Can I Take Medicine With Unlawful Ingredients?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have an under active thyroid that may require hormone replacement. Would it be permissible for me to use a dessicated thyroid supplement from bovine sources (not halal) instead of the synthetic hormone (synthroid) replacement that is commonly prescribed. I have tried the synthetic hormone in the past but didn’t seem to be improving. I have read about people’s success with the dessicated thyroid. I am also concerned about the long term effects of the synthetic hormones (synthroid) on my thyroid. I am trying to optimize and heal my thyroid and I have read negative things about synthroid and it’s long term effect on the thyroid gland.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

It would be permitted to use medicines containing unlawful ingredients if: [a] the medicine is known to be effective, [b] there is no permissible alternative, and [c] this has been established by an expert doctor, through past relevant experience, your own or that of another, or manifest signs such as its being clearly known that it is the only medicine available.

If the doctor is not an outwardly upright Muslim who understands the limits of Islamic Law, you would take their opinion into consideration and make your own judgement.

[see also: Is it Permissible to Take Medicine That Contains Gelatin?  and: Is It Permissible to Use Medicine With Haram Ingredients?]

However, if harm is to be reasonably feared [the same conditions as mentioned in [c] above would apply here] by using the permissible alternative, then the ruling could change. In such a case, you should consult expert doctors regarding your particular condition and then confirm the ruling with reliable scholars.

May Allah give you, your family, and the entire Muslim community, every well-being (`afiya).

Please see related answers in the archives at

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani