Selling psychoactive medications

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Selling psychoactive medications


no. 2150 for the year 2003 which includes the following:

What is the ruling for pharmacists who illegally sell psychoactive medications used to treat some diseases, for the purpose of accumulating huge profits?


Killing is prohibited
The necessity of preserving human life is established in Islamic law. For this reason, Allah made the punishment of a person who kills another except by way of justice eternity in Hell-fire:

"If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is hell, and there he will remain: God is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him."
  [Qur`an 4:93]

"Do not kill each other, for God is merciful to you."
[Qur`an 4:29]

"Do not take the life God has made sacred except by justice and law."
[Qur`an 6:151]

Preservation of human life
Preservation of the self and intellect are among the necessities which Allah made as the objectives of Islamic law. He therefore prohibited everything that leads to their total or partial loss: 

"Do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands."
[Qur`an 2:195]

Of intoxicants, Allah says:

"Shun them that you may prosper."
[Qur`an 5:90]

Necessity renders prohibited things permissible
Islamic law shows latitude, but only to the extent required and in the case of an overwhelming necessity. After mentioning prohibitions, Allah says:

" … but if any of you is forced by hunger to eat forbidden food, with no intention of doing wrong, then Allah is most forgiving and merciful."
[Qur`an 5:3]

Based on this verse, it is impermissible to use anything which is prohibited except when necessary. The legal maxim states: Necessity is measured by its extent.

The Ruling
It is impermissible to sell psychoactive drugs because what is impermissible to take is impermissible to give and what is impermissible to sell is impermissible to buy. Therefore,

o It is impermissible to use medications that affect people psychologically except for therapeutic purposes.
o It is impermissible to traffic these drugs except as therapeutic medications.
o It is impermissible to sell psychoactive medications to accumulate profit, ignoring the welfare of the public.
o [Perpetrators of this crime] must be mindful of Allah regarding our youths because they are the future of this community.

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