Ruling on treatment with narcotics

Question:

As a physician, it is sometimes necessary to use narcotics such as Morphine, Cocaine, and Valium in treatment. What is the ruling on this? What is the ruling on post-mortem anatomy?

Answer:

Treatment is not allowed by means of unlawful matters, for the legal evidence that proves its prohibition. It was related by Abu Dawud in his Sunan on the authority of Abu Al-Darda’ that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure and has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.1 Al-Bukhari related in his Sahih (authentic Book of Hadith), on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud that, “Allah did not make your cure in whatever He prohibited for you.”

It is reported in the Sunan on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade malicious medicine (i.e., prohibited or filthy).2

It is reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Tariq ibn Suwayd Al-Al-Ju’fy Al-Hadramy or Suwayd ibn Tariq that he asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about Khamr (intoxicant). He forbade (its use) and expressed his disapproval of preparing it. He (Tariq) said, “I prepare it as medicine,” whereupon he (peace be upon him) said, “It is not medicine; rather it is an ailment.” [3]

It is reported in the Sunan that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about Khamr (intoxicant) as a remedy, he said, “It is not medicine; it is an ailment.” Related by Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhy 3

It is related in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Tariq ibn Suwayd Al-Hadramy who said that, I said, “O Messenger of Allah! In our lands, we have grapes that we squeeze, should we drink of the juice?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied in the negative. I appealed to him and said we use it as a remedy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is not medicine; it is an ailment.4

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  1. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on Medicine, no. 3874. 

  2. Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 2045; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 3870; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 3459; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 446. 

  3. Muslim, Sahih, Book on drinks, no. 1984; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 2046; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 3873; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 317; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Book on drinks, no. 2095. 

  4. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 3500; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 293. 

  • Date: Muharram 15, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 4243-5
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan