Using capsules for medication

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

I have an infection and my doctor prescribed me antibiotics containing E471 in the capsule (outer shell). I did not know till I reached home and read the leaflet. I am with child as well and am worried if I delay taking the medicine it might become worse or effect the baby. I don’t know if an alternative is available. Am I allowed to take them?

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


Wherever possible the cure should be done with paak and halal medicine. However, sometimes in necessity, the only alternative for a certain illness is through a particular medicine, which have impure and unlawful substances.

There are two possible strands:

  1. To use it without necessity
  2. To use it in necessity.

Regarding the first possible strand, the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that Allah (SWA) has placed no cure for the Muslims in haraam. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P.388 V.2)

In another hadith it is stated that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has prohibited us from impure and filthy medicines. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P388 V.2)

However, later day jurists, keeping in mind the modern day impure medicines and the weakness of people against it have given permission in the usage of haraam medicine on the condition that another lawful and pure medicine is not effective or is not available. (Maariful Quran P.437 V.1)

The second possible situation is to use it in necessity. A person whose life is in danger can use such medicines, which are forbidden on him to save his life on the following conditions:

  1. There is extreme necessity that one’s life is in danger.
  2. Another lawful medicine does not work, or is not available.
  3. It should be certain that the disease would be cured through the medicine.
  4. A person should not enjoy the medicine.
  5. Only the amount, which is necessary, should be used. (Maariful Quran- Ibid)

The conclusion to your question is as long as another effective or readily available halal medicine is not found, it will be permissible to use the capsules mentioned in the question.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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

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