Fatwa ID: 01372
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Recently my wife gave birth to a boy alhamdulillah at 11AM in the morning. She was in labour for at least 14 hours and was in huge pain before the 14 hours and during it (first child). After about 11 hours of labour the midwife decided that she couldnt deliver the baby, because during the labour at some point the baby's head changed a little direction and was stuck and therefore was finding it difficult to come out. Due to this my wife was in huge pain and agony. At the same time I was concerned about the baby's well being e.g. the head, brain etc and wanted the baby to be delivered as we went through a tough n ight.
So the midwife said a doctor will get involved where he will assess the situation and suck the baby out or do a caesarean.
When the doctor's (one man and a woman junior doctor) came to have a look, the doctor's said the same as the midwife, which was that the baby's head had changed direction and due to this it was very difficult to come out in normal labour and my wife was in pain. So he said that he will cut the bottom part of the vagina and deliver the baby and after that he will stitch it up again.
I asked if we could have a female doctor and they replied that the male doctor was the only one working that particular shift and the female doctor with him was a junior doctor and if she did do it he will still have to repeat the procedure, because she was a junior, and the next female doctor would start late evening or next day.
I was not happy with that, but/however because I was concerned about the baby's health and my wifes health, I asked my wife her decision and she said fine let the male doctor do the delivery. Although I was not happy with that I still let the male doctor do the cutting and stitching of my wifes vagina and deliver the baby and get the labour over and done with.
I feel I made a huge mistake asking a male doctor to do this, and have asked forgiveness and will never do such thing again unless its
a life death situation.
My question is that is our Nikkah affected? And are me and my wife sinful letting the MALE doctor do what he had to do to deliver the baby or did we make the right choice?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
If a Muslim female is in need of medical treatment, then one should endeavour and try that she is treated by a female doctor, or by a male Muslim doctor who is a relative of the female. (Raddul Muhtar P.529 V.9)
However, if that is not possible then in extreme and dire situations it will be permissible for a male doctor to examine and treat a female patient.
Allahmah Ibn Abideen Shami has written in his Raddul Muhtar:
“…And for the medical treatment in that a male doctor may look at (and treat) the effected area but only to the extent of need… And it is preferable that the male doctor teaches and instructs a female to treat her, for looking at someone from the same gender is a lesser of an evil.” (P.533 V.9)
He goes on to say; “If the treatment is on her private parts; then he should teach and instruct a female to treat her. If this is not possible and it is feared that the woman patient may die or undergo unbearable pains, only then it will be permissible for a male doctor to treat her, provided her non effected parts of the body are covered and provided he keeps his gaze as low as much as possible except from the effected area.” (Ibid)
From the aforementioned text we can derive that if the woman’s life is at risk or she may undergo unbearable pain, then it is permissible for a male doctor to treat her private parts. With regards to your question, we can see that your wife was undergoing great difficulties in delivering the child; therefore, it was permissible for both you and your wife to let the male doctor treat her. Insha Allah, you will not be considered sinful for you action.
Finally, the aforementioned scenario does not affect the validity of your marriage.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.