Abdul Rahman Abdulla Al-Awadi
The IOMS President
be to Allah Who has guided us to Islam and bestowed upon us the
blessing of faith. And peace be upon His Apostle Muhammad
and upon his family and companions.
idea of establishing the IOMS emerged as one of several
other ideas put forward at a time when the Islamic World was bustling
with preparations for celebrating the advent of the fifteenth Hijri
century, and when the Islamic awakening was at its zenith. It was
a moment of contemplation and pondering over the life conditions
of Muslims all over the world. Questions came up one after the other
in a rapid succession: How
can we best celebrate this great event? Can we, Muslims, make
some prominent and quite distinguished contribution? Where is Islam's
role in sciences in general and in medicine in particular? Where
do Muslims stand in respect of world civilization now, and what
was their place in past civilizations? What is Islam's view
concerning modern medical innovations?
There have been persistent attempts, by both East and West, to undermine
Islam and Muslims and to deliberately raise doubts about its role.
One of. these attempts by the enemies of Islam is to claim
that it is only a part of the overall world civilization that
flourished for a certain period of time then declined. This is a
flagrant falsity meant to obliterate the truth; for Islam is an
eternal message from Allah to the whole of the human kind to guide
them to the right track. It is not the result of human development
as is the case with the rest of civilizations. This cannot be more
evidenced than by the fact that for long twelve years after the
revelation descended on the Prophet (pbuh) Muslims were not issued
with any legislations. During those years, Islam focussed its attention
on man qua man in terms of bringing him up for a life of virtue
and developing in him the upright Islamic manners. Then legislations
came one after the other to organize his life and map out his relationships
with his God, with himself, with his family and with the whole of
culmination of all this was the emergence of the Muslim who
believes in his God and in his religion, and the dawning of
an Islamic civilization which was destined to change many
things in man's history. For five centuries under the umbrella
of Islam, sciences, and medicine in particular, flourished
and Muslims prolifically produced what later became the spring
from which Europe gulped during its renaisance. Names started
to shine as brightly as the sun among which were those of Al-Razi,
Ibn Sina, ibnil Bitar, Ibnul Nafees'and Al-Zahrawi. It was their
strong and unwavering faith that formed the solid foundation for
their magnificent edifice of wisdom and knowledge. Their works
were translated into all the living languages at that time.Thus
Europe began to feast upon them and thrived in the process. Unfortunately,
however, it later denied Islam and the Muslims their due credit
as European writings appeared void of any mention of indebtedness
to Arab merits. What is more aggravating, these European writings
contained such malicious attacks against the Arabs and Muslims in
general that it becomes incumbent upon us to stand up to these attacks.
deplorable, however, that while the European body was growing
stronger and stronger thanks to the blood of knowledge flowing into
its arteries from the Arab and Muslim fountain of science and wisdom,
the Islamic nation was dwindling into the position of mere subordination
to and dependency on its glorious past. Muslims have become so captivated
by the models created by their great ancestors that most of their
works now are helpless and repeated imitations of those models.
Our ability to create new thoughts has come to a standstill. Our
religion has been confined to mere rituals to be performed. We have
disregarded the value of reason and thinking so esteemed by Islam.
Look at what our great Prophet (pbuh) said: "One hour of thinking
is far better than sixty years of worship". Our young people,
therefore, are confused! Is Islam a religion of rituals and worships
only, or is it a religion and a State which can lead its followers
to the right way of living if they adhere to it? If it is the latter,
where then is its role? How did we get to where we are now?
was one side of the issue which made us concerned, i.e. the tradition
of Islamic medicine and what should be done about it including our
duty to attract the attention of future generations to it and to
make it the subject of careful study with a view to unravelling
the reasons behind its growth and decline so that it may become
a model set for us and for our young men and women. Heritage to
the nation is like milk to the suckling baby; the stronger the mother,
the more full-bodied the milk is and the more healthy and immune
against diseases the baby becomes.
other side of the issue is the emergence of the twentieth century
giant of genetic engineering with its amazing findings that entice
scientists into applying them to man, particularly as research on
this subject takes place in the laboratories of the West where religion
has been separated from science, and because we Muslims have
nothing effective to contribute to this research. So we settled
for dependency upon Western scientists and confined our efforts
to following up news about their discoveries.
are also the deafening outcries of secular medicine demanding that
religious teachings stay away from medical sciences and medical
conduct, and the desperate attempts to spread these heresies in
the world under the guise of freeing man's mind from the fetters
has aroused men of philosophy, sociology and religion in the West
to counter this tide of attempts to alienate people from religious
loyalty. They put forward ideas, representing their view
of the matter, in answer to such heresies, and a lot of emerging
organizations have adopted these ideas.
the efforts made in the Islamic world to stand up to those heresies
were sporadic and almost ineffective. At best, they did not exceed
some individual contrivances which looked so weak and wane that
enemies exploited them in distorting the image of Islam. Yet, there
was not one single Islamic organization to repel these wrongs. Silence
in the face of all this must be looked upon now as a crime
against Islam and Muslims.
of the modern scientific innovations that has achieved great success
is the matter of test-tube babies. It is true that humanity stands
to gain a lot from this medical feat as it offers a practical solution to
the problem of childlessness faced by many families. Islam's
attitude towards this innovation is quite clear: it approves it
provided that the sperm and the ovum should be taken from the husband
and wife without the involvement of a third party. Yet, there is
another side to this bright coin. There are attempts to exploit
this success in an immoral way, which portends a disaster when family
lineages get mixed up, unless this problem is put under an Islamic
microscope to put apart what is permitted and what is prohibited.
was the second side of the matter at issue: the need for a doctor
who is conversant with Islam paralleled with the need for a man
of religion who is conversant with medicine. Thus modern scientific
innovations can be submitted to the scrutiny of Islamic Sharia.
third field of interest was the applied one, i.e. what is important
for Muslims' health, whether at the individual or the national level.
This is the concern of therapeutic and preventive medicine. Islam
is a religion that has given special attention to public as well
as private hygiene. But its followers have neglected these teachings.
in which marriage is permissible while adultery is prohibited has
saved its followers from venereal diseases that have spread like
an epidemic in all developed countries despite the great progress
achieved in antibiotic industries. It has also protected Muslims
against the prevalence of vile deeds that have given rise to a fatal
disease which plays havoc with many Western countries now, namely,
liquors and various alcoholic drinks, it is well known that many
countries in the world have been against prohibiting them. Yet,
it is equally well known that such countries are up against the
monstrous problem of alcoholism to grapple for which they allocate
budgets that exceed those of many Third World countries. The losses
in the national economies brought about by this problem have become
of such magnitude that many developed countries have embarked upon
issuing laws and regulations to curb the marketing and use of liquors.
Research abounds about the harmful effects of drinking which has
been prohibited in the Holy Quran.
drugs, they have become a dangerous weapon with which many countries
nowadays fight each other as drugs sap the addicts and turn them
into an idle and unproductive force.
such harmful things as adultery , sodomy, drinking, drug addiction,
etc. are essential in Islamic teachings which have always been,
the corner stone of preventive medicine, particularly in the field
of quarantine. But the lamentable thing is that these teachings
have been neglected by Islam's followers whereas they were made
full use of by Islam's enemies; for they have studied them thoroughly
and returned them to us as if it was of their own making. So, we
have accepted and adopted them just because everything coming from
the West must be good.
therapeutic field, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered his followers
to seek medical help and stay away from quacks and charlatans. One
of his authenticated Traditions on this point is: "Seek treatment,
O slaves of Allah; for He has not created a disease without a way
of curing it, known to some and unknown to others". Our great
ancestral scholars left us with a treasure of medical knowledge
characterised with precision and accuracy as a primary criterion
in observing its basic facts and in recording its findings. Europe
used this vast knowledge to its own advantage and kept applying
its findings in curing diseases up till the nineteenth century when
chemistry emerged as a full branch of science. Then they tried
to substitute it for medicinal plants and managed to persuade us
to follow suit. Thus, our countries have turned into a big
market for their products in this field. At this juncture, it was
necessary for us to go back to our rich heritage and study the potentials
of benefiting from medicinal plants in treatment in view of their
low costs and less likelihood of side effects. Moreover, these plants
do not require much experince as is the case with chemical materials,
in addition to the obvious fact that they are abundant in the Arab
and Islamic countries.
of all these innovations, there was a dire need for the emergence
of an organization to shoulder the responsibility of this enormous
undertaking. The drive was the words of God in the Holy Quran: "Do
you not see how Allah compares a good word to a good tree? Its root
is firm and its branches reach the sky; it yields its fruit in every
season by Allah's leave. Allah gives parables to men so that they
may take heed".
idea was nurtured in Kuwait and embraced by its good people.
Thus Kuwait was the base and point of departure for this great
project. Right from the start, the aspirations for the organization
transcended limited local effort or regional confinement. His
Highness the Amir of Kuwait extended his kind patronage
to this organization and encouraged its establishment.
Hence, the Amiri Decree No.18 for 1984 that set the idea
off the ground and the Islamic Organization for Medical
Sciences emerged into full existence to launch unswerving efforts
in nurturing the tree of medical sciences that had ceased to
bear any fruit through long negligence. This great tree will hopefully
spring back to full life if we are keen to feed it well; for
its roots are still alive.
IOMS has emerged to adopt Islamic medicine which is characterised
by viewing man in his capacity as Allah's deputy on earth and considering
him as one indivisible whole: body, soul, and spirit. It is a type
of medicine that derives its teachings and practices from Islamic
Sharia and abides by its provisions of what is permissible and what
is prohibited and the grey area between the two. It touches upon
everything related to man's health in a clear and logical language,
whether about diet or drug which is almost free from side effects.
benevolence was great. So, the idea was enthusiastically received
by some dear brethrens upon whom Allah has bestowed freely of His
limitless bounties and whose hearts have been filled with faith.
These are the Marzouqs represented by their sons, Mr. Khalid Al-Marzouq
and his brothers. They promptly took the initiative of ordering
a building for the Centre of Islamic Medicine to be implemented
with an Islamic architecture and planed with Islamic use in mind.
The building was meant to be the base of the Islamic Organization
for Medical Sciences, an Islamic edifice and a centre for Islamic
culture. They have dedicated this building to Kuwait and to the
whole of the Muslim community in application of Allah's words in
the Holy Quran: "He that gives his wealth for the cause of
Allah is like a grain of corn which brings forth seven ears, each
bearing a hundred grains. Allah gives abundance to whom He will;
He is munificent and all-knowing."
this offering be accepted from them by Allah; May they be credited
for it on the day of Reckoning; and May they be sufficiently compensated
for it both in this world and in the Hereafter.
world today needs to be reassured and saved from
the talons of those who let loose hideous conflicts and struggles
that lean on no religious, mental or spiritual basis.
relationship between man and his God is most sublime
and most noble. It is this kind of relationship that
motivates him to do good and stay away from evil. This is exactly
the way of Islam.
tree of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences that took
root in Kuwait is beginning to bear fruit with its achievements
and propagation of the idea in the Arab, Islamic and even non-lslamic countries.
The idea has been well received in the East as well as in the West,
and Islamic conferences are being held here and there raising the
Islamic voice to be heard in international and universal quarters,
and organizing man's relationships with his God and his environment,
and holding high the banner of Arabism and Islam: "The
scum is cast away, but that which is of use to man remains behind.
Thus Allah coins His parables".
are our achievements in the balance: if we have done right,
we thank Allah; and if we have fallen short of that, we ask
for His forgiveness.