Posts

Is It Permissible to Sit at a Table or in a Restaurant Where Alcohol Is Served and Consumed?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible to sit at a table or in a restaurant where alcohol is served and consumed? Also, how do we apply this ruling in the context of western countries?

Answer: It is sinful to accompany people of open sin and transgression unless one intends to prevent them or reproach them in that sin. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

The Western Context

In the western context, though many things that the Muslims do not partake in are common, we find that there are many alternatives. It is not farfetched to meet friends and colleagues at a coffee shop or a restaurant that does not serve alcohol.

One must use wisdom in these matters. For example, being the first to suggest the meeting place or if necessary by excusing one’s self in a very tactful manner. If one is frank and straightforward, with a respectable and dignified approach, it is usually taken well and with respect. For example, “Sorry, but as a Muslim, I would prefer we go somewhere where alcohol is not served.”

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Hadiths on Drinking Alcohol

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Please explain the following hadiths on drinking alcohol:

1. Abu’l-Darda’ narrated that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “No one who is addicted to alcohol will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 3376.

2. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allah has cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one squeezes (the grapes, etc), the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who carries it and the one to whom it is carried.”

3. ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr narrated a hadith about someoneIf who drinks repeatedly and repents repeatedly. The end of it is, ‘if he does that again, Allah will give him to drink of the mud of khabaal on the Day of Resurrection.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is the mud of khabaal?” He said, “The juice of the people of Hell.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 3377

4. Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it; and when somebody drinks an alcoholic drink, then he is not believer at the time of drinking, and when a thief steals, he is not a believer at the time when he is stealing; and when a robber robs and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing it.”

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well. Thank you for your question.

Will Every Threat of a Punishment be Carried Out?

The first hadith refers to someone who keeps drinking wine unrepentant. Such a person is threatened with Hell – even if he is a believer. Having said this, there are other similar hadiths about other sins too, and what we understand from the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, is that Allah can forgive anything. Some may be sent to Hell for purification.

With the exception of all forms of disbelief, Allah can forgive any sin, and even someone who commits such sins could be forgiven. However, the purpose of the hadith is to dissuade people from such heinous acts, because they are very likely to lead a person to a punishment in the Afterlife. Therefore, a firmer wording was chosen to get this point across.

What is a Curse?

The second hadith refers to people who do this act actively and unrepentantly. It shows a lack of concern for the severity of the sin, so they are threatened with a curse. A curse is a very serious thing because it entails being distanced from the mercy of Allah Almighty; the one thing we are all desperately in need of at all times.

The doors of repentance are always open. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “He who repents from a sin is like someone who has no sin.” (Ibn Majah)

Does Hajj Expiate all Sins?

With regards to your question on the third hadith, the above answer applies here too. The chances are that such a person will be made to drink the pus of the people of Hell, but ultimately the matter does return to Allah. It’s a serious affair, otherwise the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, would not have told us of this. However, Allah is the ultimate judge; He knows everything, and His mercy is tremendous.

As for the Hajj, many scholars have noted that an accepted Hajj does indeed wipe away of one’s past sins – minor or major. There is a difference regarding financial rights owed to others, and it seems that they will have to be compensated for somehow in this life or the next.

The final hadith means that the person who commits them has severely deficient iman at the time of doing them. We know this because faith does not leave a person because of sins like zina and drinking wine. Rather, it’s state of great deficiency.

(Bajuri, Sharh Jawhara al Tawhid; Usmani, Bath al Mulhim, Mustfa Muhammad ‘Ammara, ed. al Targhib wa al Tarhib)

I pray that helps. May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Repenting from Drinking, Then Marrying a Muslim

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

If a Muslim man drinks alcohol and later regrets his sin, how can repent? Can he then marry a Muslim girl?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum Sister,

Thank you for your question. Your question is answered in the following link:
Drinking Alcohol: Are My Prayers Not Valid for 40 Days? Please see these other links as well: Seeking Forgiveness for Drinking Alcohol

Inspiration for repentance

Allah, Almighty says, “Turn towards Allah, O believers, every one of you, so that perhaps you will have success,” [24:31] and the Almighty says, “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him,” [11:3] and the Almighty says, “O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” (66:8)

Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn towards Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” [Ibn Majah]

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah has greater joy at the repentance of one His slaves when he turns towards Him than one of you would have over his mount, which, having escaped from him with his food and drink in the middle of the desert so that he has despaired of finding it and gone to a tree to lie down in its shade, suddenly appears standing by him while he is in that state, so that he takes its reins and then says out of the intensity of his joy, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ getting confused because of his intense joy.‘” [Muslim]

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty will stretch out His hand during the night, turning towards the one who did wrong during the day, and stretch out His hand during the day, turning towards the one who did wrong during the night, until the day the sun rises from the place it set.” [Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah will turn towards anyone who turns in repentance before the time that the sun rises from the place it set.” [Muslim]

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah the Mighty and Majestic accepts the repentance of His servant as long as long as his death-rattle has not begun.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Marriage

After one has made repentance, it is permissible for him to marry a Muslim girl. He should resolve never to do this again, and get therapy if needed. He should learn his personally obligatory knowledge, take a course on Islamic Marriage and choose a girl for her religion. Allah, Mighty and Majestic may well raise his ranks far beyond what he could imagine.

One should never look down on another Muslim scornfully with contempt or arrogance because of the following hadith. Committing sins in this world are no indication of how a person will end up.

Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, the true and truly inspired said, “Verily, a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his deeds, his livelihood, his time of death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good) deeds until there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him overtakes him and he starts doing the deeds of the people of the HellFire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds until there is only a cubit between him and the HellFire, and then what has been written for him overtakes him, and he starts doing the deeds of the people of Paradise.“ [Bukhari]

May Allah give you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Creating Websites Selling Alcohol

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about being tasked, as a web-developer, to build websites for companies engaged in the sale of alcohol.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have just started a new job as an IT technician/web developer. Only today did the manager ask me to work on one of their sites. This particular website along with a couple of others are based around the sale of alcohol.

What I want to ask is, is it permissible to develop and support these websites which are based around the sale of alcohol? The company that I work for sells other things apart from alcohol.

I look forward to your reply.

Wassalam.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Generally, the job of a web developer is permissible unless it involves content that is impermissible, such as pornography.

In the case you describe, you are not the person who is directly engaged in selling the alcohol. Rather, a third-party is. Thus, your work of creating a platform where a company can sell alcohol is in itself permitted and your income valid.

However, the line may become blurrier depending on the specifics that you are tasked with. The closer it approaches directly assisting another in sin, the more disliked it would. Most web-development and IT technician tasks, however, seem to fall in the realm of non-prohibited though as mentioned in the general rule above.

For more, please see: Assisting in Sin.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


What Is an Intoxicant?

Shaykh Jamir Meah clarifies the rulings regarding intoxicants and the moral responsibility of someone who is intoxicated.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Shafi‘i jurists determined that liquid intoxicants are impure. What is the precise definition of an intoxicant and what are the symptoms of intoxication?

Do symptoms like blurred vision, dizziness, vertigo, weakness, anxiety, etc., denote something causing intoxication?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Thank you for your question.

It should first be noted that the impurity of a liquid intoxicant is a separate matter to the impermissibility of consuming a liquid intoxicant.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said. “Every intoxicant is khamr, and every intoxicant is unlawful.” (Muslim) Therefore, an intoxicant can be a pure substance and still be prohibited.

Definition of Intoxication

To understand the definition of intoxication (al sukr), which is fundamentally the impairment of the intellect and senses, it is useful to define the intellect (al ‘aql).

The fuqaha have various definitions for the intellect, a common and simple one being “The innate faculty that distinguishes between the morally correct and the morally incorrect.” Others have defined it as “The innate faculty that knowledge of necessary matters are observed when the five senses are sound.”

The fuqaha have defined intoxication as “Disorder and confusion of the intellect accompanied by excitement and muddled speech.”

However, the prohibition of intoxicants is not limited to the specific wording of intoxication given in the definition above, but relates to any significant impairment of the intellect and senses, such as sedateness or absolute stupor.

These definitions and understanding are compatible with medical sources, which list seven stages of alcohol intoxication. For more information, please view this article.

The symptoms you mentioned, such as blurred vision, dizziness, vertigo, weakness, anxiety, etc., are all symptoms of intoxication, as they involve impairment of the senses and the emotions/intellect. They generally fall under stages three–four of intoxication.

Rulings on Intoxication

Depending on the stage of the intoxication, different fiqh rulings may apply. For example, if the person is at the sobriety or low-intoxication level (stage 1), or the euphoric “tipsy” level (stage 2), they would still be considered morally responsible (mukallaf) in many rulings. Weheras, if the person is beyond stage 2, then depending on the individual situation, certain rulings may or may not apply.

(Tuhfat al Muhtaj, al Yaqut al Nafis, Nayl al Raja)

I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Does Alcohol Only Refer to Ethanol? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I’ve been told that when talking about alcohol in the islamic context (khamr) we chemically only refer to “ethanol”.

Can we limit all rulings pertaining to khamr, like impurity, to ethanol (and substances with a similiar effect) only, according to the Shāfi’ī school? Does it matter how the substance has been manufactured ?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Every intoxicant is khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden.’ [Muslim].

In the Shafi’i school, the principle is that if a liquid is an intoxicant (muskir), then it takes the ruling of alcohol (khamr). This means that any liquid that intoxicates, falls under the ruling of alcohol. There is no differentiation between the source, name (ethanol or other), or manufacturing process of the alcohol.

For the Hanafi positions, please read here.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Brother Keeps Alcohol at Home. What Should I Do?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My brother and I live together along with a roommate in an apartment. We are all Muslim. My brother drinks alcohol and hides the alcohol in the house. I have asked him to remove it but he refuses to listen. What am I to do in such a situation?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Thank you for writing in.

While it is far from ideal to remain living in a house that has alcohol kept in it, this has to be weighed up with the choices you have at hand. If it would be difficult for you to find another place to live with practicing Muslims or you face other difficulties, then staying with your brother would be permissible, especially if you have voiced your objections.

Moreover, having you as a practicing Muslim in the house may at some point make your brother stop what he is doing and take heed, insha’Allah. Make this your intention.

Practicalities

Be gentle with your brother but kindly ask him to me more careful where he puts his alcohol and empty bottles.

It is fine to pray in the same house, just have a space or corner, preferably your own room, that is kept clean and far away from any alcohol.

Lastly, make plenty of du’a for your brother’s guidance. Let him see you pray daily, read Qur’an. Don’t lecture him, but if he asks questions, then explain things to him in a pleasant way that will appeal to his current level of faith and understanding.

May Allah guide you both to everything He loves.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Should I Trust My Fiancé Who Has Drunk Alcohol?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My fiancé drunk alcohol for the first time in his life due to some major problems. Next day he messages me telling me about this mistake and promised me that he will never do this again. Should I beleive him and still marry him?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. Thank you for writing in. May Allah grant you every good.

Marriage is a major step in life and choosing a spouse with the right qualities is essential to not only a harmonious relationship between husband and wife, but also in raising a pious family.

Qualities in a spouse

The Prophet ﷺ advised us that, ‘A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious.’ [Al Bukhari, Muslim]

The above hadith applies also the attributes to be sought in men. The first thing that both men and women should look for in a prospective spouse is piety and good character, the rest is all a bonus. A pious spouse will guide and inspire the family to good, and will be more likely to treat the family with respect and kindness through times of ease and hardship.

Looking for a spouse

One should take their time when choosing a spouse and enquire as much as possible into their character, religious outlook and practice, the company they keep, occupation, their likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc. One should also ask about the family and the upbringing of the children.

One should also involve and take advice from one’s own parents, and seek counsel from local scholars and others if appropriate, until one’s heart is at rest and a confident decision can be made.

Considerations

If something seems a bit amiss with a potential spouse, then it’s highly likely there is an issue there. While it is very commendable that the person in question regrets his actions, it is still a cause of concern that he turned to alcohol during his difficulties. We all make mistakes, and none of us are infallible, however, since the matter is one of marriage, when we get major warning signs, we have to proceed with cautiousness.

It is not really possible to know if this is the first time that her has drunk, or whether it is an ongoing issue, and indeed if there are other issues he has not shared with you, or how recent behaviour compare with the rest of his religious practice.

Therefore, I would sincerely advise you to make enquiries and seek advice from your parents and others. Be honest with yourself, and put aside any of your emotions and concern for his feelings. It is your religion and happiness that needs to be considered at this point.

If you have doubts and concerns in your heart, even if slight, then I would say it is safer not to marry then to proceed with doubt. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the very best and that Allah grant you to a marriage with is full of blessings.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Is It Impermissible to Marry a Daughter of an Alcohol Trader? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I expressed my interest to marry a girl but my father was concerned about the fact that she is the daughter of an alcohol trader. Is it impermissible to marry her or even to think about marrying her?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. I pray this finds you in the best of states.

It is not impermissible to think about marrying the daughter of such a person, nor is the daughter herself impermissible to marry. The disobedience of a parent does not negate the piety of the child, and the child should not be judged just because of the parent’s behaviour, especially if she is against her father’s work

Nevertheless, consideration should still be taken when considering marriage, as the parents will become your in-laws, and your future children’s grandparents, and from this angle, your father’s concern is valid.

Considerations when marrying

Marriage is potentially more than just two individuals getting together, it is two families forming kinship, and it is the beginning of a new family coming into being. The most important aspect to the success of marriages and family life is piety.

The Prophet ﷺ said, A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious.’ [Al Bukhari, Muslim].

One should look for a spouse that is pious and has good character, and ideally from a good and religious family. For these reasons, I would suggest you work with your parents in making the right decision.

May Allah grant you every good.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

A Comprehensive Guide to the Fiqh of Homeopathic Remedies

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have heard some scholars say that homeopathy is permissible and some say that it isn’t. Since there is alcohol in the mother tincture, how is it considered permissible?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam.

Jazakum Allah khayr for your question, which I have heard many Shafi‘i’s ask. It would be worth discussing this in detail to disperse any confusion.

The use of alcohol in medicinal substances is permitted in both the Hanafi and Shafi‘i, with specific conditions.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies come from various sources. The substances are placed in alcohol for preservation. This is what is called the mother tincture. From the mother tincture, one drop is diluted in different measurements of water, and sucussed (vigorously shaken) to varying degrees, which make the various remedy potencies. There are also other forms of homeopathic remedies, which use more or less alcohol in the pharmaceutical process.

In summary the presence of alcohol can be found in

  1. The initial mother tincture.
  2. The medicating tincture, which is the same as the mother tincture but in potentised form, used to medicate plain pills/tablets.
  3. “LM” potencies, which are remedies in tincture form (alcohol), and used in specific cases.
  4. As part of the solidification process of the actual pill/tablet (used in almost all medicines).

Ruling on using alcohol in medicine in the Hanafi school

The Hanafi school permits the use of non “wine” alcohol (such as from grains), but not “wine” alcohols which is alcohol derived from grapes, dates or raisins. This permission is on the conditions that

  1. It is not used as an intoxicant.
  2. It is not used in an amount that intoxicates.
  3. It is not used as intoxicants are used (e.g. for alcoholic consumption).
  4. It is not used in vain.

Almost all reputable homeopathic pharmacies use grain-based alcohol, so this is permitted by the Hanafi school. It is uncommon to find homeopathic remedies in other than grain-based alcohol, such as brandy, though if one did, it would not be permissible to use, as one can easily find remedies using non-wine alcohols.

(More details on the Hanafi position, with textual sources, can be found here.)

Ruling on using alcohol in medicine in the Shafi‘i school

In the Shafi‘i school, there is no differentiation between the source of the alcohol. If the liquid is an intoxicant (muskir), then it takes the ruling of alcohol (khamr).

According to the reliable opinion, it is prohibited to use alcohol in pure form, for any purpose, other than if one was choking to death, and there is no alternative.

As for alcohol when mixed with other substances, then it is permitted to use with the following conditions,

  1. That the alcohol has been admixed such that there are no traces of alcohol in the medicine.
  2. That there is no pure alternative to the medicine.
  3. That one has been informed of this by an upright Muslim physician, or that one knows through their own experience.

Second position: There is a weaker opinion in the Shafi‘i school that hold that using alcohol is permitted in the use of medication, even when not admixed and regardless of its source, on the condition that it is not taken in the amount that it intoxicates. While this opinion is weak, and weak opinions are generally not encouraged to follow without need, the benefit homeopathy can offer people can be measured against this consideration, if and when needed.

Homeopathy’s fulfillment of the Shafi‘i school conditions

1. Alcohol being admixed: Most homeopathic remedies are extensively diluted in water, until there are no traces of the mother tincture, so there is no discernible trace of alcohol or any other substance left.

2. Pure alternatives: Homeopathic principles and remedies work in a completely different way to any other therapeutic medicine, including herbal or naturopathic medicine, as they simultaneously promote healing on the mental-emotional and energy levels of a person as well as the body, even in acute treatment.

The closest alternative one can get to the far reaching and profound effects of homeopathy is perhaps authentic traditional Chinese acupuncture (to be differentiated from the widespread Chinese Medicine widely available now, including in China itself). Masters trained in genuine traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture are rare and fast disappearing, and therefore, it is not a viable alternative.

For these reasons, homeopaths will argue that homeopathy is incomparable to any other medicine or alternative therapy, even if such alternatives were pure. This view is open to difference of opinion; as non-homeopathic physicians may say otherwise. On this point, we refer to the third condition below.

3. Being informed by an upright Muslim physician, or that one knows through their own experience: Sacred law does not differentiate between convention/allopathic medicine and alternative/natural medicine, and advice can be taken from an upright, qualified, Muslim physician from any background. It also allows the decision to use medicines to be made by the patient themselves, if it is based on previous experience.

Solidification: As for the use of alcohol in the solidification process, then there is no alternative to this. As mentioned, this is used in almost all tablet/pill form of medicines, homeopathic or otherwise.

LM potencies: In regards LM potencies, these do not fulfil the first condition of the alcohol being totally untraceable, as they consist of a drop of the mother tincture in a high concentration of alcohol. However, these remedies are indispensable in the treatment of complicated conditions such as tumours, ADHD, diabetes etc. As such, one may either take the Hanafi opinion when using them, or the second (weaker) Shafi‘i opinion we mentioned.

(The above can all be found in Shirbini’s Mughni al-Muhtaj, in the chapter of Foods.)

Summary

From the above discussion, we can see that the vast majority of homeopathic remedies can be considered permissible in both the Hanafi and the Shafi‘i schools. In the Shafi‘i school, the issue of whether a reliable physician informs one that there is a pure alternative or not, returns to the physician being consulted and the patient’s own understanding and preference to medicine. The sacred law does not force one to adopt one view on this.

The options one has in the use of homeopathy is, to either follow the Hanafi opinion, to follow the reliable opinion of the Shafi‘i school (which permits its use on the condition that one knows or is informed that there is no similar pure alternative), or follow the weaker Shafi‘i opinion, which is broader than any of the above.

In regards to other sources of impurities used in medicine, the Shafi‘i conditions and rulings described above in regards to alcohol, also apply in both the Hanafi and Shafi‘i school.

Personal Practice and Research

Since the question was asked directly about my own personal practice, it may be of use to briefly discuss my entrance into homeopathy and my practice of it. Before beginning my studies of homeopathy, I submitted a series of questions to various scholars in Tarim, Yemen, and Amman, Jordan. The summary of which is what I have described above.

Shaykh Umar Khatib of the (Shafi‘i) Fatwa board of Dar al]Mustafa, Tarim, consulted various doctors on the matter, and they all affirmed the powerful benefits of Homeopathy. Shaykh Hussein al-Haddad (also on the fatwa board), overseeing the questions, confirmed that not only would it be permissible to practice homeopathy, but it would be fard kifaya (communally obligatory) for me to do so, as it is a much needed therapy that will benefit our community. Habib Abdullah Mehder, a senior lecturer of the Ribat Tarim, and one of my own fiqh teachers, also confirmed the permissibility of its practice, through various discussion on the aspects of homeopathy during my subsequent years of study under him.

It was also confirmed by the above scholars, that should I qualify as a homeopath, then I would be able to fulfill the role of the “qualified, Muslim physician”, in order to advise others, according to my opinion. As an experienced homeopath, it is my genuine conviction that there is nothing to compare to homeopathy, both in its efficacy, profound depth, and speed in healing, as well as its general availability and affordability to the public.

In regards to Hanafi fiqh, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb was consulted, and confirmed its permissibility in the Hanafi school and the validity of the whole pharmaceutical process. Shaykh Nuh Keller was also consulted, and he found no objection to it or undertaking its study. I have treated many scholars of both the inward and outward sciences, across the various madhabs, with homeopathy, without objection.

In addition, I also consulted various reputable homeopathic pharmacies both in the UK and the US, such as Helios, Ainsworth, Waleada, Nelsons, Health Canada Pharmacy, to fully confirm the pharmaceutical process and to ascertain if there was any alternative to the use of alcohol, both in the production of the mother tincture and the solidification process, all of whom affirmed that there was no alternative, both in terms of efficacy and manufacturing feasibility.

This is what I have understood, taken, practice, and teach. And Allah knows best.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Photo: Jorge Royan