Islâm And Health

Today, all universities teach that the practice of medicine consists of two parts: The first is hygiene, keeping the body healthy, and the second is therapeutics, treatment of diseases. The first of the two has precedence. It is the primary task of medicine to protect people against diseases and to keep them healthy. Even if a sick person is cured, he may still remain invalid and defective. And now to the point: hygiene, medicine's first task is vouchsafed by Islam. In the second part of the book Mawâhib-ul-ladunniyya, it has been proven that the Qur'ân alkerîm promotes both aspects of medicine as expressed in some verses.

Our prophet Muhammad (sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam) had established close relations with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. They used to correspond with and send envoys to each other. On one occasion, Heraclius sent him many presents. One of the presents was a medical doctor. When the doctor arrived he came to our Prophet and said "Sir! His Majesty has sent me to you as a servant. I shall treat those that are ill free of charge." Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam) accepted his services. As ordered, the doctor was given a house. Everyday, they brought delicious food and drink for him. Days and months passed. No Muslims came to see him. Consequently, the doctor, feeling ashamed, requested permission to leave, saying: "Sir! I came here to serve you. Up to now no sick person has come to me. I have been sitting idly eating and drinking comfortably. And now I'd like to go back home." Our Prophet (sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam) responded: "It is up to you. If you would like to stay longer, it is the Muslims' primary duty to serve and show honour to their guests. However, if you would like to leave now, have a good journey! But you must know that, even if you were to stay here for years, no Muslim would come to see you. It is because my Companions do not become ill. The Islamic religion has shown the way to good health. My Companions pay great attention to cleanliness. They do not eat anything unless they are hungry, and they stop eating before becoming fully sated."

With the words above, we do not mean to say that a Muslim never becomes ill. However, a Muslim who pays attention to his health and cleanliness remains healthy for a long time. He hardly becomes ill. Death is a fact of life. It cannot be avoided. Everyone will die as a result of some illness. Yet, being able to keep one's body healthy until the time of death is possible only by paying attention to Islam's commandments on cleanliness.