Supplying Medication Containing Unlawful Substances

Supplying Medication Containing Unlawful Substances

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalam Alaykum

I work as a pharmacist, sometimes doctors prescribe medication which contains unlawful substances such as alcohol or gelatin and this is what I have to supply to the patient, sometimes those patients are Muslim. Would I be sinful for checking off/ supplying such medication?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for your question.

The onus to check if medical cases permit consumption of impure substances for treatment rests on the doctor, and the patient’s acceptance. Your checking the dosage, ingredients, and supplying the medication based on the doctors prescription would be permissible, if the doctor prescribing it is known to be qualified and competent. Patients also have the individual responsibility to look into what they are being prescribed and consuming.

However, it would be recommended for you to mention to Muslim patients that their medication contains such ingredients, so they have the choice to take it or refer back to the doctor for an alternative prescription. This way,  you have done what is in your capacity to inform them and allow them to make an informed decision. And Allah knows best.

Warmest salams,
Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. He travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years privately studying a range of Islamic sciences under the foremost scholars and muftis from the Ribat Tarim, specializating in Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies under many of Amman’s most prominent scholars, in a range of Islamic sciences, including Islamic theology, logic, legal principles and precepts, hadith studies, grammar and rhetoric, seerah, Quranic studies and tafsir. He is also an experienced homeopath, having studied and been mentored under some of its leading practitioners.