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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

23.5 SENSORY SYSTEMS, al hawaas

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

23.5.1 THE VISION SYSTEM

A blind person is not obliged to attend salat al jama'at, salat al jumu'at, and hajj if he no guide. He can be a muaddhin only if someone to tell him the correct time. He can also be imaam. He can be a political leader if the visual impairment does not impair performance of leadership functions. He cannot be a judge because of inability to see witnesses and assess their demeanor. He can be a scholar or a mufti. He can testify if the evidence does not involve sight. He can marry if measures are taken ensure enough mutual knowledge of the future spouses based on other senses information from third parties. He can be wali in marriage if he knew the spouses before getting blind and can recognize both using other senses. Selling and buying by a blind person can take place in transactions where fraud is unlikely. Blind persons can offer professional services if there is no possibility of harm due to their lack of sight.

 

23.5.2 THE AUDITORY SYSTEM

A deaf person is obliged to attend salat al jumu’at if others hear adhan and inform him. He can be muaddhin if others tell him the correct time. He can be imaam. He can follow by imaam by watching what the imaam. He can teach Qur’an but it is preferred he does not do so because he cannot hear and correct mispronunciations. He is not obliged to return greetings because he cannot hear but is obliged to respond to sign language of greeting if he is sighted. Deafness reduces competence as a leader but is not an absolute contra-indication. A deaf judge will not be able to discharge duties fully. A deaf person can be a scholar and can give religious rulings if he can read the questions and answer by writing or by sign language. He cannot be a witness over matters that required perfect hearing. He can contract a marriage by use of reading or sign language. He can declare divorce but. He can buy and sell as long as he understands the transaction and can communicate in writing or by sign language. It is forbidden for a deaf person to engage in any professional work for which hearing is necessary. In vestibular disturbances standing up in salat or tawaaf may require support.

 

23.5.3 THE OLFACTORY SYSTEM (SHAMM)

In hyposmia the victim may not be able to smell flatus and thus may continue praying with an invalid wudhu. Hyperosmia and parosmia may results in unnecessary concern about presence of najasat where it is insignificant. The halitosis associated with fasting is due to reduced oral cleansing action of saliva. It can be reduced by increased oral hygiene. Impairment of the taste sensation may reduce enjoyment of food. It may also impair ability to discriminate dangerous things and avoiding swallowing them. Halitosis due to disease or poor oral hygiene may make social intercourse difficult. It is especially offensive in the mosque. Use of perfume to control body odor in public places like the mosque is mandatory to avoid annoying others. Body or oral odor may cause so much distress in a marriage that it may lead to divorce. Impaired smell may make transactions involving perfumes invalid because the buyer cannot identify what is being bought. Similarly impaired smell may lead to buying of rotten products without knowing their true state. Court evidence based on smell may not acceptable in situations of olfactory disorders.

 

23.5.4 THE TASTE SYSTEM, dhawq

If taste is defective, it will not be possible to tell that water is polluted and is not suitable for wudhu. Enjoyment of food decreases when the sense of smell is defective. Dangerous food may also be consumed if it cannot be tasted. In selling food and drinks, the buyer may use taste to make sure the product is wholesome. This is not possible when the sense of taste is defective. Evidence in court based on taste of products may not be accepted in cases of a defective taste sense.

 

23.5.5 OTHER SENSATIONS

Loss of tactile sensation does not affect wudhu and salat. It can lead to ingesting rough and dangerous materials. It impairs sexual sensation may lead to stresses in marital life. Loss of tactile sensation may be a cause of accidents at work. The integrity of the tactile sensation is considered when assessing certain types of court evidence. An impaired sensation of temperature may result in unnecessary exposure and heat stroke during hajj. Hot and therefore harmful food may be eaten when temperature sensation is impaired. Inability to adjust to extreme climatic conditions may be grounds for divorce if a promise was made in the marriage contract that the spouse will not be taken to another country. Workers must not be exposed to extremes of temperature. Extreme pain may prevent concentration in salat. Pain may cause insomnia. Chronic pain due to PID and other causes of dyspareunia may create marital stress. Chronic pain may lead to psychological stress. Severe pain may lead to criminal behavior. Salat is delayed in cases of extreme hunger sensation. Loss of the hunger sensation is dangerous to life. Inability to extinguish the feeling of hunger with food intake may lead to loss of appetite control. Children may be severely undernourished when they do not feel hungry and refuse to eat food. Extremes of pain may lead to crime. Concentration in salat is impaired in extreme thirst

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004