Are Protein Supplements Halal?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam Aleykum, My question is regarding Whey protein. As a person who workouts I need to take protein supplements. In most protein bars or powder, it contains whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate which are often byproducts resulting from the manufacture of rennet types of hard cheese. Are these halal?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The basis is that rennet is permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa, irrespective of whether or not the animal was slaughtered correctly. His two Companions (sahibayn), however, disagreed and held that rennet extracted from non-slaughtered animals is impermissible due to its proximity and contact with filthy moisture in the stomach. This is a safer and more precautionary position to follow.

Whey is a by-product of the cheesemaking process in which initially rennet is added to milk in order to curdle it. The resultant liquid which is released from the coagulum is termed whey; accordingly, this would also be permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa regardless of the source of the rennet, with the obvious exception of a swine which is unconditionally impermissible to use or consume altogether.

Commercial Methods of Rennet Extraction

However, many contemporary methods of rennet extraction wherein the entire stomach of the animal is treated in order to chemically extract the rennet are religiously problematic when the animal has not undergone a correct religious slaughter. The reason for this is that the stomach itself is not deemed to be legally pure in such a case, nor is it thus permissible to consume anything extracted from it.

What this means is that the process of extraction undertaken by means of using something religiously filthy, through a filthy solution and the like, would cause the by-product to also be filthy and impermissible to consume. This is something which deserves caution and our attention lest we fall into a situation of consuming that which is prohibited. An easy way to find out is to simply ask the company in question what the source of the rennet is.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives in our times to animal-based rennet such as GM, microbial, plant-based, and the like which would generally be permissible to use in the cheesemaking process, and the cheese produced thereby would be legally permissible to consume, barring any other impermissible ingredients. Similarly, plant-based whey protein may be used as an alternative to commercial whey protein powders unless the process used in the latter is clearly known to be permissible or the animal has been correctly slaughtered.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar/Minhat al-Khaliq ‘ala al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, quoting Ibn Amir Haj; Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur)

Please also see: Is Rennet in Cheese Halal or Haram to Consume? and: A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

When Are Drugs Considered Forbidden?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: When are drugs considered forbidden, and under what circumstances may they be permissibly used?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for asking this really important question.

Any substance, whether liquid, solid, or gas, that significantly alters your mind such that you cannot think properly is considered haram. Such substances would become permissible to use under extreme duress, such as using them as a pain killer or anesthetic. Sugar or caffeine used in normal doses is halal because merely getting excited does not significantly alter the mind.

Under the Influence

The ulema defines being under the influence of alcohol or drugs as ‘the loss of the ability to think properly.’ (Bushra al Karim, Bashin) This is significant because someone who enters this state is considered to have broken their wudu, and any substance that makes one enter such a state is forbidden. (Fath al Muin, Millibari)

For this reason, depressants like alcohol and marijuana, and stimulants like cocaine or ecstasy, are absolutely forbidden because they significantly affect the mind. Even if someone claimed that under the influence of a certain drug they could focus more or perform a task better, they would still not be thinking normally.

Sayyidna Umar said, ‘Wine is whatever overspreads [khamara] the mind.’ (Bukhari and others) Ibn Hajar al Asqalani explains this saying, ‘That is to say that whatever covers over [the mind] or alters it such that it does not remain the same … The mind is the tool by which we distinguish things, so it is for this reason that anything that covers it over or does anything else like that to it has been forbidden. This is because by losing [the mind], one loses one’s ability to understand, and understanding is exactly what Allah has commanded His slaves to do so that they might uphold what is due to Him.’ (Fath al Bari, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani)

Consuming any amount of any drugs whether depressants or stimulants is forbidden [haram], regardless of what effect it has on their minds. (al Insaf, Mardawi; Ianat al Talibin, Dimyati)

Coffee and Coffee Houses

Although coffee is a stimulant, you would have to drink an awfully large amount to actually have it work as a mind-altering drug. As such a normal amount is perfectly halal.

What is interesting to note is that coffee in Arabic is actually called wine. (Qahwa is one of the words in Arabic for wine). This is interesting because, as the questioner mentioned, coffee is also a drug, and some ulema in the dawn of its introduction some five hundred years ago actually deemed it haram.

Of the later pros/cons of drinking coffee was the opening on coffee houses enabled deep social and intellectual discussions to change societies throughout the world.

Please see: Ottoman Coffee: Love and Hate

and: English coffeehouses in the 17th and 18th centuries

Medicinal Drugs

The well-known principle states that duress [darura] shall render something haram halal. A further well-known nuance of that principle is that duress shall only be measured in its actual extent. (al Ashbah wa al Nadhair, Suyuti)

This means that under extenuating circumstances, such as surgery or extreme pain, substances that are forbidden can be used. (Ianat al Talibin, Dimyati) Obvious cases include the sedation of patients with morphine and pharmaceutical grade cannabis (medical marijuana) for pain relief.

In any such use, the decision to use such a substance must be given by either an upright Muslim doctor or fit under standard medical procedures. (Hashiyat Shabramallisi; Hashiyat Umayra)

Any unnecessary or recreational use of “medical” narcotics would be forbidden, even if they are considered legal in one’s state or country, because, as we mentioned, only the absolutely necessary amount can be used.

Conclusion

Any substance that stops one from thinking rationally is forbidden, and can only be used under pressing medical circumstances.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Joining Prayers

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh:

I have Multiple Sclerosis. Neurologist appointments are given every 6 months. The doctor office is far from my house and somentimes i lost prayers because there is no place to pray. So im asking if is possible to join prayers, for example: Duhr with Asr or Magrib with Isha. Jazakum Allah Khairan

Answer: assalamu alaykum

You should try your best to pray within the time and try to choose an appointment time that allows you to do so. If on the way to your appointment, you can stop at a mosque or musalla to perform a quick prayer, you should do so.

If you are unable to do any of this and miss performing the prayer within its time, you should make it up at the earliest opportunity. This should be done with the intention of qada’.

[Shaykh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Problems With Sickness And Purification

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu

I suffer from hemorrhoids that are external and possibly internal as well. If I am excused also do I check for the mucus and if it´s there clean it with a tissue and then do wudu or just ignore it and do wudu? Or can I just dab it until I can see no more even though it is Still impure? And if so, how long can I do this for? Only until they are not hurting anymore or can I do it all the time? Sometimes it happens only once a day, would I still be able to clean with toilet paper in that case or would I have to wash it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah Most High grant you a complete cure by His grace.

A few points to keep in mind:

(1) Filth which remains on the point of exit is a sunna to remove. Hence, if there is difficulty in cleaning the area, you may leave it, perform the ritual ablution (wudu) and pray.

(2) External hemorrhoids may be treated like any other injured area of the body. Accordingly, if cleaning fully or in-depth will cause pain or soreness, you may do the best you can without causing harm, and nothing more.

(3) Similarly, filth on the rest of your body or clothing which is less than approximately 3-4cm in diameter would be considered excused. Hence, if you find difficulty in changing and cleaning regularly, you may leave it.

(4) Cleaning the private parts may be done with something dry, such as tissue paper, alone and without the usage of water.

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and How to Pray and Stay Pure With Discharge From Private Parts

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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.

Is Euthanasia Permissible?

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers a question related to Euthanasia and its ruling in Islamic law.

Question:

My question is regarding the medically assisted death option which patients in hospitals are choosing. I’m completing a clinical pastoral education unit in a hospital and was recently asked if I would assist patients who have chosen medically assisted death and without any confusion or hesitation I said yes. However, I’m wondering if as a Muslim that is problematic or not. I don’t think so but I just need to speak to someone who is in the field and is a Muslim to provide some kind of comments, feedback or advise. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you

Answer:

Assalam ‘alaykum, thank you for your question.

Euthanasia is of two types, active and passive. Active euthanasia is deliberately performing an act that will cause the person to die, such as administering a fatal injection. Passive euthanasia entails leaving a person to die without any action being taken to preserve life.

Active Euthanasia, Suicide, and Assisted Suicide

Active Euthanasia, the direct and deliberate act performed to kill the patient maybe involuntary, such as when the patient is unconscious and the decision to end their lives is taken by the family or physician, or voluntary, in which case it is termed suicide, or assisted suicide if a third party assists the person in the act.

Active Euthanasia, suicide, and assisted suicide, are unlawful in Islamic Law, even if the person is suffering.

This is based on the words of God, ‘And take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law’[6: 151], and, ‘Do not kill yourselves. Verily, Allah is ever Merciful unto you’. [4:29].

Alongside the prohibition, the person who deliberately caused death would have committed homicide.

Vegetable States

The ‘exception’ to the prohibition on involuntary euthanasia is when the patient is in a severe vegetable state, such that the medication, feeding (i.e. hydration), or life support machine, is the only thing keeping the person breathing, and without it, it has been concluded that the person would be dead or will not function. In these cases, it would be permissible to stop treatment if qualified physicians state that this is the case and there is no hope of recovery.

Passive Euthanasia

Passive euthanasia, where no action is taken, entails stopping medical treatment. The vast majority of scholars have held that it is recommended for a person to seek medical treatment but it is not obligatory. Therefore, if a person chooses to stop treatment, and they are left to die naturally, then this would be permissible. However, it would not be permitted to starve the person to death (or self-starvation). And Allah knows best.

Do Not Desire Death

It is disliked for a person to desire death, as the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Let none of you wish for death on account of an affliction that befalls him. If he has no alternative, let him pray, O Allah! Give my life so long as the life is good for me, and take away my life if death is good for me.’ [Al Bukhari and Muslim]

Role of the Muslim physician

The Muslim physician holds a very important yet precarious role. It is essential that any person wishing to treat or care for patients first learn the rulings of sacred law (fiqh) that apply to their job, as well as study some central tenants of Islamic belief (‘aqida).

Though it can be very difficult, Muslim physicians should always encourage patients, Muslims and non-Muslim, to have hope in something greater than their suffering, for hope is often far greater a cure than any medicine can afford.

[al Majmu’, Tuhfatul Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj, Tarshih al Mustarshidin]

 

Please also refer to the following answer:

I wish you all the best in your affairs.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabanni


 

Can I Prescribe Medication With Gelatin When a Less Efficacious Alternative is Available?

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers a question related to the permissibility of prescribing medication which contains gelatin.

 

Question:

Salaam,

I know it is haram to take medicine that has haram elements in it (like gelatin capsules) if there is a reasonable alternative (such as tablets). So as a muslim psychiatrist, many of our medicines have extended release formulations that have many advantages over the immediate release formulations. The immediate release formulations do not have gelatin capsules, and right now, that’s really their advantage. For example, effexor XR has a decreased risk of side effects including nausea and people only have to take it once a day, and this is why the immediate release tablets have fallen out of favor (though the IR tablets have no gelatin). The other thing is that compliance with psychiatric medications is found to be low, and once daily medications are more likely to have increased compliance as well. The other consideration is that extended release formulations have less risk of withdrawal syndromes (which are non-fatal but really really uncomfortable and can make you sick) compared to immediate release formulations.

Is it haram to prescribe XR on the basis of the issue of gelatin and I can only recommend IR to my patients (even if they are non-Muslim) as to avoid direct assistance in sin?

 

Answer:

Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for your question.
Most scholars hold the position that gelatine from animals not Islamically slaughtered remains impure and is therefore unlawful. The exception for when it would permissible to take or prescribe impure gelatine is when:

1. It is known that the medicine will be effective

2. The medicine is needed

3. There is no permissible alternative reasonably available

4. The above has been established by a Muslim doctor who is at least outwardly upright or by previous experience.
[Mughni al Muhtaj]
In regards your specific question and field of work, if it is in fact true that the extended release (XR) formulation has numerous benefits over the immediate release (IR) drug, and the side effects are fewer, then it would seem that this would be a valid case for the permissibility of prescribing the slow release version. However, when prescribing to Muslims, you should inform them of the option and give them the choice.
Considerations

The above answer is according to the restrictions of the field you work in and the boundaries of conventional medicine. Another perspective to this is that natural alternatives do exist, are very effective, and carry no side effects. The side effects of conventional medicines such as the ones you have mentioned are disturbing. Furthermore, many patients also complain about the serious come downs associated with the XR formulations you mention compared to the IR formula, and this should be looked into further and taken into account.
Nevertheless, if what you have stated is indeed true in regards the two formulas, then you are only required to work within your own capacity and area of expertise, and based on that, it would be permissible for you to prescribe the XR version if the patient also chooses such a course of treatment. And Allah knows best.

Please also refer to the following answers:

Warmest salams,

Jamir
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Pros and Cons of Breast Implants

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan addresses a sister’s concerns about rulings on breast implants.

I pray that you and your family are very well. May Allah reward you all and keep you firm on the path of serving, striving, and emulating the Beloved, blessings and peace be upon him.

I recently read this SeekersHub reply on breast implants. The answer displays what one consistently sees in fatawa, and two conditions are clearly listed at the end as is often clarified. Readers respect our esteemed teachers, may Allah be pleased with you all, and hold such guidance sources such as your respected contributions and that of SeekersHub to an exceptional degree masha’Allah.

Hence, the potential repercussions for a person seeking such an answer or skimming through fatawa excerpts appears very troubling. We know people take bits of information while leaving other parts, especially while they may be (possibly subconsciously) unaware of their sway towards a certain course of action. Indeed, obtaining breast implants is not a quick uncomplicated task. However, I fear for some, the answer may seem to be an endorsed authorization and permission, even if it was not explicitly stated. The person taking action is of course responsible but their confidence and desire could I think lead things the wrong way, saying: “Well, Mawlana and SeekersHub said it was okay,” even though limitations were stated. Unfortunately, they could likely find doctors who say the conditions are met, while other practitioners would be in horrified disagreement. 

From the question, the purpose of the procedure is for a significant personal feeling of insecurity and the possible concern of a potential husband who is not even in the picture. Putting aside the larger concerns for a minute, it is disgusting for society to continue to tolerate such superficial and destructive attitudes. I acknowledge that the concern may be more of the wife’s than the husband’s. That identity of womanhood should not be minimized. Still, for a man to be oblivious and outweigh his physical expectation over deeper health consequences and repercussions seems very ignorant, irresponsible, and immature for a husband, who is supposed to be the caretaker and protector of his family.

People may intend well, while not really aiming to be inconsiderate of the ramifications. Similar scenarios could happen in families with breast cancer survivors. Intimate discussions of options are needed for such women, but I fear some people could use such an answer as a blanket prescription to an excuse for implants, even to the degree of trying to persuade a woman who is uninterested in the procedure, perhaps where she even becomes uncomfortable with an already emotional situation. One would like to believe that that feeling of near-shaming would not exist. The same could apply to unwarranted pressure from other females in the family, etc. 

Now, the sister has valid concerns but should refer to capable medical professionals who could look at her condition on a more personal level. Psycho-social support would be part of this. While genetically she may be closer to a certain body type, her nutritional and hormonal health should be assessed, including underlying health conditions, her medical history, effects from medications or other things in her environment, lack of balance within the body, certain behaviors, excessive exercising, possible disorders, etc. She should note that all practitioners may not be qualified to help her, just as all surgeons may not fully explain the possible risks and consequences of breast implant procedures. May Allah help her, giving her strength and tawfiq in her search. 

In this scenario, the sister seems to be of a younger age. She may be encouraged at the reminder that a woman’s body develops and changes throughout the stages of her life. Hormonal shifts after marriage, pregnancy, and childbearing would probably lead nature to take course. Many are interested in having a family and alhamduliLlah even smaller women can be built as great mothers by Allah’s great design. On the other hand, I have witnessed firsthand how women who previously had breast surgeries struggle to establish breastfeeding their newborn – desperately trying whatever they can. Some moms are able to, to some extent, but some regret their inability due to the previous elective surgery. One need not look far to see the extensive benefits of breastfeeding that are still being realized, subhan Allah. What are the rights of one’s children? We must try to give our best for their best. May Allah improve how we fulfill our duties, and forgive our shortcomings.

While one may find other ways to feed and bond with a newborn, other effects of breast implants can be potentially life-threatening and are most disturbing. Research shows there are many risks and potentially devastating effects of having implants. The augmentation is definitely not guaranteed to be safe. Possible risks include chronic infection along with those systemic effects, rupture, the body breaking down the implants, leakage of foreign materials like silicone gel into the body tissue, possible increased risk of cancer, the need for removal or replacement and upkeep through their lifespan, potential muscle and spinal pain, and various other symptoms… In the US, cosmetic implants can be seen as elective, leading health insurance companies not to pay for subsequent complications or screenings. After the surgery, with suggested MRI checks and replacement operations, costs easily near 50,000 USD according to one estimate, not including care for complications. Women say they had little knowledge of the impact breast implants could actually have on health. Years later women realize the repercussions of the choice their younger self made. Thousands undergo reversal surgery in regret. 

Regarding the woman’s body image and confidence, some women say they feel worse after the augmentation (not to mention the possible emotional roller-coaster as they now face this through the rest of their life). As for men, and the contentment of a possible future husband, the questioner should know that some men also do not like implants, actually being turned off by them. Either way, the decision to have the surgery is hardly an inconsequential or simple passing, short-lived choice. Some, as mothers years later, would never want their daughter to feel the need to make such a decision, rather valuing self-acceptance over acceptance from others. A young woman should hear that any Muslim man not wanting to marry her solely for such a reason could be considered too immature for the duties of a husband or parent. 

Regarding ‘urf, some note cultural preferences for body shape change through history. A recent fascination with unnatural physical expectations and what may almost be considered as “fake” women and “fake” unnatural relationships should not be something encouraged or sought. Hopefully the trend towards balance and fitness with emphasis on natural health and care of the human body will continue to improve in a good direction. That “in” custom is currently happening even though society is also pushing for the fake woman model that we all know is plaguing the world today. May Allah protect us from being susceptible to such fallacies. Praise be to our Creator Who has fashioned us in the best manner and blessed us with the complete and perfect din. AlhamduliLlah

فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

Please forgive me for my errors. Masha Allah, you have other matters to address, but the answer I read really concerned me and we do not want people to misuse or misconstrue the information. May Allah guide and safeguard us. Please make du’a for us. Barak Allah fikum. 

Allah knows best. Jazakum Allah khayr.

Jazak Allah khayr for your concern and comment.

The question regarding the pros and cons of breast implants is one that cannot be settled in this post. I am personally inclined to the suggestions presented by the respected sister and acknowledge that many a times while answering questions, we tend to almost simplify matters. To this end, I thank the sister for sharing her thoughts and criticisms in a positive and constructive manner.

Nonetheless, since it is not practical for a religious scholar to settle medical debates such as breast enhancement and whether it has a high success rate or whether it is predominantly safe (keeping in mind that many statistics regarding the failure of breast implants may have been in earlier times when implants were just introduced), and the fact that people are in need of religious guidance, the answer was given with the conditions mentioned.

The questioner thus has to be honest with herself in consulting reputable professionals that she has confidence in. We further would like to believe that she would have the integrity not to misuse the answer that was given. Also, in relation to another point you raised, the fact that some readers may be doing fatwa shopping, misreading, and consequently misusing answers found online, is something which is unfortunately unavoidable.

In short, your concerns have been noted and I have added an additional note to the original answer that was given.

May Allah bless and increase you.

Wassalam,

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Fasting while Using Contraceptive Implant

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about fasting while using a contraceptive implant.

If one has a contraceptive implant fitted into their arm, are the fasts they keep legally valid?

Yes, your fasts are legally valid whilst you have a contraceptive implant in your arm. This is because there is no entry of a substance into your digestive system from a cavity or orifice of consequence. Such entry is required for the legal nullification of your fast.

Please also see The Complete Guide to Fasting.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

In Vitro Fertilization

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers questions about In Vitro Fertilization.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I had a miscarriage in December 2017 and was advised that I have to follow up for six months. Once the six months ended I found out that my husband and I both have beta thalassemia. So our children have the chance of having major thalassemia which means they could need blood transfusions every 2-3 months and life expectancy is shorter up to the age of 30.

Doctors have advised us to go down the route of IVF. They said they will check the fetus (PGD) for thalassemia major and if it is normal they will implant it.

My question: Is this permissible in Islam?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Thank you for writing in.

I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage and your and your husband’s conditions. May Allah transform your difficulties into sources of relief and reward.

Scholars have stated that IVF treatment is permissible given the two following conditions:

  1. The sperm and the egg is from the husband and wife.
  2. There is no third party involved in any part of the reproduction process, such as a third party donating sperm, eggs, or acting as a surrogate mother.

It is also important to note that the husband’s seminal fluid should only be emitted via lawful means, i.e. through the wife’s hand causing him to ejaculate or similar, not self-masturbation, as this is unlawful.

Please also refer to the following answers for more details on the permissibility of IVF treatment: Kids in Test Tubes: Is In Vitro Fertilization Allowed? and Is It Permissible to Have a Child Through In Vitro Fertilization?

Complementary Treatments

For future consideration, the symptoms of beta thalassemia may be greatly helped by natural medicines such as homeopathy, which can reduce the need for frequent blood transfusions as well as improve the immune system, which also controls frequent attacks of respiratory infections. Such treatment is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatment.

I wish you the both the best of health, and may Allah grant you a loving and pious family.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.