ISLAMIC VIEW OF MEDICINE
-ISLAM AND MEDICAL SCIENCE
IF ANYONE SLEW A PERSON- UNLESS IT BE FOR MURDER OR FOR SPREAD- ING MISCHIEF IN THE LAND -IT WOULD BE AS IF HE SLEW THE WHOLE PEOPLE (Quran s 5: V 35)
prophet (pbuh) also declares:
Having first ordained this supreme worth and prime responsibility to man, God has then fortified him with knowledge.
MOST GRACIOUS! IT IS HE WHO HAS TAUGHT THE QURAN. HE HAS CREATED, MAN:
HE HAS TAUGHT HIM SPEECH (Quran 555: V:1-4)
2. The science of medicine is the most important branch.of knowledge for the protection of this creature m God has honored so that he might perform his mission on earth. Medicine is a translation of the rig for the body visavis its own, as the Prophet (pbuh) says:
"THE BODY HAS ITS OWN RIGHTS OVER YOU"
Tr e science is that which contributes to faith. Right faith is faith
which gives scope to science, Such is the science which Islam desires.
Islam intends science to be in the shadow of faith and in the service
of its highest ideals. In this sense the Our'an has directed
READ IN THE NAME OF THY LORD AND CHERISHER WHO CREATED (596:V1)
The Quran thus decrees reading bound to a specific provison: that one must read "in God's name". Hence study is directed toward the "The good".
4. Is am .prefers the call of science over unprescribed worship. From God's Apostle (pbuh) is the pronounc ment:
" THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SCHOLAR TO THE WORSHIPPER IS LIKE MY SUPERIORITY OVER THE HUMBLEST OF YOU" (4 -11 )
This is because most acts of worship fall short of providing benefit to others as they do not go further than the worshipper. For those who memorize and read the Quran devote themselves to their own purif cation and to the multiplication of their own merits. Yet society does not obtain from their worship any direct benefit which would accrue to the general good. As for science, its benefit transcends itself, not being restricted to the scientist but also benefitting the people.
5. The applied sciences like Medicine, therefore, have an exalted position in Islam. As in the Holy verse:
AND IN THE MOUNTAINS ARE TRACTS WHITE AND RED OF VARIOUS SHADES OF COLOR AND BLACK INTENSE IN HUE. AND SO AMONGST MEN AND CRAWLING CREATURES AND CATTLE. ARE THEY OF VARIOUS COLOURS. OF HIS WORSHIPPERS, THE LEARNED FEAR HIM MOST (Quran 5.35: V.27-28)
The ear of God has been an advantage to scientists working in the applied sciences which have been me tioned in the Holy Qur'anic verse including Geology, Medicine and Biology.
6. In need
science which is beneficial to humanity is contrasted to The rituals of
worship, in that the rewards derived from science do not cease at the
scientist's death. The Apostle of God (pbuh) has said:
7. Furthermore, we may say that if worship is a means of gaining God's favour, science also is a way of ti ding divine acceptance assisting God's servants as well. It is thus required of scientists to guide thei learning to what is pleasing before God. God's Apostle (pbuh) has said:
"WHOEVER LEARNS KNOWLEDGE WHICH SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE GLORY OF GOD BUT UTlLISES IT TO GAIN FOR HIMSELF THINGS OF THE WORLD, HE WILL REACH NOTHING OF PARADISE ON RESURRECTION DAY" (3-6-8-11)
And in order that science may not be a two-edged sword, the Prophet of God (pbuh)called for God- liness in t e scientist's service, when he said:
"SCIENCE IS FEAR OF GOD AND PIETY"
"WHOEVER SEEKS SCIENCE TO OUTSHINE OTHER SCIENTISTS IN GLORY OR TO ENTER INTO CONTROVERSIES WITH THE FOOLISH OR TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF PEOPLE TOWARDS HIM, HE WILL BE CAST INTO HELL" (6-11).
8. I spite of Islam's clear concern for medicine, there is needed a clarification of the relationship between the Qur'an and medical science. The Qur'an is not a book on medicine or astronomy, as some of its enmies try to find contradictions of these sciences. The substance of the Qur'an is greater than such incomplete informalion, forithe scope of the Qur'an's activity is man himself: his faith, feelings, works a d relation to his Creator and his environment. The Qur'an corrects and restores validity to his conceptions and hypothesis about life and sets him on the true path, so that he may use his energies including his intellectual faculties in scientific research within the bounds legally permitted to man. Likewise, he t eats the physical body of human society which in turn allows him to best use his energies with his God given talents.
The Holy Qur'an is a book of right guidance aiming at the formation of a Muslim society which will establish God's message of truth on earth. The Sunna (the body of legal precedents found in the sayings and doings of the Prophet (pbuh) , which is considered to be an elucidation and practical application of the Qur'an has dealt with such practical aspects of medicine as concern the welfare of Muslim society, as ill be shown later in this essay.
The Apostle of God was not a physician nor did he claim for himself any aptitude for curing illness. Rather, e told sick people:
"SEND FOR A PHYSICIAN"
Mor precisely, the Qur'an and the Sunna have laid the broad lines for legislation in the various spheres f life, without entering into details. The Qur'an and Sunna have established the basic patterns within th bounds of which ijtihad (formulation of judgements in theological and legal questions) is possible, in rder to harmonize Islamic law with every age and place, for the furtherance of the common good an the avoidance of harm.
9. If some expressions such as "Islamic Medicine" and "Prophetic Medicine" occur, this does not mean th medicine as practiced in the world today, is unIslamic. These terms are intended to perpetuate the cultural heritage of the Islamic world in the age when the Islamic state was in the full flower of its achievements. This flowering was reflected in the various sciences including medicine. It was, further more, a true renaissance which benefitted from what it had inherited from previous eras, debated it, refine it and added to it the essential substance of its experience and creative endeavour. This renaissance then published the renewed and augmented science for the world in the best possible form at that time. The credit for all the stages of this development belongs to Islani. In the phase of translation, th driving impulse was as it has been said, that:
"WISDOM IS THE LOST TREASURE OF THE BELIEVER: HE SEEKS IT WHEREVER HE MAY FIND IT".
In th phase of mature formulation and inventive production proper, the motivating impulse was that Islam refuses to monopolize human achievements in any field. Therefore, this knowledge had to be made available to all. Now, after the centuries of cultural stagnation and the fragmentation of the Islamic body politic into the various regional entities, advantage must be taken of medical knowledge which others have perfected. Islamic medicine must catch up fully. Remembrance of the glorious accomplishments the past must provide the spur for the achievements of the future and not a reason for pausing at the level already reached. Islam accepts all valid and beneficial science. The Prophet (pbuh) has blessed such learning. He has encouraged specialists in the life sciences and has refused to bind them to anyone commandment, when he declares:
'YOU ARE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD"
ISLAM AND THE MEDICAL PROFESSION
"THE FINEST NOURISHMENT A MAN EATS IS THAT EARNED BY HIS OWN HAND" (1-6)
"BLESSINGS UPON A GOD'S SERVANT WHO IS A CUPPER" (4-6)
It was reported that He Himself (pbuh) was cupped and gave the cupper his professional fee.
2. By his lawful work, the Muslim has the reward of worship. The Prophet (pbuh) brought a young man back from the Jihad (Holy War), so that he might provide a living for his aged parents. He said to him: "Wage the Holy struggle for them", indicating that work at home should be worship through which his true goo intention would be fully valid by being directed to God's favor. The Prophet [pbuh] has said:-
"HE WHO SEEKS THE FACE OF GOD (IN ALL WHAT HE DOES)- ALL HIS SLEEPING AND WAKING HAVE THEIR REWARD" (3-5)
3. In this cause, Islam calls the Muslim physician to proceed in his madical practice in accordance with three ru es:
(a) To remove what is harmful from the Muslim community by providing the basic elements of good h giene for the society. The Prophet (pbuh) says:
TRUE BELIEVER WITH OTHER TRUE BELIEVERS- THEY ARE LIKE THE
The physician, in the area of his competence, is required to offer his work and the blessings flowing herefrom for the good of the Muslim Community. In the Prophet's (pbuh) words:
HARM FROM THE PATHS OF MOSLEMS"
(b) To perform the duty of brotherhood in God towards one's ailing Muslim brother. From the collecte traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) :"A MUSLIM IS THE BROTHER OF A MUSLIM: HE NEITHER OPPRESSES HIM NOR HUMILIATES HIM. WHOEVER RELIEVES ANY DISTRESS OF A MOSLEM IN THIS WORLD, GOD WILL ALSO RELIEVE HIM IN THE LAST DAY AND WHOEVER GUARDS THE SECRET OF A MOSLEM, GOD WILL GUARD HIS SECRET ON RESURRECTION DAY, AND WHOEVER WALKS THAT PATH IN SEARCH OF KNOWLEDGE, GOD WILL EASE HIS WAY TO PARADISE"2-3-4)
Thus the aim of the physician to relieve the pains of the sick is nobler than the desire for gain or earlier reward by virtue of his delight in the skills of his profession.
(c) Human compassion extending to all humanity, Muslims and non-Muslims, extends indeed to all living reatures. As the Prophet (pbuh) has said:
"YOU WILL HAVE REWARD FOR MERCY SHOWN TO EVERY LIVING BEING".
Again in the Prophet's (pbuh) words:
"YOU WILL NOT TRUELY BELIEVE UNTIL YOU HAVE BECOME COMPASSIONATE" Companions said: "O, APOSTLE OF GOD, ALL OF US ARE COM- PASSIONATE". whereupon He (pbuh) replied: "COMPASSION IS NOT FOR A MAN TO SHOW MERCY ONLY TO HIS PEOPLE. HE MUST BE COMPASSIONATE TO ALL MANKIND"
Physician's position in the process of healing is to be an instrument
of divine mercy and a vehicle by which God may relieve pains. When Abu
Ramthah said to the Prophet (pbuh) : "Let me heal your
"YOU ARE A FRIEND. GOD IS THE PHYSICIAN".
This saying places the physician in continuing contact with God, as he asks Him for success in his work. Likewise, it keeps him from professional conceit when he is successful in his work. It encom- passes his work but removes the element of gain.
THE ISLAMIC VIEW OF ILLNESS
"YOU ARE A MAN STRIKEN WITH HEART DISEASE. THEREFORE FETCH AL- -HARITH B.KELDAH, THE BROTHER OF THAKIF -FOR HE IS A MAN WHO PRACTICES MEDICINE".
disease does not result from demons, stars or evil spirits. In this regard,
Islam has forbidden all pra tices based on erroneous beliefs such divination
of evil omens, the wearing of magic amulets, fortune telling and the like.
In a tradition, the Prophet (pbuh) says:WHOEVER WEARS AN AMULET
HAS RELAPSED INTO POL YTHEISM". WHOEVER GOES TO
A FORTUNE TELLER OR A DIVINER AND ASKS HIM ABOUT ANYTHING, HIS PRAYERS
EXTENDING TO 40 NIGHTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED". "WHOEVER GOES
TO A FORTUNE TELLER OR A SOOTHSAYER AND HAS BELIEVED WHAT HE SAID, HAS
BECOME A NON-BELIEVER IN THE REVELATION RECEIVED BY MOHAMMAD( ;i;;). "
LET THERE BE NO READING OF EVIL OMENS. PLEASING TO ME ARE WHOLESOME INTERPRETATION
OF GOOD SIGNS AND THE GOOD WORD". "MAGIC SPELLS, AMULETS AND
THE LIKE ARE POLYTHEISM"..
3. The uslim is required to protect his health, just as society is obliged to preserve itself against disease and further, to furnish positive health measures in their modern sense. God, the most high, said:
"TRUELY THE BEST OF MEN FOR THEE TO EMPLOY IS THE (MAN) WHO IS STRONG AND TRUSTWORTHY (Quran 5.28: V.26).
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"IF A MAN HAS ONLY HIS ISLAM AND HIS HEALTH IT IS SUFFICIENT FOR HIM". Nor is t is strange for the believer whose faith is sound and steadfast, is most strong in fulfilling the message wh ch God has entrusted to man, to live thereby on earth, carrying out God's trust. The Qur'an ensures tho e unbelievers who want to live a life, for the sake of life alone.
THOU WIL T INDEED FIND THEM OF ALL PEOPLE, MOST GREEDY OF LIFE, EVEN MORE THAN THE IDOLATERS, EACH ONE OF THEM WISHES HE COULD BE GIVEN A LIFE OF A THOUSAND YEARS: BUT THE GRANT OF SUCH LIFE WILL NOT SAVE HIM FROM (DUE) PUNISHMENT FOR GOD SEES WELL ALL THAT THEY DO ( Quran S2: V .96)
Islam does not accept that the Umma (the Universal Community of Islam) of Muslims should be the flotsam and etsam of humanity, as though cast up by the tide, to live on the fringes of life in physical and mental ant. To die, would be preferable to such a life.
Inde d aversion to illness is a natural phenomenon which Islam accepts.
So when Abul Darda said to the rophet (pbuh) :"THAT I SHOULD BE HEALED
ANDGIVE THANKS IS PREFERABLE TO MYSOUL THAN THAT SHOULD SUF ER ILLNESS
AND BEAR IT PATIENTLY". ThePropher (pbuh) replied:GOD ALSO LOVES
WELL BEING".Likewise the Prop et (pbuh) said:
5. But when illness does occur, the Muslim is more able to accept this painful reality with a patience springing from his belief in the theory of tribulation. Illness is not the wrath of God nor punishment from Heaven, but rather it is an ordeal which brings expiation for sins. It raises the patient to a higher rank among believers, if the Muslim accepts it with patience and in anticipation of a reward in the hereafter. In he Prophet's (pbuh) words: "NEVER A BELIEVER IS STRICKEN WITH DISCOMFORT, HARDSHIP, ILLNESS, GRIEF OR EVEN WITH MENTAL WORRY THAT HIS SINS ARE NOT EXPIATED FOR HIM". (1-2-8)
6. There is another aspect in which Islam is distinguished in its attitude towards sickness. This aspec , if initially it is concerned with the physician's conduct and attitude, is nonetheless in the final analy is, a type of psychological healing which we must classify within the realm of religion rather than in the humanities or in the moral sciences, The patient has the right toward the healthy namely, the right to he isited.
as he has a right to physician; he has the right to medical treatment.
These rights stem from the st ict certainty upon which the traditions
of the Prophet (pbuh) focus regarding visiting patients to what is sim
lar to duty. These rights are among those of one Muslim upon a brother
Muslim. They are not simply a matter of relieving him and a relationship
with him, but it is also a relation with God. In the sac- red tr dition
the Prophet (pbuh) said:
the sick person is close to God, even as the Prophet (pbuh) says:
7 .By this philosophy, the sick person is able to hold fast and to endure.. A physical disease should not b a factor causing psychological disease or psychosomatic upsets. Steadfastness of spirit often helps the healing of the original disease.
Derivin.g from this philosophy is the fact that crises in health, no matter
how severe, do not lead the M slim to consider putting an end to his life.
It is not conceivable, besides not being permitted, for a Musli to wish
for death. On the authority of Anas b.Malik, it is recorded of the Prophet
9. Islam has granted an ailing person exemption from the obligations of Shari'a (law); as dictated by necessity. In the Our'an, it is written: AND THERE IS NO FAUL T IN ONE AFFLICTED WITH ILLNESS" (Ouran 5.24: V.61 )
Thus gold may be used in reconstructive therapeutic procedures as the Prophet (pbuh) commanded Arfaga. Similarly, silk may be used in skin diseases, as the Prophet (pbuh) allowed 'Abdul Rahman b' Auf and al-Zuba r b' al-Awam to wear silk when suffering from itching, even though the wearing of gold and silk are nor ally forbidden to men.
IV -THE VIEW OF ISLAM TOWARDS PREVENTIVE MEDICINE AND CURE
1. Islam calls for the applications of the three levels of health care, to wit: preventive medicine, therapy and rehabilitation.
2. Inas uch as preventive medicine aims to reinforce positive good health, Islam accords special importance t it. For the sound Muslim society is thus better equipped to shoulder God's trusteeship and to perform od's mission on earth. In this regard, we find the prophetic traditions characterized by a note of aim st compulsion. The traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) deal with curative medicine in their customary man er of legislting the ground rules of Shari'a, that is, by laying the basic principles to guarantee that the roper course would be following, without going into details.
3. In th sphere of environment, we find that the Prophet (pbuh) has provided a splendid model to bind every uslim to the Umma of Islam. This is the responsibility of every individual for the wellbeing of society and he obligation of every believer for his brother's welfare, exactly like his obligation to himself. The Our'an as laid down the basic principle.
THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT A SINGLE BROTHERHOOD! SO MAKE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION BETWEEN YOUR TWO BROTHERS. (Ouran 5.49: V.l0)
The Prophet (pbuh)has said: 'NO ONE OF YOU BELIEVES UNTIL HE LOVES FOR HIS BROTHER WHAT HE LOVES FOR HIMSELF". (1-2)
again He (pbuh) said: .'ONE MUSLIM IS TO ANOTHER MUSLIM, AS AND THE SAME BODY IF ONE MEMBER SUFFERS, ALL THE OTHER MEMBERS LAPSE INTO INSOMNIA AND FEVERISHNESS".
To car the case further, the maintenance of one's own personal health is not enough. It is also our bounded duty to strive for a healthy environment. This point is embodied in various traditions."GOD BEING GOOD LOVES THE GOOD. GOD BEING CLEAN LIKES CLEANLINESS. GOD BEING GENEROUS LOVES GENEROSITY. GOD BEING MUNIFICIANT LIKES MUNIFICANCE. THEREFORE, CLEAN YOUR HALLS AND COURTYARDS"
"LOOK TO WHATEVER HARMS PEOPLE AND REMOVE IT". "YOU SHOULD NOT PASS URINE IN STAGNANT WATER". (1-2)
4. In th realm of the prevention of contagious diseases, the Prophet (pbuh) advises restrictions on them vements of the patient by saying: "A DISEASE CARRIER SHOULD NOT INTRODUCE HIMSELF TO A HEALTHY PERSON, THE HEALTHY CAN ATTEND WHEREVER HE WANTS"
Indeed the Muslim is required to keep the rules of quarantine in cases of plague, even though, by doin 0, it might lead to sacrificing his own life. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "THE PLAGUE IS MARTYRDOM FOR ANY MUSLIM", (1-2)
With regard to personal cleanliness ritual purity of body is a condition for entry to Islam and clea ess is a condition for the most important pillar of Islam, namely prayer. Concerning the importance of teeth and its influence on the various bodily organs, Islam has made dental care almost com- puis. In a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) : "WERE IT NOT THAT I MIGHT OVER-BURDEN THE BELIEVERS I WOULD HAVE ORDERED THEM TO USE MISWAK AT EVERY TIME OF PRAYER" (1-2-8-11 )
Many traditions deal with cleanliness of food and dishes.
6. On the subject of safety and accident prevention, Islam has established a basic field of law which did no crystalizeiuntil the later decades of our present century. Every accident has a cause. To avoid accide ts, the Muslim must remove their causes and protect himself. The Quran states: "AND MAKE NOT YOUR OWN HANDS CONTRIBUTE TO (YOUR) DESTRUCTION (Quran 8.2: V.195)
"NOR KILL (OR DESTROY) YOURSELVES: FOR VERILY GOD HATH BEEN TO YOU MOST MERCIFUL (Quran 8,4: V.29)
The Prophet (pbuh) says: "DO NOT LEAVE FIRE IN YOUR HOUSES WHEN YOU SLEEP". (1-2-8)
Then to Abu Dharr He (pbuh) said: YOUR GUIDANCE OF A MAN IN A PLACE WHERE HE IS LOST IS ALMS; AND TO REMOVE STONES, THORNS OR BONES FROM THE WAY WILL BE COUNTED AS ALMS FOR YOU".
7. In the area of curative medicine, Islam has commanded healing in a clear and decisive ordinance. The Muslim is no fatalist, neglecting medicine and abandoning himself to fate. Quite the opposite, it is c mpulsory for him to use medicine, which God has provided as a means of cure. When a man asked he Prophet about a medicine whereby he might be healed, wondering whether by doing so, he would e rejecting the decrees of Providence, the Prophet (pbuh) replied: "IT IS GOD'S DIVINE DECREE".'
A other well known tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) states on the subject of healing: "THERE IS A REMEDY FOR EVERY MALADY AND WHEN THE REMEDY IS APPLIED TO THE DISEASE IT IS CURED WITH THE PERMISSION OF ALLAH, THE EXALTED AND GLORIOUS".
"O, SERVANTS OF GODI SEEK THE MEDICAL TREATMENT. GOD HAS PUT A REMEDY FOR EVERY MALADY, CLEAR TO WHOEVER KNOWS IT AND UNCLEAR TO WHOEVER DOES NOT KNOW IT".
These lear instructions have altered human understanding of disease and its cure. They have put an end to p evalent superstitions of illness and cures. They have set men on the right track in search of illnesses an their cures so that they may know what they had not known before.
8- Pur uing further the correct definition of the course of curative medicine, the Apostle (pbuh) of God called f r respect of specialization in the branches of medicine. For He summoned al-Harith b. Kilda to the man uttering from heart diseases. Again when He had sent for two physicians to cure a sick man. He ask d them,
"WHICH OF YOU IS THE MORE SKILLED PHYSICIAN IN TREATING THIS ALIMENT?"
So that t e patient might receive the most expert treatment.
9. In th time of the Prophet ((pbuh), there were certain medicines prevalent which naturally he used during his illnesses like anyone else. From this, some historians began to use the term, "Prophetic medicine". ith the passage of time, there appeared a tendency to consider Holy everything the Prophet (pbuh) did wh ther it concerned food or drink or healing and to imitate religiously his pattern, even though prophetic tr dition is clear in stating that he commanded observance of what was revealed to him through divin inspiration. As for his worldly habits and practices not related to doctrine, however, private judgement a to their use was recommended, within the framework prescribed by Islam.
Islam d es not prescribe that a Muslim should avoid the use of a new medicine simply because the Prophet (pbuh) had not used it, because it did not exist during his time. This writer maintains that the Prophet's tr itions concerning healing follow a general pattern for the legislation of Shari'a which provides a broa framework of general principles. When the Apostle of God learned that a certain lady was using an irrit ting substance as a laxative, He advised her to use senna.
It is thu clear that the Prophet (pbuh) aimed to lay a general foundation for healing by non-harmful substances r by the least harmful substances.
We see hen, that the Prophet (pbuh) was close to formalizing laws regarding preventive medicine and to the rejecti n of anything harmful to Muslims. He tended to lay down broad guidelines which were in harmony with the spirit of Islam in the area of healing.
As for r habilitation and corrective therapy, Islam strives to prevent incapacity due to disease. Islam accustoms Muslims not to succumb to poor health, but rather to pray even if only with the eyelid. All are required to w rk according to their capacity .As the tradition states: 'WORK: FOR EVERYONE WILL FIND HIS WAY MADE EASY IN WHAT GOD HAS CREATED HIM FOR". (1-2) Islam does n t accept that a Muslim should live financially dependent on others, as the tradition says: "THE UPPER HAND IS BETTER THAN THE LOWER HAND (THE UPPER WHICH BESTOWS AND THE LOWER WHICH BEGS)"
Thus in the field of reconstructive surgery, Islam allows the use of gold even though it was forbidden to men. Practices which deform a person's body or alter his comely appearance, however, such as tattoing,th se Islam has forbidden in the saying:
"MAY GOD CURSE THOSE WHO TATTOO".
Formerly, some people used to bread away part of their teeth if they stuck out, for cosmetic purposes. doing so, they removed the protective enamel from the surface of the teeth, causing decay for the sa of beauty. The Prophet (pbuh) forbade this when He said: "MAY GOD CURSE THOSE WHO FILE TEETH AND THOSE WHO SEEK TO HAVE THEIR TEETH FILED".
Yet auifor surgery for cosmetic purposes where there is no known arm, then the operation falls under the general ruling:
"GOD BEING GOOD, LOVES THE GOOD".
Mu lim women are asked to appear in their most beautiful form before their husband's eyes.
- ISLAM AND THE ETHICS OF THE MEDICAL PRACTICE
AND THOUGH (STANDESn ON AN EXALTED STANDARD OF CHARACTER (Ouran S.68: V.4)
In t is manner, the younger generation may grow up smoothly, with a dispostion instinctively pure without contradictions. He finds before him the path of goodness easy. Hence the word of God Most High be omes a human reality .
Muslim physician is the one who shoulders the trusteeship of Islam first
and foremost and keeps t e trust of safeguarding the good health of all
Muslims and of warding off all harmful disease. For him in particular,
it is most appropriate that his upbringing and education be Islamic and
that his behavio should be modelled after the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
When 'Aisha, the Prophet's wife was asked a out His moral principles,
Thus adherence to the moral principles of Islam is to be part of the nature of the physician which he applies in his daily life without affectation, openly and before all. We may mention the story of the teacher who said to his young pupil, "kill this bird somewhere where no one will see you". The youngster disa peared for a while, but came back with the bird still alive. He said to the teacher, " found no place where I could be entirely alone, because whereve I hid, I felt that God was with me".
M slim physician senses that all his practice and dealings are with God;
and that he keeps constant su eillance over him.
He fear God in all his dealings with God's creatures. When he recalls the words of God's Apostle.(pbuh) "A WOMAN WAS PUNISHED BECAUSE SHE HAD KEPT A CAT TIED UNTIL IT DIED". (1-8-11 ).
His perception of all living creatures will be through the eyes of compassion. It is, therefore, most fitting that h should be compassionate towards man, the most excellent of God's creature, whom God has honoured and made his representative on earth .
Since t e time of Hippocrates, it has been the custom for a physician to commence his career by repeating th oath which binds him to ethical behavior in the exercise of his profession.
The pr blem of professional ethics is not solved by an oath nor can .it be adequately dealt with as a required co rse of study in a program of clinical training. Legal rulings laid down by a medical union or a positive con titution cannot regulate the ethics of physicians. The cure of a patient carries moral responsibilities. In is daily practice, the physician will be faced by numerous situations requiring him to consult his conscie ce, Here his decisions will be affected by the degree of his commitment of the Lord. His judgement ill emanate from the words of the Apostle ( m) of God.
"VIRTUE IS A KIND DISPOSITION AND VICE IS WHAT RANKLES IN YOUR MIND AND THAT YOU DISAPPROVE OF ITS BEING KNOWN TO THE PEOPLE".
concept of duty in Islam is that one should not work for man but for God:
Under this fundamental code may be ranked all the virtues and ethical
principles which the Quran and t e blessed Prophet (pbuh) have enjoined.
They include the following ideals:
Decently averting the eyes. As the Quran states:
to examine a person's private parts does not provide a justification for
lack of res ect due to every Muslim. The physician must examine what is
required. In such situations, a ph sician's honourable modesty gives the
patient more confidence in his physician.
When the Apostle of God (pbuh) learnt that a man stricken with leprosy was coming to swear allegi nce to Him on the side of Islam, He sent a message to him saying: "GO BACK, WE HAVE ALREADY ACCEPTED YOUR ALLEGIANCE".
In his practice, the physician is exposed to the secrets of the patient.
He is, therefore, honourbound to keep his trust under Islam in this respect.
"WHOEVER GUARDS THE SECRET OF A MOSLEM, GOD WILL GUARD HIS SECRET IN THIS LIFE AND ON RESURRECTION DA Y".
If a patient consults him, let him keep strict confidentiality in the counsel he offers and the matt he has been consulted about. The Prophet (pbuh) has said: "THE MAN CONSULTED IS A DEEPER OF CONFIDENCE". (3-4-11)
A female nurse must attend the examination of female patient by a male
physician or else an im ediate relative of the patient must be present.
This is an application of the Prophet's (pbuh) aying: "NO MAN IS
ALLOWED TO BE ALONE WITH A WOMAN EXCEPT IN THE PRESENCE OF A CLOSEST RELATIVE".'
Beginning a medical examination or treatment with mention of God's name,
for which there exist n merous values...
Consciousness of his role as an agent in the implementation of God's work of healing. Such is the ttitude of service and worship to God. Directing his work to God until the patient has recovered.Giving the patient a spiritual uplift and moral courage whenever he is in a critical state Psychologically.
BUT TEACH (THE MESSAGE) FOR TEACHING BENEFITS THE BELIEVERS (Quran 5.51: V. 55)
b) In the eventuality of a patient's death, the physician must, in his capacity as a Muslim, even before being a doctor recite the Muslim credo as the Prophet (pbuh) has prescribed:
TO RECITE THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH TO THOSE OF YOUWHO ARE DYING".
DOES NOT PLACE YOUR CURE IN WHAT HE HAS FORBIDDEN YOU"
GOD CURSE THOSE WHO TATTOO, THOSE WHO SEEK FOR TAT- TOOING THOSE WHO FILE
THEIR TEETH AND THOSE WHO SEEK TO HAVE THEIR TEETH FILED".
NO MAN IS WISE EXCEPT THROUGH EXPERIENCE". (1-4 )
He respects professional specialization in keeping with the Prophet's (pbuh) words:
PRACTISES MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHOUT BEING KNOWN TO
f) He should maintain his scientific competence by constant learning and teaching, for his pro- fess on reaches beyond him to others and his knowledge is for application. As the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"WISDOM IS THE LOST TREASURE OF THE BELIEVER: HE SEEKS IT WHEREVER HE MAY FIND IT".
He must deal with his medical colleagues in accordance with Islamic teachings. He shall avoi backbiting and disparagement of others:
"NEITHER NURSE MUTUAL HATRED, NOR- JEALOUSY, NOR ENEMITY AND BECOME AS FELLOW BROTHERS".
He shall offer
advice to those who need it. "RELIGION IS COUNSEL". (1-2)
He shall not Lord it over a younger colleague:
WHO ARE NOT COMPASSIONATE TO THE YOUNG AND DO NOT RESPECT OUR ELDERS,
DO NOT BELONG TO US". (3-4 )
"O MY GOD, I REFRAIN FROM ANY SCIENCE WHICH DOES NOT BRING BENEFIT TO PEOPLE"... "WHOEVER CONCEALS KNOWLEDGE FROM HIS PEOPLE WILL BE BRIDLED WITH A BIT OF FIRE ON JUDGEMENT DAY". (11 )
i) His discoveries of new cures shall be made public. He shall not monopolize his new methods of healing for purposes of gain. As the Prophet (pbuh) stated:
"NO ONE MONOPOLIZES EXCEPT A SINNER"
He shall respect the sacred honor of the dead as of the living. Addressing
the Ka'ba the Prophet (pbuh) said: "THE BELIEVER HAS A RIGHT OF INVIOLABILITY
GREATER THAN THAT GIVEN TO YOU (Ka'ba)"."
The horizons of Islamic teaching encor..oass all good practice which aims at human wellbeing, in situations here no clear text applies. Islam then gives the Muslim physician the possibility of acting in accordance with the benefit of humanity .
There a growing need for physicians to be closer to God and increasingly committed to His revealed rd and the life and sayings of His blessed Prophet (pbuh) upon whom be blessings and peace.