Liability of doctors for surgical and medical treatment errors

Question 20How can a doctor compensate a patient if he causes him physical disability in spite of taking great caution to avoid this? What will be the case if he commits a mistake, but without causing any harm to the patient? A doctor diagnosed a patient advising that an operation was needed to remove the appendix, but when he operated on the patient, he found the appendix healthy. Nonetheless, he removed it then discovered that the patient was suffering from acute renal colic. Doctors said that this is a common error that many doctors make. Removing the healthy appendix will get him in trouble with the patient, because he must inform him that it is healthy and that he has not removed it.This will cause him many problems such as being sued and tarnishing his reputation. On the other hand, if he does not inform him, the patient may develop an infection and go to another doctor who will see the surgical scar. He will not think that he is suffering from an infected appendix and the patient might die as a result of concealment of the truth about the previous surgery. Therefore, he must do one of two things: Either inform him or remove it. If he removes it, is he entitled to take the fees agreed upon? This is just one problem we face in our job and if we treat this matter outside the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) – just as all doctors do – there will be no problem but we need to apply Sharee‘ah on ourselves. Kindly advise.

Answer: First: If doctors perform what is required of them and they are skillful in their work, know the exact condition of the patient they operate on and do not go beyond this, no compensation is to be paid if they commit a mistake. They also will not be liable for resulting death or physical disability, because they have performed what they are authorized to do according to Sharee‘ah. This is analogue to a Muslim ruler when he cuts the hand of a thief, or has done some permissible act which he is authorized to do according to his duties. However, if the doctor is not skillful, it is not permissible for them to perform the surgery; rather, it is forbidden for them to perform it... read more here.

Female patient alone with a male examining doctor

Question 19Any Muslim woman can fall sick and need to be physically examined, but sometimes there are no female doctors to examine her, thus she is referred to a male doctor to carry out this task. Does Sharee‘ah (Islamic law) permit Khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex) between a male doctor and a female patient? Does it forbid her Mahram (husband or unmarriageable male relative) from accompanying her on the pretext that there is an unveiled nurse with the doctor and the Mahram’s presence will require her to beveiled before him, although the doctor himself is non-Mahram to the nurse? Does Sharee‘ah approve ofpreventing the Mahram from being present while the doctor is examining the patient because of this claim? Does it permit Khulwah between the male doctor and the female patient or is the presence of the Mahram necessary? Please advise, may Allah reward you!

Answer: It is not permissible for a male doctor to be alone with a female patient to examine her. In fact, her husband or Mahram must be present while she is being examined... read more here.

Being unjust and harming co-workers or labours

Question 18Respected Shaykh, I have written down my problem to you in detail – I have mentioned what actually occurred to me:

First, I am a religious person – praise be to Allaah – but Satan overpowers me. Recently, he has twisted my mind and led me as he pleased. He has put me in many dangers; for example, we were a group of workers in one organization, but Allaah (Exalted be He) willed that the salaries of some be raised while the others did not receive a raise. My salary did not increase like the salaries of my colleagues.I thought to take revenge on the manager and my colleagues. One day, I exposed the words of my manager to another person with an evil intention. Once during investigation, I exposed the words of my friend to another even though they are kind. As a result, they were all moved from the place; each one in a separate place away from the other, but my transfer was not enough as a punishment or equal to what I did. One of those colleagues used to work after the official working hours.

Answer: First, you have to repent to Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) for the harm you caused to your colleagues at work. This can be achieved by desisting from sin, regretting what happened and firmly resolving not to do it again.

Second, you have to reconcile with your colleagues, seek their forgiveness, do righteous actions and be good to your colleagues, neighbors and all people... read more here.

Praising Allaah by singing and reciting the Aayaat

Question 17What is the ruling on praising Allaah by singing and reciting the Aayaat (Qur’aanic verses) in a musical tone to attract the non-Muslims to accept Islaam and warn the Muslims of committing sins?

Answer: This act is not permissible for the following reasons:

1- Singing is Haraam (prohibited) as it is a kind of vain talk dispraised by the Qur’aan where Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allaah without knowledge The doer of such an act is threatened with painful punishment.

2- The Masjid (mosque) is highly venerated, thus they should be free from sins including singing; the Masjid is only built to remember and mention Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) there.

3- An even graver prohibition is that people chant the Qur’aan in a musical tone as is done in singing. This act entails degrading the Qur’an and dealing with it like the songs chanted for entertainment.

4- It is obligatory to call non-Muslims to embrace Islaam and to encourage sinful Muslims to repent to Allaah, but this should be done according to the Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ways, not those forbidden, or newly invented in more here.

Prohibition of telling blasphemous or bawdy jokes

Question 16Some people speak words that are tantamount to Kufr (disbelief) or Fisq (flagrant violation of Islaamic law) and justify it by saying: I am just joking. Are such people pardoned for doing so if they are only joking?

Answer: It is strictly prohibited to tell blasphemous or bawdy jokes. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allaah (عز وجل), and His Aayaat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations) and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed. Those who behave as such should make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) of it and ask Allaah for forgiveness in the hope that Allaah may pardon them... read more here.

Wudoo’ performed with recycled sewage water

Question 15: Some places in Saudi Arabia and in other countries recycle sewage water and reuse it to irrigate land and so on. Sewage water purification plants vary in their capabilities to filter impurities, and also in the types of companies which supervise these stations in Jeddah and Riyadh, for instance. After recycling the drain water which we are asking about, it becomes so pure that it is impossible to detect the difference between it and regular drinking water. Is this water pure? Can we use it in performing Wudoo’ (ablution), washing our clothes and body, removing Najaasah (ritual impurity) with it, and drink it?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, that the sewage water becomes pure after recycling and purification so that the color, smell and taste of Najasah that contaminated it is removed, then it is Tahoor (pure and purifying) and does not defile anything it touches. It is permissible to use in irrigation, cleaning one’s body, place, clothes, performing Wudoo’ and Ghusl (ritual bath) following major ritual impurity, etc. It is also permissible to drink, unless it is proven that it is harmful to the health. In this case, it should be avoided to protect oneself from harm, not due to being Najis (ritually impure)... read more here.

The way airplane passengers should offer Salaah while on board

Question 14: How should airplane passengers offer Salaah (Prayer) while on board and on landing at an airport when passengers are banned from leaving the plane? Is it permissible to offer Salaah while sitting in the chair in such cases and at such times?

Answer: Anyone who embarks on traveling by air has to offer the due Salaah non-shortened before going on board unless the airport is outside the borders of the country, in which case it will be unobjectionable to shorten Salaah... read more here.

Visiting graves on Fridays

Question 13: I have an inquiry regarding a Hadeeth ascribed to Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Whoever visits the graves of their parents or the grave of any of them every Friday will have their sins forgiven and will be recorded as being dutiful to their parents. Please tell me if there is a specific Du‘aa’ (supplication) to be said by the graves of parents. Should such a visit be paid before Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer or after it, and is there another special preferred time for doing this on Fridays?

Answer: First, the Hadeeth that is mentioned in the question is very Da‘eef (weak) and can not be used as proof due to its Da‘f (weakness) and non-authenticity.

Second, visiting graves is Mashroo‘ (Islaamically permissible) at any time and there is no evidence that allocates Fridays or any other days for doing so. However, it is related by Imaam Muslim (may Allaah be merciful to him) on the authority of Sulaymaan ibn Buraydah from his father (may Allaah be pleased with them both)that the latter said… read more here.

Contracting marriage via telephones: Is it permissible?

Question 12: If the Arkaan (essential elements) and conditions of validity of marriage are existent, but the Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman seeking marriage) and the husband are in different countries, is it permissible to conclude the marriage contract via the telephone?

Answer: Today deception is widespread, as is fraud, and skillfulness in imitating the voices of others to the extent that one person may imitate the different voices and parlances of a group of young and old males and females so that the listener believes that such voices belong to various speakers though it is only one person who copies others. On the other hand, Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) cares for preserving people’s honor and lineage and takes precautionary procedures to safeguard the foregoing more than it does with regard to contracts of other transactions. Therefore, with regard to contracts of marriage: the Committee is of the opinion that proposal, acceptance, and authorization can not depend on telephone conversations. This is to achieve the objectives of Sharee‘ah, to exercise more caution to ensure safeguarding of the honor and lineage of people, and to block the means to cheating and deception being practiced by wicked people... read more here.

Entering the toilet while carrying the Mus-haf (copy of Arabic Qur’aan)

Question 11: If one carries the Mus-haf (Qur’aan, the Book) in his pocket and enters the toilet while having it in his pocket, what is the ruling regarding this? Please provide us with a useful answer.

Answer: It is permissible to carry the Mus-haf in the pocket, but it is not permissible to carry it while entering the toilet; rather, one should leave it in an appropriate place, outside the toilet, out of exalting the Book of Allaah and honoring it. However, if one must take it with them while entering the toilet, for fear lest it may be stolen if left outside, then due to this necessity, a Muslim is allowed to carry it along while entering the toilet... read more here.

Musical ringtones on mobile phones

Question 10: Most mobiles have musical ring tones. Is it permissible to use these musical tones instead of the regular ring tone? Could you kindly advise and direct us to what is beneficial for Muslims? May Allaah reward you and protect you from harm!

Answer: It is not permissible to use musical tones on mobiles or other devices, because listening to musical instruments is prohibited as indicated by Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) evidence. It is enough to use the regular ring tone... read more here.

Ruling on someone who mocks a Muslim woman wearing the proper Islaamic Hijaab

Question 9: What is the ruling on someone who mocks a Muslim woman wearing the proper Islaamic Hijaab (veil) or describes her as being a ghost or a moving tent and other such insulting words?

Answer: Anyone who mocks a Muslim man or woman for adhering to the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) is a Kaafir (disbeliever). This is regardless of whether they are making fun of a Muslim woman wearing the proper Islaamic Hijaab or any other matter of the Sharee‘ah. `Abdullaah ibn `Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) narrated... read more here.

Impermissibility of absence or late arrival at work without a valid excuse

Question 8: I am a government employee whose working hours are from 5 to 11 in the afternoon and as everyone knows, my salary is very minimal. That is why I have another job and I only go to my government job between 6 – 6:30, but I do everything that is asked of me perfectly. My question now is: Is it Haraam (prohibited) to spend the time of my government job doing something else, as my boss tells me? Is the salary I receive ill-gotten and has no blessing from Allaah? I hope you will answer me regarding this sensitive issue, as I am confused and I fear to be receiving an unlawful salary, besides its being minimal. Bear in mind that I do my job and the other one as well.

Answer: You must be present at your work during the official working hours and you must not leave without taking the permission of your boss in agreement with the system... read more here.

Wearing an engagement or Wedding ring

Question 7: What is the ruling on wearing an engagement or wedding ring for both the bride and groom? The couple usually wears rings on which the spouse’s name and the engagement date are engraved. Is this a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) or does it have some origin in Islaam? Does the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) to one of his Sahaabah (Companions): Seek anything (for her), even if it is only an iron ring denotes the permissibility of wearing a wedding ring.

Answer: First: What you have mentioned about engaged or married couples wearing rings in this manner has no origin in Islaam. In fact, it is a Bidd‘ah introduced by some ignorant Muslims with weak Faith who mimic the habits of Kaafirs (non-Muslims). This act is prohibited, as it involves imitation of the Kaafirs and the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against this... read more here.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Question 6: Some people celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14 by exchanging red roses, dressing in red, and congratulating one another on that day. Some cake shops make heart-shaped cakes in red and draw hearts on them and other shops advertise special items on sale for this day. What is your opinion on:

First: Celebrating this day?
Second: Buying from these stores on this day?
Third: Shop owners who do not celebrate this day selling gifts to those who do celebrate it?
May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: The clear-cut evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, upon which the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) of this Ummah unanimously agree, confirms that there are only two `Eeds (festivals) in Islaam: `Eed al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and `Eid al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). Any other festival, whether peculiar to a person, a group, an event or stands for any meaning whatever, is an invented festival that is not permissible for Muslims to celebrate, approve of, enjoy, or support in any way, because this is considered to be a transgression of the Boundaries of Allaah... read more here.

Qunoot in Obligatory Salaahs

Question 5: What is the ruling on saying Du‘aa’ al-Qunoot (supplication recited while standing after bowing in the last unit of Prayer)?

Answer: There are three cases for Du‘aa’ al-Qunoot:

First: Saying Du‘aa’ al-Qunoot in Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units), which is Mustahab (desirable). This is based on the Hadeeth narrated by Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee (may Allaah be pleased with them) who said... read more here.

Ruling on supererogatory Salaah offered on the last Wednesday of Safar

Question 4: Some of the scholars in our country claim that in Islaam there is a Nafilah (supererogatory Prayer) offered on the last Wednesday of the month of Safar, at the time of Salaat-ul-Duhaa (supererogatory Prayer before noon). This Salaah consists of four Rak‘ahs (units of Prayer) with one Tasleem (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). In each Rak‘ah a person should recite Soorah Al-Faatihah and Soorah Al-Kawthar seventeen times, Soorah Al-Ikhlaas fifty times and Al-Mu‘awwidhatayn (Soorahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) one time each. This is done in each Rak‘ah, then one says Tasleem after which it is prescribed to recite And Allaah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not. 360 times, and Jawharat-ul-Kamaal (a special Sufi formula) three times, and to finish by saying, “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power! Exalted is He from all that they ascribe to Him! And peace be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.” Moreover, they should give some bread to the poor as a charity. They say that this Aayah is especially recited for warding off the calamities which come down on the last Wednesday of the month of Safar. They say that every year, 320,000 calamities come down, and all of them come down on the last Wednesday of Safar. Therefore, that day is regarded the most difficult day of the entire year. But whoever offers this Salaah in the above mentioned manner, Allaah will protect him by His Bounty from all the calamities that come down on that day. They, as well as those who could not offer it such as boys will benefit from this Salaah. Is this permissible or not?

Answer: There is no evidence to support the mentioned Nafilah in the Qur’aan or in Sunnah. We have no proof that any one among the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) or the righteous people of the later generations performed this Nafilah. Rather, it is a reprehensible Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). It was authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islaam) will have it rejected. He (peace be upon him) further said: Anyone who introduces something into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. Whoever attributes this Salaah and other things related to it to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or to any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) is fabricating serious lies, and Allaah will punish them the same as liars in the manner they deserve... read more here.

Pessimism about marriage or circumcision in Safar

Question 3: We heard that some people believe that no one should marry or be circumcised in the month of Safar. We would like you to guide us to the truth according to Islaamic Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law). May Allaah protect you!

Answer: What is mentioned with regard to the prohibition of marriage or circumcision during the month of Safar is superstition. Being superstitious of months, days, birds and similar animals is not permissible. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim reported on the authority of `Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no ‘Adwaa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allaah), nor is there any Tiyaarah (evil omen), nor is there any Haamah (pre-Islaamic superstitious belief that the bones of a dead person turn into an owl), nor is there Safar (the month of Safar was believed to bring bad luck during Jaahiliyyah). Being superstitious about the month of Safar falls under forbidden pessimism that discourages from acting and is one of the acts of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) that was annulled by Islaam... read more here.

Pessimism about Safar is a characteristic of Jaahiliyyah

Question 2: It is known that many people are pessimistic about the month of Safar regarding many affairs. Such people, for example, do not conclude marriage contracts during Safar. Moreover, many people believe that it is not permissible to break a stick, knot ropes, or entwine fingers when concluding a marriage contract for this leads to failure of the concerned marriage and disharmony between the spouses.

Since all the foregoing are beliefs bearing on ‘Aqeedah (creed), could you please advise and clarify the ruling on it? May Allaah guide us all to all that He loves and is pleased with.

Answer: Pessimism about Safar is not permissible. It is a characteristic of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic time of ignorance). Safar – just like all other months – does not bring good or evil, as good is only from Allaah (Glorified be He) and evil is predestined by Him. Moreover, it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) annulled the concept of pessimism when he said: There is no ‘Adwaa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allaah), nor is there any Tiyaarah (evil omen), nor is there any Haamah (pre-Islaamic superstitious belief that the bones of a dead person turn into an owl), nor is there Safar (the month of Safar was believed to bring bad luck during Jaahiliyyah). (Agreed upon by Imaams Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). The same applies to pessimism about entwining fingers, breaking a stick, etc., when concluding a marriage contract. Such beliefs are false, baseless, and thus they should not be adopted by a Muslim... read more here.

Tawassul made in the month of Safar

Question 1: Attached is a copy of a Du‘aa’ (supplication) distributed by some immigrants to be said in Safar. The Du‘aa’ includes: “O Allaah! By the virtue of the status of Al-Hasan, his brother, grandfather, and father, spare us the evil on that day and what takes place on it, O All-Sufficient One! So Allaah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. Allaah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us) and there is neither might nor power except with Allaah, the Most High, the Most Great.

O Allaah! We ask You by Your Beautiful Names, Perfect Words, and the honor of Your Prophet, our leader Muhammad (peace be upon him), to protect us and save us from Your affliction, for You are the Only One Who wards off afflictions. O Reliever of distresses! Relieve our distress and remove from us the distresses which have been destined for us in this year, for You are Omnipotent over all things.” I hope Your Honor will examine this Du‘a’.

Answer: This is an innovated Du‘aa’ in terms of being specified to be said at a certain time.It also includes Tawassul (supplicating to Allaah by virtue of the status of…) by Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn, the honor of the Messenger (peace be upon him), and names which are given to Allaah although they are stated neither in the Qur’aan nor in the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). It is not permissible to name Allaah (Glorified be He) except with what He has named Himself in His Book or revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). Tawassul by people or by the virtue of their status in Du‘aa’ is a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion), and every Bidd‘ah is misguidance and a means to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). Accordingly, the circulation of this Du‘aa’ should be prevented in addition to getting rid of any of its copies. It seems that it is innovated by the Shiites… read more here.