MEDICINES THAT CONTAIN HARAM INGREDIENTS AND THEIR CLINICAL ALTERNATIVES
Source of our religion is Qur’an and Sunnah (Hadiths) of Our Prophet (SAW). We learn from these sources that Our Beloved Prophet (SAW) directed his Ashab (Companions) to seek help from a doctor when they are ill.
Imam Ahmad narrated that Usama ibn Surayk said:
“I came to the God’s Messenger and his Companions, so I greeted them and sat down. Then some Arab Bedouin came from there and there, and asked: O God’s Messenger, can we seek treatment? He replied: Seek treatment o servants of God, for God has not created an ailment without having created a cure for it except for one ailment. They said: Which one is that O God’s Messenger? He said: Old age.”
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made it clear, that every disease was created together with a cure.
Imam Muslim, who is the producer of one of the major collections of Prophetic Traditions, supports this statement of the Prophet in the following tradition:
“Allah has not sent down a disease except that He also sent down its cure.”
What we learn from these Traditions is that God has created all diseases with causation, and since there is a cause for every disease, Muslims are encouraged to search for this cure until it is found.
Above ayaths and hadits restrict Muslim patients to accept all kinds of treatments, i.e. Muslim patients have to make sure that medicines they will take and methods of treatment that will be followed should comply to Islamic principles. This implies that the Muslim patient has the right to question and be a part of the decision for treatment. Knowing the ingredients of the medicines is actually a general right of any patient.
Patients have to get the necessary information before prescribing the medicine. This way alternate methods and drugs can be made available.
Remember that this issue should be discussed in the first evaluation with the doctor. It will be more difficult and troublesome if you decide to inform your doctor later when they actually start giving the medicines.
Why should I talk to my doctor or pharmacist about medicines that contain Haram ingredients?
You have the right to decide what kind of treatment you are going to take. This gives you the right to choose the way of treatment according to your beliefs. You should also learn how you will get the medicines, expected benefits and any adverse effects of those medicines.
For many people, taking medicines that contain Haram ingredients is not even considered as an option and reasons for this is non-negotiable.
Modern World allow patients to take their own decisions on health and ways of treatment. Such a liberty gives you the to accept or reject the treatment that are proposed by your doctors.
How the doctor or pharmacist will know I don’t want to take Haram medicines?
Feel free to explain your opinions and your beliefs. You should also make sure that they understand your restrictions. For example, when you say you can’t take any cough syrup that contains alcohol, they have to know that you are not allowed to consume the syrup that has alcohol, regardless of the percentage of alcohol inside the syrup. As explained above, you should inform the doctors before the prescription phase. You are responsible if you ask whether the syrup contains alcohol or not after you actually swallow that syrup.
You should consider that students of medicine usually do not take any lesson on belief systems and it is normal to accept that they will not be aware of your allowances and restrictions. Ethics of Medicine science do not cover issues based on beliefs.
If you are in a position to offer a treatment or prescribe any medicine, you should listen to your patient and you should be careful in your proposed treatment plan. Your job is first to respect him and then to help his treatment.
What will happen in emergencies?
Even in emergencies, patients and their caregivers have the right to know the suitable treatment options and decide accordingly.
This implies that some people may reject some medicines. In such situations, all information must be recorded and any person in charge of the patient must be made aware of the decision so as not to give unwanted medicines accidentally.
In these articles “Problems in Treatment of Muslim Patients” we have brought the fact that the whole medicine and health care system is not designed to serve Muslim patients. This has been continuing the same way for the past 100 years.
Preventive Medicine used to be a working system implemented in our society but now it is only a term that is referred in books, without any practice.
Famous Dr. Budwig, German Cardiovascular and Cancer Expert , states that the East practise the preventive medicine while the West prefer to follow the regular medicine.
I pray that we get rid of the western hegemony that cause us consume more and more drugs. The solution is Tibb –e-Nabawih, the real preventive Medicine that our Beloved Prophet (SAW) has taught us.