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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

24.5 AGE-RELATED CONDITIONS, amraadh al umr

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

24.5.1 PREGNANCY & AND DELIVERY

Pre-natal diagnosis could be prohibited under the principle of closing the door to evil if it leads to abortion. Amniocentesis to determine life and gender at time of father’s death determines fetal inheritance rights. Consideration of maternal interest has priority over consideration of fetal interests in medical and surgical interventions in pregnancy and delivery. Adhan and iqamat are required for the newborn. The ‘aqiiqah ceremony for the newborn is a social occasion for introducing the baby as a new member of the community. Circumcision can be delayed for fear of neonatal bleeding. Neonatal disease screening and immunization are encouraged by the Law. Breast-feeding is mandatory for 2 years according to Qur’anic injunction. Foster breast-feeding is allowed but it creates relations like those of a biological mother that restrict marriage. Use of artificial formulas is allowed but milk banks are discouraged. Payments are made to a divorced mother for breast-feeding their babies. Post-partum hemorrhage has the same legal rulings as menstruation. Post-natal depression may constitute deficient legal competence for making treatment decisions for the mother and baby.

 

24.5.2 INFANCY

Nafaqat includes all material sustenance needed for the infant such as food, clothing, and medical care. The father is responsible for nafaqat during marriage and also after divorce. The extended family and the state are responsible for financial maintenance of single poor mothers. Child abuse and neglect can be physical, sexual, or psychological. Vaccination of infants is obligatory.

 

24.5.3 CHILDHOOD

Hormonal treatment of slow growth is allowed. The age of 15 years indicates legal maturity even if sexual maturation is not complete. The rules of hijaab and male-female interaction are applied earlier in precocious growth to avoid transgression. Younger girls growing precociously are not married off because they are immature. Parents can consent on behalf of young children for urgent cosmetic surgery but should wait until children reach the age of consent for non-urgent surgery. Children are ordered to pray at the age of 7 and punished for missing prayer at the age of 10. Children who grow rapidly could be allowed to undertake some transactions if their cognitive skills are judged to be like those of adults.

 

24.5.4 ADOLESCENCE AND YOUTH

Adolescent and youth behavioral problems are best resolved by preventive tarbiyyat. Intervention when they are already grown up is sometimes too late.

 

24.5.5 OLD AGE

The elderly, like the sick, are exempted from fulfilling all the acts and conditions of the physical acts of ‘ibadat, salat, saum, and hajj. They pray sitting down or lying on the side. They can make tawaaf carried by a person or a vehicle. They are exempted from the obligation of jihad and they can deny permission for their only son from joining jihad. In cases of urinary or fecal incontinence, they wear a retainer, made wudhu and pray immediately without waiting. Mental competence of the elderly is considered in marriage, divorce, transactions, evidence, and criminal liability. Both males and females experience sexual problems.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004