The doctor has prescribed me a medicine that is in capsules made of gelatine. Is it permissible to consume the capsules?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
(1) If the gelatine is from a vegetarian or genuine Ḥalāl source, it is permissible.
(2) If the gelatine is from a non-Ḥalāl source, the default position is that it is prohibited. This is because the change it undergoes from its original state is insufficient to be considered as Tabdīl al-Māhiyah (complete transformation). It is therefore necessary to ask the doctor if there is an alternative tablet or oral form.
(3) If there is no alternative, one should try to source empty vegetarian capsules and insert the powder therein. These are readily available.
(4) If this is not possible, remove the powder from the capsule and consume the powder without the capsule as long as this does not harm the tongue or teeth.
(5) If this will not have the required effect and a competent God fearing doctor advises that it is necessary to take the capsule to cure the illness and there is no alternative, then it is permissible to consume the capsules as a last resort.
Allah knows best
23 Jumādā al-Thāniyah 1437 / 2 April 2016
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib
 Al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī (5: 373); Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq (6: 33); al-ʿInāyah (10: 67); Durar al-Ḥukkām (1: 319); al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq (1: 122); Radd al-Muḥtār (1: 210; 5: 228).