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Main » 2011 » March » 9 » Islamic Medicine History and Current Practice
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Islamic Medicine History and Current Practice

Islamic Medicine History


Considerable confusion exists in literature regard- ing the definition of 'Islamic Medicine'. This is main- ly because each author that writes about 'Islamic Medicine' is actually writing about an aspect of Islamic Medicine. Thus the definition can vary depending upon the perspective. The context can be historical, cultural, scientific, pharmacological, ther- apeutic, religious or even a geo-political. In this monograph we shall be examining this body of knowledge mainly from its historical, scientific, ther- apeutic and application viewpoints.

The main source of all inspirational knowledge in Islam is 'The Holy Quran' . This book is considered by Muslims or followers of Islam to be the word of Allah or God, revealed by Him to the Prophet of Islam: Mohammed. A secondary source of a Muslims' inspiration is the 'Hadith or Sunna', which are the recorded and authenticated sayings and tradi- tions of the Prophet of Islam: Mohammed.

As such not much medicine is mentioned in the Quran except for beneficial effects of some natural foods viz. honey and abstinence from intake of alco- hol or other intoxicants proscribed on every Muslim, yet the Quran is the guiding spirit that every Muslim has to follow, including the physicians in treating their patient and the patients in handling their illness. However very early in the Islamic era, the Hadith lit- erature had accumulated a number of sayings and tra- ditions of the Prophet under a collection called the

'Prophetic Medicine'. These edicts expounded on virtues of diet, natural remedies, and management of simple ailments like headache, fever, sore throat, conjunctivitis, etc. More importantly however injunctions were prescribed against contact with per- sons having a contagious disease for instance leprosy or entering or leaving an area of an epidemic or plague, thus helping to limit the disease. In addition a large number of traditions were collected under the title of 'Spiritual Medicine'. These were a collection of the verses of the Quran or prayers to the Almighty, which invoked blessings and which had to be recited when affliction was to be expurgated.

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Source : http://www.islamicmedicines.com/index.php/Islamic-Medicine/intro-template.html
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