[Q-ID0411] Can women reveal their private parts to a female doctor?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; when a pregnant woman visits a female doctor for baby scanning, it is difficult to hide her private parts with her clothes. In this case, is it permissible to reveal the private parts to the female doctor? Similarly, it is impossible to hide the private parts during a delivery. I am asking this question because I have read your verdict regarding test tube babies, which states that a woman cannot reveal her private parts in front of a female doctor too. 

Questioner: Ambreen  from  UK

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is permissible to reveal the private parts to a female doctor for treatment of an ailment. In this case there is a necessity and there is an Islamic legal maxim which states:

الضَّرُورَاتُ تُبِيحُ الْمَحْظُورَاتِ

Translation: “Necessity permits the impermissible.”

Baby scanning is done to protect the mother and her baby from ailments. During a delivery, there is utmost necessity as two lives are to be saved. If a delivery is not done, both the mother and her baby will pass away. Therefore, in both the cases, the Islamic law permits the revealing of private parts because of necessity. Illness is such a necessity that if a female doctor is not available, it is permissible for a male doctor too to see the affected part.

It is mentioned in the authentic book of the Hanafi school, al-Hidayah:

وَيَجُوزُ لِلطَّبِيبِ أَنْ يَنْظُرَ إلَى مَوْضِعِ الْمَرَضِ مِنْهَا) لِلضَّرُورَةِ (وَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ يُعَلِّمَ امْرَأَةً مُدَاوَاتَهَا) لِأَنَّ نَظَرَ الْجِنْسِ إلَى الْجِنْسِ أَسْهَلُ

Translation: “It is permissible for a male doctor to see the affected part out of necessity. It is better to teach women medicine, because looking at a person of the same gender is easier.” [al-Hidayah, vol. 2, pg. 369]

However, during examining a part for treatment, it is necessary to take care to reveal only the section which is to be examined and cover up rest of the part. Something which is proven due to necessity, is permissible only up to the extent of necessity.

It is stated in al-Hidayah:

لِأَنَّ مَا ثَبَتَ بِالضَّرُورَةِ يَتَقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهَا

Translation: “Something which is proven due to necessity, is permissible only up to the extent of necessity.” [al-Hidayah, vol. 2, pg. 369]

In a test tube baby, the purpose is not the treatment of any ailment, but is the conception of a baby. Conception is not considered a legal necessity. Therefore, it is not permissible to reveal private parts for test tube baby, even to a female doctor. Thus, we have stated there that a man must learn the method and place the tube containing sperm himself in his wife’s womb.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath team

Read the original answer in Urdu here - [Q-ID0411] Can women reveal their private parts to a female doctor?

Also see: [Q-ID0385] What is the ruling on women having IVF treatment?

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