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f:1228 -    Branding the body with fire as treatment
Country : Chennai, India,
Name : Zainuddin
Question:     One of my friends is suffering from a disease and has consulted many doctors but nothing worked.  One doctor said that branding the body with fire will work.  The question is doing so permitted in the Shariah?
Answer:     Branding the body with fire is harmful and harming oneself is not permissible.  However, there are different Hadith about doing so for medical purposes.  Some suggest permissibility and others prohibition.  The scholars have reconciled these Hadith.  Earlier, people would consider branding the body as the only reason for cure and would believe that the disease couldn’t be cured through other means.  Thus, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) prohibited this.  If someone considers branding the body as a means of cure and Allah Most High as the One who grants it, then the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) permitted it.

Treatment through branding the body with fire when not receiving any benefit from other means of curing is permissible.  Thus, there is a Hadith mentioned in Maqasid-e-Hasana:  

Translation: The last treatment is to brand the body.  (Al Maqasid Ul Hasana Lis Sakhawi, Harful Hamzah)

This is also mentioned in Mirqaatul Mafateeh Sharh Miskhaat Ul Masabeeh, Kitab Ut Tibb Wal Ruqya and in Radd Ul Muhtaar, Fasl Fil Ba’i, Kitab Ul Hazri Wal Ibaaha.

And Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) knows best.

Mufti Hafidh Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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