HIV Test Before Marriage: Necessary?

It is to be stressed first that although Islam commands its followers to have good faith and trust towards the believers, they are to take all possible measures to protect themselves against prospective harm. This is based on the basic Islamic ruling ’la darar wala dirar’ or ‘Let there be no harm or reciprocating harm.’ Therefore, undergoing medical tests as a protection is highly encouraged and advocated particularly if there are reasonable justifications.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “There is no doubt in Islam that marriage candidates are allowed to probe and ascertain the integrity and compatibility of their would-be life partners before deciding to marry them. This is generally understood from the sources and traditions and the Salaf As-Salih (righteous predecessors). However, as Muslims we are not supposed to harbour unnecessary suspicion without justification because we are required Islamically to have good faith and trust towards the believers. Having said this, if there are legitimate grounds for suspicion with regard to the past lives of a certain candidate, you are certainly allowed to ask questions and get satisfaction. Concerning AIDs as well as similar highly contagious diseases, I can say that you have every right to insist on a medical test. It is for your own protection and the protection of the offspring. One of the higher principles of Shari’ah is ’la darar wala dirar’ or ‘Let there be no harm or reciprocating harm.’ In conclusion, medical tests in such cases in a milieu or environment like ours as you have stated should be highly encouraged and advocated.”