Tuesday 25 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1443 - 30 November 2021
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Ruling on using relaxants and sleeping pills to treat anxiety and insomnia

Question

I want to know the rulings concerning self-medication in Islam.

 I have been going through a rough time in my marriage. My husband neglects me (i do not know intentionally or unintentionally). He spends all his day on his computer or phone playing games, talking to friends, continuously. We dont have one conversation where his phone doesnt interrupt us. And he hardly spends two hours uninterrupted with me throughout the day.

 We have had many fights about this in the past 2 years but I decided to do sabr and stay silent. However, I feel depressed, rejected, restless, and lonely and I cant sleep. So i turned to muscle relaxants. The kind I use are available without a prescription but I feel that I am dependent on them now. I have alot of hopelessness and anxiety but as soon as I take a relaxant I sleep and wake up feeling calm.

 I wasn't prescribed this by a doctor. I have a history of not being able to sleep properly and I use such medications on and off. Their affect starts 30 to 40 minutes after taking the pill and lasts for 4 to 6 hours - but even after this the pills keep me mentally and physically calm. I know intoxicants are haram in Islam. Will using such pills through self medication also stop my prayer from being accepted for 40 days? Can you tell me about any and all rulings concerning this?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

The wife has rights over her husband, namely kind treatment, maintenance, accommodation, and his being able to meet her physical needs in order to maintain her chastity and meet her emotional needs. All these rights are proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Similarly, the husband has rights over his wife, namely kind treatment, obedience in that which is right and proper, allowing him to be intimate with her, looking after him, and not going out of the house except with his permission. These rights and duties have been explained previously in the answer to question no. 10680 .

With regard to what you have mentioned about your husband being distracted from you, the remedy for that is communication and looking for activities that you can do together, such as seeking knowledge, memorizing Qur’an, going on outings during your spare time, reducing use of the phone, and so on.

Secondly:

It is not permissible to use sleeping pills and relaxants except on the advice of a trustworthy doctor, because some of them can contain narcotics, some of them can cause addiction, and some of them do more harm than good.

So treating yourself with this kind of medicine is prohibited, for the reasons we have mentioned.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on taking sleeping pills or what are called relaxants? Do they come under the heading of narcotics or not? Is that permissible in the case of necessity or if it is advised by a doctor?

He replied: It is not permissible to use these pills except in the case of necessity, on condition that they be recommended by a knowledgeable doctor, because they are dangerous and have an impact on the function of the brain. If someone uses them, they may bring about relaxation for a short time, but that will be followed by a greater evil. So it is important to note that it is permissible to use them when there is a need for that, on condition that that be done under the supervision of a doctor and on his advice.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (tape no. 82, side A).

Thirdly:

The basic principle regarding any medicine that contains any kind of narcotic is that it is probihited, but if they must be used for treatment and there is no permissible alternative, then in that case it is permissible to use them, subject to the following conditions:

1.. That the patient’s need for that medicine has reached the level of necessity or urgent need.

2.. That a trustworthy Muslim doctor testifies that this narcotic medicine is indeed beneficial for the patient.

3.. That use of the medicine is limited to the extent to which it will meet the necessity.

4.. That this medicine will not cause the patient any harm greater than or equal to the harm for which it is being used.

See the answer to question no. 192321 .

Our advice to you is to seek the advice of a female doctor who is specialized in the medicine that you are using; to reduce your use of medicines in general; and to seek help to treat your anxiety and insomnia by means of beneficial kinds of treatment that are prescribed in Islamic teachings, such as reading Qur’an, remembering Allah and sending blessings upon His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him),  for that will bring reassurance to the heart and dispel worries.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured” [ar-Ra‘d 13:28].

It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When two thirds of the night had passed, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) stood up and said: “O people, remember Allah, O people, remember Allah, for the first Trumpet blast at which the earth will tremble has come, and it will be followed by the second Trumpet blast. Death has come, with all that it entails, death has come with all that it entails.” Ubayy said: I said: O Messenger of Allah, I send a great deal of blessings upon you; how much of my du‘aa’ should be sending blessings upon you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” I said: One quarter? He said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: One half? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: Two thirds? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: I will make all of my du‘aa’ sending blessing upon you. He said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.”

Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2457); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.

It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: “how much of my du‘aa’ should be sending blessings upon you?” means: instead of my du‘aa’ that I offer for myself? This was stated by al-Qaari.

Sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is one of the greatest means of attaining reassurance and peace of mind, and relief from worries and distress.

We ask Allah to rectify your husband’s condition and to take away your distress and sorrow.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A