Dialogue on miscellaneous issues-2
In this session, I aim to enquire about matters concerning the young, in
particular. I am going to start it with what I consider as the predicament of
some sections of students.
* As a component of their curriculum, physiotherapy students train in
massage. This may entail applying massaging techniques to the body of a woman
patient. If the students decline to carry out what they are required to do
because of their course of study, they may fail the exam. Can they still enrol
in such a course at the outset, and can those who are already doing it carry on
- It is permissible on the account of the students’ knowing that the field
of specialist knowledge they have embarked on shall benefit some respected
souls, albeit on a future date. Let, therefore, their practice of massaging
techniques be free from any sexual innuendoes.
* As a part of their training, medical students are required to examine
women not related to them. Such examination could include the private parts of
the patients, be they women or men. Can they carry out these examinations
during their years of study and after their graduation?
- Yes, it is permissible for medical students and physicians to carry out
such examinations, provided that preservation of the respected human life is at
stake, even if it be in the future.
* Among the nurse’s job are duties such as taking the patient’s pulse and
dressing of wounds. Both may require direct touch,
1. Can a man patient refuse a female nurse feeling his body?
- He can ask for a male nurse to do the job, or ask the female nurse to wear
2. In certain circumstances, the medical case calls for direct contact with
the body and a male nurse is not available. For this, or any other valid reason,
is it all right?
- As suggested by the question, direct touch can be tolerated, provided it
is restricted to the immediate part or area of the body that needs the
3. An injury, that may need medical attention, could occur in the genitals.
How should one go about it?
- The patient must ask the medical staff, attending his case, be they men
or women, to wear gloves. If this was not feasible, direct touch could be
tolerated within the remit of the immediate area of injury.
* Suppose touch was substituted for looking. What is the ruling regarding
the cases just discussed?
- The ruling on illicit gazing is the same as that passed on illicit touch.
Thus, the cases are governed by the same parameters as detailed in the preceding
answers to the examples posed.
* If the patient was a woman and the medical practitioner was a man, would
the same rulings outlined in the previous examples apply?
* Some non-conformist husbands require their wives to a) abandon prayer and
hijab (Islamic dress), b) serve their guests with alcoholic drink, c) force them
to join in gambling sessions, and d) shake hands with men. If the wife is
coerced to do all these vile deeds, has she the right to walk out on such
husbands for the sake of upholding her religious obligations?
- Yes, it is within their legal right to do so; it should, however, be
confined to that which is necessary. Such wives would still be entitled to full
maintenance from their husbands.
* Suppose a wife was insistent on wearing hijab. Her husband was equally
adamant that she should not wear it, thus leaving her with no alternative but to
ask for divorce. What can she do?
- She must not part with hijab, albeit this may lead to her husband divorcing
* Yet, choosing this course of action may pose untold difficulty and
embarrassment to some women. Should they still embark on it?
- Yes, they must patiently persevere in such a predicament, and call to
remembrance Allah’s Words, “..and whoever is mindful of (his duty to) Allah, He
(ever) prepares a way out, and gives him sustenance whence he thinks not; and
whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him; surely, Allah attains His
purpose; Allah indeed has appointed a measure for everything”. (65/2,3).
* Could I move on and ask about matters relating to human reproduction: The
use of contraceptives is commonplace these days. If this was not feasible due
to fear of harm or out of necessity, can the woman seek medical advice that may
entail local examination by a man doctor or a woman doctor, especially when
pregnancy could endanger her health or cause her unnecessary trouble?
- For the reasons explained in the question, she can do whatever it takes to
avoid an untenable situation or harm that may be triggered by pregnancy and
conventional contraceptives. Yet, she should opt for a woman doctor to examine
her body, which could include her reproduction system. Only as a last resort,
could she seek the attention of a man doctor.
* Is it permissible for a woman to look at that part of another woman’s
body, between the navel and the knee, excluding the anterior and the
- Yes, she is permitted to do so, provided that it is done without sexual
* Some women refrain from getting pregnant, yet their husbands want them to
get pregnant. So, they take to the pill or other means and devices of
contraception. Are they allowed to do so?
- Yes, it is permissible for them to do so, provided that they do not put
their wellbeing in harm’s way.
* What about the use of coil?
- Should the woman know that this could lead to the destruction of the
inseminated egg, [she is not allowed to fit it].
* Some women prevent their husbands from ejaculating inside. Are they
entitled to such an action?
- No, they are not.
* Has the husband the right to force his wife not to beget children?
- No, he does not have such a right.
* In a sexual intercourse with his wife, has the husband the right to
- Yes, he has.
* On the same count, can he use condom?
- Yes, [provided he obtains his wife’s consent to that].
* Some women use medications to delay the onset of their monthly period. Is
- Yes, it is.
* In its early days, it is easy to terminate the pregnancy. Has the woman
the right to do so?
- No, she has not, unless the pregnancy poses a threat to her health.
* Kissing and hugging between women in public, is it permissible?
- Yes, it is, provided that it is done without contemplating a sinful
* Nowadays, women wear make-up and jewellery in public. Is it
- It is permissible insofar as the wearing of antimony and rings, provided
women guard agaisnt falling prey to that which is haraam and avoid that which
could seduce men.
* In modern day life, be it at work or in the street, some women appear in
public without hijab. Is it permissible to look at those women, not
intentionally and without malice?
- Yes, it is permissible.
* Can a woman appear in public with the top of her feet exposed?
- No, she is not permitted to do that.
* What about while she is in prayer?
- It is permitted; the entire woman’s foot, top and sole, can be exposed in
* Are women allowed to travel alone in a chauffeur-driven vehicle?
- So long as she was sure that she was not going to commit anything that is
haraam, she could travel in such a vehicle.
* You mentioned to me that masturbation is haraam. Does this include both
man and woman?
- Yes, the ruling applies to both sexes.
* Can a patient give a specimen of his sperm, not extracted through
conventional means, for a laboratory test for fertility treatment?
- Only when it is necessary.
* Using modern techniques, medical practitioners can tell whether the foetus
is healthy or deformed. If the check-up proved that it was deformed, can the
pregnancy be terminated?
- Deformed foetus per se cannot be upheld as a valid reason for terminating
the pregnancy. Of course, if the pregnancy posed a danger to the health of the
mother, the pregnancy can be terminated. This, however, can be allowed only at
any stage prior to the spirit entering the foetus.
* If I could move on and ask about artificial insemination: Suppose the
sperm of a man was used to impregnate his wife’s egg through some artificial
means. Is it permissible?
- Yes, it is permissible.
* Can the sperm of a man be used to impregnate the egg of a woman, other
than his wife?
- No, it is not permissible.
* Is it permissible to fertilize the egg of a wife by the sperm of her
husband in a test tube, and the fertilized egg is then implanted in the wife’s
- Yes, it is permissible.
* Using the same technique, is it permissible to use the egg of another
woman for fertilization, and then implantation in the womb of the man’s
- Yes, this too is permissible.
* In such a case, to whom will the born child belong - to the natural mother
or to the surrogate one?
- There are two courses of action. (Whichever one is taken) ihtiyat must be
the deciding criterion.
* Is it permissible to inseminate the egg of a woman with the sperm of a man
other than her husband?
- This must be avoided.
* If I may take you back to matters relating to schooling: Should the
permission of the parents of the pupils be obtained before the punishment by
caning is carried out?
- It is permissible, only if such pupils were bent on harming other pupils
or committing wrongful acts. The permission of the guardian must be obtained.
The punishment is three lashes [not more], provided the delivery of these lashes
is gentle such that the beating should not leave any mark on the body. Should
it lead even to colouring of the skin, compensation (diyyah) shall be due.
* Is cheating during school exams all right, especially when some teachers
- It is not permissible.
* As a requirement of their curriculum, sculpture students are required to
train into making statues, and similar objects; such statues could take the
shape of creatures that have spirits. Is it permissible for them to do so,
taking into account that if they decline, they shall be deemed failed?
- Making passing the exams contingent upon sculpture is not a valid
justification by itself to carry out this [unlawful] work.
* Is it permissible to engage in ball games, such as football, basketball
with no bet placed?
- It is permissible.
* What about boxing and wrestling?
- They are permitted, only if they do not lead to serious injury.
* If I may move on to ask about parent/offspring relationship: What are the
boundaries of parental instructions that children should comply with?
- Islam makes it incumbent on the child to be gentle with his parents.
* Fair enough. Would it be sound, from an Islamic law standpoint, that one
should obey his parents in every detail of daily life, such as the parent
ordering his son or daughter to eat a particular type of fruit, or go to bed at
a particular hour, etc.?
- Yes, it is a good thing to do.
* Should the parents prevent their child from embarking on a certain action
that, they believe, could result in putting him in harm’s way? And is it
incumbent on the child to comply, even though he thinks otherwise?
- It is not permissible for the child to go against the express wish of his
parents, for what makes them take such a stand is their concern for the
wellbeing of their child.
* Suppose the child wanted to travel, and the parents were sure that no harm
would befall their child, yet the parents could not contemplate the idea of
their child being away from them; it could upset them. So, they objected to
their child’s making such a journey. Can the child still make the trip?
- Let me put it this way: If the child was not going to suffer adversely
from travelling, and his insistence on making the trip could result in upsetting
his parents, he must not go away.
* If I may move on to ask about another subject: Is playing chess and black
gammon, without betting, permissible?
- It is not permissible to play both.
* There are other ways and means of playing games of chance, especially
through machines and gadgets. If no betting was involved, can one use these
- [It is forbidden to dabble in anything that has originally been intended
for gambling, albeit without placing a bet].
* What about playing computer games without a bet?
- If the images appearing on the monitor of the computer feature gambling
gadgets, it is not permissible.
* On another topic, can the woman perform any dancing act for her husband
- Yes, she can.
* And what about her dancing before other men?
- She is not allowed to dance before men other than her husband, [rather, in
front of other women too].
* And man’s dancing in public?
- [It is not permissible].
* On happy occasions, men and women take to clapping. Is it permissible?
- It is permissible, so long as it did not lead to a sinful act.
* Now, on a different subject, is it permissible to listen to religious
- Do you mean the performance of religious chanting accompanied by
- It is forbidden to listen to these songs and any other non-entertaining
words, be they supplications, words of praise, [or others], if they were
performed to a musical tune.
* What about entertaining words vocalized with music?
- That is conventional singing which is not permissible beyond any
* What about conventional music?
- It is of two kinds. That which is conducive to the gatherings of play and
delictation is haraam. That which does not bear these characteristics is not
* Some types of tunes are played as a prelude, or a finale, to the broadcast
of Qur’anic recitations, the call to prayer, or religious programmes. Is it
- In the main, these are of the second type that is halal.
* What about musical interludes and musical preludes to news bulletins?
- They are covered by the same ruling, that is, they are halal.
* Certain makes of watches have a device fitted in them whereby you can
listen to musical phrases. Can one trade in such watches as well as listen to
the type of music they play?
- Yes, it is permissible.
* Is it all right to listen to classical music, that is said to soothe the
feeling and that which could be prescribed for certain psychological
- Yes, music that does not involve play and delictation is permissible to
* And is the music used in television films and serials, that is normally
intended to move the viewer, permissible?
- In the main, it is of the kind that is permissible.
* Some poems, with sentimental or patriotic overtures, are broadcast to the
accompaniment of music. Is it permissible?
- They are governed by the same preceding ruling.
* May I ask two more questions before ending this session?
- You may.
* Can a woman appear in public, wearing perfume?
- She should avoid that. Rather, it is not permissible, if it was going to
lead to seducing men or sexually arousing them.
* Some women mourn their dead by wearing black clothes; they may resort to
wailing as an expression of deep sense of loss. Is this outpouring of grief
- Yes, it is.
Thus, we concluded our dialogues. However, we may resume them, if need
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds.