Due to deliver her baby but there are no nearby female doctors
Fatwa No: 106803

  • Fatwa Date:6-4-2008 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 30, 1429
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Question

Alsalam alaikom we rahmat Allah we barakatoh, respected Scholars, How are the rules for a muslima being treated by a male doctor? I am pregnant and due to deliver in about 3 weeks. For the last weeks of pregnacy I am staying with my parents cause my husband is very busy at work, more than 12hours a day so he might not be at home when labor begins. so I am with my parents for not to be alone and to have somebody to drive me to the hospital. But my parents are living on an island and the only obstetrician/ gynecologist here is a man. I used to travel far to go to a female doctor. but in the case of delivery it is not possible, as there are just certain times when there leave ferries from the island to the main land and you can't determine the time of birth exactly. also in the last weeks of pregnancy it is very hard to travel every week to a faraway doctor. I would stay in another place where there is a female doctor but in that case I would have to stay without mahram cause neither my parents nor my husband could be with me. Is it in this case permissible to go to a male doctor, for the last check-up before birth, the delivery itself and the first necessary check-ups after birth? I feel very uncomfortable as the male doctor will see my private parts and in birth even more... over here they suggest to wear just a t-shirt for birth, I decided to a wear kneelong, longsleeve shirt instead and my headscarf, but at a certain point I will have to take off my pants and directly after birth they usually put the baby on the naked breast and belly so that it will hear the heartbeat and can suckle the breast for the first time.. I wanna give my baby the best and softest start into life inshaallah so I would like to do that. But the male doctor will be still present at that time.. how am I supposed to deal with the whole situation? And another question: Is it permissable to listen quran while giving birth? JAZAKUM ALLAH KHAIR

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds.  I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to allow a male doctor to treat her or to be her obstetrician as long as there is no necessity, as we mentioned in Fataawa 88843 and 83987.

Therefore, you should endeavor to find a female doctor who can assist you at the time of delivery and take care of you before that.

You do not need a Mahram (i.e. a husband or a person whom one is permanently prohibited from marrying due to suckling, marital or blood relations) to stay at the place where a female doctor is available, as you mentioned. If you can safely stay there, then you are not in a state of necessity of going to a male doctor, and thus you are not allowed to receive treatment from him.

 However, if you are not able to go to a female doctor due to any unavoidable danger you may encounter if you stay there, or due to similar reasons, and you are in a dire necessity to receive treatment and assistance from a male doctor during delivery, then there is no harm.

Know that the state of compulsion is assessed according to the extent of the necessity. Therefore, you should only uncover the needed parts of your body in front of that doctor. You are not allowed to permit him to stay with you in seclusion or the like matters.

There is no harm in listening to the Quran at the time of delivery.    

Allaah Knows best.

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