Can we learn about abortion and veneral diseases?
Question: An article appeared recently in the Times UK regarding capping the intake of muslim medical students due to their opposition of learning about abortion and venereal diseases. The article mentions:"Many of the students oppose abortion, while others have said that they would refuse to treat venereal diseases because they are a punishment for immorality."

A group of muslim medical students at Manchester University are trying to raise awareness about the misconceptions behind these views. I was hoping maybe you could provide a short statement about the permissibility of at least learning about abortions (due to their permissibility if the life of the mother is in danger) and also learning about and treating venereal diseases.


Abortion and the termination of pregnancy is normally impermissible and contrary to the teachings of Shari’ah. However, it becomes permissible in certain compelling situations, as mentioned in detail in a recent post.

Similarly, to perform this act on another person is also unlawful, as what is unlawful for oneself will also be unlawful to perform on another.

Allah Most High says: “And help one another in virtue and piety and do not help one another in sin and oppression”(Surah al-Ma’idah).

However, to acquire knowledge regarding the practice of abortion is permissible, as there are circumstances when abortion becomes permissible. It is also perfectly lawful to learn about venereal diseases, and to say that they are a punishment for immorality is incorrect. One may repent from his/her sin and become beloved in the eyes of the Almighty. Also, it is not necessary that all venereal diseases occur due to sinning or immorality.

And Allah knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari of the Hanafi fiqh list.

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