Non-compliance with state regulations in manufacturing medicine
Fatwa No: 364879

  • Fatwa Date:22-11-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 4, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Dear brother in Islam, I am a unani (medicines made of plants, animals and minerals sources) physician and want to establish a unani medicine factory in Bangladesh. There is a national unani formulary which every manufacturer has to follow. You may know that this country is corrupt in every sector. Usually, most of the manufacturers use prohibited chemicals in medicine to make the cost cheap and to get more profit quickly, but they do not declare that to the drugs authority because anyone who does not declare the recipe according to the formulary will not get approval. Praise be to Allah, we decided not to use prohibited chemicals, which will be a great challenge for us in order to sustain ourselves in the market, because raw materials of unani medicine are expensive and slow-working (but safe). However, we may sometimes need to use alternative herbs and/or add or deduct any herbs, which is contrary to the national formulary, because of high cost or unavailability, or for better efficacy if our own observation tells us to do so. As I mentioned before, to get approval, we can not declare the changed recipe. Rather, we need to declare the recipe according to the formulary. So my question is: would this action be permissible in Islam? If not, is there any alternative? May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

May Allah reward you for your keenness on seeking after the lawful and your fear of committing the unlawful.

As for your question, then the answer is that trying to circumvent the conditions set by the state or the concerned authority responsible for issuing licenses for this practice is impermissible as long as these conditions serve the public interest and eliminate the means leading to whatever harms people. The fact that some of those who work in this profession cheat and deceive does not make it lawful to follow their example. The means of lawful earning are abundant for whoever wishes to seek them in other fields if it is difficult to invest in this particular field without resorting to trickery and using herbs that are not permitted by the law or the like and violating the regulations governing these professions.

The scholars stated that the Muslim ruler is entitled to set restrictions on lawful activities, such as buying and selling and hiring and the like, and it is obligatory to obey him inwardly and outwardly, or only outwardly according to the benefit or harm that result from that.

The Shaafiʻi book Tuhfat Al-Muhtaaj reads, “The preponderant view in this regard is that it is not obligatory to obey the ruler except outwardly in what does not serve public interest for fear of a resulting harm or of causing Fitnah (temptation/tribulation). As for the commands that serve the public interest, they must be followed inwardly and outwardly (i.e. in public and in private).

Allah knows best.

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