Questioner: If hunting in the Yoruba lands has to do with worshipping ‘Ogun’, is it permissible to take the concoctions, decoctions, and herbal powders made in the Yoruba lands to combat malaria, nettle-rash (hives), pile, and some other diseases since they also have do with Shirk?
Dr Sharof: We are not the one who said hunting has to do with ‘Ogun’. This is what we have seen with the people. The assertion that these concoctions, decoctions, and herbal powders have to do with Shirk are mere claims that cannot be accepted until when proven otherwise. Produce your proofs if you are indeed truthful. Holding that all these people who deal with herbs and herbal powders engage in acts of Shirk requires a research. These (stuffs) do not have anything to do with shirk except the one who is a Mushrik. What is the evil inherent in knowing about malarial herbs? What is the evil inherent in knowing about malaria herbal powder, nettle-rash herbal powder, nettle-rash herbs, (and so on) even if you’re the Imaam of the Masjid? What is bad about it? There is no problem about that. If you leave the Masjid you can continue selling your malaria herbs and nettle-rash herbs. There is no problem about it. Do not have the thinking that everything the Yorubas do is forbidden. Do you regard them as the people of hell? What sort of rubbish is this? Are the whites who make phensic and panadol Muslims? Is the paracetamol you take made by the Muslims? What is this nonsense? That is it.
However, this does not imply that the one who sells these herbal powders should become an occultist. Do not become an idol worshipper because you are selling herbal powders, claiming that you inherit it from your father. Do not go to people who engage in such rubbish. You should only approach those who are sincere and do not engage in acts of Shirk. There is no harm about this.
[SOURCE: Question and Answer session of the tape titled, “Justice in Islaam”]
Transcribed by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey