A joint project of the Jamiatul Ulama (Transvaal),
Islamic Medical Association of South Africa
Islamic Careline.

Aids: Some Basic Information

Q: What causes AIDS and what does the word 'AIDS' stand for ?

A: AIDS is caused b a slow acting virus called 'human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). When the virus remains undetected without showing any symptoms, this is asymptomatic HIV Infection in an advanced stage and is called 'Acquired lmmuno-deficiency Syndrome. (AIDS)


Q: What does the 'AIDS’ virus do to human beings ?

A: The virus attacks and destroys the immune system of the body. The immune system protects the body from disease. The body therefore cannot fight off common diseases, infection and certaincancers even with the aid of antibiotics or medication. Eventually these infections lead to death of an AIDS sufferer. HIV infection is believed to be lifelong.


Q: Who is an AIDS carrier ?

A: An AIDS carrier is a person who has been infected by human Immuno-deficiency virus (HIV), but shows no symptoms and suffers no obvious disease. Such a person is labelled HlV anti-body positive, and can spread the AIDS virus. AIDS carriers often do not know that they are infected.


Q: How does AIDS spread ?
A: HIV is transmitted by:
  1. Sexual Contact - HIV Is found in semen and vaginal fluid and transmission can occur from man to woman, woman to man, or man to man. The highest risk groups for sexual transmission are clearly those men and women (homosexual or heterosexual) who have many sexual partners.

  2. Blood And Blood Products - Transmission of HIV contaminated blood can affect the recipient. However, an increasing number of countries systematically screen and reject blood containing virus. Blood clotting products for disorders such as haemophilia are treated to kill HIV.

  3. Shared Needles - Intravenous drug users are a major risk group because many of them share needles and syringes without proper cleaning. Any unsterilised, skin piercing instrument (including ear-piecing or tattooing needles) can spread the disease from one person to another.

  4. Mother To Child - A woman infected with HIV may spread the disease to her child during pregnancy, during birth or shortly after birth. It is also possible than an infected mother could transmit the virus through breastfeeding.


Q. What period of time does it take to develop full-blown AIDS ?

A: This could develop in any time from five years to fifteen years, after having become infected with HIV. Full blown AIDS eventually leads to death.


Q: How can the AIDS (HIV) virus be detected when a carrier shows no symptoms of the infection?

A: AIDS carriers have no symptoms and they look and feel healthy. AIDS (HIV) can only be detected through tests which will show the presence of the infection. Early symptoms of full-blown AIDS often suggests a diagnosis of the disease. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Swollen lymphatic glands, i.e. glands of neck, armpits and groin
  • Tiredness
  • Severe unexplained weight loss
  • Fever and sweating, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Prolonged diarrhoea
  • Skin rashes

However, in the presence of these signs and symptoms a definite diagnosis cannot be made without a blood test.


Q: How is HIV not spread ?

A: HIV is not spread through casual contact at school, at work, or in shopping centres. It Is also not spread by using the same toilet, using the same bath, towels, by handshakes, hugs, casual simple light kisses (of mercy, honour and reverence) eating from the same dish, drinking from the same glass, or by food handlers in eating places, restaurants, from mosquitoes or insects (One can get AIDS from having sex with a carrier of HIV).


Q. What does Islam say about AIDS ?

A: Though AIDS is spread through sexual contact, blood and blood products, shared needles and mother to child, HIV AIDS is mainly spread through secretion of the sexual organs. Sexual activity out of (marriage) wedlock, is definitely a serious factor. Muslims are required to take heed and totally refrain from such an un-islamic sinful activity. Muslim youth should be educated and made aware of the problems of HIV infection and resultant full-blown AIDS.

Three social evils which are most vehemently condemned by Islam are adultery, homosexuality and the consumption of intoxicants. These are the primary factors for the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus amongst human beings. The Quraan is very clear on the question of adultery as a social evil, "Nor come near to adultety: for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils" (Al-Qur'an 17:32). As far as homosexuality is concerned the Quran says: "What ! of all the creatures, do you approach males and leave the spouses whom your Lord has created for YOU?" (AI-Qur'an 26; 165-166).

An earnest effort must be made to re-establish the Islamic moral code of conduct regarding the relationship between males and females in society, be it rural settlements or urban areas. Muslim men are required to uphold the chastity and honour of the mothers of the Muslim nation. Muslim women are similarly required to fulfill their role in the Muslim family and social structure. May Allah Ta'ala guide us and save us from His displeasure and wrath.


A Message to Muslim Youth
Do You Want To Build Your Future?

Think about your future...

Do you want to study, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house and car... ? However, things can go wrong. Remember, knowledge is the best weapon against destruction. Knowledge leads to responsible behaviour. Think about the choices you have to make.


Love and Respect Yourself and Your Creator

Man was not created to be selfish and destructive. In fact, Allah created man with the noble purpose of acknowledging and worshipping Him. Man was favoured with the power of intellect and the Almighty ALLAH made him His Khalifah (vicegerent) on earth. This trust that has been given to man requires that he lives in harmony with his own natural self and with the needs of all creation.

An individual in Islam must learn to love Allah and His messenger Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam as well as love himself. This would make it easier to effectively use the intellect and freedom of choice entrusted to him and to be responsible for his actions.

If you love and respect yourself and your body you will learn how to care for yourself and other people. You will learn to be a responsible person.

What about your friends? A good friend is someone you can trust and be honest with. Friends can sometimes help you deal with problems in your life. However they can also lead you to do wrong. Think about your friends. Are you comfortable with them ?


What is Love ?
  • Two partners in a marriage sharing and caring
  • Being friends and learning about each others feelings
  • Helping and growing with each other

Almighty Allah says: "And of His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect". (Al-Qur’an 30:21)


What About Having Children

Children are a gift from Allah. The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said, ‘be generous, kind and noble to your children ~ make their habits and manners good and beautiful'. Parents have an important responsibility in the process of nurturing, nourishing and helping their children. They need to be sensitive to the emotional and physical needs of their children. They should ensure that their offspring learn to love and value Islam and to live by the foundations and morals of this noble religion.

There is no better or stable home other than the marital home. It is only within a healthy marriage that children can fully grow to be secure, honest and contented adults. The Prophet Muhammed sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said: "Marriage is my sunnah. " and "those who do not follow sunnah are not of me. "


Pregnancy Out of Wedlock

Recent statistics have shown that one out of three babies today are born out of wedlock (marriage). Pregnancy out of marriage denies children and parents the right to build the life that they desire. These pregnancies often end in heartache and despair. Is this what you want your life to be?

How does one have fun?

Do you have to smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs to enjoy yourself.

The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said. "Every intoxicant is Khamr and every khamr is haraam (forbidden)". (Sahih Muslim)

Alcohol and drugs destroy families, jobs, your health and your mind. Alcohol is a dangerous substance, so are cigarettes. They can easily led to abuse and addiction. Substance abuse does not help solve problems, it only makes them worse. Get help quickly if you or someone you know has a drug problem!


  • Have clean fun with friends, not with destructive substances like drugs and alcohol.
  • look after your body by eating healthy foods, keeping fit and not smoking.
  • Sporting activities are a great way to socialize and enjoy yourself
  • Too many young people are dying of violence, car accidents, drugs and AIDS.

When things start going wrong - get help !

You cannot get away from your problems but you can learn to deal with them and succeed,

Remember Your future is too valuable to lose !


Your Rights
  • Your body belongs first to ALLAH, then to yourself
  • You do not have the right to decide what to do with your body
  • Don't let anyone talk you into having a relationship or taking drugs
  • If you are forced to have sex, this is RAPE - tell a parent or friend
  • If someone abuses you, talk about it to a friend or person you can trust.


The Glorious Qur’an Commands us
"And do not destroy yourselves, for indeed Allah is unto you most merciful" (Al-Qur'an - 4:29)


Promiscuity , Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS

Promiscuity, both heterosexual and homosexual, leads to innumerable problems in society. Islamic society is based on family life, trust, fidelity, love and accountability to Allah. Promiscuous behaviour is based solely on selfish physical gratification with little care for the ultimate consequences of the break-up of family relationships (with the resultant proliferating of single - parent families) and the psychological effects on adults and children alike. Such behaviour spreads both physical and mental disease, the most serious of which is AIDS.

Of course, a cure must be found (Insha-Allah) to help those unfortunate victims of HIV/AIDS. Such efforts are a humanitarian necessity. However, while scientists are trying to make the breakthrough in their search for a cure, Islam has some very positive and local suggestions about how the disease is contracted and spread in the first place.


The Solution

AIDS is primarily an ethical and moral problem. The solution therefore Is to treat the root problem i.e. sexual promiscuity which can only be eradicated by implementing the following steps :

  1. Sex outside marriage must be vehemently discouraged
  2. Chastity before marriage must be vigorously promoted
  3. Fidelity during marriage must be upheld at all cost
  4. All social and cultural organisations must work collectively to encourage people to uphold sexual morality

Counselling and care giving facilities need to be developed for Muslim individuals who have contracted the HIV / AIDS virus. They need to be encouraged to promote and maintain Islamic lifestyle and repent for their past actions.

The frightening escalation in the number of HIV / AIDS cases and the accompanying fear proves that we should embark upon an active programme in order to eradicate promiscuity, prostitution, homosexuality and drug abuse.

If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: When their Term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour). Holy Quran - S16A61

If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: When their Term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour). Holy Quran - S16A61

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