Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I am currently in medical school and in a few month inshallah I’ll start practicing so is it permissible for me to touch non mahram men for treatment purposes only? And inshallah in the future I want to specialize in facial reconstructive surgery for children that are born with abnormal features. Is that permissible?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your question.

Medical treatment between opposite genders, according to the preponderant view in the Shafi’i school, is only permitted in the absence of the same gender. A male may only treat a female, if no female doctor is available and vice versa. Also, when opposite gender treatment takes place, the following conditions should be kept in mind, (1) preference should be given to male doctor who is a mahram, (2) females (doctor or patient) should be accompanied by a mahram or another trustworthy female, and (3) viewing and touching should be limited to necessity [Mugni al-Muhtaj 3/180].

The 4th century jurist, ibn al-Qas, held that treatment between opposite sexes would be permitted even when a same gender doctor is available [Rawdah al-Talibin 5/375]. His position, though not the official view within the school, may be practiced upon. The conditions mentioned above must be adhered to according to his position as well.

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

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