Legal Uses of Venom and Snake Blood For Medicine


Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah

Dear Ustadz, there is a family affected by heart disease, and spread to become a stroke. Medical treatment requires a very large cost to treat the heart disease and stroke. So we tried to find an alternative to treat it.

We are informed that there are herbal medicines from China which can reduce the level of heart disease and stroke. But after being investigated, it turns out that the drug contains blood and snake venom.

Snake venom containing harmful toxins, according to experts, if consumed and used in certain appropriate doses, the enzymes in the snake venom can actually be beneficial for treatment and human health. So, We asked you yaa Ustadz for an explanation about the law of taking medicine containing blood and snake venom.

I deliver my deep thankful for the answers and explanations. Thankyou very much.


Roy, Bekasi


Medication is an effort to overcome diseases which is ordered by our religion, but should not seek treatment with unlawful material. It is mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet which was narrated from Abud Darda ‘”Verily Allah has made a disease and also the cure. God makes every disease have a cure. Then seek treatment, but do not seek treatment with the forbidden. ”(H.R. Abu Dawud). In the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, he said, “The Messenger of Allah forbade from drugs which are khobits (ie those which are unclean because of filthy or dirty).” (Hadith Narrated by Abu Dawud Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).

Whereas snakes belong to the category of animals which are forbidden to consume, because the Messenger of Allah ordered to kill him without giving information to use the meat to be consumed. Even though God’s creatures should not be killed without without any use as a waste. Notice the Messenger of Allah said, which means: “Slay the serpent.” (Hadith Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). Another Hadith also narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said, “The Messenger of Allah ordered to kill two black animals when praying (namely): Scorpions and snakes.” (H.R. Abu Dawud, al-Nasai, al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah).

Syaikh Sulaiman bin Salih al-Khurasyi in his book Al-Hayawanaat; Maa Yu’kal wa Maa Laa Yu’kal, mentions a valid opinion, that every animal ordered to be killed is haram or it is prohibited to consume. The purpose of being killed here is to be killed without cause which is justified by the Shari’a, namely to be slaughtered in accordance with the Shariah method. Because if it is allowed to take advantage by eating its meat, surely the Prophet would not order to kill it. (See: Adwa’ al-Bayan, Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Syinqithi: 2/273). More explicitly, Imam al-Nawawi said, “Animals that are ordered to be killed, then the meat is forbidden to eat.” (Al-Majmu ‘, Imam Al-Nawawi: 9/22).

If the snake dies, it is called Maytah, or carrion, and it is unclean or filth. So consuming it becomes haram or prohibited. There is also no sharia guidance in slaughtering snakes. And even though it is slaughtered according to the rules of sharia, because snakes are animals which are haram to consume, then, they are slaughtered or not, the law remains haram.

But in the legal provisions there is a rule “Ma’min” aamin illa lahu khoosh “. Namely, every provision which is general in nature, there is always special exception. So that, the general provisions can be ruled out by special provisions. So if there is no halal medicine, while the disease suffered is very dangerous, or can get worse, or it can cause permanent disability, or even death, then it is an emergency condition.

Furthermore, regarding blood, even though the animal is Ma’kulul-Lahm, the meat may be eaten, but still the blood is haram to consume. And in case of snake blood for medicine, there are some opinions of Islamic jurisprudence scholars. Some argue that it is permissible if there is no other drug found according to their economic level. For example, there is medicine, but the price is very expensive, while the sick person is poor, and cannot afford to buy these expensive drugs. Here, there are two problems which are also inseparable, which are combined with emergency conditions. Namely, the condition of the sufferer in a critical condition; if he is untreated properly, then, his safety will be threatened, or the disease gets worse; also there is no halal medicine, or there is medicine but the price is very expensive, which is impossible to afford. Then that includes an emergency condition too.

Moreover, it is necessary to understand differences of opinion (khilafiyah) among scholars regarding the law of treatment (at-tadaawi / al-mudaawah) with najis/unclean and haram/prohibited objects. There are scholars who forbid it explicitly, such as Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyyah. This opinion is based on the hadith of the Messenger of Allah: “Verily, Allah does not make medicine for you on what Allah forbids you.” (Hadith Narrated by Bukhari and Baihaqi). In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah said also, “Verily Allah makes disease and medicine, and makes every disease a cure. Let you seek treatment, and do not treat yourself with something that is haram.” (Hadith Narrated by Abu Dawud).

But there are also opinions that allow temporarily using illicit and/or haram drugs. But this permit is limited to emergency situations only, such as the opinion of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, which has also been explained above.

Concerning consuming snake venom as medicine, the explanation is the same as the one above. But with emphasis that it must be very careful. Do not let the opposite happen contrarily, hoping to seek treatment using snake venom, but instead invite multiply dangers. Namely the danger of a disease which is not able to recover properly, coupled with the danger of snake venom as a poison which actually must be avoided.

This aspect of danger and/or benefits, of course, must be based on evidence from medical scientific research which is medically as well as clinically accountable. It is not based just on someone words, where the source is not clear. Consider the meaning of the Quranic verse which reminds us: “Then ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” (Q.S. 16:43). And a verse like this is repeated again in Surah Al-Anbiyaa ‘(21) verse: 7). This shows the importance of science in our lives.

However, in a simple way, we should remind and suggest that you consume or use drugs which are clearly halal. Do not do a grazing risk, or which is not clear (considered doubtful) the status of halalness. Because consuming halal is a religious order which must be followed, with the responsibilities on this mortal world and the eternal hereafter.

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