My doctor has prescribed me an anxiolytic/tranquilizer that I regularly assume; is it haram or not, since it's a psychotropic drug, although a bland one.
Can I pray even if I’m assuming this drug?”
Additional question from another sister:
"I've been assuming antidepressants for almost an year plus a slightly strong Benzodiazepines [“Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which results in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesic action”].
I had been prescribed these medicines by a doctor due to my being in a condition of deep depression. About a month ago I decided on my own to discontinue assuming all these medicines because my serenity was something "chemical", my sleep depending on drugs, and this made me feel "fake"; while I feel it's very important to live my religion with sincerity and having complete trust in Allah, so I thought that all these medicines may be "anti-Islamic" in a certain sense.
But at the same time I'm afraid that discontinuing them I may fall in that same pitiful condition I was in before.
I would like to know if keep assuming these drugs would be compatible with a Islamically righteous life or if they should be discontinued.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The majority of the scholars agree that if a person is suffering from a severe illness and he has the financial ability to pay for the treatment, then to treat himself through medicines or other sources becomes wajib upon him. However, if the illness is not serious and he does not have the financial ability, then to treat himself does not become wajib. It only becomes mustahub. (Nizamul Fatawa p.350 v.1)
Wherever possible the cure should be done with paak and halal medicine. However, sometimes in necessity, the only alternative for a certain illness is through a particular medicine, which has impure and unlawful substances.
There are two possible strands:
- To use it without necessity
- To use it in necessity.
Regarding the first possible strand, the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that Allah (SWA) has placed no cure for the Muslims in haraam. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P.388 V.2)
In another hadith it is stated that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has prohibited us from impure and filthy medicines. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P388 V.2)
However, later day jurists, keeping in mind the modern day impure medicines and the weakness of people against it have given permission in the usage of haraam medicine on the condition that another lawful and pure medicine is not effective or is not available. (Maariful Quran P.437 V.1)
The second possible situation is to use it in necessity. A person whose life is in danger can use such medicines, which are forbidden on him to save his life on the following conditions:
- There is extreme necessity that ones life is in danger.
- Another lawful medicine does not work, or is not available.
- It should be certain that the disease would be cured through the medicine.
- A person should not enjoy the medicine.
- Only the amount, which is necessary, should be used. (Maariful Quran- Ibid)
With regards to the first part of the question, it is permissible to take an anti depressant drug as it is a means of medication.
It is stated in Fatawa Hindiyyah that there are three types of means to remove harms and difficulties:
1) Those that remove potential harm for certain such as the drinking of water in order to quench thirst and eating of food in order to remove hunger.
2) Those that by using them, it is presumed health will be restored such as medical treatment.
3) Those that may cure (but less significant than the second situation) such as the using of amulets etc…
With regards to the first type, abstaining from using them is no way considered as part of reliance and trust in Allah, rather it is unlawful to refrain from using these means. If a person was to die due to not drinking water, he will be sinful.
The second type of means, using it is not contrary to the concept of Tawakkul, and abstaining from its usage is not a sin also.
The third type of means is not essential in that complete reliance in Allah is only achieved by abstaining from using them.
Regarding your second question, it will be permissible to pray salah as long as one is conscious and sane. If one is unconscious of the surroundings due to the medicine then the salah should be delayed.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham