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Islamic Approach to Medicine

Discussion in 'Islam and Medical Ethics' started by administrator, May 12, 2008.

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  1. administrator Islamic Medicine

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    PREFACE & ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRANSLATOR

    {الحمد لله رب العالمين} "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all beings." {وما توفيقى إلا بالله} "And my success can only come from Allah." To the Sustainer of the worlds, I fall down in prostration. I humbly beg Him to accept my gratitude, although it cannot ever be enough as is due Him, for accomplishing this task, which was not to be done unless His succour was bestowed upon me. May Allah accept this modest work, render it of benefit and preserve for me the reward in the Hereafter.
    In a world changing as rapidly as ours, where concepts of harsh materialism leaked into the souls of humans, this book may be a work greatly required by all sectors of the Umma, particularly the health providers. The medical community has experienced fabulous achievements in the technology of patients' treatment. Yet, health providers are in a pressing need for ethical codified rules and established norms, in a way to prevent this noble profession from degenerating into mean ephemeral worldly ends; thus elevating it above the prevailing material concepts of today, and in another create that 'heart-to-heart dialogue between the health provider and the patient', as put forth by Dr. Gezairy of the World Health Organisation. So, the book is a call to deliver Medicine from all contemporary negatives, and display the Islamic medical ethics in its most suitable formulas, ordained by Allah for all human beings.
    The book also sheds light on the role of humans as viceroys of Allah, the Almighty Creator, on Earth, as it outlines the fundamental concepts of viceroyalty and its constituents. Such a role is quite ignored by many people, who in the current of material life and the rush to earn living, are swept away from realising this role or achieving it as best it should be. Thus, the reader may find this book enlightening, and satisfying his desire to understand the ideal Islamic view of life and the universe. With the support of a great deal of Holy Quarnic verses and the Honourable Prophet’s Hadiths, the book corrects some misconceptions and deviations which were attributed by some Orientalists to Islamic medical views and practices.
    The reader will find the Quarnic verses typed in bold, while the Hadiths (speeches) of the Prophet Mohammed (r)(1) are in Italic. The eulogy (y),(2) traditionally following the names of the Prophet’s companions in Arabic, is not mentioned in this translation, as to avoid distraction. May Allah extend His pleasure on all the Prophet’s companions.
    I would beseech Allah to extend His mercy and blessing on the late Professor Tawfik Al Tamimi (former Director of Royal Commission Medical Centre, Yanbu Al Sinaiyah), whose encouragement, ideas and opinions greatly helped and supported me to finalise this translation. My endeavour of translating this book is actually accredited to him. He first initiated the idea, and had been keen to have this book translated, as he greatly admired the contents of the book. His main objective was to have an English book that richly describes the subject of Islamic methodology and ethics, and their application, in particular, to the field of medicine. May Allah make such an effort in the balance of his good deeds.


    The translation of this book, though being done with a very lengthy and strenuous effort, was quite enjoyable to the translator, and which will always be a source of relief and joy to him.

    Muhammad Abdul Hamid Madi
    Royal Commission Medical Center
    Yanbu Al Sinaiyah, Saudi Arabia
  2. administrator Islamic Medicine

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    Imam Sheikh Al Azhar Jadul Haq Ali Jadul Haq

    INTRODUCTION OF THE LATE GRAND IMAM SHEIKH AL AZHAR JADUL HAQ ALI JADUL HAQ

    Praise be to Allah, and peace and prayers be upon His last Messenger...
    Man is the artistry of Allah, Who creates all things in perfect order. It is Allah who has taught man the names of all things and attracted his attention towards himself, as He the Elevated says;
    {وفى أنفسكم أفلا تبصرون }
    "As also in your selves: will ye not then see?"
    Therefore, man has to seek all ways of protecting himself, as Allah has opened for him all gates of profit, and taught him therapeutics and wisdom, of which he has not been aware.
    The procession of humanity moves forward towards civilised development and progression. Man, with Allah's grace and help, takes the lead over all things around him. He has to double turn his vision and insight towards the essence and properties of his soul and body, to avoid perdition, or to rectify deviations occurring during the course of life. Islam has brought about rules of purity: the purity of body and cleanliness of consciousness to help man follow the straight path.
    Yet, people have been so much astounded at what has been conveyed to them from Western knowledge, and they have thought that such knowledge is their fortress which will defend them from Allah's wrath, but Allah approached them from quarters which they have never expected, and repaid them of what they have earned of heedlessness from His path and religion, as He is the Creator and the Disposer of this universe, the Giver of all goodness, and the Withholder, if He wishes, of every harm.
    Scientists have devoted themselves to studies and research, seeking remedies for man, to help in the prevention or treatment of diseases. Yet, they have forgotten the Compassionate, and attributed the action to the non-doer, thinking that they are able to give life or death . They are still in the wilderness of life, breaking the threads, after being spun firmly into fibres. Allah's words portray them as:
    }...وما أوتيتم من العلم إلا قليلا{
    "...of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)" The Moslem doctors have set to evaluate the knowledge of medicine, clarifying to people the Islamic fundamentals of studying it, which are within the framework of the message of Islam to mankind.
    This message "The Islamic approach to medicine" is intended for such a purpose, establishing and detailing much of the recommendations and objectives of Islamic sacred law. Such Legislations are decreed to put man's affairs in order, preserve his mental and physical well being, enhance the whole life with righteousness and cleanliness, along with feelings of amicability and mercifulness.
    This is a word that depicts my appreciation for the content of this message, as a study required to be contained in the chests of physicians to increase their certainty and knowledge that Islam has cherished and dignified human beings. Man, then, has to dignify himself with Islam as a religion, with Allah as the Lord, with Muhammad (r) as a Prophet and a Messenger, with the Qur'an and the Sunnah as guidance, healing, purity, righteousness and reformation.
    May Allah thank and reward the author for his effort, and may it be beneficial to all.

    Sheikh Al Azhar
    Late/ Jadul Haq Ali Jadul Haq
  3. administrator Islamic Medicine

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    Preface Of The Author Of Islamic Approach To Medicine

    PREFACE OF THE AUTHOR OF ISLAMIC APPROACH TO MEDICINE

    Traditionally and symbolically, the study of medicine requires two basic elements: the text and the patient; symbolising theory and its application. Therefore, all medical texts or writings can be looked upon as our reference to understand the nature of human body in health and sickness. The patient, however, remains the central core, the basic topic and the subject matter of all these writings. Patient examinations, diagnosis of his disease and treatment of his ailments constitute the ultimate application of theories and knowledge gained from medical texts.
    Accordingly, in chapter one, the Islamic views and principles that govern the study of medicine have been presented to help the Moslem medical student, trainee or practitioner perceive, realise and achieve the ultimate goal and objectives of pursuing medical knowledge. It will also guide him toward the right path of practical and professional life. In chapter two, the patient is presented not only as a human being, but also as the most preferred creation of Allah on earth. The physician’s obligation of knowing his patient, the subject matter of all his studies, has been stated to acknowledge and abide by his patient's rights when dealing and interacting with him. Chapter three deals with the human being when contracting ailments, and addresses the way he sees his illness, the way people look at him and the attitude of the doctor towards him.
    Had we stopped at these limits, we would have confined the issue of health into a small sphere, which is patient care. But it goes far beyond this. Health is the essence of worship and the instrument of carrying out the duties of viceroyalty on earth. So, health is closely integrated with the view of Islam in regards to the universe and life. Therefore, in the last chapter, it has been sought to indicate the status of health care according to the comprehensive Islamic view of life and how concepts of prevention and treatment are related to the purpose of man's existence as Allah's viceroy on earth. This concept transfers the issue of health from the narrow circle, encompassing the patient and the doctor, to the large comprehensive Islamic view of medicine, which fuses the Islamic doctrine (Shari’ah) and human activity altogether with individual and environmental health. Thus, it ensures maintaining health at an optimal state for the sake of achieving man’s sublime objective of being Allah’s viceroy on earth, for which he was originally created.
    We pray Allah that this will assist the doctor to understand his message, the objective of his study and the purpose of his profession. He will then develop the virtuous intention that helps make his study an act of worship and optimally fulfill the duties of his profession a collective duty "Fardh Kifaya" (3)

    Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Hamid Al Sayyad , M. D., Ph. D.
    Associate Professor,
    Faculties of Medicine,
    Al Azhar and Kuwait Universities
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    Medicine As A Useful Knowledge

    MEDICINE AS A USEFUL KNOWLEDGE

    Allah the Almighty has entrusted man with his life, mind, senses, property and posterity, all which entail preservation. In this respect, the Islamic scholars (Ulama’) indicate that Islamic Law (Shari’ah) has five main objectives which are mandatory for the society and the individual to preserve. They are ordered by priority as follows: faith, life, mind, posterity and property.
    Health of mind and body helps acquire wealth and progeny, rear posterity and perform religious commitments properly. A healthy mind and body help to maintain the goals of Shari’ah, and the knowledge of medicine aims at a healthy mind and body, and thus seeks to maintain all these goals. Medicine, as such, is a useful knowledge.
    In Islam’s perception, useful knowledge is the knowledge that strengthens man's relation to Allah and enables him to perform his duties as Allah's viceroy on earth : establishing life and divine justice on earth. Useful knowledge aims at the formation of a righteous man. Righteousness is not confined to material aspects; rather the concept encompasses all spiritual aspects and their reflections on life, with all its dimensions. Man, as such, is a virtuous being in a virtuous society.
    In the material perception, however, knowledge is considered useful when it leads to the acquisition of several skills that achieve the material benefit of man and his community.


    THE ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALS OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE


    The Moslem acquires from his Faith the leading principles, which enable him to perform all his activities in life. This is applied to science and its uses as follows:

    1. Allah has created man to worship Him,
    }وما خلقت الجن والإنس إلا ليعبدون{
    “I have only created jinn and mankind that they may serve Me.” (51:56)
    2. The concept of worship is not confined to performing religious rituals and ceremonies; rather this concept is never fulfilled completely except when life as a whole is turned towards Allah, the Almighty.
    }قل إن صلاتى ونسكى ومحياى ومماتى لله رب العالمين{
    “Say: ‘Truly my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds'." (6:62) This includes viceroyalty on earth,
    }ثم جعلناكم خلائف فى الأرض من بعدهم لننظر كيف تعملون{
    "Then We made you heirs in the land after them, to see how ye would behave." (10:14)
    3. Viceroyalty entails the colonisation of the earth,
    }هو أنشأكم من الأرض واستعمركم فيها{
    “It is He Who hath produced you from the earth and settled you therein." (11:61)
    4. Colonisation of earth requires the establishment of civilisation.
    5. Civilisation is based upon science and technology.
    6. Scientific discoveries and technical achievements direct the Moslem scientist to contemplate Allah's creation, sense His greatness, become devout and then fear Allah. Thus, in the frame of piety, colonisation of the universe is conducted in a proper manner that protects it from any deviation in exploiting the wealth of the earth.
    7. Understanding life and the universe is a means to become close to Allah, as long as man seeks related sources of knowledge according to the Islamic methodology.
    {ربنا ما خلقت هذا باطلا سبحانك فقنا عذاب النار}
    "Our Lord, not for naught hast Thou created (all) this. Glory to thee. Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire."(3:9) The Prophet (r) states; "The learned inherit the prophets."
    8. The Islamic entry of acquiring knowledge and applying scientific achievements is directed towards all that returns with good in this life and the Hereafter, as commanded by Allah, the Almighty.

    The essence of useful knowledge cannot be realised unless man achieves the essence of his viceroyalty on earth. Inasmuch as this is achieved, people’s degrees are determined, when they return to Allah. To clarify this, the Prophet (r) says; "By Allah, some people had preceded to Gardens of Eden and were not performing more of prayers, fasting or umrahs, but such they comprehended Allah's counsels that their hearts were full of fear (of Allah), their souls were in peace and their senses were reduced to submission, so they departed from this world to a better residence, and a good rank among the people in this life and at Allah in the Hereafter." This honourable saying of the Prophet (r) indicates that people's degrees are not estimated inasmuch as they perform prayers, fasting or rites, but inasmuch as they comprehend Allah's teachings and apply them in such a way that elevates their degrees among people in this life and pleases Allah in the Hereafter.

    The close integration between theory and application is the main basis in Islamic perception. This is represented in the Qur'an, as It is not a book for mere reading, admiration, or gaining culture. The Qur'an is a constitution for contemplation and application, which entails following a certain behaviour in life to achieve right and justice. Thus, It was revealed to the Prophet (r) in a way that gave each verse a domain for practical application in his life and his companions'. The lady Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, verified this when she described the Prophet (r) by saying; "His morals were that of the Qur'an." It was narrated that the Prophet (r) said; "Obtain knowledge, so you will be learned. If you are learned, then work." "Learn knowledge and utilise it, but do not learn it to beautify yourselves with." The Prophet (r) used to pray; "O, my Lord, I seek refuge of You from four: non-useful knowledge, an unfearful heart, an unsatisfied soul and an unanswered prayer."
    On the authority of Zayd Bin Arqam that the Prophet (r) said; "Our Lord, we seek refuge of You from a knowledge that is not of use." All this emanates from the general rule of the necessity to connect theory with application, as indicated in,
    }يا أيها الذين آمنوا لم تقولون ما لا تفعلون. كبر مقتا عند الله أن تقولوا ما لا تفعلون{
    "O ye who believe why say ye that which ye do not? Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that which ye do not."(61:2,3) Islam draws a connection between Faith and good deeds in several qur'anic verses which place no barrier between faith and work, or between knowledge and behaviour, or between science and its applications. The Prophet (r) warns scholars saying; "You, holder of knowledge, work as of what you have learned. The scholar is the one whose work corresponds with what he has gained of knowledge. There will be people whose knowledge will not pass their trachea. Their work is different from what they have gained of knowledge, and their appearance is different from their reality as well."
    When commanding man to work, Allah defines two types of work:

    1. Religious rites that draw man close to His Creator and which Allah alone knows, in the World of the Unknown, how far they are truthful.
    2. Useful virtuous work, testified by the Prophet (r) and the believers in the World of Testimony. Allah says;
    }وقل أعملوا فسيرى الله عملكم ورسوله والمؤمنون ، وستردون إلى عالم الغيب والشهادة فينبئكم بما كنتم تعملون{
    "And say: 'Work (righteousness): soon will Allah observe your work, and His Apostle, and the believers: soon will ye be brought back to the Knower of what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did'." (9:105)
    Both these types of work are inseparable and form the message of the Moslem in life, thus giving a great value to such knowledge that is applicable in the fields of life. Medical knowledge as such is a case in point.
    Hence, the value of useful knowledge is large enough to encompass these spheres:

    1. Surpassing the limits of age, as the reward of useful knowledge is considered a running charity extending even after the death of the scholar. On the authority of Abu Huraira who said the Prophet (r) said: "When the son-of-Adam dies, his work is cut off entirely except of three: a running charity, knowledge that he has taught and remains put to good use, and virtuous progeny praying Allah for him."
    2. Surpassing the limits of knowledge sources, as knowledge can be attained from any source. The Prophet (r) said: "Wisdom is the stray camel of the Faithful (his persistent wish), wherever he finds it, he is worthy of it."
    3. Surpassing the limits of merit, as the rank of the scholar of useful knowledge is raised up, when seeking to enhance Allah's Word, to the ranks of Allah's best creatures: the prophets. Al Ala'a narrated on the authority of Al Hassan that the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever falls dead while seeking knowledge to enhance Islam, will be only one degree below prophethood."
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    Medicine As A Useful Knowledge

    MEDICINE AS A USEFUL KNOWLEDGE

    Allah the Almighty has entrusted man with his life, mind, senses, property and posterity, all which entail preservation. In this respect, the Islamic scholars (Ulama’) indicate that Islamic Law (Shari’ah) has five main objectives which are mandatory for the society and the individual to preserve. They are ordered by priority as follows: faith, life, mind, posterity and property.​
    Health of mind and body helps acquire wealth and progeny, rear posterity and perform religious commitments properly. A healthy mind and body help to maintain the goals of Shari’ah, and the knowledge of medicine aims at a healthy mind and body, and thus seeks to maintain all these goals. Medicine, as such, is a useful knowledge.
    In Islam’s perception, useful knowledge is the knowledge that strengthens man's relation to Allah and enables him to perform his duties as Allah's viceroy on earth : establishing life and divine justice on earth. Useful knowledge aims at the formation of a righteous man. Righteousness is not confined to material aspects; rather the concept encompasses all spiritual aspects and their reflections on life, with all its dimensions. Man, as such, is a virtuous being in a virtuous society.
    In the material perception, however, knowledge is considered useful when it leads to the acquisition of several skills that achieve the material benefit of man and his community.


    THE ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALS OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE

    STUDY OF MEDICINE AS "FARDH KIFAYA"

    Islam seeks the foundation of a virtuous society for the sake of establishing Allah's Law on earth. Virtuous public opinion, when co-operating for good and warding off evil, is the manifestation of a virtuous society. A self-control thus prevails in the society, making every evil man withdraw within himself, and every good man find the courage and the outlet to declare and manifest his goodness.
    To ensure maintaining such a state, Islam urges the Moslems to command good and forbid vice. The Holy Qur'an made both a prerequisite for the Umma (Nation) to attain distinction and grandeur.
    }كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس تأمرون بالمعروف وتنهون عن المنكر وتؤمنون بالله{
    "Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah." (3:110) The whole Umma is deemed sinful, if it sees sins and declines to suppress them.
    }لعن الذين كفروا من بنى إسرائيل على لسان داود وعيسى بن مريم ذلك بما عصوا وكانوا يعتدون.
    كانوا لا يتناهون عن منكر فعلوه لبئس ما كانوا يفعلون{
    "Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the Son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses. Nor did they (usually) forbid one another the iniquities which they committed: evil indeed were the deeds which they did." (5:78)

    To guarantee the Moslem’s mutual integration with the virtuous society, acts of individual religious worship aim at purifying the Moslem’s consciousness for the sake of establishing goodness. Corrupt deeds are considered a transgression on the society, and should be amended, in order to remove any of its impacts. This corresponds with the principle of charity as an expiation of sins. The Prophet (r) said; "Charity quenches sins, as water extinguishes fire."
    The natural outcome of this general virtuous code is to keep everybody performing at his best for the welfare of the community. Hence, the complete integration between religious worship on both individual and communal planes becomes evident. Personal and individual worship of Allah is represented in performing the religious rites and ceremonies such as prayers and Hajj. On the other hand, the communal worship of Allah is represented in establishing and living under the umbrella of the divine social structure, while clinging to it and perishing for the sake of its survival and continuation.
    In compliance with this concept, the Islamic scholars divided the religious worship and duties (Fara'ed) into two: the individual duty "Fardh Ain" and the collective duty "Fardh Kifaya".

    1. "Fardh Ain" is the duty prescribed on every rational and liable adult Moslem. Should he fail to perform this duty, no other person can do it on his behalf, as its purpose is for the interest of the individual, intended to raise up his degrees in the Hereafter and protect him from harm and sins. This duty is the minimum limit for the individual to ward off sins.
    2. "Fardh Kifaya" is intended to ensure that a certain duty has been enacted in the interest of the whole group, in order to enhance the word of religion without specifying a certain doer for that duty. Should some citizens perform that duty, others are relieved of doing it. On the other hand, if nobody does it, the whole Moslem community is deemed sinful.
    }واتقوا فتنة لا تصيبن الذين ظلموا منكم خاصة{
    "And fear a trial which shall surely not smite in particular those who do wrong among you; and know that Allah is strict in punishment." (8:25)

    The assignee of performing "Fardh Kifaya" is the community as a legal entity. The Islamic Law has considered the community as one body, and the individuals in that community as the organs in that body. Thus, the function of some members is considered a performance on behalf of the whole.
    The Prophet (r) assures the fact that the individual Moslem is but a block in the construction of the Moslem society or an organ in the whole body. On the authority of Abu Mousa that the Prophet (r) said; "The faithful to one another are like the blocks in a whole building...they fortify one another." On the authority of Al Noaman Bin Bashir that the Prophet (r) also said; "The faithful in their mutual love and compassion are like the body...if one member complains of an ailment, all other members will rally in response."
    The concept of "Fardh Kifaya" is addressed to every person for the good of the community as a whole. Every one is competent to perform his tasks according to his abilities;
    }لا نكلف نفسا إلا وسعها{
    "No burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear", (7:42) and each one is better suited to cope with that for which each one is created. The incompetent should place the competent in advance, and assist him in every possible manner to perform his duties at best. The person performing "Fardh Kifaya" performs a general benefit for the best interest of all Moslems. The Prophet (r) said, "Whoever is able to avail his Moslem brother, should not slacken to do so."
    The social structure of the Umma entails differences in abilities and qualifications among the people. Different specialties assist the community in fulfilling all the required needs, and performing "Fardh Kifaya", so that the community will pass the plight of affliction successfully. Allah says:
    }أهم يقسمون رحمة ربك، نحن قسمنا بينهم معيشتهم فى الحياة الدنيا ورفعنا بعضهم فوق بعض درجات ،
    ليتخذ بعضهم بعضا سخريا. ورحمة ربك خير مما يجمعون{
    "Is it they would portion out the Mercy of thy Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of the World: and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others. But the mercy of thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass." (43:32)
    The endeavour of each person to perform "Fardh Kifaya", which Allah facilitates to him, forms the demonstration of facing the real experiences of probation, for which Allah has created the universe, and upon which man will be judged on Doomsday.
    }الذى خلق الموت والحياة ليبلوكم أيكم أحسن عملا وهو العزيز الغفور{
    "He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in might, Oft-Forgiving." (67:2)
    It is a false notion to believe that being involved in technical knowledge is a reoccupation of worldly life, and is not a religious concern. This has led to negligence in attaining important specialisation necessary for the Moslem community. If life interests are not sought, religious affairs will not be rightly set up and Moslems' concerns will be weakened, based on the Islamic rule: “Whatever is necessary to satisfy the "necessity" acquires in turn the status of ’necessity’" should be applied. Accordingly, all technology and applied useful sciences are "Fardh Kifaya". All such duties are a chain for the needs and necessities that serve each other; as in the case of theoretical basic sciences serving applied sciences. Different specialisations tend to be necessary for each community, and detriment to any of them will lead to detriment to the greatest duty, namely to worship Allah as the best He should be worshipped and to enhance His Word on earth.
    The benefit that can be derived from "Fardh Kifaya" is more pervasive than the benefit of "Fardh 'Ain". Whilst the performer of "Fardh Ain" will relieve himself alone of sins, and the rewards are only for himself alone, the performer of "Fardh Kifaya" will ward off harm from others by relieving them of sins.

    Thus, the performer of "Fardh Kifaya", unlike that of “Fardh Ain”, is tasked with a public duty. Complying with the Prophet's saying; "Seeking knowledge is a duty prescribed on every Moslem", Imam Al Ghazali indicates in Part I of "Reviving Religious Sciences":
    "Fardh Kifaya is every knowledge indispensable for the right set up of life affairs. Medicine, as such, is necessary for the maintenance of bodies."
    Study and practice of Medicine is a model of collective duties. Scholars agree that these duties, diverse and different in place and time as they are, include all the needs of the Umma. Every knowledge required by all Moslems is "Fardh Kifaya". If there are not some members in the Moslem community who master such knowledge, then all the community is sinful. Sufficiency in any knowledge is not just limited to those who master it, but it extends to the availability of the group who can cover all the Umma’s requirements. Al-Ghazali says:

    "If Moslems do not possess a much more better knowledge of science or invention than non-Moslems do, then all Moslems are deemed sinful and accounted for their shortcoming.”

    The modern scholars tend to designate "Fardh Kifaya" as "Fardh Ain" to be achieved by every capable person, for which he will be responsible before the sight of Allah the Almighty. In his explanation of the Prophet's saying: "Seeking knowledge is prescribed on every Moslem", Al-Ghazali says:

    "Allah would not accept performing supererogatory worships (Nawafil), unless the prescribed duty is performed. For each person, mastering a knowledge or work in his specialisation in order to enhance the significance of the Islamic Umma and to remedy any breaches is considered an observance to Allah."

    Mastering work as an act of worship gets priority over performing acts of approximation (Nawafil) to Allah, if the latter requires more time and exerting effort. Therefore, the study of medicine is Fardh Kifaya on every Moslem student who is capable of studying and comprehending it. In his study, he is considered a worshipper to Allah.
    Initiating from the concept of Fardh Kifaya, it is not acceptable that all students turn towards studying a special branch of knowledge hoping it may lead to more material profit, better social standing or less laborious effort. But all should rather seek to cover different areas, keeping in the view that this is a duty on each of them, regardless of career prospective opportunities. If a person is reluctant to perform a specialty which he can master, he is deemed sinful for his failure to perform Fardh Kifaya. The concept of Fardh Kifaya is the incarnation of team spirit, a sacrifice for the sake of Allah and a holy cause (Jihad), to enhance Allah's Word on earth. If the Moslem has this intention (Niyah) in his mind, study and practice, he will be worshipping Allah as best Allah should be worshipped. The Prophet (r) says; "Whoever seeks the sight of Allah, his sleep and wakefulness are all a reward to him."
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    Study Of Medicine As An Entry To Strengthen Faith To Allah

    STUDY OF MEDICINE AS AN ENTRY TO STRENGTHEN FAITH TO ALLAH


    In order to discuss the issue of Medicine and Faith, the following aspects will be handled:

    Sources of knowledge from the Islamic viewpoint.

    Islamic explanation of human life.

    Human errors in the curricula of knowledge.

    Effects of scientific development on human concepts

    Faith-wise purpose of studying medicine and natural sciences.


    FIRST: SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE IN ISLAMIC PERCEPTION
    The perception of the Universe is visualised on the basis of the pairs of creatures and is expressed in two worlds:

    1. The World of the Unknown, which Allah alone knows about it.
    2. The World of the Known, which is the perceived universe with all its creatures.

    This is apparent in Allah 's saying:
    }ذلك عالم الغيب والشهادة العزيز الرحيم الذى أحسن كل شىء خلقه وبدأ خلق الإنسان من طين{​
    "Such is He, the Knower of all things, hidden and open, the Exalted (in Power), the Merciful;- He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay." (32:6,7)

    Pairing of creatures is followed by the duality of knowledge:

    1. Human knowledge of the world of the unknown is derived from the revelation, of which man receives what his mind can absorb about that world. Therefore, heavenly messages were necessary for human beings to explain secrets of the universe and life, and to establish legislatures for man's first life. The role of man is confined to receive, comprehend, and believe in the message of existence, as the human mind is not capable or qualified to discover the unknown and metaphysical things.
    2. Man's knowledge of the world of the known is derived from the universe, which includes natural world, and living or non-living creatures. The curriculum of knowledge in the universe is observation, experimentation and rationale to understand the partial laws that govern man, nature and substance, in order to utilise this knowledge for the colonisation of earth.

    Thus the sources of knowledge are classified into two types:

    1. Theoretical and applied sciences such as chemistry, physics, medicine and agriculture which should be connected to the experimental method. This is applicable to the incidence of pollination of palms, as narrated by Raf'e Bin Khadeej, in which the Prophet’s idea about pollination was disagreed with by some experienced farmers. He (r), then, said: "I am but a human being, you take whatever I command you of your religion. Whatever else I command you of the world's affairs is of my own opinion, I am not but a human being." In the narration of 'Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, "...you know best of your own life affairs."
    2. Knowledge which the Moslem cannot get except from a divine source, such as the knowledge related to the Islamic law, religious observances, values and general conception of the universe, human soul, and the social system.
    The study of these humanitarian sciences cannot be approached by the experimental and inductive method, which is used in the study of substance, for two reasons:

    1. In studying the relationship between two variables, it is not possible to achieve voluntary control of the factors affecting these variables either by confirmation or change of postulates; while this could be achieved in the case of experimenting on solids, e.g., the effect of heat on iron.
    2. The study of these sciences does not yield the same results if repeated in the same way and in the same circumstances, e.g., iron expands each time when subjected to heat. But man is distinguished from other creatures in that he is endowed with the Holy Divine Breath which has granted him will, power and knowledge. Therefore, due to man's free will, nobody can positively predict his behaviour towards certain situations in a scientific manner. Tests on humans are not always reproducible.

    The Moslem should not, therefore, receive his codes of behaviour or the ethics of his society from non-Islamic sources. Allah says:
    }فأعرض عمن تولى عن ذكرنا ولم يرد إلا الحياة الدنيا ، ذلك مبلغهم من العلم ،
    إن ربك هو أعلم بمن ضل عن سبيله وهو أعلم بمن اهتدى{​
    "Therefore shun those who turn away from our Message and desire nothing but the life of this World. That is as far as knowledge will reach them. Verily thy Lord knoweth best those who stray from His Path, and He knoweth best those who receive guidance." ((53:29,30)
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    The Islamic Explanation Of Human Life

    SECOND: THE ISLAMIC EXPLANATION OF HUMAN LIFE


    Islamic view of human life cycle is not limited to man's partial life on earth, rather it deals with his full life cycle, which cannot be perceived except through the guidance of divine inspiration, as Allah says:

    {وكنتم أمواتا فأحياكم ثم يميتكم ثم يحييكم ثم إليه ترجعون}


    "Seeing that ye were without life, and he gave you life; then He will cause you to die, and again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return." (2:22) And He says;


    {قالوا ربنا أمتنا اثنتين وأحييتنا اثنتين فاعترفنا بذنوبنا}


    "They will say: 'Our lord twice hast Thou made us without life, and twice hast Thou given us life! Now we have recognised our sins.." (40:2)
    The Qur'anic verses prove that man has two lives and two deaths, thus the human life cycle is as follows:

    1. The previous presence of man in some existence, where the process of certification of the Deity has been conducted, for which Allah says;


    {وإذ أخذ ربك من بنى آدم من ظهورهم ذريتهم وأشهدهم على أنفسهم ألست بربكم قالوا بلى شهدنا}


    "When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam-from their loins- their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying)' Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?'-They say: 'Yea! We do testify'." (7:172) In such an existence, the spirit is detached from the body- a case that is known as the state of death.

    2. The second stage starts with breathing spirit into the foetus, where first life starts (life here means the attachment of the soul with the body).
    3. The third stage is death, which terminates life in this world. The soul remains detached from the body until the Day of Resurrection.
    4. The fourth stage is the Day of Resurrection, where the soul is attached eternally to the body in the Hereafter, and people return to their Creator for judgement and are rewarded with Paradise or punished in Hell.
    In the first stage, where the process of certifying the Deity is conducted, the natural disposition of the faithful man is formed; as Allah says;


    {فأقم وجهك للدين حنيفا فطرة الله التى فطر الناس عليها لا تبديل لخلق الله}


    "So set your face for the true religion (Islam), according to the nature on which He has made mankind: no altering (there is) in Allah’s creation." (30:30) In the Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, the Prophet (r) says; "Every human being is born with a disposition towards the natural Faith, yet his parents either make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian." Man's knowledge of His Creator is natural, and sufficient to worship Allah in the same manner of the true believers.
    Allah's presence is not a premise to be proven by mental demonstrations. The Qur'an, therefore, did not discuss the issue of denying Allah's presence as It discussed the issue of idolatry and denying resurrection or prophethood. The passive refusal and deceitful denying of the One God by those who claim polytheism, either in words or actions, indicate that in the depths of their natural dispositions, which were conquered by the devils, they admit the presence of this Supreme Power which they fear and yet forsake. With this attitude, they unknowingly stress their previous faith of their Creator. Yet they heap dust on this faith until rust covers their hearts. Allah, the Almighty says;


    {كلا بل ران على قلوبهم ما كانوا يكسبون}

    "By no means! But on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do." (83:114) This kind of inconsistency implies contradiction in their declared heretical words or actions.
    The methodology of the Qur'an in dealing with the idolaters is to awaken their natural dispositions which are covered by the misguidance of the devil. The Qur'an reveals their realities in the psychological and experimental method. A parable is set forth in which they are placed at the sea threatened by the storms, and then addressed:


    {قل من ينجيكم من ظلمات البر والبحر تدعونه تضرعا وخفية}


    "Say: 'Who is it that delivers you from the dark recesses of land and sea, when ye call upon Him in humility and silent terror?'" (6:63) Their natural dispositions will respond saying "Oh! Our Lord".
    Until recently, when the communist youths, who were born in the folds of the philosophy which denies Allah's existence, sat for examinations, each started saying "Bogy Moy" meaning to say "Oh! My Lord". They also said unaware “Slava Bogho", i.e., "Praise be to Allah", whenever they successfully overcame an obstacle. None would deny this natural feeling or be able to remove these words from their lexis.
    So the issue then is not whether Allah is present, but it is rather witnessing "There is no god but the one Allah", with its broad meaning. The reply of the prophets in all ages for those who denied Allah's existence was;

    {أفى الله شك فاطر السموات والأرض}


    "Is there a doubt about Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?" (14:10) The prophets do not indulge themselves in arguments to prove the existence of Allah with a mental demonstration, but they wonder of man's doubts, which contradict his natural human disposition.

    the purpose of human life:

    Specifying the stages of our life cycles, Islam has clarified the purpose of human life as follows:

    1. Life on earth is the preliminary stage which determines man's fortune in this World and in the Hereafter.
    2. Trial and affliction are the underlying reasons for which Allah created worldly our life on earth. Allah says;

    {الذى خلق الموت والحياة ليبلوكم أيكم أحسن عملا وهو العزيز الغفور}

    "He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving." (67:2)
    3. Man is involved in the experiences of trial in life while equipped with tools of success and failure, as he is endowed with mind and will to choose the path of good or evil.
    4. Successfully passing the experiences of trial in life leads to the achievement of viceroyalty on earth at best. Allah the Almighty has willed that people are not to be one nation. Thus, some of them choose the path of right, while others choose the path of manifest error.
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    Human Errors In The Curricula Of Knowledge

    THIRD: HUMAN ERRORS IN THE CURRICULA OF KNOWLEDGE


    Humanity has committed many errors throughout history when dealing with the curricula of knowledge. This has led to either ascribing partners with Allah or disobedience of Allah’s commands.

    1. deviation of natural disposition:

    How did this faithful natural disposition, which once believed in Allah, the one God, get spoiled? It was narrated from the Prophet (r) that Allah said: "I created My Servants as the true believers. But devils have diverted them from their own religion and forbidden them what is lawful to them."
    The outcome of humans merging between sources of knowledge is that they involved themselves in the world of the Unknown with the means that are not fit except to the World of the Known. They tried to subject Allah's Self to their limited perception.
    Thus, they imagined Him in the form of stars and planets, which He created, or in forms of handicrafts such as statues, which were made by their own hands. When the Prophets were sent with the reality of elevating Allah high above the attributes ascribed to Him, human beings were reluctant to accept any information about the World of the Unknown. Secular-oriented people have thought that the laws governing creatures in the worldly life and the World of the Known is the "end all" in the Universe, denying all that go beyond the rulings of these laws or surpass the limits of their ears, eyes and perception. Hence, miracles have been revealed from Allah in support of His prophets and as a message to His People that the Great Creator is in full control of the laws of the universe, as He is the Creator and able to dispense with these laws. So, how could they limit the Creator of the laws in the frame of the laws which He created?
    Fire, when touching the human body will certainly burn it, but Allah makes it peaceful and cool for His Prophet Abraham (u). Human life starts with the sperm, but Allah creates Jesus (u) in the womb of a virgin lady. Blindness is accompanied with the death of optic nerve cells, but Allah revives these cells at the hands of Jesus Christ (u). The worldly life ends with the soul coming out of the body, and they never meet again except on the Day of Resurrection, but Allah resurrects the dead at the hands of Jesus Christ (u).
    Nevertheless, human souls are too hard to be lenient to these miracles. No sooner had the Children of Israel been delivered from the Pharaoh and his soldiers at the sea, and had Moses been absent for a while, than they worshipped the Calf other than Allah. This occurred with Jesus Christ (u) when people tried to approach the image of Allah with the capacity of human perception. They, therefore, miss-interpreted the miracles revealed to them at Jesus' hands and took him as the son of Allah. They also tried to subject the Supreme Being to the perception of the human mind and incarnate Him with what is tangible. Hence they fell into the sin of ascribing partners with Allah.
    In its full purity, Islamic Doctrine is meant to restore man to his proper disposition, emphasising the relationship between man and His Creator with no mediators or Eucharist. But inconspicuous idolatry (Shirk) leaked into the souls of some Moslems by sanctifying some of the Prophet's Companions and the righteous men, and they took them as intermediaries to Allah.

    2. errors in the methodology of utilising knowledge sources.

    The Islamic World and the Western World both have fallen into radical errors due to the confusion arising from utilising knowledge .

    a. errors of the western world:

    The European Industrial Renaissance was established on the experimental method, which was originally set up in the Islamic World, deriving its sources from the Islamic directions of studying the Universe and the World of the Known. This method clashed with the beliefs of the Western Church, which adopted old erratic Greek views in the field of natural sciences. This conflict led to a struggle between science and church, in which many scientists were persecuted by the power of priesthood. Thus, the anticlericalism movement arose at a time when the world was astounded with the achievement of technology. Secularism, therefore, appeared as a solution for this conflict to place life-related science at the side of practical applications, and to confine the church theology in the limited sphere of the relationship between man and his Creator. The outcome of this separation has its grave impact:

    - Sciences have lost the moral basis which protects humanity, as abuses of sciences have led to the deployment of destructive weapons.
    - The concept of secularism has been conveyed to all social life affairs, thus disconnecting these affairs from the spiritual values, as Christianity lacks any comprehensive legislations (Shari’ah).
    - The Western civilisations have sought to perform research into human and social affairs through the experimental method . Thus, theories of Capitalism and Communism have come to life as religions for the societies embracing these theories. Corrupted social theories have appeared as well, as in Existentialism, which calls for freedom of behaviour and justifying man's desires. Western life, therefore, declined to sexual permissiveness, obsession with money and the pride of nationalism enslaved the weaker peoples.
    - Europe tried, during the period of colonising the Islamic nations, to merge these theories into the Islamic tradition, to make the cultural invasion a continuation of political imperialism. They separated religious education from technical education, and thus succeeded in developing an occidental generation which was closely allied to the intellectual school in which this generation had been brought up.

    Moslems have thought that knowledge derived from the Westerners is objective and can be applied to all human affairs, with no regard to the suitability of this knowledge to their faith or circumstances. Medical books lack any reference to Allah's reasoning of creating the human body, and of running its functions in such an accurate manner. These books have ignored the Creating Power, attributing this Power to imaginary nominations such as nature, auto-power, instincts, or others which do not correspond to Islamic perception.

    b. errors of the islamic world:

    During the stage of backwardness, Moslems gave up studying the World of the Known with the Experimental method, which Islam originated. Thus, the progress of applied sciences came to a halt and Moslems assumed the attitude of spectators. On the other hand, they studied Greek philosophy, gave it Islamic nominations, and then moved towards the study of the World of the Unknown with the human mind. So, instead of studying Allah's creation with their senses and observation, they headed towards thinking in Allah's Self and attributes. They, therefore, forgot that Allah created the mind to study the universe, that the mind is too incapacitated to perceive Allah's Self, and that Allah cannot be perceived by thinking in His Self, but rather through the study of His Dominions.
    The results of such errors are as follows:
    - Different ideologies of thoughts have risen, each supported by sects, which turned into political powers, dividing the Moslem Umma into fighting groups.

    - The Islamic mind has stopped thinking of applied research which aims at colonising the universe. Mystic approaches emerged to detach Moslems from life and deprive them of their assets of power. Mysticism (Sufism) led to weakness of personality and retreat from facing the practical problems in the fields of life and science. Thus Moslems turned out to be dependent upon what others produce of food and thought.
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    Effects Of Scientific Development On Human Concepts

    FOURTH: EFFECTS OF SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT ON HUMAN CONCEPTS


    Sciences of chemistry, physics, and biology have achieved tremendous success, which has a great effect on the technical boom witnessed at present. This has resulted in sanctifying science and the scientific method, which has made many people forget that the capabilities of science are limited, even in the field of solid substance, and that much of the secrets of substance will remain too mysterious for the human mind to resolve. Science witnessed the biological gravity inside the cell and how this power transferred energy into a mass substance.
    Time is gone forever when man is able to think that science can resolve every problem or find answers and explanations to every query. Science is still unable to understand the smallest particles of the atom. Science roams astray in the cosmic space amongst the far galaxies, seeking to reveal their secrets.
    Immunology is a modern science which has improved in an astonishingly rapid manner in the last four decades. Doctors have started to feel that immunological phenomena have a relation to all functions and ailments of the body. Scientists have thought simply that all the information they have had will soon lead them to immunising man from cancer or other transmissible diseases by forming anti-bodies in the human body. With the continuation of studies, it has been discovered that the anti-bodies are too numerous to be measured by any specialty. The struggle of the body against disease factors is too complicated for science to understand and much too difficult to interfere in for the purpose of overcoming illness.
    Therefore, the more science advances in discoveries, the more it discovers that the essence of creatures is too difficult to be perceived. Allah is the Creator, and man is not but an explorer of the manifestations of the Great Creator's power.
    We are now involved in a sea of cosmic knowledge. The more we penetrate the depths, the deeper they are. The sound disposition leads man to a logical conclusion: if we are unable to realise the extent of this magnificent universe or the way a living cell is created, are we then allowed to think of Allah's Self and Attributes ?!
    The Creator of this tremendous universe is greater than human mind trying to realise His Self. Rather, we have to receive His Guidance with the natural disposition of Faith and elevate Him far above all that can be realised by human beings.

    {سبحانه وتعالى عما يصفون}

    "He is above what they attribute to Him." (6:100)

    {لا تدركه الأبصار وهو يدرك الأبصار وهو اللطيف الخبير}

    "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet He is acquainted with all things." (6:103)
    Scientific development leads us to a natural outcome, namely to believe in the One Great Creator of this big universe. This Creator is elevated far above all human perceptions, and He is greater than our trial to perceive His Self. His creatures are yet too great to be perceived.
    Therefore, our sole source for the Unknown World is what Allah has revealed to His Honourable Prophet (r). We have to stop at our human limits, and then start in the right direction of studying His Creatures, rather than contemplating His Self. The Prophet (r) says; "Think of Allah's creatures and do not think of Allah's Self, or you will perish."
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    Faith-wise Purpose Of Studying Medicine And Natural Sciences

    FIFTH: FAITH-WISE PURPOSE OF STUDYING MEDICINE AND NATURAL SCIENCES


    Commentators of the Holy Qur'an indicate that the Holy Qur'an includes more than 750 verses relating to the universe, while not more than 150 verses are related to Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh).
    In the verses relating to the universe, there is a call for considering Allah's creatures and studying sciences of medicine, biology and astronomy. All these sciences lead to approach Allah, if not used by the lower desires, which keep man far from his Creator.
    Study of such sciences is not to be intended for reasoning Allah's existence through His actions or His creatures. It is rather intended to achieve the following objectives:
    1. Realising Allah's greatness by observing the greatness of His creatures, to enable man to serve Allah, such as is due Him. Man would approach Allah and thus obtain the grace of Heaven and safeguard himself from the torture of Hell-fire. The European view of natural science is based on the philosophy of ruling out the idea of Allah the Creator. Certainty is limited to the sphere of sensuality, as such is noticed in their scientists’ written works, which are studied in our universities. The Islamic view of knowledge is based on knowing Allah's creatures, which will lead us to know Allah. The more precise our knowledge of the creatures is, the more complete and precise our realisation of the greatness of the Creator. Those who do not reach this end, their status is indicated as:

    {يعلمون ظاهرا من الحياة الدنيا وهم عن الآخرة هم غافلون}

    "They know but the outer (Things) in the life of this world: but of the end of things they are heedless." (30:7)
    Scientific culture is not just theoretical ideas to be solely conveyed as far as the human mentality can absorb. It should rather be a traditional basis that entails certain social and individual behaviour in life, in compliance with the commands of the Great Creator. Such knowledge raises up the degrees of the learned. Allah says;

    {أمن هو قانت أناء الليل ساجدا وقائما يحذر الآخرة ويرجو رحمة ربه ،
    قل هل يستوى الذين يعلمون والذين لا يعلمون ، إنما يتذكر أولو الألباب}

    "Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (In adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord-(like one who does not)? Say: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition." (39:9) Thus, the learned is led by his knowledge to fear Allah, seek His Mercy and be wary of His punishment. He keeps prostrating to his Lord at night or standing in adoration; his degree is, therefore, raised up due to his knowledge.
    2. Understanding the characteristics of things and creatures, such as the human body, and utilising such understanding in the field of application for the purpose of making man happy and enhance his environment. This is in conformity with the rationale of colonising the earth and being a viceroy on it.

    The call for applying the achievements of science for the welfare and interest of human life is a comprehensive call which is developed by the progress of science. The adherence of the Moslem society to values of right, goodness and justice does not technically preclude the progress of science. These fixed values deal with the relation of man to his Lord -a relationship which is not changeable, whereas the relation of man with other creatures is progressive, inasmuch as man adopts the worldly means to achieve his superiority over them.
    This fact singles out Islam with the characteristic of having Faith compatible with the development of social life on earth.

    3. Coordinating the established theories and verifying the results for the sake of realising the unity of structure, which voices the unity of the Creator. The scientist can find many examples, which expound the Honourable verses:

    {وكل فى فلك يسبحون}

    "All (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.", (21:33) and

    {ومن كل شىء خلقنا زوجين لعلكم تذكرون}

    "And of every thing We have created pairs: that ye may receive instruction." (51:49)
    The Moslem, then, is led by the pursuits of science to have recourse to Allah;

    {ربنا ما خلقت هذا باطلا سبحانك فقنا عذاب النار}

    “Our Lord! not for naught hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of Fire." (3:191)
    4. With the discovery of Allah's fixed habitual law in His creation, the Moslem realises that everything, in this well-contrived universe, is created in proportion and measure and for a doomed purpose. Man is the most honourable creature on earth and his life has a definite aim, designated by his Creator, namely, to worship Allah, the Sublime. This worship is achieved through faith and righteous work for the good of this life and the Hereafter.

    The study of Medicine and other natural sciences is, therefore, a means of realising Allah's greatness, thus fearing Him and performing the duties of viceroyalty on earth at best
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    Continuing Medical Education Is An Inherent Attribute To The Moslem Physician

    THE FOURTH ENTRY

    CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION IS AN INHERENT ATTRIBUTE TO THE MOSLEM PHYSICIAN

    It is a noticeable phenomenon in Islamic countries, particularly those countries in which university certificates are priced, that scholars seek to obtain the higher certificates to help them attain a distinguished position in their countries, or provide them with profitable earnings due to their professional practices. This higher certificate is considered the ultimate goal in their pursuits to acquire knowledge.

    To the contrary, doctors in developed countries, for instance, are subjected to programs of continuing medical education, either theoretically or practically. This is done in a manner which keeps them in contact with all that is new in their specialties, without being separated or absenting themselves from work to study once again. In the former USSR, doctors have been subjected to study periodically in institutes of medical education, for a limited time in the capitals of different states. If the materialistic philosophy has so shaped the minds of people to think of everything in the framework of this philosophy and develop their lives in satisfaction to its requirements, the Moslem should be aware of his religious message which will make him view things based on the Islamic perspective.

    We live on earth in order to obey and worship Allah, and thus achieving the purpose of being Allah’s Viceroys on earth by colonising it, setting up His religion and perfecting work therein. All this drives the Moslem doctor not to stop with the requirements of graduation, but rather to feel that he is a messenger of the humanity to acquire knowledge, and convey all he can of this knowledge to benefit his Umma. In his pursuits to acquire and increase his knowledge, the Moslem doctor is following the example of the Prophet (r) who is taught by the Qur'an how to invoke Allah saying

    { وقل ربى زدنى علما}

    "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge." (20:114) On the authority of Anas who said the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever gets out seeking knowledge is in the cause of Allah until he returns." The Prophet (r) also said; "If I witness the rise of a new day without being advanced in knowledge that will bring me closer to Allah, I am not blessed of the sunrise of that day." Continuing medical education is mandatory on every Moslem doctor, so, in the cause of increasing his knowledge, he is not at liberty to shun passively such a pursuit. Anas Bin Malik narrated that the Prophet (r) said; "Seeking knowledge is a duty prescribed on every Moslem."

    If duties of religious observance have maximum limits to attain completeness, seeking knowledge, on the other hand, has no limits, extends to man’s entire life. On the authority of Abu Saeed, who said the Prophet (r) said; "The faithful will never be fully satisfied of the good he hears, until his final goal is paradise."
    If knowledge is related to the health and safety of Moslems as well as preserving the aims of Islamic legislations, as such is the case in medical sciences, then perfecting and becoming advanced in such sciences is more of a priority and a duty. Failure in these sciences will harm the Moslems, and Islam never accepts harm, but rather calls every Moslem to seek availing his Moslem brother. On the authority of Jaber, who said the Prophet (r) said; "Who is ever able to avail his Moslem brother should do so."

    As the sources of advanced knowledge have become outside the domain of Moslems' countries, the doctor is then obliged to seek such knowledge from non-Moslem countries to acquire advanced methods

    in his specialty. As long as the doctor adheres to the message of Islam and is fully acquainted with the Islamic perception, he will then start, in his studies, to achieve various objectives:

    1. Performing a duty and answering the divine call of advancing in knowledge until the end of his life.
    2. Carrying a sublime message towards the Umma of Islam. He should convey all he can acquire of useful knowledge to set up the corners of Islam rightly and highly raise up the word of Allah on earth.
    3. Perfecting his work and skills to the degree that will make him realise the right method leading to discoveries in the field of medicine. His additions would then be a running charity to be rewarded for, even after his death.
    4. Perfecting his profession to preserve peoples' lives in compliance with Allah's command to colonise the universe.
    5. Raising up the level of health in Moslem communities to assist the Moslems in performing religious observances in the comprehensive sense of the concept, both on the individual and communal planes. The concept of Islamic Message should be acknowledged by every scholar of medicine. He has to seek knowledge for the cause of Allah, with no regard to achieving material welfare or distinguished social status, thus keeping his work purely for the sight of Allah. But if he intends to study medicine for the sake of mean ephemeral worldly aims, the Prophet (r) warns him in the Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira; "Whoever learns a knowledge, that of which Allah's sight would be sought, to seek a worldly benefit, will never find the fragrance of paradise on Doomsday." On the authority of Abu Huraira who said the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever learns a knowledge for other than Allah or seeks other than Allah, would ascend his place in Fire."

    The Moslem youth who is engaged in the study of medicine has to feel that he assumes a big responsibility before the sight of Allah the Almighty. So all he dreams of should not be limited to sitting in an office with a medical fellowship certificate hung behind him in an elegant frame, and then stopping at this point. He will rather benefit people as a charity for his knowledge, and keep himself updated with everything new in this knowledge, in order to offer people the best possible medical care. The Prophet (r) says; "Learn knowledge and get benefit of, and do not learn it to beautify yourselves with."

    So, acquiring knowledge raises the degrees of people to the highest ranks of faith, righteous work and Jihad (holy cause). Allah says;

    {يرفع الله الذين آمنوا منكم والذين أوتوا العلم درجات}

    "Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge". (58:11) In order to achieve this high rank, there are prerequisites for the scholar of knowledge to fulfill, of which the most important is to have his knowledge intended for the sake of Allah and for the best interest of Islam and Moslems.

    To preserve an outstanding level of knowledge, continuing education is essential, so that the scholar's knowledge will be most useful for all Moslems. It is enough for him to remember Al Bairouni, the Moslem scientist, when he was on his death bed and surrounded by a group of people discussing a scientific issue. Asking them about this issue, they answered him that he should not bother himself with that issue, while he was in such a state. But he replied saying; "It is better for me to meet Allah knowing it than meeting Him ignorant of it."
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    The View Of The Moslem Doctor To Human Life

    CHAPTER TWO

    THE VIEW OF THE MOSLEM DOCTOR TO HUMAN LIFE
    The doctor's work is directly related to Human life. He should, therefore, realise the view of Islam to life as an abstract value. This view deals with various points:

    1. Preservation of Human life.
    2. Preservation of the constituents of Human life.
    3. Preservation of Human Dignity.
    4. Life-related legislative controls.
    5. Human-related factors of equality and preference.
    6. Preservation of the right of life to Non-Moslems
    7. Maintenance of non-Human life.


    THE FIRST ENTRY

    PRESERVATION OF HUMAN LIFE

    Human life is a gift from Allah, the Almighty. It acquires its sacredness from the Generous Divine
    Breath, making it a sacred right. Thus, no one is allowed to sacrilege that right except with
    Allah's Laws. All human beings are equal in that right, regardless of their sex, colour or religion.

    manifestations of respecting the right to living in islam's view point:

    1. the right of the foetus to live:

    The Islamic concept of human life extends to the foetus, providing to it an independent existence. Though still being part of his mother, the foetus has an independent legal personality and rights. So, if somebody assaults a pregnant woman and aborts her, he would thus be committing two crimes: one for assault, and the other for killing the foetus.

    The five(4) great scholars of Hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that: "Two women from Hazil were fighting. One threw a stone at the other which killed her and her foetus. People sought counsel from the Prophet (r) who gave the verdict that for the killed foetus the killer should release a male or a female slave, as a ransom, and that the blood money (Diyah) for the woman killed was to be paid by the guardian of the killer: her heirs and her offspring. Then the guardian (Al Nabigha Al- Hazly) said, 'Oh, Messenger of Allah, how could I be fined for that who did not drink, eat, speak or initiate a life? Such a case should be denied.' The Prophet (r) said; 'This man is a brother of the soothsayers, for he rhymes as they do.'"

    This story clarifies the great change Islam brought about in people’s view of human life. Al Hazly expressed the prevailing concept at that time when he was astonished at having to pay blood money for a foetus that had no manifestation of life. But the Prophet (r) disapproved the man’s objection to the foetus’ right of life.

    The foetus' right of life is an absolute value, even if this foetus is illegitimate. In the episode narrated by Buraida, Al Ghamdiah came to the Prophet (r) saying; "Oh, Messenger of Allah! I have committed adultery, so purify me." The Prophet (r) instructed her: "Go until you give birth." When she gave birth, he said to her; "Go feed him until he is weaned." When she weaned him, she came to the Prophet (r) with the boy holding a crumb of bread. The Prophet (r) gave the boy to a man and commanded people to stone her to death. Then he performed prayer on her, and she was buried.

    2. the suckling's right to life:

    The Islamic Sharia has decreed suckling the baby by his own mother so that its life will not be jeopardised. The Qur'an says;

    {والوالدات يرضعن أولادهن حولين كاملين لمن أراد أن يتم الرضاعة}

    "The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, for him who desires to complete the term." (2:233)

    3. preference of life maintenance to all other legislative considerations:

    When life is endangered, Islam gives a warranty, if the necessity so arises, to perform things which are prohibited or to leave performing a duty or a supererogatory prayer. For a man who is on the verge of perishing by hunger, a permission is given to eat carrion to save himself. Allah says;

    {فمن اضطر فى مخمصة غير متجانف لإثم فإن الله غفور رحيم}

    "But if any of you is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most merciful." (5:3) Permission not to fast in Ramadan is given to the sick and the pregnant to save their lives when jeopardised by fasting. Allah says;

    {فمن كان منكم مريضا أو على سفر فعدة من أيام أخر ، وعلى الذين يطيقونه فدية طعام مسكين}

    "(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent." (2:148)

    It is not conditional that harm should reach the utmost degree of danger to be reason enough for commutation, but it is hardship that rather entails facilitation, in compliance with Allah's statement;

    {وما جعل عليكم فى الدين من حرج}

    "...and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion." (22:87) The Prophet (r) once saw a man leaning on his two sons, in a state of collapse, seeking to perform Hajj. When asking about him, the Prophet (r) was replied that he had vowed to Allah to make Hajj on foot. The Prophet (r) said: "No! Allah is in no need for him torturing himself as such. You two! Carry him."
    Performing prayers, which is a corner stone of religion, should not be a cause for getting exhausted. On the authority of Abdul Aziz Bin Suhaib on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (r) said to that who exhausted himself in the Nawafil prayers: "Pray as long as you are fit, but if you get sluggish or become languid, then take a rest." On the authority of Omran Bin Hussayn that the Prophet (r) said; "Pray while standing. If unable, pray while sitting. If unable, pray while lying down. On no soul doth Allah place burden greater than it can bear."

    All this comes under the general rule of "Your body has a right on you, then pray at night and sleep, fast and give it up", as narrated from the Prophet (r) by Abdullah Bin Omar.
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    Preservation Of The Essence Of Human Life

    THE SECOND ENTRY


    PRESERVATION OF THE ESSENCE OF HUMAN LIFE


    Of the known Islamic rules (Fiqh): "What is necessary to perform the necessity is a necessity." Thus every individual has the right to preserve his life, and is entitled to be provided with the rights that save him the basic elements of human life.

    These rights are:

    1. The right of food to preserve life. Thus, Sharia gives the individual who fears starvation a right in the Moslems' wealth to support himself. His support is a prescribed duty on every Moslem. The Prophet (r) says; "Whoever receives guests and becomes destitute, then helping him is a duty on every Moslem until he entertains his guests from his own money and income."
    2. The right of treatment. This right is deduced from the story narrated by Anas Bin Malik that the Prophet (r) sent some people who were very sick to a healthy place in the open air outside Al Madinah, near a pasture of the camels of Zakat (given in charity) to drink of their milk, until their bodies recovered.
    3. Other material and spiritual rights, which have a reflection on the psychological and physical health. Of such are: the rights of clothing, housing, marriage, education and work; and each has its own ascriptions in the honoured Sunnah.
    4. Islam has acknowledged the right of providing patronage in the event of sickness, disability, senility and loss of family provider.
    Al-Bukhary narrated that the Prophet (r) said: "Whoever died and left wealth, it is for the inheritors, but whoever died and left helpless heirs or family, I am their patron." (In another narration, they are for Allah and His Messenger.) Abu Al Darda'a narrated that the Prophet (r) said: "Seek for my pleasure in your weak people, as you win and are provided with sustenance because of your weak people."
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    Maintenance Of Human Dignity

    THE THIRD ENTRY

    MAINTENANCE OF HUMAN DIGNITY​

    Human dignity is an endowment of Allah, the Almighty. Allah says;

    {ولقد كرمنا بنى آدم}

    "We have honoured the sons of Adam." (17:70) This dignity is an absolute value for all humanity, regardless of their religion and colour. The underlying reason for honouring human beings is the Generous Divine Breath of Allah:

    {وإذ قال ربك للملائكة إنى خالق بشرا من صلصال من حمأ مسنون. فإذا سويته ونفخت فيه من روحى فقعوا له ساجدين}

    "Behold! My Lord said to the angels: I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape. When I fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." (15:28,29)
    This explains man’s supremacy all over other earthly creatures. Thus, man's origin is clear. He was not an angel and then degraded. Nor was he an animal and then elevated by evolution. The Divine Breath has rather elevated man from being a mere living creature, as such is the case with other creatures, into the degree of human honour and provided him with the constituents of viceroyalty on earth.

    Allah the Almighty has decreed that His creatures should have grades of preference, and made man the most preferred on earth.

    To submit to the will of Allah the Almighty, it is required that man believe in the ranks of preference, willed by Allah among His creatures. Satan did not deserve to be expelled of Allah's mercy because of denying him, but rather due to his refusal to admit Allah’s preference of Adam.

    phenomena of the divine honour of man:

    1. Being Allah’s viceroy on earth, man has to colonise it and extract its treasures. Allah prepared him for this mission by endowing him with mind and knowledge, as He says;

      {إنى جاعل فى الأرض خليفة}

      "I will create a vicegerent on earth." (2:30)
    2. Man is created in the best shape. Biology can reveal to us the originality of Allah's creation of man, either in the outer appearance which qualifies him to have mastery over all creatures, or in the functions of the internal organs in such regularity and accuracy. He says;

      {لقد خلقنا الإنسان فى أحسن تقويم}

      "We have created man in the best of moulds." (95:4)
    3. The universe is subjected for the service of man. Man is the master. No material things should enslave man. Allah says;

      {وسخر لكم ما فى السموات والأرض جميعا منه}

      "And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth." (45:13)
    4. Islam has cancelled all manifestations of clergy as intermediaries between Allah the Almighty and man- a concept that accumulated all over the generations in different religions. Allah says:

      {وإذا سألك عبادى عنى فإنى قريب}

      "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am close (to them)." (2:186)

      It is noticeable in the Holy Qur'an that Allah says;

      { يسألونك عن الخمر والميسر قل فيهما إثم كبير }

      "They ask thee concerning wine and gambling, say: 'In them is a great sin.'" And:

      {ويسألونك عن اليتامى قل إصلاح لهم خير}

      "They ask thee concerning orphans. Say: 'The best thing to do is what is for their good.'" (2:220) But in the verse marking the relationship between man and his Creator, the Almighty has undertaken to directly respond to His servants saying:

      {فإنى قريب}

      "I am close", without leaving His Messenger to transmit the response on His behalf, thus confirming the direct relationship between man and his Creator at the time of supplication.
    5. Islam has emancipated man from the belief of inheriting the Original Sin, which is considered the corner stone in the Christian theology. Allah says;

      {وعصى آدم ربه فغوى ثم اجتباه فتاب عليه وهدى}

      "Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and fell into error. But his Lord chose him (For His Grace): He turned to him, and gave him guidance." (20:115)

      {ولاتزر وازرة وزر أخرى}

      "..no bearer of sins will bear the sins of another." (6:164)
    In such freedom, man, while striving in life, can keep the sheet of his life blank and pure by doing good. This will be reflected on his psychic health with a feeling of serenity. His deeds raise him up, with no need of Covenants of Indulgence or atonement of others' sins.

    This divine honour of mankind entails that human beings should have a clear attitude towards honouring human dignity. The elements of this attitude are:

    1)- sanctity of human body:

    In the Islamic perspective, it is not allowed that man would torture himself, not even under the pretext of worship. Nor should he torture others. Al Tirmizi narrated that the Prophet (r) addressed Al Ka'aba saying; "The faithful are more sanctified to Allah than you." On the authority of Hisham Bin Hakim, who said the Prophet (r) said; "Allah tortures those who torture people in this world."

    2)- sanctity of human soul:

    Islam has prohibited harming the soul, as physical harm is totally prohibited without justified reasons. Soul harming can be of a word, an indication or a biting gesture. This is all manifest in this holy verse:

    {يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا يسخر قوم من قوم عسى أن يكونوا خيرا منهم ولا نساء من نساء عسى أن يكن خيرا منهن.
    ولا تلمزوا أنفسكم ولا تنابزوا بالألقاب بئس الاسم الفسوق بعد الإيمان ومن لم يتب فأولئك هم الظالمون}

    “O ye who believe! Let not any men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let any women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. An evil name is wickedness after belief. And whoso repents not, those - they are the evildoers.” (49:10,12)
    Thus, the Qur'an has described all these acts of soul harming as wickedness. This is confirmed in what was narrated by Abdullah of the Prophet's speech: "Insulting a Moslem is wickedness and it is infidelity to fight with him."

    The painful truth of the hopeless case of the diseased should be hidden if such is certainly in the favour of the Moslem patient. The terminally ill should not be confronted with such a bitter reality, as he would spend the rest of his life self-shattered. Self-consolidation always brings about good to the health of the body. Therefore, the Prophet (r) says: "If you visit a patient, give him hope of a long life, as this will not repel his fate, yet it solaces his soul."

    3)- maintenance of the sanctity of private life:

    Islam rears the Moslem to be bashful. The Prophet (r) says; "Every religion has a moral code, and the moral code of Islam is bashfulness." So, it is the right of every Moslem to live in veil, where his privacy and private parts are not revealed. Hence, a veiling residence is a right to every Moslem. It follows then that no one is allowed to pry into people's private affairs. On the authority of Abu Huraira who said the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever discloses the veil of a house and peeps through it prior to being admitted, and so comes across the household's own privacy, he has then violated a set limit under taboo. Yet if a man passes an unveiled door (unclosed) and looks through, he has not committed a sin, rather the sin lies on the household."

    If the necessity of treatment so demands the unveiling of people's loins, this should be controlled so that the unveiling would be done to the degree required in the patient's interest. It follows that hospitalising patients of both sexes in one room should take into consideration the maintenance of the patient's honour and veiling his private parts, either from the same sex or the other sex. The Prophet (r) says; "Whoever sees an unveiled loin and covers it, it is as though he gave life to an infant female buried alive."([5])

    4)- sanctity of the dead:

    Islam guarantees the dignity of the dead body. As soon as death occurs, the body is laid in a straight position, with mouth and eyes closed. This position provides manifestations of respect and honourable shape to the dead, and causes stiffening of muscles in the proper posture. The body is then washed, shrouded, set for (funeral) prayers, and buried. If he is a martyr (Shaheed), the body is not washed, as he will be resurrected on Doomsday with his blood, which is an honour for him.
    There are several points for considerations in the case of the dead:

    1. Honouring the dead by expediting the process of burial. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (r) said to him; "Three should not be delayed: Prayers when due, Funerals when prepared and the single female when selected by a suitable person for marriage."
    2. Muhrim (someone in the state of pilgrim sanctity “Ihram”) for Hajj and Umrah is to be shrouded in the attire of Ihram with his head left uncovered as in the state of Ihram. In the Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (r) said; "He will be resurrected by Allah saying: 'Labaika'." (I respond to Your Call.)
    3. Offering funeral prayers to the baby who has manifestations of life. Abu Dawood narrated that the Prophet (r) also said; "A miscarriage is to be offered prayers and invoke Allah's forgiveness and mercifulness for the parents."
    4. Honouring the dead by proper washing. The body is to be washed thrice, in which it will be perfumed with camphor the last time to have a good smell.
    5. Honouring the dead with shrouding. It was narrated by Jaber that the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever shrouds his dead fellow brother, should do shrouding finely."
    6. Calling for a proper washing and shrouding should not be a cause for pride among people. All human beings are equal, and the situation of returning to Allah the Almighty is more worthy of equality. Abu Dawood narrated that the Prophet (r) said; "Do not exaggerate in shrouding, as this strips him fast."
    7. Offering prayers for the dead and following his funeral is a collective duty (Fardh Kifaya), and for both actions, there is a great reward. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever attends a funeral procession until he offers prayer for it, will be granted a reward equal to a qirat, and whoever witnesses it until burial, will be granted a reward equal to two qirats." It was asked what the two qirats were. The Prophet (r) replied; "Like two huge mountains."
    8. Honouring the dead by following the funeral on foot and not riding. Thawban narrated that the Prophet (r) refused to ride while following a funeral and said; "The angels were then walking, and I would not have ridden while they were walking."
    9. In confirmation with the principle of human equality, and the concept of the dead being merited by Allah with his deeds and not with the wealth he left in this World, Islam prohibits taking pride in the construction of graves. These graves should rather be very simple, where all people are equal. On the authority of Jaber who said: "The Prophet ( r) prohibited to whitewash the graves, to sit on or build over." Al Tirmizi added; "...or to write over."
    10. It is allowed that more than one person be buried in the same grave. The sequence of burial is done as per the dead’s' knowledge of Allah's Holy Book. It was narrated by Hisham Bin Orwa that Al Ansar asked the Prophet (r) about the martyrs (Shuhada’) of the Battle of Ohud saying; "Who should have precedence?” The Prophet (r) replied; "The one inculcating Qur'an most."
    11. Dealing with the organs of the body in the same honourable treatment the whole body receives. One of the Prophet's companions died in the desert, where wild birds grabbed his body with their teeth. His hand fell down from one of the birds in the air, and the companions of the Prophet (r) recognised it by the ring the dead was wearing on his finger. The Prophet (r) ordered the hand to be washed, then offered prayer to it, and was buried.

      Medical investigations may require dissecting the body for purposes of forensic medicine or studying the anatomical characteristics of the disease causing death. The organs dissected from the body should be treated in the manner specified in the Islamic Legislature of handling the whole body, i.e., to be buried and not to be thrown in a manner similar to non-human waste. The student of medicine, when handling the bones or parts of the dead body for useful study, should maintain the dignity of the body. On the authority of A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, who said: “The Prophet (r) said; ‘Breaking the bones of the dead is as sinful as breaking the bones of the living.’"
    12. Respecting the dead is not limited to the body, rather the Islamic protection for the dead extends to include one's reputation after death, as he has returned to Allah to be accounted for his deeds. On the authority of A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, who said: the Prophet (r) said; "Do not abuse the dead, because they reached the results of what they forwarded." So, the dead is respected both in body and memory. Death has reverence which requires standing when a funeral procession passes. On the authority of Jaber who said; "A funeral procession passed by, and the Prophet (r) stood up. We said; 'Oh, Messenger of Allah! This is for a Jew.’ The Prophet (r) replied; 'Death is certainly dreadful, so whence you see a funeral, then stand up.’” And in another narration the Prophet (r) said; "Is it not a human being (soul)?" If medical work puts the physician amid an endless number of dead and diseased people, this should not lead him to forsake giving due respect and consideration to the sanctity of death and dead people. Repetition of death scenes should not lead to habituation, but rather to admonition and exhortation.
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    Legislative Regulations Related To Life

    THE FOURTH ENTRY

    LEGISLATIVE REGULATIONS RELATED TO LIFE


    Humans are never devoid of inclinations of evil and good, and may be driven by Satan to assault the sanctity of life. Therefore, Allah prescribed reprisal in cases of murder crimes for the purpose of protecting life, as He says;

    {ولكم فى القصاص حياة يا أولى الألباب لعلكم تتقون }

    "In the Law of Equality (in cases of murder) there is saving of life to you. O ye people of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves." (2:179)
    The right to life, as in other rights, is Allah’s gift to His servants in which the interests of the individual and the community are cared for, and it is conditional that man when utilising this right, should not harm others' interests. The right to life has several aspects:

    1. Man should not dispense with this right, as he should not expose himself to ruin, but he should rather protect himself. Therefore, Allah prohibits committing suicide. He the Almighty says:

      {ولا تقتلوا أنفسكم إن الله كان بكم رحيما}

      "..Nor kill yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you most merciful." (4:29) On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever throws himself off a mountain and kills himself, will be thrown in the Fire of Gehenna, abiding therein forever. And whoever swallows poison and kills himself, will have his poison in his hand swallowing it in the Fire of Gehenna, abiding therein forever. And whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, will have this piece in his hand stabbing his belly in the Fire of Gehenna, abiding therein forever."
    2. Man should not commit a crime against others, which would deprive him of the immunity and sanctity enjoined onto him. The sanctity of the human being is guaranteed, unless man himself violates this sanctity, thus exposing himself to retaliation. On the authority of Ibn Omar who said the Prophet (r) said: "The faithful remains enjoying the protection and the safety of his faith, unless he kills somebody unlawfully."
    3. It is the duty of people to respect the individual's right to life and not to transgress it. On the authority of Ibn Omar who said the Prophet (r) said; “Had all the people of the earth and the heaven participated in the blood of the Faithful, Allah would throw them all in Hellfire." And on the authority of Ibn Omar who said that the Prophet (r) said; "The destruction of the World is of a less importance to Allah than the killing of a Moslem." Liability is not limited to the positive action of killing, but it is rather extended to the passive action of negligence leading to death. Personnel in the medical field are responsible for people's souls. The patient may meet death if each a medical personnel casts the responsibility of care to others. Understanding the great responsibility of health care and its implications (as stated in the aforementioned Hadiths), medical personnel is not to give up this responsibility, but should rather deal with patients as if he is solely responsible for their lives.
    4. Equality in rights entails equality in duties. It is not the right of any authority to relieve any individual of performing a duty prescribed by Allah. Thus, the Prophet (r) warns his own people of any recklessness in performing the duties by saying; "O, My kinsfolk of Quraish, I will not avail you anything against Allah. O, Children of Bani Abd Manaf, I will not avail you anything against Allah. O, Abbas Bin Abdul Mutalib, I will not avail you anything against Allah."
    5. As human life is a gift from Allah to His servants, man is not to squander it and no one has the right to assault it or expose it to danger, either by positive action or by passive negligence. The dignity of man does not allow researchers in the medical field to place him in the position of animals of experimentation if this would expose him to the least of risks. They have no right to expose him to a potential risk, as he has no right as well to accept disposal of himself.
    6. Retaliation (Qisas): Of the fixed rules in Shari’ah (Islamic Law) is that man's blood must not be shed in vain with no punishment inflicted upon the criminal. Recompensing the heirs of victimized is limited to the following:
    a. Intentional murder: It has a worldly penalty, i.e., retaliation. The murderer will be deprived of the heritage and the will of the murdered, in addition to the penalty in the Hereafter.

    b. Intentional injury entails either retaliation or blood money.

    c. Manslaughter entails blood money and expiation on the murderer.

    d. Accidental injury entails blood money on the offender.

    e. Accidental-like murder, in which blood money is due with no expiation. This kind of murder is a direct outcome of an un-premeditated action. The blood money is not dropped when a certain offender is not specified. Therefore, when a person dies due to a positive action such as death in a crowded place, blood money is inflicted upon all attendees or on the Public Treasure House. If he dies as a result of a passive action, represented in the community’s recklessness to offer help, as is exemplified in the starvation of a human being in a Moslem country; all the community has to jointly participate in the blood money to be paid to the family of the dead.

    f. Blood money is binding over any parts of the body, even if this part is disabled or non-functional due to complete paralysis. Amro Bin Shoaib narrated from his grandfather that the Prophet (r) judged that "blood money for the cataract-infected eye, if obliterated, is one third of the due blood money, and for the paralysed hand, if cut, is one third of the due blood money, and for the black tooth, if plucked, is one third of the due blood money." With this practice, Islam is distinguished from all man-made legislations, which specify schedules for rates of disability resulting from injury and the value of indemnity entitled to the injured person. All these legislations disregard the blood money of parts disabled prior to being injured; on the basis that there is no new loss of body functions due to the injury under investigation. Thus, the philosophy of Islam is to honour the human body and protect it from any assault, under any circumstances, as the value of human body is absolute.

    g. As human body is sanctified, giving exceptions to this principle for health providers entails certain restrictions. The most important of which is that the treating physician, who intervenes for the purpose of treatment, should follow the main principles of the profession of medicine. Otherwise, the principle of retaliation is applied accordingly. It was narrated by Amro Bin Shoaib that the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever takes up medicine and has no knowledge of it is liable."
    The principle of liability guarantees the rights of the body, so no one other than a competent physician is qualified to intervene for treatment.
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    Holders Of Rights Related To Human Body

    HOLDERS OF RIGHTS RELATED TO HUMAN BODY

    Rights, in general, are divided into three parts:

    1. A right to Allah the Almighty which man cannot extinguish, and is not related to specific persons, but rather to public interest.
    2. A right to the individual, which man can extinguish, and is related to a private interest.
    3. Rights in which Allah's rights and man's rights are combined; of such are the rights of human body. Allah's right is established in maintaining the safety of human body, so that man can perform the religious duties imposed upon him. The individual’s right of the body is represented in guarding its sanctity. Thus assaulting the human body entails retaliation and blood money, in compensation of the individual’s right, and in expiation of abusing Allah's right.
    Yet, Islamic Jurists regard that Allah's right is included in all rights. For instance, wealth and property are owned by man who has the right of disposal, yet this right is controlled by several constraints:

    1. Allah's right represented in the prescribed alms (Zakat).
    2. The society's right in wealth, when needed and if Zakat is not enough; as the Prophet (r) said; “There is a right in money save Zakat."
    3. The ruling of viceroyalty makes man bound to spend money usefully and be accounted if he wastes money, as it belongs to Allah. Allah says;

      {وأنفقوا مما جعلكم مستخلفين فيه}
    " ...and expend of that unto which He has made you successors." (57:7)
    Since the safety of the body is a joint right between Allah the Almighty and man, man has no right to dispose of or give permission to others to assault on his body.
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    Elements Of Equality And Preference Among Mankind

    THE FIFTH ENTRY

    ELEMENTS OF EQUALITY AND PREFERENCE AMONG MANKIND


    Islam has clearly acknowledged the principle of the value of human equality for all people, as Allah says;

    {يا أيها الناس إنا خلقناكم من ذكر وأنثى وجعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا ، إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم}

    "O Mankind, We have created you of male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most god-fearing of you." (49:13) This Holy Verse has set up the main principles of equality which were not attained by mankind at any level, in the span of its long history, except through Islam, as:

    1. The Verse confirms the principle of comprehensive human brotherhood. All humans are of one father and one mother, and there is no domain for preference or istinction among brothers based on origin and descent.
    2. The Verse has divided elements of differentiation among humans into two factors:
    a. Geographical factors dividing human beings into peoples, which mean that a group of human beings is related to a certain area. These factors affect humans, e.g., peoples living in tropical areas are distinguished by their skins which have certain characteristics that protect them from the radiation of the sun.

    b. Hereditary factors dividing humans into tribes. As individuals in each tribe descend from one grandfather, they jointly share some certain genetic characteristics, which make them acquire some certain physical properties. Thus, they are different from others in length, typeface, etc.

    These physical and functional differences which the body acquires due to geographical environment and hereditary characteristics are imperative and not optional, as Allah says;

    {وجعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل}

    "...and appointed you races and tribes." (49:13) That means that Allah the Almighty has thus forced these characteristics into man’s existence and creation. His wisdom is that peoples' shapes should not be identical in everything, so that distinguishing between one individual and another will not be difficult. Differences are, therefore, necessary to easily identify people; starting from apparent features and ending with fine fingerprints.

    These compulsory characteristics, over which man has no control, cannot be elements for preference. Allah would not judge humans for epithets imposed upon them, but would rather judge them with another measure. This measure is characterised with and based on optional free will, which is manifest in human behaviour, actions and intentions.

    Intentions, which turn into actions, differentiate between the pious and the sinful. This piety is the basis of preference to Allah. Actions of piety and sinfulness, which are based on free will, divide people into two nations: a nation of right and a nation of falsehood. Allah says;

    {ولو شاء الله لجعلكم أمة واحدة ولكن ليبلوكم فيما آتاكم}

    "If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation; but that He may try you in what has come to you." (5:48)


    REFLECTIONS OF THE ELEMENTS OF EQUALITY AND PREFERENCE ON RELATIONS AMONG HUMANS


    If this is the true nature that Allah willed to His servants, so what are the attitudes of people towards one another? The moral and social structure in Islam is closely related to the Faith. The Moslem must deal with others as Allah has commanded him to do; on the basis of their voluntary behaviour and actions, and not on the basis of compulsory characteristics such as colour, wealth, power, sex, nationality, race, etc.

    So, the Moslem’s measure of preference is piety. But factors of preference based on measures other than piety were termed in the Qur'an as

    {... حمية الجاهلية}

    "..the fierceness of paganism." (84:26) On the authority of Abu Mousa who said the Prophet (r) said; "Allah has created Adam of a grasp of all the earth. Thus, sons of Adam have come just in the same measure as that of the earth, of these are the red, the white, the black, and the in-between; and the easy and the difficult; and the good and the bad."

    One may conclude from this Prophetic Hadith that the genome of Adam has included all the genetic codes and characters of all his offsprings.

    These differences are manifestations of Allah's might, and signs for contemplation. The Moslem is urged to acknowledge humans in their first unity of creation since Adam, and not in their outward differences which are the outcome of elements of heredity and environment. So man would not miss that sense of brotherhood and the first unity, in spite of people's differences. Differences based on colour, class or race should not be a reason for arrogance or degradation. Man is not subjugated to any hereditary limitations, but he should rather seek to do good and have preference among people by piety.

    HUMAN EQUALITY AND SOCIAL DIFFERENCES

    Differences among people are deemed necessary to establish the social structure in society, and they do not contradict the principle of human equality granted to everyone, but they are rather necessary for distribution of work among people.

    Humans differ in their abilities and talents. Based on such differences, specialisations in the society are essential, so that everyone is doing all he can that match his abilities; as the Prophet (r) said: "Everybody will find easy to do what he was created for." All are subject to the service of all to meet the requirements of social life, as communities cannot be otherwise established. Allah says;

    {أهم يقسمون رحمة ربك نحن قسمنا بينهم معيشتهم فى الحياة الدنيا ورفعنا بعضهم فوق بعض درجات
    ليتخذ بعضهم بعضا سخريا ورحمة ربك خير مما يجمعون}

    "What, is it they who divide the mercy of thy Lord? We have divided between them their livelihood in the present life, and raised some of them above others in rank, that some of them may take others in servitude; and the mercy of thy Lord is better than that they amass." (43:32)

    Islam, with its social, economic and political legislations, seeks to lessen differences among people to the lowest degree possible, so that the community will not turn into incongruous classes. Simultaneously, Islam guarantees to everyone the right to a decent life, which suits his human dignity and viceroyalty on earth. All humans are of one origin, and the only means to lessen differences and guarantee human rights can be achieved by implementing Allah's Laws which establish the divine justice on earth.

    Cancelling these differences ultimately, as the communist theory believes it can, is impossible , and does not continue long when implemented.

    These differences are destined by Allah the Elevated for the purpose of trial and testing people’s faith. Relations among people are deemed to be situations of trial, in which success is achieved by applying the Islamic methodology when dealings with fellow people.

    If duties are distributed according to aptitude and abilities and power, all people will be equal in attaining the basic rights related to human value, each according to his needs. Of these basic rights are health and social care, as they are closely related to man's safety and existence. In this respect, Islam differs from all eastern and western regulations which have placed in effect special health care service for V.I.P's, or certain private check ups. Such services were especially prepared for the members of the communist party in Eastern Camp Countries. On the contrary, Islam has given good care to the weak and the needy. It was narrated that the Prophet (r) said; "Honouring the old Moslem is of exalting Allah, the Elevated". On the authority of the grandfather of Amr Bin Shoaib who said, the Prophet (r) said; "He who has no mercy over our youngest or has no regard to honouring our eldest, does not belong to us."
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    Protection Of The Right Of Life To Non-moslems

    THE SIXTH ENTRY

    PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT OF LIFE TO NON-MOSLEMS

    1. The right to life is guaranteed to non-Moslems on the basis of the general rule which says; "For them what is for us and upon them what is upon us."

      The Prophet (r) said; “Whoever killed a Mu'ahid(6) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, and its fragrance can be smelled at a distance of forty years (of travelling)."
    2. Aggression resulting in killing or injuring non Moslems entails punishment.
    3. Aggression towards the money of a non Moslem entails punishment. The non Moslem's money is, rather, privileged over that of the Moslem's, e.g., causing ruin to liquor or pigs owned by a Moslem entails no punishment, as they are worthless in Islamic Law. But if liquor or pigs belong to a non-Moslem, the Moslem would have no right to assault it, as in this instance they are considered valuable properties.
    4. The attitude of Moslems towards non Moslems (who live in peace and do not assault Moslems) is a peculiar and unique model of human relations. Allah says;

      {لا ينهاكم الله عن الذين لم يقاتلوكم فى الدين ولم يخرجوكم من دياركم أن تبروهم وتقسطوا إليهم إن الله يحب المقسطين}

      "Allah forbid you not, as regards those who have not fought you in religion's cause, nor expelled you from your habitations, that you should be kindly to them, and act justly towards them; surely Allah loves the just." (60:8)
    5. Islam adheres fast to universalising the value of human souls for all people, with no discrimination to colour or religion, whereas the notion that considers the blood and souls of some nation are more precious than or preferred over others is quite discarded by Islam. Dealing with souls in a certain law; considering others' money and souls as lawful and permitted is prohibited. Allah has thus willed it, with His pre-knowledge, to address this message to them since the first homicide in the history of humanity. After Allah the Exalted and the Elevated mentions the story of the son of Adam who has killed his brother and then buried him, the Qur'an then states;

      {.....أنه من قتل نفسا بغير نفس أو فساد فى الأرض فكأنما قتل الناس جميعا ، ومن أحياها فكأنما أحيا الناس جميعا}

      "…. whosoever slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whosoever gives life to a soul, shall be as if he had given life to all mankind altogether." (5:32) Allah the Almighty has affirmed the principle of equality for all human souls since the first homicide, and for many centuries prior to the Children of Israel being born. He the Almighty knew beforehand how some ideologies would later squander the value of the human soul.
    6. In Islam, concepts of justice and kindness are not ignored at times of enmity and war. Allah says; "

      {ولا يجرمنكم شنآن قوم على ألا تعدلوا إعدلوا هو أقرب للتقوى}

      “Let not detestation for a people move you not to be equitable; be equitable, that is nearer to godfearing." (5:8)

      When the idolaters mutilated the bodies of Moslems in the Battle of Ohud, particularly the body of the Prophet's uncle ‘Hamza’, the Prophet (r) swore to mutilate the idolaters, when seizing them. But Allah forbade him to surrender himself to the human desire of revenge. The Prophet (r) expiated his oath and commanded the Moslems not to mutilate dead bodies. Of his advice during the war: "Do not snatch spoils, breach your faith, or kill babies, women, or aged people". Al-Tahawi added that the Prophet (r) prohibited spreading poison on the enemy’s lands. In another instance, Ibn Omar who said: "When the Prophet (r) entered Mecca, he found the body of a dead woman. He said that that woman was not to be fought and forbade killing women and children".
      Of the splendour of Islamic morals is the advice of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, to Yazid, in his expedition to Al Sham,
    7. "Do not kill a child, a woman or an aged person. You will pass by people who retained themselves in hermitages, leave them to their own devices until Allah takes up their lives in such a state of misguidance. Oh, Yazid! Do not kill a child, a woman, or an aged person. Do not destroy an inhabited area, sterilise fruitful trees, kill a riding animal, or a sheep (save to eat), burn or sink palm trees, defraud or be a coward. The Prophet (r) has forbidden starving animals to death."
    8. Islam extends care to war captives. When the captive surrenders his weapon, he acquires the protection granted to weak people. War is not intended to subjugate or humiliate man, but it is rather intended to be the last resort, in the cause of establishing right and justice, when dialogues fail between Moslems and others. Of sublime care extended to the captives:
    • Separation between mothers or fathers and their children, as well as between brothers, in captivity is not allowed. The Prophet (r) was quoted saying; “A mother is not to be aggrieved with separation from her child."
    • Islam has considered that feeding the captive is an approximation to Allah, as He says;


      {ويطعمون الطعام على حبه مسكينا ويتيما وأسيرا. إنما نطعمكم لوجه الله لا نريد منكم جزاءا ولا شكورا}

      "They give food for the love of Allah, to the indigent, the orphan, and the captive: (saying) 'We feed you only for the sake of Allah; we desire no recompense from you, no thankfulness'." (76:8-9)
      So, social and medical care is a right to the captives. After the battle of Badr, the Prophet (r) commanded his followers to honour the captives. So, they served them their meals first.
    • Islam did not neglect the psychic care of the captives. After the battle of Khaibar, Bilal passed by two Jewish female captives crying over the bodies of their people. The Prophet (r) blamed him saying; "Are you deprived of mercy, Bilal, as you pass by two women crying over the dead bodies of their men?" Thus, kindness and justice are extended to non Moslems, either be they in the lands of Islam or on fields of battle between right and wrong.
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    Maintenance Of Non Human Life

    THE SEVENTH ENTRY

    MAINTENANCE OF NON HUMAN LIFE

    Man’s respect of life extends to animals and birds:

    1. On the authority of Abu Huraira who said; the Prophet (r) said; "A woman entered hell-fire due to a cat of hers. She tied it up and neither did she give it food nor set it free to eat from the vermin of earth, till it died withering."
    2. Allah has subjugated his creatures of animals and birds to man. Therefore, man should adhere to certain constraints when dealing with such creatures. This is clarified in the Prophet's speeches:
    • On the authority of Abdullah Bin Amr, who said; the Prophet (r) said; "Whoever of a human being kills a parrot and whatever above, without its right, will be questioned by Allah about it." It was asked: "what is its right?" The Prophet (r) answered; "To slay it, and eat it, but not to cut its head and throw it."
    • Shaddad Bin Awas narrated that the Prophet (r) said: "Allah has made it obligatory to adopt a benevolent attitude towards everything. If you have to kill any animal, kill it in the kindest way. When you slaughter a cattle, you must make it less painful for the cattle you slaughter. So, you must get your knife sharpened to reduce the suffering of the cattle to be slaughtered."

    • The Prophet (r) says:“Fear Allah in the dumb cattle beasts, ride them when fit, and eat them when healthy."
    • Mercy is extended to every living being as the Prophet (r) says; "There is a reward for serving every animal having a moist liver."
    If tests performed on animals assist in the advancement of medicine and treatment, they should be done in the framework of mercy which Islam has acknowledged to every living being. Realising the sacredness of human and non-human life in Islam, the Moslem physician is guided in his professional career by the following aspects:
    • Not to take any action which can positively violate the sacredness of life.
    • To continue offering all possible care to the patient as long as he is still alive, however hopeless his case.
    • In a society where life is sacrilegious, the doctor should not help oppressors by participating in their practices, as some prison physicians do. He should deny their behaviour at least passively (as by his heart) if he cannot change the situations by his hand or his tongue.
    • In Islam, mercy killing is not allowed, as the soul is Allah's possession and a gift from Him. He the Almighty has the sole right to take it up. No human being has the right to dispose of it, even if it is his own soul. As the doctor is deputised by Allah to preserve life through his position, he has no right to bring life to an end, nor should he ever think he is allowed to do so.
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    CHAPTER THREE

    ISLAM'S VIEW OF DISEASE

    THE DISEASE

    The purpose of human existence is affliction and trial. Allah says;

    {الذى خلق الموت والحياة ليبلوكم أيكم أحسن عملا}

    "..Who created death and life that He might try which of you is fairest in works, and He is the All mighty and the All forgiving." (67:1)

    Man's life is but a series of afflictions, either be they painful or joyful. Allah says;

    {ونبلوكم بالشر والخير فتنة وإلينا ترجعون}

    "We try you with evil and good for a testing, and unto Us you shall be returned." (21:35) Sickness is a trial from Allah to be enacted by His Decree. Allah's ruling has so willed that His decree is to be carried out by natural causes as in the case of germs. But germs entering the body are not cause enough for contracting a disease. The body possesses immune mechanisms created by Allah to control these germs. Allah's decree is enacted either by recovery through bodily resistance or by the disease winning over the body by powerful germs. So, contagion is not cause enough for human bodies to contract diseases. But it is rather one of the factors of enacting Allah's will, as there are other causes determined by Allah, which turn these peaceful germs into harmful ones, or for harmful ones to be controlled, destroyed and their effects invalidated by others. This interprets what was narrated by Al Bukhari and Moslem from Abu Huraira who narrated from the Prophet (r) these two speeches: “There is no contagion, drawing an evil omen from birds, or Hama (drawing an evil omen from owls).” “The sick of a contagious disease should not contact the healthy.”

    Although the Prophet (r) forbids mixing patients with healthy persons, this should not be considered the sole cause of contracting diseases. His statement of no contagion negates that mere contact is the cause of disease and would rather invite us to consider other causes. So, it is necessary for humans to probe the perceived worldly causes of diseases, which lie in the domain of human limited capacity, for the treatment and prevention of diseases. Yet, whether to avoid or recover from diseases, if contracted with, is left to Allah’s will and decree.

    THE ATTITUDE OF THE MOSLEM PATIENT TOWARD DISEASE

    1. Contracting a disease is a Allah’s decreed act, and should be accepted by the Moslem as any other acts of fate, either be they good or evil. Allah says;

      {وبشر الصابرين الذين إذا أصابتهم مصيبة قالوا إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون}

      “..yet give thou good tidings unto the patients who, when visited by an affliction, say, 'Surely we belong to Allah, and to Him we return.'" ( 2:156) Jaber, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet (r) said; "None of you will believe unless he believes in fate, either be it good or evil, and unless he knows that what has befallen him was not to miss him and what has missed him was not to befall him."

    2. Disease can be expiation for sins committed in life. Allah says;

      {ما أصابك من حسنة فمن الله ، وما أصابك من سيئة فمن نفسك}

      "Whatever good visits thee, it is of Allah; whatever evil visits thee is of thyself." (4:79) But the Moslem should not consider disease as a revenge from Allah for his sins, he should rather accept it as purification in life to meet Allah while He is pleased with him. Allah's mercy is larger than His anger. Allah says;

      {قال عذابى أصيب به من أشاء ورحمتى وسعت كل شىء}

      "My chastisement- I smite with whom I will; and My mercy embraces all." (7:156) On the authority of Abu Huraira, who said, the Prophet (r) said; "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Moslem, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that." But forgiveness and expiation of sins are subject to the Moslem's patience, his hope of being rewarded in the Hereafter and the way he accepts disease. Therefore, the Prophet (r) advised the Moslem patient to have patience and hope for reward in the Hereafter. On the authority of Abu Ayoub Al Ansari, who stated that when the Prophet (r) was visiting a sick man of Al Ansar, he (r) said; "O, my brother! Be patient. My brother! Be patient. You will be free of your sins which you have committed." Um Ala'a narrated that the Prophet (r) visited her in her sickness and said; "Rejoice as good omen, Um Ala'a! When the Moslem gets sick, Allah expiates his sins for that, as fire goes out with the badness of gold and silver."

    3. Affliction with disease can be a means to enhance the Moslem's degree at the sight of Allah. On the authority of Al Selmi who said, the Prophet (r) said; "If the Moslem was predestined a degree by Allah, up to which his work did not match, Allah would afflict him in his body, money or children and would make him forbear all these until he reaches the degree which Allah has predestined to him." To assure that the disease is not to be taken as wrath sent from Allah upon the Moslem, nor necessarily an expiation of sins, the Prophet (r) himself suffered so much of the severity of disease, though Allah had forgiven him his former and latter sins. The Lady Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated; "I never saw anybody suffering so much from sickness as Allah's Apostle." On the authority of Abdullah who said; "I visited the Prophet (r) during his ailments, and he was suffering from a high fever. I said, 'O, Messenger of Allah! You have a high fever. Is it because you will have a double reward for it?' He (r) said, 'Yes, it is so'."

    4. Enhancing the Moslem's degree or expiating his sins depends upon the Moslem's behaviour during the experiment of affliction. If he is content, patient and seeking the reward from Allah, he will be successful in this test. But if he fails to accept it, or receives it with anger and uneasiness, it will be a cause of Allah's wrath over him instead of being a means for His gratification. It was narrated by Al Tirmizi, on the authority of Saad, who said, the Prophet (r) said; "Of the good fortune of the son of Adam is to be pleased with what Allah has decreed upon him, and of the misery of the son of Adam is to be annoyed with what Allah has decreed upon him." It was also narrated by Ahmed, on the authority of Mahmoud Bin Labid, who said, the Prophet (r) said; "When Allah loves some people, He will afflict them, and whosoever is patient, the reward of patience is his, but whosoever feels uneasy, the consequence of uneasiness is his."
      Inasmuch as the calamity is great, the merit of patience is great. Therefore, whosoever is patient and seeks the reward from Allah, paradise will be his reward for patience. It was narrated by Al Shaikhan (Al Bukhari & Muslim) and Al Tirmizi, on the authority of Anas who said the Prophet (r) said; "Allah the Elevated said; 'If I deprived my slave of his two beloved eyes and he remains patient, I will let him enter paradise in compensation for them.'"

      To indicate that annoyance and uneasiness with the disease will waste away the reward of affliction, Al Bukhari narrated, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, that the Prophet (r) said to a sick man, when visiting him; "Don't worry! It will be expiation (for your sins)." But the man replied; '..No! it is but a fever that is boiling or harassing an old man and will lead him to his grave.' The Prophet (r) answered him; "Then, yes it is so." The man refuses the advice of the Prophet (r) to be patient and ask for forgiveness. He looks to his illness in a sheer abstract view; void of the hope of Allah's mercy, and considers it as a mere fever that will lead him to death. Therefore as long as he chooses that concept, the Prophet (r) cannot but warn him of the outcome of his choice. Hence, it is not appropriate to curse disease as a means to express uneasiness. It was narrated by Ibn Maga, on the authority of Abu Huraira, who said; "The fever was mentioned in the sight of the Prophet (r) and a man cursed it. The Prophet(r) replied; "Don't curse it! It goes away with sins as fire goes away with the badness of iron."

    5. Whether the affliction of disease is decreed to expiate sins or enhance man's degree, the diseased, during his sickness, becomes very close to Allah. It was narrated by Al Tirmizi and Ibn Abul Donia, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, that the Prophet (r) said; "The supplication of the patient will not be returned until he recovers." Al Tirmizi and Ibn Maga narrated, on the authority of Omar Ibn Al Khatab, that the Prophet (r) said; "When you visit a patient, ask him to pray for you, as his praying is like that of the angels." Al Tabarani narrated on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (r) said; "Visit patients and ask them to pray for you, as the patient's prayer is accepted and his sins are pardoned." It was narrated in the books of Tradition that Allah says; "O! my slave, good health brings together you and yourself, but disease brings Me and you together."

      When the patient feels that in his state of illness he is close to Allah, it will become easy for him to bear his pains, and he will cope with all he faces of ordeals, away from annoyance and depression. This serenity and tranquillity are the quintessence of mental health, which will return with good both in the present life and the Hereafter. It was narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abu Yahia Suhaib Bin Sanan that the Prophet (r) said; "How wonderful the affair of the Faithful is, it is wholly good. This is not as such except for the Faithful. If a joyful thing befalls him, he will be thankful to Allah, and if a harmful thing befalls him, he will be patient, and that will be good for him."

    6. Of Allah's grace upon the Moslem patient, in the state of his illness, is that Allah recompenses him of what he has missed of good deeds due to his illness. It was narrated by Al Bukhari, Ahmed and Abu Dawood, on the authority of Abu Mousa, that the Prophet (r) said; "If the Moslem gets sick or is at travels, Allah decrees to him of the reward as much as he will get if he is healthy and domiciled." This Prophet (r) thus ensures that Allah's gratification and mercy are much more better in the Moslem’s asset of rewards than he could offer of good deeds. On the authority of Abu Huraira, who said that he heard the Prophet (r) saying; ‘None would enter paradise through his work.’ They asked; 'Not even you, Allah's Apostle?’ The Prophet (r) replied; 'No! Not even me, unless Allah encompasses me with his grace and merit'.

    7. The fact that sickness is an approach to Allah, an expiation of sins and an enhancement of the Moslem's degrees should not mean that the Moslem, who loves good health and hates disease, will surrender himself to his disease and neglect the treatment. It was narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Abdullah Bin Omar, who said; "The Prophet (r) used to pray: 'O my Lord! I seek refuge with you of the vanishing of Your benefaction, the reverse of good health granted by You and the abrupt descent of Your retribution and all of Your wrath.'" It is a matter of fact that disease is Allah's decree, but as in any other experiment of affliction encountered by man, worldly means, which are provided by Allah, should be adopted. These worldly means of treatment are rather a part of Allah's decree to implement His will, and should not be considered as an objection to His decree Of these means are:
    • Available medical care according to the level of medical progress in the community. It was narrated by Ahmed, on the authority of Osama Bin Shariek, that the Prophet (r) said; "O Slaves of Allah! Take up therapy."
    • Approaching Allah by doing good deeds, almsgiving and supplication. When the diseased prays Allah for recovery and adopts worldly means of treatment, he, in fact, resorts to the Supreme Power in Whose Hands are the measures of everything. This Power will open to him the gates of hope, even if his case is considered hopeless by human perceptions.

    The attitude of adopting material treatment do not contradict with the principle of resorting to Allah and placing trust in Him. It was narrated in Al Musnad and Al Sunnan, on the authority of Abu Khuzama who said; "I asked the Prophet (r); ‘O, Messenger of Allah! Should we resort to recite spells of supplication, take up therapy or guard what is feared, would this ward off Allah's decree? The Prophet (r) answered: "But all this is of Allah's decree." The Prophet (r) used to say in prayer; "O, my Lord! I do not ask You to turn back the written decree, but I rather ask Your graciousness in what has been decreed." Losing hope of Allah's graciousness in case of affliction is not acceptable. The Moslem has to invoke Allah hoping for His mercy and graciousness. Mitigating fate is possible, as Allah has destined that His slave will invoke Him and He will answer his supplication. Allah can obliterate His decree or mitigate it, and all this is in Allah's eternal pre-knowledge which is registered in the Mother of the Book,(8) before the creation of earth and heaven. Allah says;
    )يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب(
    "Allah blots out and confirms whatsoever He will; and with Him is the Mother of the Book." (13:39)

    8. If a patient's health deteriorates to the extent that his recovery may be considered impossible, his morale may be affected. In this situation, the Moslem patient is distinguished with two characteristics:

    a. He does not reach a state of complete despair or collapse under any worldly circumstances, either in health or social levels. Allah says;

    {ولا تيأسوا من روح الله إنه لا ييأس من روح الله إلا القوم الكافرون}

    "Never give up Allah's smoothing mercy: Truly no one despairs Allah's smoothing mercy, except those who have no faith." (12:78) And; (إن مع العسر يسرا ) “Verily, with every difficulty there is relief."(94:6) This continued hope is a natural guard against collapse.

    b. The Moslem patient, in the severest cases of physical pain and mental despair, never thinks of suicide. He seeks Allah's reward and forgiveness for every pain in life. So, how can he terminate his life, an act forbidden by Allah, with his own hands?! It was narrated by Al Bukhari, on the authority of Al Hassan Bin Jandab and Abdullah, that the Prophet (r) said; "There was, in those before you, a man who was wounded. He got annoyed and with a knife, he cut his hand. His blood did not cease to flow until he died. Allah said in the divine Hadith: 'My slave has hastened to me with himself, so I deprived him of paradise.'" Thus the idea of suicide is absolutely inconceivable in the Moslem's mind.

    The Moslem should not entertain mere wishful thinking of death to relieve himself of suffering. His goal is to attain the pleasure of Allah, and his happiness is to be in a state that will make him close to Allah, either in sickness or in health. His invocation will be as such of the Prophet's. It was narrated by Al Shaikhan on the authority of Anas Bin Malik that the Prophet (r) said; "None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him, but if there is certainly anyone wishing for death, he must say; 'O Lord! Keep me alive as long as life is good for me, and let me die if death is better for me.'" In another narration by Al Bukhari: "None of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah."

    With this concept, the patient will be able to have self consolidation and bear suffering. Thus, physical illness will not be a cause for developing a psychological disease or psychosomatic disturbances. Self consolidation will rather, in many cases, help in the recovery of physical illness.
    The attitude of the Moslem, in case of illness, is a compliance to this remarkable Islamic view, with which he can face all his problems in life. This is a unique attitude, in which Islam is unprecedented. The Moslem hates disease and seeks to avoid it, but if it befalls him, he will accept it as an act of divine fate and a decreed and doomed affliction. He will seek patience with the intention (Niyah) of getting the reward from Allah. At the same time, he will adopt all the means he can, such as worldly treatment and approaching Allah, until recovery is achieved. So, in case of illness, he is rewarded for his patience and his sins are pardoned due to the affliction incurred upon him; and in case of recovery, he is rewarded for his thankfulness to Allah Who granted him the grace of good health.

    All these meanings are demonstrated clearly in the Prophet's invocation, which was narrated by Al Tirmizi, on the authority of Ibn Omar: "O, my Lord! Portion out to us of Your obedience, with which You would make us attain Your heaven; and portion out to us of Your fear, with which we would be departed from Your disobedience; and portion out to us of certainty, with which You would make calamities of life easier for us. Our Lord, grant us enjoyment with our ears, eyes and strength as long as You made us alive, and, please, make all this our inheritance. Our Lord, do not make life our biggest concern or the extent of our knowledge." Of the Prophet's saying, sublime meanings are crystallised:

    • Certainty of faith which would give satisfaction with fate and divine decree, thus rendering calamities and pains easier to bear.
    • Being keen on the safety of the body and senses, which are the tools in the obedience to Allah .
    • Supplicating Allah for progeny to inherit physical and mental health.
    • Acquiring Allah’s graces in the World leads to obey Him and attain His Paradise.
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