Issue No.206 – September 2022 : Rabiul Awwal 1444
As the saying goes of this time-worn and overused cliché, often said as an encouragement to those reaching middle age. Ironically, it is always proffered by the older to the younger generation. This does not apply to the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMASA), for whom “life” began 40 years ago and are celebrating their achievement of selfless service to the Ummah this weekend. For more on their activities click here:
From modest beginnings and in the face of enormous difficulties, a few Muslim doctors established a Sunday clinic in a rural coastal area of KwaZulu Natal to assist the indigent community marginalised by the Apartheid government of the day. Alhamdulillah! IMASA has progressed tremendously since then and 40 years on have a membership of more than 2000 healthcare professionals and 13 regional branches nationally, each undertaking numerous activities for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
Masha Allah! On behalf of the entire community, we offer our heartfelt congratulations and make du’aa for the continued growth and success of IMASA, Aameen.
Islam views health as a boon and blessing entrusted to man by Allah Ta’ala, and for every boon the obligation of care and preservation applies. Negligence in taking care of one’s health is therefore a betrayal of this trust. In order to worship Allah Ta’ala effectively, Believers need healthy bodies and minds.
Just as it is necessary to ensure that our food and drink complies to the tenets of Shari‘ah Law, Muslims must be cognisant of the fact that medication too must be free from Haraam material. It is an established fact that many pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and wellness products contain active ingredients and/or excipients derived from Haraam sources. Whilst it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the medication being administered meets Halaal requirements, the Muslim healthcare professional too is entrusted with the responsibility to prescribe medication which complies to Halaal requirements.
It is imperative that Muslim consumers and conscientious healthcare professionals actively engage those involved in the manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, and prescribing of medication and alert them to the needs of Muslim consumers. The industry will pursue Halaal alternatives if they are made aware of the needs of a community which makes up almost a third of the global population. Industry will change when consumers demand change!
Alhumdulillah, the Islamic Medical Association has partnered with various stakeholders including the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa and SANHA amongst others to proactively identify medications which are Halaal and those which are non-Halaal. This will be an excellent and beneficial resource for the Ummah and will be a catalyst for the international community to follow suit, Insha Allah.
“Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so administer medication, but use nothing unlawful.” (al-Hadith – Abu Dawud: 3874)