السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
I hope you are well. I would like some guidance regarding university. I am a medical student and I have been recently placed on a surgery placement. The ward is to do with urology (so diseases of the male and female urinary tract- and I will probably have to look at female and male genitalia).
I wear jilbaab full time, however, I have been told that I have to wear scrubs and roll up my sleeves (as a counter-infection measure). Is this Islamically permissible? S
Secondly, due to this being a urology ward, I may have to do intimate examinations eg rectal or vaginal. Does this impact my fast at all?
I doubt I can switch to another ward but even if I can (to avoid doing the examinations), I will still have to wear scrubs. What do you recommend I do?
It is necessary for a woman to cover herself fully, with the exception of her hands and feet, in front of non-mahram men. Some scholars have permitted a woman to uncover her face in circumstances of difficulty, as the face in and of itself is not ‘awrah. Hence, if a circumstance arises where a woman cannot avoid exposing her face, she would be permitted to expose it provided the rest of her body is covered and the other necessary precautions are adhered to, such as refraining from unnecessary interaction with non-mahram men. As for the arms; however, they are ‘awrah, and it will be necessary to ensure they remain covered in front of non-mahram men at all times.
We understand that at workplaces there can be certain rules and regulations in regards to the dress code which can conflict with Islamic principles. In such cases it is important to address this concern with relevant authorities so that you are able to continue as a practitioner without having to compromise on your religious principles. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has created tool kits explaining which steps need to be taken in order to overcome these issues.
Their Bare Below the Elbows toolkit mentions:
“In March 2010 the DoH [department of Health] issued further guidance to trusts asking that they each undertake an Equality and Diversity Impact assessment regarding their uniform and workwear policy. They have asked Trusts to investigate the ways in which tight-fitting long sleeves may be worn which can be rolled up on direct patient care or use of long disposable gloves.”
We would advise using the toolkits provided by BIMA to help you overcome these challenges. Below is a link to BIMA toolkits on this issue:
Intimate examinations done for medical reasons will not invalidate your fast.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel