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Medicine in Islam

Husain F. Nagamia, md frcs

(Eng and Edin)

Preservation of life is mandated by the following verse of the Qur’ ā n: “The saving of one life is as if one has saved humanity. “From the earliest times in the history of Islam, medicine has played a vital role. The importance of seeking treatment was emphasized by the Prophet himself in his sayings, which are known as the ī th: “Allah never created a disease for which he did not create a cure. So seek treatment.” “There is a cure for every malady (except old age). If the right treatment is administered, Allah willing the malady is cured. “All the religious scholars agree that a medical doctor is ordained to find a cure for a disease and if one is not found, he should continue to do research until it is found. Thus in Islam disease is not looked upon as a curse from God to be endured and suffered but as an affliction for which a cure has to be sought and administered, with patience and perseverance.

Ethics of Medicine in Islam: The Physician and the Patient

Very early in the history of Islamic civilization (second century after Hijra or the beginning of the Islamic calendar 1), Islamic medical ethical standards of practice were established set, and the relationship between a physician and patient was defined. The physician was always held to the highest professional standards and ethics in treating his patient. One of the earliest treatises written on medical ethics was Adab al-tab ī b (Practical Ethics of the Physician) by Ish. ā q Ibn Ali al-Ruh ā w ī , a ninth century physician practicing under the Islamic Caliphate. In this philosophical treatise Ruh ā w ī examines not only the relationships between a patient and a physician, but also a physician’s personal standards of behavior, conduct of daily activities, morality and even his relationship with God. A physician .........................