Praise be to Allaah.
It is well known in our religion that the basic principle
with regard to drawings and pictures of animate beings is that they are
haraam, because of the many ahaadeeth in which it says that they are
forbidden and warn against them. We have previously explained that in a
number of questions on this site. Please see, for example, question no.
It is well known in the principles of fiqh on which there is
consensus that in cases of necessity, forbidden things are permitted, so the
ruling may change from prohibition to permission if that will lead to
achieving one of the five necessities that Islam came to protect, which are:
religion, life, physical health, honour and wealth.
Because medicine is one of the necessary sciences that people
need, to such an extent that some scholars regarded it as a communal
obligation, this means that some things are permitted which are basically
forbidden, in order to fulfil this communal obligation.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Rawdat
With regard to sciences, some of them are a communal
obligation, such as medicine. End quote.
Indeed, Muwaffaq al-Deen al-Baghdaadi narrated in his book
al-Tibb min al-Kitaab wa’l-Sunnah (187) that Imam al-Shaafa’i said:
I do not know of any branch of knowledge, after knowledge of
halaal and haraam, that is more noble than medicine. End quote.
Even if a doctor does not treat women except in cases of
necessity, he must learn how to treat both sexes, because a woman may not be
able to find a female doctor in a certain specialty or in a certain city.
Also, knowledge of medicine is based on understanding the makeup of the
human body, and the features of its various parts, and details of their
functions. How well the doctor understands that will determine how well he
knows medicine and how successful he is in ridding people of problems and
Hence there is nothing wrong with the doctor studying
drawings that show the human body, whether they are of men or women, and
there is nothing wrong – in sha Allaah – with using drawings in exams for
students of medicine and life sciences, as that will help them to understand
properly and learn this knowledge correctly.
In our religion it is permissible for women to treat men in
cases of necessity.
It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh (may Allaah
be pleased with her) said: We were with the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), bringing water, treating the wounded and
carrying the slain back to Madeenah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2882).
Ibn Hajar said, commenting on this hadeeth in Fath
This shows that it is permissible for a non-mahram woman to
treat a non-mahram man in cases of necessity. End quote.
In our religion there is also evidence which indicates that
it is permissible to make pictures and images for children’s toys, because
children need to play and learn. See the answer to question no.
In a Fatwa issued by the scholars of the Standing Committee,
there is evidence which indicates that it is permissible to make pictures in
cases of necessity, such as pictures to prove the identity of a person and
the like. See the answer to question no.
As for making pictures and drawing parts of the body
separately, such as the head or the chest, many scholars are of the view
that it is permissible. See the answer to question no.
All of the above indicates that it is permissible to use
drawing and pictures in studying medicine, etc.
A similar fatwa has also appeared previously on our site in
the answers to questions no. 10228
And Allaah knows best.