The use of medical marijuana is a modern issue that is gaining a lot of attention in the media and sparking much controversy. While I already discussed the ruling on cannabis/marijuana earlier on the blog [see here] I wish to discuss here inshallah the ruling on medical marijuana.
The Scholars differed on the permissibility of using marijuana as medicine. Some Scholars permitted.
Shaikh Badaruddeen az-Zarkashi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“It is permissible to use [marijuana] as medicine if it is affirmed that it benefits against some illnesses…” [Zahr ul-Areesh fi Tahreem al-Hasheesh pg. 135]
Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“ar-Rowyaani said: a plant which intoxicates and there is not in it an intense delight is prohibited to consume, but there is no fixed punishment for the one who consumed it. He also said: It is permissible to use it for medicine, even if it leads to intoxication, as long as it is necessary. He also said: whatever intoxicates along with something else, but not in and of itself, [then] it is unlawful if it does not benefit as a medicine or other than that. [However] if it benefits in terms of medication, [then] it is permissible to use as a medicine. And Allah Knows Best” [Majmoo’ (9/39) and Rawdatul-Talibeen (1/381)].
Others Scholars argue that it is impermissible because it is an intoxicant. This is the stronger view.
The Permanent Committee was asked:
Question: Is it permissible to use opium or alcoholic drinks like vinegar as medication for curing illnesses?
Answer: “It is not permissible to seek treatment through anything that Allah has prohibited, like opium, hashish [marijuana/cannabis], alcoholic drinks or any drug or intoxicant of the sort. Mixing lawful medicine with amounts of unlawful things is not permissible. If, however, the small quantity added to the medicine does not cause intoxication, it will be permissible to use. The added quantity is ineffective; therefore, it is as though non-existent…” [Found here]
Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“As for using intoxicants as medicine, then it is prohibited according to the majority of the Scholars: like Malik, Ahmed, Abu Hanifa, and Shafi’ee according to one of his two views. This is because it is affirmed in the Saheeh that the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about alcohol used in medicine. He (ﷺ) said:
إنها داء وليست بدوا
Verily it is a disease not a cure
[Muslim no. 1984]
And in Sunan Abu Dawood, [it is reported] that the Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited using filthy things as a cure. Intoxicants are the mother of evil as mentioned in Bukhari and others from Ibn Mas’ud radiallahu anhu who said:
إن الله لم يجعل شفاء أمتي فيما حرم عليها
Verily Allah did not place the cure of my Ummah in what He prohibited them from
It was reported by Abu Hatim Ibn Hibban in his Saheeh from the Prophet(ﷺ) [This narration is authentic as a statement from Ibn Mas’ud. It was graded Saheeh by al-Albani in Ghaayatul Maraam no. 30]” [Majmoo’ Fatawa (34/268)].
And marijuana is an intoxicant, so it falls into that category. So the more correct opinion is that marijuana is not permissible to be used as a medicine.
Added to this is the issue of cannabis oil. Of recent, cannabis oil is being used as a treatment, especially for those who suffer from seizures and epilepsy. Likewise, it has been proven that cannabis oil helps to lengthen the hair.
Some Scholars argue that there is nothing wrong with using cannabis oil.
The Mufti, Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ala Shaikh (may Allah preserve him) was asked:
Question: Likewise, [the question] is from the cellphone: what is the ruling on cannabis oil?
Answer: “There is no preventative from it”.
However, many other Scholars argue it is prohibited and this is the more correct view.
Shakh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked:
Question: What is the ruling on using cannabis oil, especially since it has been proven to be beneficial in lengthening the hair of a woman?
Answer: “I see that it is not allowed to use [cannabis oil] because using it will lead to selling it if he is a businessman. It is well known that most people use cannabis as a drug. So it is not allowed. If we say it is allowed for a woman [to use it], she will have to buy it, which will be a cause for the growing of cannabis. And cannabis is fought against even in the lands of disbelief.
Next we say regarding lengthening of the hair that women nowadays are afflicted with shortening their hair. They want to shorten their hair. They do not ask to lengthen the hair on their head. Perhaps this woman [who is asking the question] is from the women of the past, before this time. The conclusion is that it is not allowed to use cannabis oil to lengthen the hair” [Fatawa al-Haram an-Nabawi no. 68 side A].
Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) was asked:
Question: The questioner says: Virtuous Shaikh, may Allah facilitate for you good. Is it correct that the committee of Senior Scholars have permitted using cannabis oil? One of the students of knowledge mentioned that in a lesson of his?
Answer: ” He has lied. Tell him he has lied. The committee of Senior Scholars did not permit the use of cannabis oil. Cannabis and its derivatives are unlawful. Everything derived from something unlawful is unlawful. Cannabis unlawful, so who is it that permitted its oil? Yes” [https://www.alfawzan.af.org.sa/node/3164].
Shaikh Yahya ibn Ali al-Hajoori (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“I say: It is established that the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about intoxicants. So he prohibited it for the questioner or disliked that it be made and said:
إنها داء وليست بدوا
Verily it is a disease not a cure
[Muslim no. 1984]
Imam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Zuhri (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: It is not allowed to drink the urine of a person due to a difficulty that descends upon him because it is impure. Allah, the Exalted said: Say: Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat [all kind of Halal (lawful-good) foods which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.)] [5:4]
And Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said about intoxicants:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَجْعَلْ شِفَاءَكُمْ فِيمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ
Verily Allah does not put your cure in what He prohibited upon you”
So upon this, it is not allowed to sell cannabis oil nor use it due to what has preceded. This [using cannabis oil] is also a means to the growing of cannabis, spreading/circulating it, and pressing it [into oil]. Whatever is a means to the unlawful is unlawful.
From the clearest of what can be used as evidence for this [matter] here is the Hadith:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّحُومَ فَبَاعُوهَا وَأَكَلُوا أَثْمَانَهَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ إِذَا حَرَّمَ عَلَى قَوْمٍ أَكْلَ شَىْءٍ حَرَّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ ثَمَنَهُ
May Allah curse the Jews! He said this three times. Allah declared unlawful for them the fats (of the animals which died a natural death); they sold them and they enjoyed the price they received for them. When Allah declared eating of thing forbidden for the people, He declares it price also forbidden for them [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 3488]”
[Shari’iyyah Talabal-Halal wa Bayaan Hukum Hashish wal-Fajoor wad-Dalaal pg. 52-53]
So cannabis oil, like marijuana used for medical purposes, is prohibited.
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan