IN ISLAM THROUGH JURISDICTION,
Gathering on its land, we owe the city of Istanbul the right to associate its longstanding glory with our prospective collaboration to build up a present and a future.
Visiting this city pre-occupies my mind with three aspects of its heritage: faith, science and planning. Muslim attempts continued for eight centuries until Sultan Mohammad Al Fateh managed to enter Constantinople in 857H/1453. The genius of this young man culminated in coining the depth of creed and the advanced scientific level which facilitated overcoming the fortifications and walls of the city. Under his commandship the two powers: faith and science coalesced. In previous attempts however, faith was not lacking, but they were short of a scientific level capable of challenge and victory. The third factor, planning, seems to be glittering in the sky of Istanbul marking the architecture genius, Khogah Sinan, who has been outstandingly distinguished at all levels: among his country men (Turks), fellow Muslims, and sophisticated specialists in architecture.
In the Tenth Hijri Century/Sixteenth Christian Century, Sinan managed to lay the foundations of the Turkish style of architecture as well as the religious and civil constructions in more than one country in the Ottoman Empire. The three mosques selected by Sinan to represent the stages of his own promotion: Shah Zadah, Sulaimaniah. (in Istanbul) and Seleemiah (in Adernah) are, in actual fact, nothing but a mixture of faith, science and planning.
In the horizon of Istanbul, Adernah and even in more than one Turkish city, one senses the genius of Sinan, who died in (996h/1588 A.D.), inviting us to a kind of hospitality impregnated in the three terms: faith, science and planning.
Surviving the outset of the Fifteenth Hijri Century designated as the Second Islamic Revival, which currently prevails allover the Islamic World and scientific circles regardless of some earlier Islamic efforts. We certainly witness a revival; however, it is not the second one. The Islamic World may have faltered in the wake of the first revival during the eras of Post-Prophet Caliphate, Umayyads and Abbasids. The fall of Baghdad in (636 H/1258 A.D.) will remain as an indicator of a might earthquake in the history of Islamic civilization. This incident, with its symptoms and after effects deserves a comment in connection with the register and history of Islamic civilization part of which medicine is.
Let me, temporarily, put aside the issue of Baghdad to talk about Constantinople.
The West regards the year 1453 (A.D.) as that of the "Fall of Constantinople. Islamic historians referred to "Mohammad the Conqueror" and "Victory over Constantinople" and how the old name gave way to that of Istanbul. We also, read in the literature of civilization how the fall of Constantinople affected the age of Renaissance in Europe, how the "brain drain" helped trigger European thought as well as progress and also how the fall of the Byzantine Empire carried seeds for the new regime.
This is link-up quickly renovates aspirations in the European individual while reading about his history victory after defeat, light after darkness and prospective hopes for a promising future instead of sorrows. Moreover, our readings include the recordings of Islamic civilization historians as to the obituaries in memory of the fall of Baghdad as well as others referring to withdrawal from Al- Anlalus after the fall of Granada in (897 H /1492 A.D.). We do not, however, claim to associate this with the subsequent revival reflected by the scientific endeavours, which would not give in to defeat
In the field of medicine, since Baghdad flourished in the first Abbasid Age, it uniquely sponsored outstanding brains both in practice and in scientific contributions:
Ibn Sina, died in (428 H /1037
A.D.), spent all his life in Persia, deserves to be called the "Philosopher
of all scientists" and the "scientist of all philosophers", his publication
"Al Qanoon Fil Al Tib" (Law of Medicine) may be considered a landmark
in the history of medicine.
This is no place for inference, but I mention it to set a pattern by which the Caliphate House (Government) was one of the largest scientific centres, most capable of attracting scientists particularly medical people and imitated by other cities which had their own scientists. Muslim countries including independent ones (from Caliphate) never lacked other celebrities who have left some heritage in the history of medical science.
After the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate, other Islamic cosmopolitan cities began to feel more responsible and endeavoured to make up for what the Islamic civilization had lost as a result of the destruction of its libraries, dispersing its scientists and ruining its institutions. Scientists, were therefore, strongly motivated to defy defeat moving steadily towards the age of encyclopedias. They collected as much as they could from heritage and emigrated together with traders and craftsmen to Al Sham (Syria), Misr (Egypt), the world of the Indian Ocean and its isles in Malay, Indonesia and even beyond that to the Philippines and left after them, in the desolate land, only a few. In these new Islamic countries which were established after the Mogul tide calmed down and the tempest was replaced by running waters for irrigation and plantation.
Here are the titles some grand encyclopedias, which followed the fall of Baghdad and distinguished the nature of this stage in the literature.
"Lisan Al Arab" by
Ibn Manzoor Al Afriqi (711 H /1311 A.D.).
Medical centres flourished in Morocco, Persia and India, too.
In the Turkish territories of the Ottoman Empire, distinguished names in the field of medicine achieved remarkable success:
However influential Western medicine may be in most Islamic countries, some of these still preserve their Islamic heritage particularly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and, simultaneously, make use of Western medicine.
Preserving Islamic medical heritage has started to gain ground even in the West itself reviewing this heritage in particular and the traditional heritage in general has formulated an integral part of the current Islamic national and international interests.
It, therefore, seems that, between the First and Second Revivals, there have been several revivals which effected new states some of which were set up on lands owned, gained or retained by Muslims. Some old and new cities and capitals, consequently, acquired a certain position owing to the unending contributions of Muslim scientists.
In other words, we can say that despite the loss which occurred to Islamic civilization in the wake of the Mogul expansion from the East together with the losses and exhausted efforts which resulted from the Western Expansion represented by the Crusaders' Wars, a new movement of revival was triggered in the form of contribution stages which had varied axes and bases, but were distinguished with survival and struggle for existence. Here, we need a new history of Islamic civilization aimed at recording the resistance of scientific defeat and enthusiasm for writing to preserve heritage and create new generations of researchers.
We, meanwhile, do not wish to overlook the internal Islamic attrition existing in the wars between Islamic countries diminishing the choicest of the youth and all that we keep for future. We, also, have to explicate its negative influence on the Islamic course.
We should maximize our co-operation and, meanwhile, minimize our disputes as much as possible. We should, also, encourage scientific efforts away from internal disputes and call for immunity of scientists, scientific organizations and generations to help them shoulder their responsibilities one of which is to record the history of their civilization including medicine. I hope this will be among our recommendations together with an invitation for co-ordination of overlapping or redundant efforts undertaken by more than one scientific structure in the Islamic World.
MEDICINE BETWEEN JURISPRUDENCE & PRACTICE
The relationship between jurisprudence and practice is associated with Islam's view of man as expressed in the Quranic verse (WE HAVE HONOURED ADAM'S DESCENDENTS) and that man is Allah's agent on the earth as in (GOD INFORMED THE ANGLES THAT HE WOULD CREATE AN AGENT ON THE EARTH).
For man Allah created the universe and endowed him with senses and thought.
HE WHO CREATED (FOR YOU) ALL THAT IS ON THE EARTH.
SAY HE WHO CREATED YOU AND GRANTED YOU HEARING, SIGHT AND HEART AND YOU ARE LESS GRATEFUL.
Our jurists viewed the essential objectives of jurisdiction as five: preserving religion, self, thought, property and posterity. Al Emam Al Shatbi argues that these five aspects are crucial for the benefit of religion and life and once they are misachieved life affairs will be based on misgivings and, subsequently, lead to insecurity and misery in the hereafter (Day of Reckoning). These objectives can be achieved by either the support for their pillars, i.e. to maintain their existence or what saves them from current or expected defection, which signifies complete rudimental attentions.
Achieving these objectives is supported by a certain level termed Hajiyat (needs) by Al Shatbi bellow which is a third level termed Tahseenat (improvements), i.e. using the advantages of habits.
If essentials are fundamental, needs would be supportive or subsidiary; whereas improvements develop performance. With their five horizontal (or three vertical) divisions, they all revolve around one axis, i.e. man's dignity from which stems human care in health or sickness -health with its comprehensive concept (physically, psychologically and spiritually) as well as sickness in its over-all sense too, comprising all these aspects whether caused by man's own deeds or by an external power.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PATIENT
Closely linked to this is the attitude of Islam as a religion towards the patient. Attention and care extended to him by his relatives as mentioned in Quran.
BE KIND AND MERCIFUL TO YOUR PARENTS.
NEVER FORGET ALLAH WHOM YOU PETITION OR YOUR RELATIVES AS HE KEEPS AN EYE ON YOU.
Kindness and care are due on the patient's relatives in addition to his initial right as a human being.
As to the relationship between care and the society the former is an obligation once fulfilled by one sector of the society, it does not formulate the same obligation to others. In Islam, the individual's need for food or water is identical with his need for care. Now, as the state together with the local executive bodies and donated institutions undertake the responsibility, medical care planning has become the job of an organization in which individual and group initiatives coalesce forming service channels complementing what is done by the governmental bodies concerned.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS SICKNESS
In Islam, sickness means a deviation from health. The Prophet advises us "Slaves of Allah! Take medicine as Allah has created a cure for every disease except senility".
One never comes across a negative attitude towards sickness; so, one has to preserve one's health and seek all possible ways for recovery in case of sickness and the society should give as many facilities as possible in this regard. Besides, one never gets a hostile attitude towards a patient as used to happen to feeble- minded individual in Europe in the Middle Ages when this or madness was associated with evil spirits.
The (Arabic) linguistic root of this word is (g n n) does not indicate a loss but refers to a kind of concealment. From it we derive (magan) which protects the warrior and also (gannah) i.e. garden because its tress conceal whoever is in it. This protection or concealment necessitates existence as it were a concealed mind of a mad man, if uncovered it will become normal again.
Sickness is nothing but a test by Allah. The Prophet says, "Whatever misfortunes a true believer may have -fatigue, grief, melancholy or worry -are used to redeem his sins".
This indicates that endurance of pain is a kind of worship as it comforts the soul, which helps the patient get over pain and, meanwhile, aids his physicians in treatment. Our old and new heritage teems with the attitudes of holy people towards sickness - showing patience and endurance or seeking cure if possible or even expressing satisfaction in case it was beyond the capacity of medicine and cure.
This co-operation between the patient and the physician used to occur in a friendly and caring atmosphere (physical, psychological and preparatory for public life) witnessed at the hospitals establishment during the different stages of Islamic flourishment at many capitals.
DISCUSSION OF SOME PROBLEMS OF PROPHETIC TRADITIONS IN MEDICINE
This lengthy course of requesting medicine and cure discussions were held about some Prophetic traditions an outstanding one of which is: "Beware of infection" together with others which recommend avoiding disease and others that encourage care to the sick.
This reflects the practical pictures which comprise an approach towards sickness to cure the patient, warning against infect on and separation of the healthy from the sick for protection.
Each of these attitudes goes in line with one or more or the Prophetic traditions.
Had it been so, the Prophet himself would have prescribed medicine for whatever arose. He sometimes could prescribe medicine but He nevertheless, used to recommend the consultation of somespecialists. When Saad Ibn Al Waqas (Rad. A.) fell ill, the Apostle paid him a visit and said: "Call Al Hareth Ben Kaldah to medicate him".
That was due to the fact that the Islamic practice was experienced in seeking cure for every disease, protection from infection, and care for patients considering all this as a religious and social responsibility together. This is explained in the Islamic term Ibadha (worship) which is the goal of Allah whenever a good deed is contributed in the society whether it is done for ourself, one's relatives or for the society.
We have a recent example from Turkey:
When smallpox was almost devastating European peoples in the Eighteenth Century, the Ottoman state applied vaccination. Lady Mary Montague, wife of the British Ambassador to the Ottoman State recorded her remarks on visit to Adernah in 1717, in which she mentioned how less the degree of seriousness of smallpox was in the orient. She knew that vaccination was after this. She got convinced of its usefulness and tried it out with her children. She, also, prescribed it for her own people, but she was accused sorcery and resistance to the will of Allah. She, nevertheless, preserved with her ideas until the Royal family was convinced to use vaccination among its members after preliminary experiments outside the family.
Her countrymen, eventually, accepted and formally used vaccination until this honourable Lady died in 1762. Sixty years later, they made a memoire in her name on her grave, glorifying her generous help to her countrymen by transferring imperial science from Turkey.
Practical application of the Prophetic tradition:
"Slaves of Allah ůseek medication" was extensively practiced. Islamic thought has permanently been based on assimilation, participation and creativity.
PRESENT AND FUTURE RESPONSIBILITIES
These responsibilities are two fold:
First : Utilization of past responsibilities considering that the present is a mobile point of time today is the future of yesterday as well as the past of tomorrow -Such a consideration should not be confined to a certain period or stage of flourishment in our attempt to rewrite Islamic civilization a part of which medicine is. Here, we do not envisage a golden age after which Islamic existence failed, even partly, to yield anything new.
This stock comprises the Islamic World in its comprehensive sense where territorial and national circles move and, thus, it is the pivot or nucleus as seen in the world context.
Investigating these relationships, we can consider a number of schools such as the "regional" and "thematic" ones in connection with the organizations in charge of the history of civilization in the Islamic World at an international level utilizing previous contributions in addition to the outcome of published scientific documents and graphics, which coincides with the current revival in the Islamic World.
Second : Planning future tasks starting from here through all circles mentioned above and undertaking the most immediate measures as to:
PREVENTION AND CURE
In many countries of the Third or Developing World, one can consider preventive medicine as "neglected medicine" Dr. Nabeel Al-Taweel, in his book "Al-Hirman Wat- Takhalluf Fi Diyar Al Muslimeen" (deprivation and retardation in the Islamic World) 1404 H/1984 A.D. says:
Our preliminaries in Islamic and Developing (or underdeveloped) World are reversed -Here, public health services are usually exhausted and concentrated in urban centres and lack serious attention. Curative medicine consumes most of both ordinary and developing budgets simply because such an achievement has a glittering and concrete structure represented by buildings and equipment which can be propagated by mass media circles and, therefore, support the structure of the executive authority system.
Preventive medicine, on the other hand, has a different psychological effect.
The services are distributed among more people and a greater demand for it is felt in lower classes where people have no access to decision-makers and distributors of budgets and services. Anything else is found in curative medicine, which is supplementary to preventive medicine whatever is said about it. Curative medicine cures an existing danger, whereas preventive medicine protects from an expected danger. The former is confined to patients and mostly practiced at state or private institutions. If a major part of preventive medicine provides service to the individual, in the curative medicine, the individual seeks the services centre and if both kinds of medicine complement each other, prevention would be basic as an extension of normal condition, whereas care would be subsidiary as it takes the patient back to normal (or nearly normal) condition.
Contemporary scientific research is a group activity, which no longer suits a desolate researcher, scientist or even scientific group. Scientific cooperation has, thus, become essential at the national, Islamic and international levels -a cooperation that can not be achieved through reading and correspondence, but through meetings and direct discourse.
In the medical field we, in the Islamic world, need research projects that tackle five main scopes at least:-
First : More attention to medical heritage in the Islamic world from the practical point of view so as to raise the percentage of our reliance on it as much as we can on a formidable scientific basis.
Second : Considering traditional medicine in ancient civilizations such as those of China and India.
Third : Constant contact with scientific research centres in the advanced world.
Fourth : Encouraging discourse between medical people and Islamic Shari'a (Jurisprudence) and ethics people - a discourse which has already started at both international and Islamic levels.
Fifth : Undertaking direct field studies which investigate the dimensions of problems juxtaposed with their materialistic and human aspects with a view to finding solutions that harmonize with context.
SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION SCOPE
First : There is an international tendency, towards "Urgency of developing a new ethics", which considers scientific achievement and steers it for the good of man and human communities in each of the advanced, and developing countries and for realizing the wish of scientists to continue discourse with ethics men supporting each other with a view to establishing human rights on two bases; science and ethics. This discourse will help determine the concepts and common language between them. Thus, recomplementation replaces their parallelism or consecutiveness.
The recommendation of the seminar of Varna was to convey these concepts from the research level to the pedagogic one at specialized universities and schools, then to general education and the cultural level in the society at large. It was, also, recommended that this be accomplished by collaboration of all specialized organizations in the United Nations, particularly UNESCO and W.H.O (World Health Organization).
The world need for this scientific charter became dire after the Second World War, before which and even two centuries earlier science was the best achievement of humanity. Scientists are the leaders of thought and pioneers of progress through whose discoveries and inventions - nations plan their steps to future. The year 1945 was, nonetheless, decisive in altering the outlook on science. After the release of the first American atomic bomb over Heroshema, and the second over Nagazaki, science seemed a mixed blessing -angel and devil, fire and light. The giant was released from the cell, which caused fatal injuries to the religion and its ideals as the great historian Arnold Toynbee says. So, science was incorporated in politics and war, the costs of its research consequently became higher, its scope widened, and the state acquired supreme authority over many of its large executive bodies. New weapons began to threaten all human existence and life has become at the mercy of reprisal, horror or nuclear terror. In addition, exploring new areas of medicine has yielded the wars of germs, radiation and destruction of human nerve cells.
Nowadays, humanity witnesses an age where power overlaps with fright, scientific cooperation with contest and racing, secrets of nature with those of states and guarding military constructions with those of scientific ones. In many meetings of world organizations, which speak for people, we hear a call for minimizing armament and re-routing some of its funds towards promotion, prevention, cure and education and, meanwhile, taking into account what is spent on destruction, preparation for it or even terror resulting from it. We, on the other hand, hear some voices of politicians persuading us to delimit our expectations and reliance on them in financing peace and promotion projects among, which are those geared to a better human hygiene. Richard Nixon, the former president of U.S.A. presented this view in his book, 'The Real Peace" (1983), in which he refers to "war" as a past alternative, and "peace" as the only alternative for future. However futile war may be, there were 15 wars as well as tens of minor fights in the Third World in summer 1983. Since the Second World War, one hundred and forty wars have broken out causing losses of at least 10 millions. Peace is not the terminal of contest, but it is a technique for surviving it provided that it be given constant attention as soon as it is accomplished; otherwise it will die out.
Let us consider his following statement:
It is risky to misinterpret genuine peace as perfect peace. Perfectionists usually dream of a non-conflict world -a world, which has never existed.
In actual fact, perfect peace is not achieved except in the grave and before the invention of printing machines. It is, indeed, the substance of poetry and press articles, which disguise bright notions with beautiful word.
Genuine peace, on the other hand, is actually authentic peace adopted by practical leaders who view the welfare of their people in a daring manner. He eventually concluded that both big powers should be capable of self-defense and repression of other parties. He, also recommended that labour allover the world should be a combination of soqoor (eagles) and Hama'em (pigeons) and that a balance should be stricken between power utilization and economic support.
I have given this summary for a basic reason: one portion of economic support may be offered by these big countries which are engaged in the marathon of international dispute, another portion may be obtained from international organizations which have faced pressures advocating peace, as happened to UNESCO in December, 1983. This paves the way for a basic matter, i.e. the importance of building up the self-sufficiency in the Islamic World supported by faith in Allah, fraternity an scientific planning.
FLASHES ON ISLAMIC COOPERATION SCOPE
Whether we wished or not to be a constituent of this international structure, which positively and negatively controls our future, we have to take the best move possible towards our target within the Context of this conference.
A primary task would be the co-ordination of our efforts and sources together with the achievements of Islamic-natured organizations and minor ones which follow the same courses in Islamic World sectors.
To cite an example, the way was paved for this co-operation in one of the most important organizations -Islamic Conference Organization -when Casablanca in Morocco (1401/1984) witnessed the Fourth Islamic Summit Conference.
Among the committees formed by the Third Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al-Mukarramah (January, 1981) was the joint-work with Coast Countries Committee -those countries beyond South Grand Sahara constituting the inhabited coast overlooking this huge sand dune. We are familiar with what these countries suffer from the encroachment of the desert (Southwards) on urbanism and plantation through constant and quite sand movement.
The Islamic Summit Conference authorized this committee to trace and apply all measures needed for aiding coast countries in resisting draught and taking appropriate initiatives in this regard. It also established a general framework for emergency food supplies, essential rural development projects. For this purpose the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, Iraqi Republic and U.A.E. have offered financial contributions.
What I would like to say here is that this preventive job - a geographical aspect about a long area extending in the Islamic World between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and a practical one about development problem culminating in its comprehensiveness including the resistance of hurdles and the support of positive contributions.
We, therefore, badly need an atlas of services for the Islamic World. This conference has to undertake the component of medical services considering its three aspects. The Islamic Conference Organization studied the overlapping specializations problem of its ensuing sub-organizations at Casablanca in January, 1984 in an attempt to develop its administrative structure. It is, nevertheless, felt that there should be more co-ordination if we consider scientific joint-work at all levels among all existing bodies in the Islamic international context. This co-ordination for an atlas of Islamic medical services is but a constituent of a comprehensive Islamic services atlas, which is, in turn, a part of the Islamic future as a whole.
This glared in the recommendations of the third and fourth Islamic Conferences. Despite the growing need for every human and financial effort, wars violently break out in the Islamic World at the level of the one country, the next door neighbours or brethren. Is it possible to hope that war between Iran and Iraq come to an end, peace be resurrected on Lebanon lands, land owners return to Palestine, their country and that every refugee or dispersed person go back to his own country?
At the Islamic level, our God calls for this and , in turn, preach it for individuals, peoples and the public Islamic welfare.
As scientists and thinkers, we are equipped well enough to recommend the appropriate style and advice for our countrymen, fellow-believers and every supporter of righteousness, peace and justice. In addition, we have persistently and patiently, been calling for righteousness and truth and we feel that the great scientific as well as practical responsibilities to be shouldered by the Islamic World need a lot of efforts. We, likewise, feel we should construct bridges between science and religion and invite those who work in scientific fields to meet with those working in legislative fields to investigate many issues such as inheritance and birth.
Thank you all for listening.
FOOTNOTES & BIBLIOGRAPHY
AL- TABARI (Abu Gaafar), "Tahtheeb Al-Athar Wa Tafseel Al Thabet of Rasool-illah", information reported by Ali Ben Abi Taleb, investigated by Mahmoud Shaker, pp. 3-44, I. Al-Madina, Cairo, 1982.
SEAN MACBRIDE, "Brain washing with a Good Clean Bomb"