Is it permissible to take performance enhancing supplements?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulfiqh.com
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Is it permissible to take performance enhancing supplements?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

One should consider the law relating to this in whichever country you reside in. From an Islamic perspective, it is not permissible to take performance enhancing drugs.[1]  Commonly referred to as steroids, performance enhancing drugs have serious side effects.

Potential risks and side effects[2] of using steroids include:

Men may develop:

  • Prominent breasts
  • Baldness
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Infertility

Women may develop:

  • A deeper voice
  • An enlarged clitoris
  • Increased body hair
  • Baldness

Both men and women might experience:

  • Severe acne
  • Increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture
  • Liver abnormalities and tumors
  • Increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Hypertension
  • Heart and circulatory problems
  • Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Aggressive behaviours, rage or violence
  • Psychiatric disorders, such as depression
  • Drug dependence
  • Infections or diseases such as HIV or hepatitis if you’re injecting the drugs
  • Inhibited growth and development, and risk of future health problems in teenagers

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

[1]  اعلم أن المضرات للبدن من المأكولات، والمشروبات ثلاثةُ أقسام:

قسم ضرره ظاهر مُهْلك – كالسُّم، والزجاج، والحديد، والزيبق، والجص، وما أشبه ذلك – فيحرم أكله جامداً، وشربُه مائعاً.

وقسم ضرره ظاهر، ولكنه غير مُهْلك – كالتراب، والحجر، ونحوهما – فيكره أكلها جامدة، وشربها مائعة، إلا قليلَ تراب في ماء.

وقسم ضرره غير ظاهر وهو: ما يضر الأمزجة المستعدة لضرره، دون غيرهما (كالمبرودين يضرهم أكل السمك، وشربُ اللبن، والمحرورين يضرهم شربُ العسل، والزيت، وأكلُ الفلفل ونحو ذلك) فلا يحرم ولا يكره، غير أن من عَرف تغيرَ مزاجه به، ينبغي أن يتركه، لئلا يؤدي إلى المرض الشديد (الدرر المباحة ص 44 دار ابن حزم).

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/performance-enhancing-drugs/HQ01105 (last accessed 6/11/12)

This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).