Giving Life

June 16, 2009

Though life and death are both from Allah (SWT), one of the most virtuous things a human being can do is to help play a role in giving life.  After all, by giving charity to those less-fortunate, those that deserve it may benefit from it.

One way I would like to recommend ‘giving-life’ is to donate blood.  In many cases, one pint of blood (the average donation) saves the lives of three people.  Can you imagine the sadaqa involved in helping prolong the lives of three different people? 

Allah (SWT) tells us in the Quran, “For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 5:32).

Therefore, next time you see a blood mobile in your locality, consider giving the gift of life as the process is generally painless and the reward is with Allah (SWT).

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Insh’Allah there will be an eclipse tomorrow night (Wednesday, February 20th, 2008).  It is Sunnah to pray Salaat al-Kusoof during the eclipse.  The 2-rakat prayer is unique in that it has two rukoo per rakat with the recitation of fatiha and another surah inbetween the rukoos.  In North America (Canada & the US), the Total Eclipse takes place during:

Newfoundland ~ 11:30 p.m. – 12:21 a.m, Atlantic ~ 11:00 – 11:51 p.m, Eastern ~ 10:00 – 10:51 p.m, Central ~ 9:00 – 9:51 p.m, Mountain ~ 8:00 – 8:51 p.m, and Pacific ~ 7:00 – 7:51 p.m.  If you’re not sure which time zone you’re in, just keep your eyes on the skies from 7pm until midnight!  In Europe and Africa, the time of the eclipse is ~ 3:00 a.m. – 3:51 a.m. UTC (GMT) in the early morning of February 21. 

Check out what Shaykh-ul-IslamQA al-Munajjid has to say about salaat al-kusoof:

Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allaah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayaat in detail for people who have knowledge.” [Yoonus 10:5]

“And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allaah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Fussilat 41:37)

  1. Salaat al-Kusoof is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) according to the consensus of the scholars. The daleel (evidence) for this is the Sunnah reported from the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
  2. Eclipses are signs from Allaah by means of which Allaah makes His slaves afraid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction)” [al-Israa’ 17:39]

  3. When the sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he went out rushing nervously to the mosque, dragging his cloak behind him, and led the people in prayer. He told them that the eclipse was one of the signs of Allaah, with which Allaah makes His slaves afraid, and that it may be the cause of punishment coming upon the people. He commanded them to do that which could prevent the punishment, so he commanded them to pray when an eclipse happens, and to make du’aa’, seek His forgiveness, give charity, free slaves and do other righteous deeds so that the punishment would go away and not befall the people. So the eclipse is a reminder to people, making them afraid so that they will turn back to Allaah and pay attention to Him.

During the Jaahiliyyah, people used to believe that eclipses happened to mark the birth or death of a great person, but the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) declared this belief to be false and explained the divine wisdom behind the occurrence of eclipses:

Imaam al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that Ibn Mas’ood al-Ansaari said: “the sun was eclipsed the day Ibraaheem the son of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, and the people said, ‘The sun is eclipsed because of the death of Ibraaheem.’ The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The sun and the moon are two signs from Allaah, and they do not become eclipsed for the death or the birth of anyone. If you see that, hasten to remember Allaah and to pray.’”

According to another hadeeth in al-Saheehayn: “Call on Allaah and pray until [the eclipse] is over.”

It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that Abu Moosa said: “These signs that Allaah sends are not for the death or life of anyone, but Allaah makes His slaves afraid through them, so if you see anything of that [eclipses], then hasten to remember Allaah and call on Him and seek His forgiveness.”

Allaah causes eclipses to happen to these two mighty signs, the sun and the moon, to teach His slaves and show them that these things are created and are subject to imperfections and changes just like any other created entities. Thus He shows them His perfect ability and that He alone is deserving of worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allaah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Fussilat 41:37)

  1. The time for Salaat al-Kusoof lasts from the beginning of the eclipse until it is over, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you see that, then pray.” (Agreed upon). According to another hadeeth, “If you see anything of that, then pray until it is over.” (Reported by Muslim).

  2. Salaat al-Kusoof should not be done once the eclipse is over, because the time has gone. If an eclipse ends before one knows about it, one does not have to pray, because the reason for this prayer is no longer there.

  3. The way in which Salaat al-Kusoof is done is to pray two Rak’ahs in which Qur’aan is recited aloud, according to the correct one out of the two scholarly opinions. In the first Rak’ah, one should recite al-Faatihah and a long soorah such as Soorat al-Baqarah or the equivalent, then do a long rukoo’, then raise one’s head and say, “Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd (Allaah listens to the one who praises Him; our Lord to You be praise)” after standing upright, as in other prayers. Then one should then recite al-Faatihah and another long soorah, shorter than in the first recitation, equivalent in length to Soorat Aal ‘Imraan. Then one should do another long rukoo’ shorter than the first, and when raising one’s head, say, “Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan fih, mal’ al-samawaati wa mal’ al-ard wa mal’ ma shi’ta min shay’in ba’d (Allaah listens to the one who praises Him; our Lord to You be praise, much good and blessed praise, filling heaven and earth and whatever You will besides that).” Then he should do two lengthy sujoods, without making the sitting between them too long. Then one should pray the second rak’ah like the first, with two long rukoo’s and two long sujoods, as he did in the first rak’ah. Then he should recite the Tashahhud and say the salaam.

    This is the description of Salaat al-Kusoof as prayed by the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as was reported with a number of isnaads. Some of these reports are in al-Saheehayn, including the hadeeth narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): “The sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out, stood up and said Takbeer (‘Allaahu akbar’), and the people formed rows behind him. The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited a lengthy recitation and did a lengthy rukoo’, then he raised his head and said, ‘Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd.’ Then he stood upright and recited another lengthy recitation, shorter than the first. Then he said ‘Allaahu akbar’ and did another lengthy rukoo’, shorter than the first. Then he said, ‘Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd.’ Then he did sujood. Then in the second rak’ah he did likewise, until he had completed four rukoo’s and four sujoods, and the eclipse was over before he had finished.” (Agreed upon).

  4. It is sunnah to pray Salaat al-Kusoof in jamaa’ah (congregation), because this is what the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, but it is permissible to pray it individually, as with all other naafil prayers. However, praying it in congregation is better.

  5. It is sunnah for the imaam to address the people after the prayer, and to warn them against negligence and being led astray, and to tell them to make lots of du’aa’ and ask for forgiveness. In al-Saheeh it is narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished his prayer then addressed the people and started by praising Allaah then he said, “The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allaah, and they do not become eclipsed for the death or the birth of anyone. If you see that, then call on Allaah, perform salaah, give charity…”

  6. If the prayer ends before the eclipse does, then remember Allaah (dhikr) and call on Him (du’aa’) until the eclipse ends. The prayer should not be repeated. If the eclipse ends before the prayer, then the prayer should be completed quickly, but it should not be stopped or cut off abruptly, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and render not vain your deeds” [Muhammad 47:33]. The prayer should be at the time of the eclipse, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “… until it (the eclipse) is over…” and he also said, “… until what you are going through is over …”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Sometimes eclipses last for a long time, and sometimes for a short time, depending on how much of the sun or moon is eclipsed. The entire sun or moon may be eclipsed, or only half of it, or one-third. If it is a total eclipse, then the prayer should last long enough for all of al-Baqarah or something of similar length to be recited in the first rak’ah, and in the next rak’ah a shorter recitation is made. There are saheeh ahaadeeth narrated from the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as we have mentioned, and it is prescribed to shorten the prayer if the reason for it [i.e., the eclipse] is no longer there. So if it is known that the eclipse will not last for long, or if it started to get less, one should still pray, but the prayer should be shortened. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, because this prayer is prescribed for a specific reason, and if the reason is no longer there and the eclipse is over, one should not pray.”

(source: http://www.islamqa.com)

A professor emeritus at the University of Toronto (School of Medicine), Keith Moore is the main author of Clinically Oriented Anatomy, which is the main textbook used for anatomy in medical schools across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.  Every medical student knows of Moore and his blue boxes.  Anyways, Dr. Keith Moore, after reading the Quran, accepted the oneness of Allah (SWT) and the prophethood of Muhammad (SAW).  Check out the following video (~30 seconds) where Keith Moore admits that Muhammad (SAW) was a messenger of God:

 

 Also, read the following article Dr. Keith Moore wrote about Embryology in the Quran more than twenty years ago!  It’s from: The Journal of the Islamic Medical Association, Vol.18, Jan-June 1986, pp.15-16

A Scientist’s Interpretation of References to Embryology in the Qur’an

Keith L. Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C.
The Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada.
Address all correspondence to:
Keith L. Moore, Ph.D, F.I.A.C., Professor of Anatomy and Associate Dean Basic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M55 IAB, Canada ———————————————————-

Statements referring to human reproduction and development are scattered throughout the Qur’an. It is only recently that the scientific meaning of some of these verses has been appreciated fully. The long delay in interpreting these verses correctly resulted mainly from inaccurate translations and commentaries and from a lack of awareness of scientific knowledge.

Interest in explanations of the verses of the Qur’an is not new. People used to ask the prophet Muhammad all sorts of questions about the meaning of verses referring to human reproduction. The Apostle’s answers form the basis of the Hadith literature.

The translations(*) of the verses from the Qur’an which are interpreted in this paper were provided by Sheik Abdul Majid Zendani, a Professor of Islamic Studies in King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“He makes you in the wombs of your mothers in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness.”

This statement is from Sura 39:6. We do not know when it was realized that human beings underwent development in the uterus (womb), but the first known illustration of a fetus in the uterus was drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. In the 2nd century A.D., Galen described the placenta and fetal membranes in his book “On The Formation of the Foetus.” Consequently, doctors in the 7th century A.D. likely knew that the human embryo developed in the uterus. It is unlikely that they knew that it developed in stages, even though Aristotle had described the stages of development of the chick embryo in the 4th century B.C. The realization that the human embryo develops in stages was not discussed and illustrated until the 15th century.

After the microscope was discovered in the 17th century by Leeuwenhoek descriptions were made of the early stages of the chick embryo. The staging of human embryos was not described until the 20th century. Streeter (1941) developed the first system of staging which has now been replaced by a more accurate system proposed by O’Rahilly (1972).

“The three veils of darkness” may refer to: (l) the anterior abdominal wall; (2) the uterine wall; and (3) the amniochorionic membrane (Fig. 1). Although there are other interpretations of this statement, the one presented here seems the most logical from an embryological point of view.
 

 

Figure 1. Drawing of a sagittal section of a female’s abdomen and pelvis showing a fetus in utero. The “veils of darkness” are: (1) the anterior abdominal wall; (2) the uterine wall, and (3) the amniochorionic membrane.

“Then We placed him as a drop in a place of rest.”

This statement is from Sura 23:13. The drop or nutfah has been interpreted as the sperm or spermatozoon, but a more meaningful interpretation would be the zygote which divides to form a blastocyst which is implanted in the uterus (“a place of rest”). This interpretation is supported by another verse in the Qur’an which states that “a human being is created from a mixed drop.” The zygote forms by the union of a mixture of the sperm and the ovum (“The mixed drop”).

“Then We made the drop into a leech-like structure.”

This statement is from Sura 23:14. The word “alaqah” refers to a leech or bloodsucker. This is an appropriate description of the human embryo from days 7-24 when it clings to the endometrium of the uterus, in the same way that a leech clings to the skin. Just as the leech derives blood from the host, the human embryo derives blood from the decidua or pregnant endometrium. It is remarkable how much the embryo of 23-24 days resembles a leech (Fig. 2). As there were no microscopes or lenses available in the 7th century, doctors would not have known that the human embryo had this leech-like appearance. In the early part of the fourth week, the embryo is just visible to the unaided eye because it is smaller than a kernel of wheat.

 

Figure 2. Top, a drawing of a leech or bloodsucker. 
Below, a drawing of a 24 day-old human embryo. Note the leech-like appearance of the human embryo at this stage.

  Figure 3. Left, a plasticine model of the human embryo which has the appearance of chewed flesh.
Right, a drawing of a 28 day-old human embryo showing several bead-like somites which resemble the teeth marks in the model shown to the left.

“Then of that leech-like structure, We made a chewed lump.”

This statement is also from Sura 23:14. The Arabic word “mudghah” means “chewed substance or chewed lump.” Toward the end of the fourth week, the human embryo looks somewhat like a chewed lump of flesh (Fig. 3). The chewed appearance results from the somites which resemble teeth marks. The somites represent the beginnings or primordia of the vertebrae.

“Then We made out of the chewed lump, bones, and clothed the bones in flesh.”

This continuation of Sura 23:14 indicates that out of the chewed lump stage, bones and muscles form. This is in accordance with embryological development. First the bones form as cartilage models and then the muscles (flesh) develop around them from the somatic mesoderm.

“Then We developed out of it another creature.”

This next part of Sura 23:14 implies that the bones and muscles result in the formation of another creature. This may refer to the human-like embryo that forms by the end of the eighth week. At this stage it has distinctive human characteristics and possesses the primordia of all the internal and external organs and parts. After the eighth week, the human embryo is called a fetus. This may be the new creature to which the verse refers.

“And He gave you hearing and sight and feeling and understanding.”

This part of Sura 32:9 indicates that the special senses of hearing, seeing, and feeling develop in this order, which is true. The primordia of the internal ears appear before the beginning of the eyes, and the brain (the site of understanding) differentiates last.

“Then out of a piece of chewed flesh, partly formed and partly unformed.”

This part of Sura 22:5 seems to indicate that the embryo is composed of both differentiated and undifferentiated tissues. For example, when the cartilage bones are differentiated, the embryonic connective tissue or mesenchyme around them is undifferentiated. It later differentiates into the muscles and ligaments attached to the bones.

“And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term.”

This next part of Sura 22:5 seems to imply that God determines which embryos will remain in the uterus until full term. It is well known that many embryos abort during the first month of development, and that only about 30% of zygotes that form, develop into fetuses that survive until birth. This verse has also been interpreted to mean that God determines whether the embryo will develop into a boy or girl.

The interpretation of the verses in the Qur’an referring to human development would not have been possible in the 7th century A.D., or even a hundred years ago. We can interpret them now because the science of modern Embryology affords us new understanding. Undoubtedly there are other verses in the Qur’an related to human development that will be understood in the future as our knowledge increases.  

Unfortunately, the figures from this article don’t show up on my blog, so you can see them at: http://www.islam101.com/science/embryo.html

 

Islamic Medical Ethics

February 13, 2008

What does Islam say about removing life-support, sex-change operations, living organ donors, doctors’ malpractice liabilities, and other medical ethic questions?  Check out the follow article by Shaykh Hani al-Jubayr (presiding Judge in Makkah) entitled, “General Principles of Islamic Law and Their Practical Applications for Medicine.”  Some of the answers might suprise you: 

A general principle of Islamic Law is a universal legal ruling or proposition from which the particular legal rulings are derived. They are the general axioms that govern numerous specific legal rulings.These general axioms do not address specific individuals or specific cases. Rather, they apply generally to the Islamic rulings that concern the actions of legally accountable entities.

Islamic Law is defined by numerous general principles. However, there are five major axioms that are extremely broad in their application and that all Islamic scholars agree upon, regardless of their schools of thought. They are the edifice upon which Islamic Law is built. These are the principles that we will be discussing in this article, and we will explore their relevance to laws governing the medical field.

The First Principle: Matters are to be considered in light of their objectives

The ruling that applies to a certain action depends on the intent behind that action. Whatever a human being does has legal consequences that stem from that person’s purpose for carrying out that action.

There is evidence for this principle in the Prophet’s statement: “Actions are but by intentions, and a man will have only what he intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated to attain some worldly benefit or get married, then his emigration is for what he undertook it to achieve.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1) and Sahîh Muslim (1907)]

Application of this principle:

1. The patient’s consent for the doctor to carry out a medical procedure can be established by any means that indicates the patient’s agreement. This is because whatever clearly communicates the patient’s will and intent has the same legal status as a verbal consent.

Ibn Taymiyah writes in Majmû` al-Fatâwâ (29/20):

What is customarily understood as permission – in general matters of consent or transfer of ownership or appointing an agent – is the same as a verbal permission. Granting consent and empowering an agent to act on one’s behalf are matters which can be affirmed by word or by action. Also, knowledge of the rightful person’s agreement is equivalent to that person’s expression of agreement.

There is evidence for a gesture counting as consent for a medical procedure in Sahîh al-Bukhârî (5712) and Sahîh Muslim (2213) where `Â’ishah relates:

We orally administered medicine to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he made a gesture showing that he did not want it. We said: “This is just a patient’s normal dislike for medicine.”

When he came to, he said: “Didn’t I forbid you to give me that medicine? All of you now will have to taste it.”

This hadîth illustrates how a clear gesture is equal to a verbal statement in these matters.

2. The doctor’s occupation is to help the patient recover from illness. This is why, in the event of unintentional malpractice on the part of the doctor, the compensation is pecuniary. However, in the event that a doctor intentionally seeks to injure the patient or cause the patient’s death, then the doctor is treated like any other criminal and is subject to criminal proceedings and to the judicial retribution mentioned in the verse: ” O ye who believe! the law of retribution is prescribed to you in cases of murder.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 178]

The Mâlikî jurist al-Dasûqî writes in the legal commentary (3/295):

The person who is ignorant of medicine is not subject to retribution, because he did not have the intent to cause harm. He sought or at least hoped to help cure the patient. In the event that he had a malicious intent, he would be legally subject to the law of retribution.

3. Islamic Law permits a doctor to conduct an operation upon the body of the patient only to prevent harm or provide the patient with some lawful benefit. Otherwise, it is not permissible for the doctor to act upon the patient’s body in any way. The human body is Allah’s property and no one can interfere with the property of another in a manner that the owner does not permit. Examples of unlawful surgery would be a sex-change operation or cosmetic surgery to help a criminal avoid detection.

The Second Principle: Harm should be removed

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There must neither be harm nor the imposition of harm.” [Sunan al-Daraqutnî (3/77), al-Mustadrak (2/57), and Sunan al-Bayhaqî (6/69)]

This means that no one should initiate harm against someone else, since causing harm is an injustice and is therefore forbidden. It also means that no one has the right to inflict harm upon someone else in order to alleviate harm that is affecting them. Whenever harm is encountered, it should be removed.

Application of this principle:

1. It is permitted to transplant an organ from a living volunteer donor to a person who has a dire need for it in order to save that person’s life or restore that person’s life to a semblance of normality. This is in order to remove harm. However, this is conditional upon it not causing inordinate harm to the volunteer donor by putting the donor’s life in a compromised state. This is because harm is not to be removed through the causing of harm.

3. In the event that one spouse contracts a contagious disease (AIDS, for instance) it is the duty of that spouse to inform the other. They must cooperate in taking whatever preventative measures are necessary to prevent the disease from being passed on. Likewise, the wife has the right to demand a divorce in the event her husband contracts such a disease. This is to protect her from harm. By contrast, the woman’s right to take care of her children is upheld, even if she contracts a disease like AIDS, since such a disease is not transmitted through care giving.

The Third Principle: Customary usage is the determining factor

Norms and customs are recognized as a determining factor in deciding matters related to social transactions. Legal rulings are applied according to what customary usage dictates in the absence of any textual evidence to the contrary.

Allah says: “And their maintenance and their clothing must be borne by the father according to custom.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 233]

Among the evidence for the recognition of custom in Islamic Law is the following hadith related from `Â’ishah in Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2211) and Sahîh Muslim (1714):

Hind, the mother of Mu`âwiyah, said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Abû Sufyân (Hind’s husband) is a tight-fisted man. Is there anything wrong if I take money from him secretly?”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Take for yourself and your children to suffice your needs according to what is customary.”

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî, in his commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî, observes: “He referred her to customary usage in a matter that was not precisely defined in Islamic Law.” [Fath al-Bârî (4/407)]

Application of this principle:

1. If a doctor carries out his practice according to the theoretical and practical principles of medicine as is customarily accepted by medical specialists and patient dies or suffers injury, then the doctor bears no financial liability.

2. The patient’s consent to undergo treatment does not include medical treatments that are not customarily understood by such consent. Therefore, if the patient’s general consent to undergo treatment is not generally understood to include major surgery, then the patient’s consent for the surgery must be taken separately, as dictated by custom.

The Fourth Principle: The presence of difficulty requires that allowances be made to facilitate matters

When putting certain legal rulings into practice brings about serious difficulties for the people in their person’s or their wealth, then Islamic Law makes concessions.

Allah says: ” Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 185]

Allah also says: “Allah has placed no difficulty upon you in religion.” [Sûrah al-Hajj: 78]

Application of this principle:

1. Islam encourages having children to strengthen the community. However, if this brings about hardship for the couple, they have the right to use birth control to regulate when they have children and how many they have, according to their particular needs. The determination of this matter is left to their own discretion.

2. Exposing one’s body to a member of the opposite sex is unlawful. However, if there is a medical need to expose a part of the body to doctor for treatment, then this is allowed to alleviate the hardship that patient would otherwise face. The guiding principle here is that matters should be taken only as far necessary.

3. The sale of blood is unlawful in Islam. This is because the Qur’ân prohibits blood, and it is forbidden to sell something that is unlawful. Nevertheless, if a patient needs blood and there is no way to ensure its availability except by paying for it, then it is permitted to pay for it, and the sin is only upon the one who receives the money.

The Fifth Principle: That which is established with certainty is not removed by doubt

Essentially, this principle means that anything which is established with certainty requires absolutely certain evidence to indicate that it is no longer the case. Doubts are not sufficient to render it null.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If one of you feels something in his stomach that makes him wonder if anything had passed from him, he should not leave the mosque until he either hears or smells something.” [Sahîh Muslim (362)]

Al-Nawawî makes the following observation in his commentary on Sahîh Muslim (4/49):

This hadîth sets forth a principle of Islam and a major axiom of Islamic Law, which is that things are legally assumed to remain as they are unless and until it is established with certainty that they are otherwise. Extraneous doubts are of no consequence.

Application of this principle:

1. It is unlawful to declare someone dead (actual death which brings about legal consequences) merely by a doctor’s statement that the patient is brain-dead. It is necessary to establish death without an ambiguity. He heart must stop beating, breathing must cease, and the other typical signs of certain death must be observed. This is because the default assumption about a living person is that he or she is still alive, so the contrary must be established with absolute certainly.

At the same time, it is permissible to take the patient off of life support if all brain function has ceased and a panel of specialists determined that there is no chance for it to resume.

2. A person who has completely developed male or female sexual organs cannot undergo a sex-change. In the event that the person has anatomical attributes of both genders, then the dominant gender will be adopted and the patient may undergo surgery and/or hormone therapy in order to remove the gender ambiguity.

(Source: www.islamtoday.com)

Hookah (a.k.a. sheesha, waterpipe, nargila, argeela) has become very popular amongst college students nowadays.  Nevertheless, very little of the harms are known to its users.  It is often quite misunderstood as being harmless and not-addicting.  However, scientific research has proven otherwise as it is clearly established that hookah causes cancer and is, in fact, more harmful to one’s health than cigarettes.  Just this week, the WHO (World Health Organization) published a seven-page report claiming that hookah is just as hazardous to one’s health if not more hazardous than smoking cigarettes.

Hookah, in fact, actually does contain nicotine and one sitting of hookah is more hazardous to one’s cardiovascular system than cigarettes.  Cardiovascular disease is a serious threat to hookah smokers.  The carbon monoxide (CO) intake is also at a dangerous level when smoking hookah as it holds negative effects for those even exposed to second-hand smoke.  Second-hand smoke of hookah contains nicotine (which has shown to show addiction even through second-hand smoke), TAR, and even worse, heavy metals such as cobalt, arsenic, and lead!  These metals destroy a person’s body!  These findings were published in a scientific journal that was peer-reviewed and can be found on PubMed!

Hookah has shown to cause serious diseases.  Accepted scientific studies show that hookah causes an increase in the frequency of chromosomal abberations and sister chromatids.  This implies that the chance of our children having mutations is increased many-fold.  This is true for the man as well as the woman since a child receives twenty-three chromosomes from each parent. Therefore, this one fact alone should scare us from even being exposed to second-hand smoke of hookah and risking the health of our children!

In rats, hookah has shown an increase in hyperkeratosis and degeneration.  Moreover, a study in the Journal of Periodontology found that gum disease is five times more likely to occur with hookah smokers.  Other scientifically accepted journals have shown than hookah is linked with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, decreased pulmonary function, various other cardiovascular diseases, TUBERCULOSIS, eczema, aspergillosis (through contamination), and postextraction alveolitis (of the teeth).

On top of all the above, hookah also causes cancer!  In a recent study, eighty-eight percent of those people with cancer in India were at one-time hookah smokers.  The risk for lung cancer is significantly increased with hookah.  A study in Pediatrics concluded that hookah is at-least the same, if not worse for one’s health, cancer-wise, than cigarettes.  Professor Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth University concluded through his studies on hookah that “every risk of cigarette smoking is also associated with water pipes (hookah).” 

Therefore, let us stay away from hookah.  There are no benefits from it whatsoever.  Let us stay away from it for the sake of our children and our health.  May Allah (SWT) guide us all.  Ameen.