Consuming Medication that Contains Non-Halal Ingredients
  • Question:

    Is it permissible to take medicines which contain non-halal elements, for serious conditions where alternative medication is not available?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. May Allah Almighty bless all those who are sick with treatment, healing and cure.

    In general circumstances, it is forbidden to use medicine that contains prohibited ingredients. The Messenger (pbuh) said,

    “Allah has not placed your cure in prohibited things” (Bukhari)

    However, in the situation, where there is genuinely no halal alternative, it is permissible to benefit from such medicine up to the extent of the need. A well-known principle in Islamic jurisprudence is “Dire necessities permit the prohibited.”

    Sanctity and the saving of one’s life overrule the prohibition. This is why eating pork becomes permissible if there is no other food one can find.

    Allah Almighty states,

    “He has spelled out to you all that He has made unlawful for you, except that to which you are compelled by extreme necessity. Surely, there are many who misguide people on the basis of their desires without having knowledge. Surely, your Lord is the best knower of those who cross the limits.” (Qur'an 6:119)

    Sh. Ashraf Ali Thanwi also indicates this ruling in his famous manual, ‘Bahishti Zewar’ – Heavenly Ornaments.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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