Are sleeping pills haram?
In The Name Of Allah, The Most-Merciful, The Most Kind
Most sleeping pills are classified as “sedative hypnotics.” That’s a specific class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep. Sedative hypnotics include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics.
Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Librium are anti-anxiety medications. They also increase drowsiness and help people sleep. Halcion is an older benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic medicine that has largely been replaced by newer medicines. While these drugs may be useful short-term, all benzodiazepines are potentially addictive and can cause problems with memory and attention. They are usually not recommended for long-term treatment of sleeping problems.
Barbiturates, another drug in this sedative-hypnotic class, depress the central nervous system and can cause sedation. Short- or long-acting barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives or sleeping pills. But more commonly, these hypnotic drugs are limited to use as anaesthesia. They can be fatal in overdose.
The default position would be impermissible as it may harm someone physically, mentally or both, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majaah (2341)
The prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every intoxicant is haram.” Narrated by Muslim (5219)
If it is a genuine need for a person to use such medication by way of necessity then he should take it on the advice of a reliable Muslim doctor.
الضرورات تبيح المحظورات (الأشباه والنظائر لابن نجيم ص٨٥ دار الكتب العلمية)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Abdul Muktader
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham