Federal Territories mufti Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri today weighed into the services of the doula (birth coaches), ruling that they are not allowed in the absence of a trained medical professional.
He said this following the death of a baby whose mother had insisted on home birth at the advice of a doula, who assisted in the birth but was unable to deal with the complications.
The police have initiated an investigation into this matter.
"After scrutinising the issue on top of seeking information from medical experts, we are of the opinion that engaging in the services of a doula is not allowed without the observation of a trained doctor or midwife," Zulkifli said in a statement today.
Furthermore, he said the refusing to give birth to a child at the hospital due to the issue of aurat was not a valid reason, stressing that one's life takes precedence.
"The reason of not wanting to give birth in hospitals due to aurat issues does not arise as there are aurat-friendly pants and certain hospitals also offer birthing services that covers the aurat.
"Furthermore, it must also be understood that one's life takes precedence over aurat in situations like this," he said.
Zulkifli also advised the doula not to take medical knowledge lightly.
Citing the hadith, Zulkifli said the doula would be held responsible if they were not well versed in medical knowledge but tried to engage in them.