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Medicine with Liquor (Khamr) According to Islam

Islam Online: Medicine with Liquor (Khamr) According to Islam ~ Hi readers! In the previous artkel we have discussed about the law of liquor (which falls into the category of khamr) in the view of Islamic teachings. In this article I will invite you all to know the law of medicine by using khamr or something that can make someone drunk, lose consciousness, like alcoholic beverages that can make drunk, drugs and so forth. I think we should know knowing that because it is very likely there is a doctor who treats his patients by using drugs that come from a substance that can make someone drunk, which is included in the category of khamr.

Actually, the discussion about this has been around since time immemorial. Of the many discussions that exist, the opinions of Islamic scholars are pursed into two groups. In other words, there are two opinions about the law of medicine being made using ingredients that can make a person intoxicated, ingredients that fall into the category of khamr.

First opinion; should not take medication by using ingredients included in the category of khamr.

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The reason for this first legal argument is the saying of the Prophet Muhammad when asked by Thariq bin Suwaid al-Ju’fi about khmar and his legal status when used as medicine;

أن طارق بن سويد الجعفي سأل النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم عن الخمر , فنهاه أو كره أن يصنعها , فقال أنما أصنعها للدواء , فقال : أنه ليس بدواء , ولكنه داء 

That Thariq bin Suwaid asked the Prophet (Muhammad) Shalallaahu ‘alahi wa sallam about khamr. He (Prophet Muhammad) then prevents it and forbids it. He (Tariq bin Suwaid al-Ju’fi) then said, “But I made it for medicine.” He (Prophet Muhammad) then said, “It is not medicine but disease.”  

An-Nawawi said in connection with the above hadith, “In the hadith there is an explanation khamr not including the type of medicine. Thus, it is not allowed to use it for treatment, because it is not a medicine […]. ” 

Ibn Qayyim said, “Surely prohibition (saltiness) something that resulted in the necessity to know it by all means. In the process of making (khamr) as a medicine there is a suggestion to love it and keep in touch with it. This is contrary to the intent of the Shari’a.” 

I think the opinion of Imam an-Nawawi and Ibn Qayyim is very strong. That is because in addition to the affirmation of the Qur’an and the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad about the prohibition of khamr, as we have discussed in the previous article, there is also a hadith which forbids treatment by using medicine derived from unlawful ingredients. The Prophet Muhammad said;

أن الله أنزل الداء وأنزل الدواء وجعل لكل داء دواء فتداووا , ولا تداووا بحرام 

Indeed, Allah has lowered the medicine and the disease, and made every disease there is a medicine, then you should seek treatment but do not seek treatment by using unlawful ingredients.  

In another hadith, the Prophet Muhammad also said;

أن النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم سئل عن التداوي بالخمر فقال : أن الله لم يجعل شفاءكم فيما حرم عليكم

Indeed, the Prophet (Muhammad) Shalallaahu ‘alahi wa sallam was asked about medicine by using khamr, he then said, “Allah does not make your healing in the medicine that has been forbidden to all of you.”

Second opinion; should not take medication by using ingredients included in the category of khamr.

This second opinion is the opinion of imam ash-Shan’ani in the book of Subulu al-Salaam. He attributed his opinion to Abu Hanifah about the allowance of drinking urine, blood, and all unclean things for the purpose of treatment.  

By observing the difference of two opinions about the law of medication by using ingredients in the category of khamr, ingredients that can make a person drunk, we can conclude that such treatment laws in the teachings of Islam are haram (not allowed). That is because in addition to the second base of opinion, which allows, it is not strong, also contradicts the many propositions contained in the Qur’an and the hadith of Prophet Muhammad SAW. about the prohibition of khamr.

I think the brief description of medicine with liquor (Khamr) according to Islam is very clear. Hopefully we can take the lessons from this discussion and do the treatment in a way that is justified by Islam. Especially people who work as doctors, because they are the people who know more about the ingredients of drugs, they use to treat their patients. If these doctors do medicine with medications made of intoxicating ingredients without the knowledge of the patient, then they are the ones who will bear the sin. Surely, they must account for it in the Hereafter.

Of course, what we need to remember from the prohibition of using khamr (ingredients that can make a person intoxicated) in the teachings of Islam is to spread love among human beings.

See you again in the next article!

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