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Can Muslim women be gynaecologists

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham
Assalamoalaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakaatahu
Please make dua for me and please tell me that I am studying medicine and I have to attend clinical classes in which they show examination on males and we have to touch them and see their satr ourselves, is it permissible for females to touch male patients and see their satr during the course of studies as it is in syallabus, also what about internship? Please tell me. Also if I choose any other specialization other than gynaecology I will be taught on male patients so shud I take up something like opthalmology or should I take only gyanae; gyanae is ok but I think it will be difficult for me to give the rights of my family to them if I take up gynae and that will not be correct, so what does sharia say about females touching male patients during the course of education as doctors.   

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


The ruling on whether male can treat or touch female genital organs or vice versa can be seen from the following ruling found in Allahmah Ibn Abideen Shami (RA) Raddul Muhtar. 

If a Muslim female is in need of medical treatment, then one should endeavour and try that she is treated by a female doctor, or by a male Muslim doctor who is a relative of the female. (Raddul Muhtar P.529 V.9)

However, if that is not possible then in extreme and dire situations it will be permissible for a male doctor to examine and treat a female patient.

Allahmah Ibn Abideen Shami (RA) has written in his Raddul Muhtar:

“…And for the medical treatment in that a male doctor may look at (and treat) the effected area but only to the extent of need… And it is preferable that the male doctor teaches and instructs a female to treat her, for looking at someone from the same gender is a lesser of an evil.” (P.533 V.9)

He goes on to say; “If the treatment is on her private parts; then he should teach and instruct a female to treat her. If this is not possible and it is feared that the woman patient may die or undergo unbearable pains, only then it will be permissible for a male doctor to treat her, provided her non effected parts of the body are covered and provided he keeps his gaze as low as much as possible except from the effected area.” (Ibid)

You should adopt a profession, which is lawful and does not entail you to do anything unlawful. My humble advice will be that it will be better for you to switch your intended profession to something, which does not entail you to anything unlawful. However, if that is not possible or you are in the final year of the studies then it will be permissible to continue with the studies. There is a need for Muslim women like yourself to be involved in medicine and in particular in different parts of medicine, therefore, some scholars give some leeway regarding this issue.  

Remember to fear Allah (SWA) at all times and be conscious of His presence. Pray to Allah to save you from the mischief of the Nafs and Shaitan. Your service should be to please Allah and service humanity.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.