Praise be to Allah, Alone. May peace and blessings be upon the Last Prophet.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has reviewed (Part No. 24; Page No. 402) the request for Fatwa submitted to his Eminence the Grand Mufty from his Eminence Director General of Medical Services Department in the Armed Forces, referred to the Committee from the General Secretariat for the Council of Senior Scholars, no. 2930, dated, 20/6/1416 A.H. His Eminence asked a question and following is its exact wording: It is well known to your Eminence that the General Directorate for Medical Services is in charge of many hospitals of the Armed Forces in different regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These hospitals have so many employees, whether doctors or nursing staff. All of them have daily direct contact with the patients. There is no doubt that there are religious rulings regarding contact between the two sides: the patients during the period of their illness on one side and the doctors and nursing staff on the other. Such rulings may not be well known to some of them.Therefore, we hope your Eminence will provide us with your Fatwas and that of the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' on these two matters to circulate them throughout our hospitals, so the employees may be aware of such rulings to refer to them when necessary. May Allah reward you with the best and bless your efforts! Peace and blessings be with you!
After examining the request for Fatwa, the Committee replied as follows:
(Part No. 24; Page No. 403) Doctors and their assistants of the nursing staff have to observe the obligations of the Shari`ah all the time and not ignore them. One of the most important pillars of Islam after uttering the two Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) is Salah (Prayer). It is not permissible to neglect it or delay it at any time most especially when there is something that may distract the person from it; as the person's evil soul may whisper lame excuses and poor reasons to justify negligence. A Muslim has to offer Salah as long as they are conscious. It is not permissible to delay it until its due time is over.There are some other
legal rulings which doctors and their assistants have to know such as:1. The prohibition of free mixing of men and women; because the evils of mixing are very dangerous for individuals and society.2. Adornment in perfume or clothes should not be permitted for female employees, doctors or nurses, for it incurs great evil evidently known to all.3. Upon contacting unmarriageable men, female employees should not soften their voices since it is not permissible for them to speak to them unless from behind a barrier and without mixing with them. It is well known that building wards in the hospitals for women only (Part No. 24; Page No. 404) is something available, Praise be to Allah.4. Female employees should never display their charms and should wear the legal veil which covers all their body including the face and hands.5. It is unlawful for doctors, male and female, and their assistants to look at the `Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered in public) of their patients except when necessary and only at the places concerned. Besides, male patients should be checked by male doctors and female patients by female doctors except when necessary, in which case there is no harm if male doctors check female patients and vice versa. However, they should be honest when doing so, not to check patients of the opposite sex except in the presence of a relative in which case they avoid being in Khulwah (being in private with a member of the opposite sex). Regarding a female patient, her guardian should be with her if possible.6. All the employees in hospitals must not disclose the secrets of their patients and should keep them hidden; because disclosing such secrets, besides being an act of dishonesty and disclosing people's secrets, results in many known evils.7. All the employees have to avoid imitating unbelievers, for the overt prohibition in this regard. A Muslim shall be proud of his religion and his religious affiliation. (Part No. 24; Page No. 405) Thus, he or she should not feel weak or subordinate.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.