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273826: Ruling on using plasma injections to treat hair loss; does it break the fast?

Brief

Does having plasma injections for hair loss break the fast?

Published Date: 2018-06-02

Praise be to Allah

Firstly:

The use of Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP for short, is a new technology used for treating a number of medical conditions. It involves taking blood from the patient, then putting it into sterile test tubes that have been prepared for this purpose, then these test tubes containing the blood are put into a special device that separates the plasma that is rich in platelets from the red blood cells. This process takes a few minutes (5-9 minutes), then the doctor injects the plasma in the desired place.

This technology is used for many purposes, including treatment of hair loss, for which the patient needs between four and six sessions

See: https://goo.gl/ffiDKF

There is nothing wrong with this procedure, whether from the point of view of transferring a person’s blood from one place to another in his body, or from the point of view that this does not come under the heading of beautification; rather it is treatment to remove a defect and restore what Allah, may He be exalted, had created.

The Islamic Fiqh Council issued a statement (no. 26, 1/4) regarding a person benefitting from body parts of another person, whether living or dead:

The Council determined the following:

With regard to definitions:

Firstly: what is meant by “organ” here is any part of a person’s body, such as tissues, cells, blood and the like, such as corneas, whether they are still attached or have been separated.

The first example is where an organ is transplanted from a living person. This includes the following scenarios:

Transplanting an organ or tissue from one place in the body to another place in the same body, such as transplanting skin, cartilage, bone, veins, blood and so on.

In terms of shar‘i rulings:

Firstly: it is permissible to transplant an organ or tissue from one place in a person’s body to another place in his body, whilst taking care to ensure that the expected benefit of this procedure outweighs any harm that may result from it, and on condition that that be done to replace a missing organ or part, or to restore its shape, or restore its function, or correct a defect, or remove a blemish that is causing the person psychological or physical harm.

Secondly: it is permissible to transplant an organ or tissue from the body of one person to the body of another, if this organ or tissue can be renewed by the body, such as blood and skin, provided that the donor is of sound mind and gives consent, and that the necessary shar‘i conditions are met.

End quote from Majallat al-Majma‘ (no. 4, vol. 5, p. 89)

Secondly:

Receiving plasma injections in the scalp does not invalidate the fast, because they are not food or drink, and they do not come under the same heading as food and drink, even if calcium is added to them, because that only benefits the scalp, and it does not take the place of food and drink. Hence it is similar to application of creams to the skin that will benefit the skin, or kohl which is beneficial for the eye, or injections that do not contain nourishment.

A number of scholars – including Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) – are of the view that if a trace of the medicine reaches the inside of the body, but it does not reach it via the mouth or nose, then it does not break the fast, because what is disallowed is only that which reaches the stomach, where it is absorbed into the blood and distributed throughout the body. This does not apply in the case of treatment for deep wounds or treatments administered via suppository and the like.

See: Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (25/247).

It says in a statement of the Islamic Fiqh Council (no. 93):

The following are not regarded as being among things that break the fast:…

Injections for medical purposes that are given under the skin (subcutaneous) or via a muscle (intramuscular) or via a vein (intravenous), with the exception of fluids and injections that provide nourishment…

Anything that may enter the body via absorption through the skin, such as creams, poultices, or patches containing medicinal or chemical substances. End quote.

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 38023.

And Allah knows best.

Conclusion: if the scalp is injected with plasma, that does not invalidate the fast. That is in contrast to injection of blood via a vein, which takes the place of food and drink, so the fast is invalidated thereby.

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