Medical Care in Islamic Tradition During the Middle Ages
By Mohammad Amin Rodini
Journal Admin International Journal of Medicine and Molecular Medicine, Vol.3:7 (2012)
Abstract: The present paper is an endeavor to study some issues related to medical care and hospital during the Middle Ages. Promotion of Medical Care and; the contribution of eminent Physicians during the middle ages; Muslim Views on Seeking Medical Treatment; Examination of Patient by Member of Opposite Sex in Islam; and Al-Bimarsitan (Hospital) As a Centre for Medical Care and Education; are among the major themes in this paper.
Introduction: Imam Bukhari (194-256/ 810-870) was aware that medicine of the Prophet (al-tibb al-nabawi) emphasized prevention of disease. Therefore, in many occasions, the Prophet (s.a.w) kept advising his Ummah to ask God to grant her certitude and well being. The Prophet (s.a.w) admitted that, after certitude, no one has ever received a blessing greater than health and well-being. This indicates that Islam honors good health, strength, and well being and considered it as the most prized, precious, and generously gifts from Allah (s.w.t). The Prophet (s.a.w) who was well aware that peoples might waste their times when they are healthy, reminded them by saying: “There are two gifts of which many men are cheated: health and leisure.” This saying became true when we found that peoples would not give full attention to preventive medicine as they would given to diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The Prophet (s.a.w) emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine because of many reasons. First, `Ibadat (worship) cannot be concentrically performed without good health and well-being as Abu al-Darda’ (r.a) had once voiced to the Prophet (s.a.w): “To be healthy and grateful is better than to be ill and endure patiently.” The Prophet (s.a.w) replied him by saying: “Allah (s.w.t) loves healthy people, as you do.” With this in mind, an Arab came and asked God’s Messenger (s.a.w): “What should I ask Allah (s.w.t) upon concluding each of the five daily prayers?”. God’s Messenger (s.a.w) replied: “Pray for good health.” The man further asked: “Then what”? God’s Messenger (s.a.w) reiterated: “Pray for good health.” The man asked again: Then what? God’s Messenger (s.a.w) replied again: “Pray for good health and well being in this world and in the hereafter.”