Q 2: Is it permissible to
cauterize a patient's head
or a part of his body?
If a patient needs to be cauterized and this will benefit him, it will be permissible for him to be cauterized for treatment. It was authentically reported from
Jabir ibn `Abdullah who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent a physician to
Ubay ibn Ka`b. He cut a vein and then cauterized it.
It was authentically reported that when
Sa`d ibn Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) was wounded in his medial arm vein, (Part No. 25; Page No. 7) the Prophet (peace be upon him) cauterized him.
It was related by
Al-Tirmidhy on the authority of
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that
the Prophet (peace be upon him) cauterized As`d ibn Zurarah when the latter was afflicted with Al-Shawkah (a disease marked by redness of the patient's face and other body parts).
Al-Tirmidhy ranked this Hadith as Hadith Hasan Gharib (a good Hadith that is strange to come from this chain of narration). It was related by
Muslim on the authority of
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Healing is in three things: a gulp of honey, cupping, and branding with fire (cauterizing). But I forbid my followers to use cauterization.
According to another wording,
I do not like to be cauterized.
The previously mentioned Hadith indicate that it is permissible to use cauterization as a means of treatment when necessary. However, the Prophet forbade his Ummah (nation) to use cauterization if the patient does not need it and when other alternatives are available or when it is less preferred because of the pain it entails and because it is similar to Allah's punishment of sinners in Hellfire. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says that he does not like to be cauterized and he praises those who do not use it as they completely put their trust in Allah. Cauterization should be done by a professional so that he would cauterize a patient in the suitable spot (Part No. 25; Page No. 8) and take into his consideration the patient's case.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.