you have. Therefore, you should care a lot about it. Furthermore, you should avoid going to an inexperienced doctor making use of his free treatment or little fees, or making use of the short distance between his clinic and your house. Never ever do that, because your health is the most precious thing you have. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Tie the camel and then rely on Allah" Thus, when it comes to your health, you should not choose the low-cost treatment or the nearest doctor, but rather you should choose the best doctor, because any medical error has serious effects. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Which of you is the better doctor?"

 By the way, there is a great responsibility with regard to medication: Whoever provides medical treatment for sh3er or claims to be a doctor while in fact he is not is fully responsible for all the bad consequences, and he will be held accountable for that by Allah and by people.

Is it permissible to treat diseases with impure or forbidden substances?

 You should be treated with pure and permissible things, so you should not take impure or forbidden substances like illegal drugs, alcohol or any other things that are prohibited by Allah the Almighty, as medicines. The believer should not accept to be treated with such things. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(Whoever commits a sin in order to fulfill his need will be farther away from what he wants and closer to what he fears.)

 What does the one who takes forbidden materials as medicines seek, and what does he fear? He seeks healing and he fears illness, therefore he will be far away from healing and very close to illness. This Noble Hadith is applied to all aspects of life. For instance, the business man wants to earn profit, but if he disobeys Allah in order to earn profit, he will be farther away from making profits and closer to losing. Also, the student seeks success, but if he disobeys Allah in order to succeed, he will be farther away from success and closer to failure. Moreover, the one who seeks treatment with whatever Allah the Almighty prohibits will be farther away from healing and closer to illness.

(Whoever commits a sin in order to fulfill his need will be farther away from what he wants and closer to what he fears.)

Prophetic proofs on the prohibition of treating with impure substances:

 What are the evidences on the prohibition of medications made of impure or unlawful substances? Abu Hurairah said:

(The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, forbade treating illness with foul things (Khabith), meaning poison.)

[Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi in their Sunan]

 This Hadith was also narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmidhi. Foul things mean impure or unlawful things and poison. The unlawful things are like wine, urine, stool or the meat of the animals which are forbidden for Muslims to eat. The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade seeking treatment with all such things. The following is another Noble Hadith which revolves around the same subject: Abu Ad-Darda' narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.)

[Abu Dawud in his Sunan ]

(Abdur Rahman Ibn 'Uthman narrated that a doctor consulted the Prophet, peace be upon him, about extracting medicine from a frog but he, peace be upon him, prohibited killing it.)

[Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i in their Sunan]

When should we apply the following rule?

 In rare cases, if someone nearly chokes while he is eating and he does not find anything to drink in order to swallow this bite except wine, it is permissible for him to drink wine, lest he dies because of the bite. In this case we apply the following rule: "Necessity knows no law."

Conclusion:

 Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that it is not preferable for Muslims to treat illness with medicines that are made by non-Muslims, because these medicines may be composed of materials that are prohibited in Islam. Thus, when Muslims neglect pharmaceutical manufacturing, the whole Islamic Ummah is sinful (until this duty is fulfilled).

 I heard that all capsules are made from lard. Therefore, when Muslims do not care about learning applied sciences, they become entirely dependent on non-Muslims with regard to receiving medication. When some people perform the collective duty, the burden will be lifted from sh3er, but when no one performs it, the whole Islamic Ummah will be sinful. If a city or a village has 100 Muslim scientists but no Muslim doctor, and that the only doctor it has is non-Muslim, and he does not care about covering the female patient's body as the Muslim doctor does, all people in that city are sinful, because learning medicine is a collective duty. Thus, one of the causes of Muslim's backwardness is that they neglect to make use of the available means, they neglect their basic needs and essential requirements and they depend solely on non-Muslims. In brief, Muslims' negligence and slackening have caused their humiliation and backwardness.