Islamic  Approach to Medicine

Islamic Approach to Medicine

Islamic  Approach to Medicine

Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Hamid Al Sayyad


“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all beings.{الحمد لله رب العالمين} “”And my success can only come from Allah.” {وما توفيقى إلا بالله} ” 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


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:

“…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


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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