Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle
Question: Assalamu alaykum
As a doctor, is it halal to provide and advertise medical treatment that would frequently allow others to persist in committing sins? For example, PrEP which protects patients who are at high risk for getting HIV?
Answer: Bismillahi al Rahman al Rahim.
Thank you for your important question.
Given that such treatment provided is not exclusive to people commiting sin, and that it does not directly facilitate sin for them, it is permissible.
Assisting in Sin
Allah Most High says, ‘And help one another in [all sorts of] good and in fearing Allah, and do not help one another in sin and transgression.’ (Qur’an, 5:2)
And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘May Allah curse wine, the one who drinks it, the one who pours it, him who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who presses it, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who delivers it, and the one for whom it is delivered!’ (Abu Dawud)
Among many other primary texts, the verse and hadith above clearly show that Allah has not merely forbidden us from committing sin, but has also forbidding us from assisting in sin.
There is however a difference between directly facilitating sin, and indirectly facilitating sin.
To give some examples, in the Shafi’i school, it is forbidden to sell arms to people involved in killing Muslims, but it is not forbidden to sell them steel, because it may well be used for something else. Similarly, selling grapes to some who may possibly make wine is offensive, and not sinful, whereas selling it to someone who will definitely make wine is sinful. (Rawdat al Talibin, Nawawi)
Similarly, it is forbidden in the Shafi’i school to serve food to non-Muslims during the daytime in Ramadan, because it is considered helping them not fast, which is a sin. (Tuhfat al Muhtaj, Ibn Hajr al Haytami)
So the principle in the Shafi’i school is that when the means definitely leads to a sinful end, it is sinful. Otherwise, it is just better to avoid.
For examples in the Hanafi school (which is actually sometimes more lenient), please see this answer.
We all have to earn a living, and it is actually a good idea in our day and age to earn a lot of money. (Please see this video )
When Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan al Shaybani was asked to write a book on abstinence in the world [zuhd], he rolled up his sleeves and wrote a book on earning money. There is a clear message behind what he did.
At the same time, when possible we should try to work in a way that kills two birds with one stone: paying the bills and doing something that is in keeping with the higher goals of the Sacred Law.
In view of this, if you feel that a lot of your work is basically helping people live a sexually promiscuous life, I’d tried and find another speciality or focus in your same line of work.
A Common Word
As you mentioned in your question, things are pretty hard in the current climate. It is very difficult, and indeed very dangerous, for Muslims as a minority to try and battle against every little evil in society.
That said, just as Allah commands us to come to ‘a common word’ with the Jews and Christians concerning matters of creed (Qur’an, 3:64), we should also try and work with Jews, Christians, and anyone else who shares our common values of family and traditional gender relationships, to make a change.
By doing so, inshaAllah, we can try to push back the tide that is threatening the countries and communities that we live in.
We can work with others in our respective countries in a peaceful, respectful and democratic way to voice our opinions on cases like Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and work for change.
To not do anything at all is cowardice; to try to do it on our own is quixotic.
How you advertise these services is also relevant. If you just let any old outreach team work on the images and wordings, you may well find that they are directly targeting gay couples as customers. This would of course not be permissible.
The treatments are halal as they are not directly instrumental to sin. However, if you feel that a lot of your work is effectively helping patients persist in sin, you should look for another field of work.
Please also see this answer.
I pray this helps.
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.
Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.
In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.