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Question: Assalam u alaikum... I live in America and its very hard to use 100 percent halal medicines . my doctor has prescribed me medicines and on finding out i always find that its not 100 percent halal . Right now i have been diagnosed with some bacteria in my stomach and if its not treated it may form stomach ulcer . I asked the pharmacists and even the manufacturers of the medicine and they told me that its not 100 percent halal one contains lactose and the source is unidentified and they also told me that the rest of the medicine does not contain animal products but fillers and coverings of capsules and tablets may contain animal products . Please i need your help what should i do can you answer please....
Answer:
You are allowed to take this medication prescribed to you to treat your stomach disorder. Our body and health are trusts. Allah wants us to take care of them by resorting to preventive measures and by taking medications, if necessary.
 
The Prophet said, “O servants of Allah, use medicine and receive treatments, for Allah has appointed cures for every ailment except old age.”

The doubts you have raised about the medication are simply unwarranted.  There is nothing that can be deemed as strictly forbidden in it.
 
You are allowed to take the medication prescribed for you. Lactose is from milk, and its source is cows; as such, the question of halal and haram does not arise.  
 
To suspect whether it comes from pigs is simply due whisperings of Shaytan; it is an unwarranted speculation for milk does not come from pigs; it is possible to be from goats which are also halal. 
 
It is important for us to know that Islamic rules of halal and haram are simple and straightforward. By way of clarification, I would like to state below the relevant points as related to this issue: 
 
1.  According to the rules of jurisprudence, originally all things are lawful unless forbidden. 
 
It was for this reason that the Prophet’s companions who went to countries inhabited Christians, Jews, and even Zoroastrians never practiced such rigidity; rather they used to consume the meat and other products available there without indulging in speculations. When questioned about cheese and dairy products in those countries their answer was: Haram is what Allah has declared as haram. It was the answer of Salman al-Farisi when questioned about cheese in Iran which was mostly inhabited by Zoroastrians.
 
The reason being we are to assume things as permissible unless we have evidence to prove otherwise. Therefore, in the case of lactose, we can think it comes from cows or goats which are the source of milk and dairy products; there is no reason to entertain doubts. If you do it is akin to rigidity that the Prophet has warned us against: He said, “Woe to those who are rigid; woe to those who are rigid; woe to those who are rigid.” He also said, “This religion of ours is easy to practice; whoever makes it hard on him will perish!.” So, cast away such doubts; they are from the whisperings of Satan, who wants to make you think that Islam is hard and then force you to give it up altogether!
 
2.  Suppose some haram elements such as gelatin or by-products of pork went to the production of medicine, it is still considered halal; for these ingredients have been wholly transformed and turned into a different substance altogether.  It is known as the principle of Istihalah or transformation of a product into something else. An example:  Alcohol is haram, but once it has become vinegar, it is undoubtedly halal.  The same rule applies to substances that were once haram – if they have been changed -  acquiring new attributes and names.
 
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim states: The texts forbidding dead carcasses, blood, the flesh of swine and intoxicants, cannot be extended to crops, fruits, ashes, salt, mud, vinegar – even though the latter may have their source in the former as their base or used as compost.   
 
3. Furthermore, even if we are to assume that that Gelatine in most medicines comes from pigs, you are allowed to take the medication – if alternatives are not available. Such is the ruling based on the rule of umum al-balwa which jurists use; accordingly, where something is unavoidable, it can be considered as permissible.
 
In conclusion, you should have no reservation in using the medication prescribed by your physician to treat your stomach disorder.
 
I pray to Allah to grant you a speedy recovery and sound health.

 

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