Use of Orally Dissolving and Sublingual Medications While Fasting

Question: Do orally dissolving or sublingual medications like ondansetron and lorazepam break the fast?  Answer: Bismihi Ta’ala Orally dissolving tablets (ODT) and sublingual (SL) routes allow for mucosal absorption of medications. This is particularly beneficial in patients with difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). It also bypasses gastric and enteral breakdown and liver first-pass metabolism. The medication must first be diluted into saliva before absorption into the mucosa. The patient must avoid eating, drinking, smoking, and possibly talking to keep the tablet in place to dissolve and give time to transfer from the saliva into the mucosa. This time is variable depending on … Continue reading Use of Orally Dissolving and Sublingual Medications While Fasting

Islamic Permissibility of Tamiflu

Summary: Muslims should avoid consuming Tamiflu capsules and must instead either use the suspension form or open the capsule and consume the contents of the capsule without ingesting the capsule itself.  Question: Are Tamiflu capsules permissible for Muslims to use? Answer: Bismihi Ta’ala Tamiflu, and its generic equivalent oseltamivir, is an influenza neuraminidase inhibitor that is used for the treatment and prevention of influenza infections[i].  The medication is available in capsule and suspension forms. The suspension does not contain any Islamically unlawful ingredients and is therefore permissible for Muslims to use[ii].  The capsule form contains porcine gelatin in the capsule, … Continue reading Islamic Permissibility of Tamiflu

Vaccination Against Typhoid/Enteric Fever

Prepared by Mufti Adil Farooki, MD, Shaykh Mateen Khan, MD and Dr. Ramzan Judge, PharmD Summary: The injectable vaccine Typhim Vi is permissible for Muslims as a vaccine for typhoid fever and is preferred over oral Vivotif. Background: Enteric fever, also known as “typhoid fever”, is a severe systemic illness characterized by fever and abdominal pain caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. Typhoid fever infects roughly 21.6 million people (incidence of 3.6 per 1,000 population) and kills an estimated 200,000 people every year[1]. From the CDC[2]: “People who are actively ill with typhoid fever and people who are … Continue reading Vaccination Against Typhoid/Enteric Fever

An Islamic Basis for the Use of Vaccines with Impermissible Ingredients

Prepared by Mufti Adil Farooki, MD. Approved by Mufti Abdul Muqtadir Sikander Download PDF Background on Vaccination A vaccine is a “product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease”[1]. Vaccination is the process of administrating a vaccine, most commonly by an injection, with the immediate goal of achieving “active immunity” in the recipient of the vaccine.  Active immunity involves the “stimulation of the immune system to produce antigen-specific humoral (antibody) and cellular immunity”, and can last for many years, sometimes even a lifetime[2].   Vaccination benefits the immunized patient … Continue reading An Islamic Basis for the Use of Vaccines with Impermissible Ingredients

Islamically Permissible Influenza Vaccines Available in the US for 2019-2020 Season

Prepared by Shaykh Mateen A. Khan, MD and Dr. Ramzan Judge, PharmD Summary Permissible influenza vaccines in the US for 2019-2020 season: Fluad™ Fluzone High-Dose™ Afluria™ Fluarix™ FluLaval™ Fluzone™ Quadrivalent Impermissible influenza vaccines in the US for 2019-2020 season: Flublok™ FluMist™ Flucelvax™ Discussion Background on Influenza Influenza (commonly known as the flu) is a seasonal viral illness carrying significant health, economic, and social burden. For the past nine years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year 9.3-49 million symptomatic illnesses, 4.3-23 million medical visits, 140,000-960,000 hospitalizations, and 12,000-79,000 deaths are attributed to seasonal influenza. For the 2017-2018 … Continue reading Islamically Permissible Influenza Vaccines Available in the US for 2019-2020 Season

Opioid Medications

Question:  Is the use of opioid drugs such as oxycodone and codeine for medicinal purposes permissible? Answer: Bismihi Ta’ala Opioid drugs are those that are derived from opium.  These drugs are used for various medicinal purposes, such as relief of pain or cough. Common side effects of opioid medications include constipation, nausea, vomiting, sedation, impaired psychomotor function, and urinary retention.  In general, the consumption of intoxicating substances is impermissible according to the shariah.  Intoxication is defined in shariah as a state in which a person is insane and this can be as extreme as not being able to differentiate the … Continue reading Opioid Medications

The Need for Islamic Ethics in Medicine

Shaykh Mateen A. Khan, MD As new diseases and treatment modalities arise, health professionals and patients increasingly find themselves facing dilemmas – ranging from birth defects to end-of-life care – that are as much scientific as they are moral. Medicine, as a field, requires a strong ethical directive. However, personal experience and historical references testify to the fact that human intellect alone is often incapable of reaching objective ethical standards or does so in a contradictory manner. More than just outlining the permissible (halāl) and the impermissible (harām), Islam provides the Believer with a worldview and wide-ranging guidance – a … Continue reading The Need for Islamic Ethics in Medicine

Vitamin D

Question: Vitamin D is commonly derived from sheep wool.  Is this halal to consume? Answer: Bismihi Ta’ala Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms, D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is manufactured by the UV irradiation of ergosterol in yeast, while vitamin D3 is traditionally manufactured by the irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol from lanolin and the chemical conversion of cholesterol. Plant-based sources for vitamin D3 are also now available. Lanolin is extracted from the wool of sheep. Can Muslims consume vitamin D supplements that are derived from lanolin? Sheep wool is considered to be pure, therefore the topical use and … Continue reading Vitamin D

A Sunnah-Minded Approach to Medicine for the Practitioner

Shaykh Mateen A. Khan, MD Like everything in Islam, the philosophy of practice for a Muslim health practitioner starts with the kalimah. Bear with me on this. The first half of the kalimah explains the reason for our being here. There is no deity other than Allah. As such, there is no creator or sustainer other than Him. We and everyone else exist simply because He willed us to exist. This is not a matter of debate or choice. Rather, it is a reality. The sooner you accept this reality, the sooner you can move forward in life. How should … Continue reading A Sunnah-Minded Approach to Medicine for the Practitioner

Medication with Unlawful Ingredients

  Bismihi Ta’ala Introduction There are many scenarios in which a Muslim patient may be advised to take medication that is comprised of unlawful substances (“haram medication”).  Is a Muslim allowed to use medication that would be considered unlawful to consume or take benefit of by Islamic law?  If so, in what circumstances?  This article discusses the issue of haram medication and its related rulings based on principles that scholars have derived from the Quran and Sunnah, and provides examples of how these principles can be applied to modern medications and treatments.  Ahadith that Discuss Haram Medication There are numerous … Continue reading Medication with Unlawful Ingredients