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Tank Water Mixed with Dirty Water

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat clarifies the rulings on the purity of water, what makes it impure, and whether it can be used for purification.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I suffer from OCD in religious matters for the past year. I am getting psychotherapy for it. I used to repeat prayers and wudu due to misgivings but I am getting better now, Alhamdullillah, and the advice on your Website has been very helpful. May Allah reward you. I am currently doing the Steps 1 Hanafi Fiqh course. I reflect a lot on my past prayers.

Once when I was in Pakistan visiting family, there was problem with the tank water being mixed with dirty water. When this incident happened, I had only converted to Islam a few years ago so I asked my husband, should I do wudu with it? He replied, it should be OK. The water smelled filthy but I don’t remember taste or color.

This was years ago. I prayed at least one salah with that wudu. I don’t remember if I did any more, changed clothes (as there might have been filthy water on my clothes while doing wudu), had shower or what. Should I repeat my prayer, how many?

Jazak Allah for your help.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Alhamdulillah, it is good to know that your symptoms are improving. You can expect a lot of good from Allah, because His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever Allah wants good for, He tests him time and time again.” (Bukhari)

As for your prayer, you do not need to repeat it. You can assume every prayer you have prayed to be valid – unless there is certainty of it being invalidated. Ignore any doubts.

Here we see the value of the sunna and voluntary prayers. If there is any deficiency in the obligatory prayers Allah will say to the angels, “Look, does my servant have any voluntary [works]?” If so, He will say, “Complete My servant’s obligatory [works through them].” (Ahmad) This shows that the defects of our efforts will be compensated for by the generosity of Allah Most High.

The Default Ruling of Water

The default ruling of water is purity. This is a legal ruling, and not a customary one. Sometimes, you may find water which is not hygienic or clean – such as if a wasp was found dead in a water tank, or muddy water – but this does not affect its purity.

So, if the default ruling of water is purity, and there is nothing to establish with certainty that the water was impure, then we stick with the default ruling: purity, and the validity of all prayers performed with wudu made with that water.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Homeopathy and Animal Products

Shaykh Jamir Meah clarifies the rulings on the permissibility of using homeopathic medicines that contain animal products.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone can answer the question in regards to homeopathy and the animal products that can be found in them, i.e. Lac Caninum (dog’s milk) or Tarantula (spider). As Muslims can we take these homeopathic remedies even though it’s made from dog’s milk diluted many times and the form has changed. I would especially appreciate it if a practicing Muslim homeopath can answer it.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you’re well insha Allah.

Medicines which contain impermissible ingredients, such as impure substances, are permissible to take on the following three conditions:

    1. 1. That there is no permissible alternative.

 

    1. 2. That one has been informed that the remedy will or will likely treat the malady effectively by a qualified physician, or that one knows this through their own previous experience. This should be an upright Muslim physician, but in the absence of one, a non-Muslim physician who is sensitive to the needs and requirements of Muslim patients would be valid.

 

    3. One ingests the medicine only to the extent it is needed (which is fine in homeopathic medicines as one should only take the minimum dose).

Istihala (Transformation)

In the Shafi‘i school, homeopathic remedies which contain impure substances (and where the water it was diluted in was less than 216 liters) will still be considered impure as transformation is limited to only a few instances in our school.

In the Hanafi school, the highly diluted homeopathic remedy would result in transformation of the impure substance (which is scarcely traceable in remedies lower than 12c potency and virtually untraceable in any potency higher than this) and therefore renders the remedy permissible from this perspective, and in this difference of opinion is a mercy from Allah. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Mughni al-Muhtaj)

Please also refer to the following answers which discuss alcohol in homeopathic remedies and impure substances in medicine: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fiqh of Homeopathic Remedies and Is Medical Marijuana Allowed in Islam?

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Can Medicines Containing Alcohol Be Taken to Prevent Disease?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Would taking alcohol containing homeopathic medications as a general tonic to keep diseases at bay this be permissible?

I have several stones in both my kidneys. Every few years one of them will travel done my ureter and pass out. I took homeopathic treatment to help the stone pass which it did. Can I continue with the treatment given that I am not in any pain at present?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. I pray you are well.

We can generally categorise medicinal substances as those used to treat a current disease and those used to prevent disease (prophylaxis).

A basic example in conventional medicine is antibiotics. A person suffering from a tooth and gum infection may be given antibiotics to get rid of the infection, while after certain dental surgeries the patient may be given antibiotics to prevent infection occurring, even if they don’t have an infection.

In the case of medicines that contain alcohol that are used to treat a current disease, allopathic or otherwise, then the rulings and conditions discussed in our previous answer apply. You may review that answer here.

Medicines containing alcohol used to prevent disease

The ruling on taking preventative medicines which contain alcohol (including vitamin and mineral supplements), irrespective of whether they are allopathic or natural, depends on the individual situation. The two most common scenarios are:

1. In cases where a person takes the medicine to prevent a specific condition that one has suffered from previously, and if one does not take it, then the disease condition will definitely return. In such cases, the preventative medicine takes on the same ruling as medicine used to cure a current disease. The summary of which, is that it is permissible to take with the following conditions:

1. That the alcohol has been admixed

2. That there is no pure alternative that will be just as effective

3. That one has been informed of this by an upright physician, or that one knows through their own experience.

(For the Hanafi conditions please refer to the previous answer)

2. In cases where the person takes the preventive medicine for general wellbeing without actually using it to prevent a specific disease, or no reliable physician (of any medical background) or personal experience has shown that it prevents the specific disease, then in these cases the medicine containing alcohol would not be permitted to take.

This is because a general legal principle is that dispensations (changing something that is usually prohibited to permissible) cannot be taken with the presence of doubt. Here, there is doubt about the medicines preventive effect and use, and therefore the dispensation is not given. [Idah al Qawa’id al Fiqhiyyah]

[The above scenarios were questions I put to my teachers quite a few years ago, and this is the summary of their answers]

Homeopathic prophylaxis

A final point to consider is whether homeopathic prophylaxis is actually effective. While some studies have been carried out on homeopathic remedies as preventative measures, and certain homeopaths have reported promising results in their use, homeopathic prophylaxis is an area which requires much more rigorous critical study and testing.

On a personal note, neither I, or my teachers, use homeopathy as a preventative medicine and therefore I am unable to comment whether it is effective or not.

However, in a few scenarios it has been tried and tested widely, such as certain remedies given straight after surgery, and in these cases, they are very effective and useful. Otherwise, we wait until the disease picture emerges and then prescribe. This also seems much more sensible and cautious, as the same remedy is not always indicated at every occurrence of even same complaint.

Additionally, and very important to know, is that continual and long term intake of even a homeopathic remedy can result in what is termed ‘proving’ a remedy, in which a patient will start experiencing symptoms of the actual remedy, which include not only an aggravation of current symptoms but also the production of a whole host of other unwanted symptoms, which although pass eventually, can be very uncomfortable. This is why it is important to consult a qualified and reliable homeopath.

Your personal situation

In your personal case, you would have to consult with your homeopath and ascertain the basis for taking the medicine (or if you know by your own experience). If it is established that if you stop taking the medicine as a preventative, your condition will reoccur, and there is no alternative, then it will be fine to take it.

If, however, this is not the case, then you should not take it, until it reoccurs.

As a final note, any recurring condition indicates a susceptibility on the constitutional level, and therefore requires constitutional treatment, which should resolve the issue long term and thereby eliminating the need to take any preventive medicines or tonics. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the best and May Allah grant you complete health.

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