Category: medical fatwas
The nursing of a man by a woman
We hope that our Sheikh Abu `Abd Al-Mu`iz –May Allah protect him and make him useful- will help us by answering a question related to the ruling concerning nursing men by a nurse, also concerning giving people injections if there is no man to do it in the clinic.
Benefit us with a detailed and convincing answer and may Allah reward you with good.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
In principle, it is forbidden for a woman to mingle with men. Moreover, there are proofs that it is not permissible to show one’s `Aura (private parts), except in some cases of necessity, need or utility established by the Sharia, on the condition of being safe from temptation and without being in a Khulwa(1). Besides, the woman should also observe good manners and abide by the rulings of the Sharia as regards her clothing, adornment and her looking at a stranger and the looking of a stranger to her, and in case there is no man who can perform such task. This is supported by what was reported by Al-Bukhâri according to Ar-Rubayyi` Bint Mu`awwidh who said: “We were in the company of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم providing the wounded (fighters) with water and treating them and bringing the killed (from the battle field) to Medina”(2) and what Al-Bukhâri also reported: “That `Âisha and Ummu Sulaym رضي الله عنهما were carrying the water skins on their backs, then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people. Then they would return to fill the water skins again and come back again to pour water in the mouths of the people”(3). Such actions, which are related to jihad and by which interests related to Sharia are fulfilled, are permissible for women in spite of their mingling with men. In “Sahîh Muslim”, Anas Ibn Mâlik narrated that “The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم used to let Ummu Sulaym and some other women of the Ansar accompany him when he went forth to Jihad. They would provide (the soldiers) with water and treat the wounded people”(4). Besides, there may be a need or a utility in mingling between men and women like serving the guests; it is reported in the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhâri that “When Abu Ussayd As-Sâ`idi got married, he invited the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم and his Companions. None prepared and brought the food for them but his wife Um Ussayd.”(5)
That being said, know that it is not permissible for a woman to disclose her `Aura for a doctor or someone instead of him if there is a female doctor on behalf of him. If the woman discovers her private parts, it is permissible for her to discover only the needed amount, as it is stated by As-Suyûti and Ibn Nujaym in “Al-Ashbâh Wan-Nadhâ'ir” in accordance with the jurisprudential rule stipulating that: “Necessities should be evaluated in a proper manner”.
Furthermore, if a woman gets ill and her illness is not dangerous, but it causes a sharp and constant pain to her, then it is permissible for her to disclose her `Aura to a woman doctor or to a male doctor when there is no female doctor, if her recovery depends on the disclosure of her `Aura, as the need can have the status of a necessity, whether in a general or specific manner. In addition, covering one’s private parts is ameliorative(6), whereas removing the constant pain is needful, and the needful takes absolutely precedence over the ameliorative. However, if the pain is minor and usual, it is not permissible to discover the `Aura as the degree of removing the pain and covering the private parts is equal, as both of them are ameliorative, though covering the private parts takes precedence over the pain, because “Prohibition is given precedence over permission” and the women and the men are subject to the same rulings, in accordance with the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “Women are the twin halves of men”(7) and this, if there is no specifying proof.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
(1) Khulwa: The fact that a woman is with an unrelated man in the same place without other people.
(2) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Jihad”, concerning women’s treatment of the wounded men during holy battles (hadith 2882) on the authority of Ar-Rubayyi` Bint Mu`awwidh رضي الله عنها.
(3) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Jihad and military expeditions” concerning women’s fighting along with men (hadith 2880), Muslim, chapter of “Jihad and military expeditions” (hadith 4786) and Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 18311) on the authority of Anas رضي الله عنه.
(4) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “Jihad and military expeditions” (hadith 4785), Abu Dâwûd in the beginning of the chapter of “Jihad” concerning the women who assault (2533), At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Military expeditions” concerning what is reported about the women going out for fighting (hadith 1670), on the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه.
(5) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Marriage” concerning the bride who serves by herself the people in the wedding party (hadith 4887), Muslim, chapter of “Drinks” concerning the permission of drinking An-Nabîdh (wine) if it has not become strong and has not turned into intoxicant (hadith 5233) and Ibn Mâjah.
(6) Ameliorative things are things that improve the conditions of people and make them concordant with what is required by good manners and virility.
(7) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Purification”, concerning a man who finds his clothes stained with semen after a wet dream (hadith 236), At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Chapters of purification” concerning someone who wakes up, sees his colthes wet but does not remember that he had a wet dream (hadith 113), Ahmad (7/365) hadith number(25663), on the authority of `Aisha رضي الله عنها. This hadith has been judged as authentic by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`” (hadith 2333) and in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (2863).