The Roots of Islamic Wellness

Muslims turn to the Quran and hadith for guidance in all areas of life, including health and medical matters. As collected in the ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad SAW once said that "Allah SWT did not create a disease for which he did not also create a cure." This has led to the development of what is known today as Islamic Medicine, which includes prescriptions regarding health from the Prophet SAW himself but more often, cures derived by world renowned Muslim physicians that have approached the science of medicine from a holistic perspective based on earlier guiding Islamic principles.

Over the centuries, Islamic traditional medicine has incorporated knowledge from the corpus of pre-existing civilizations as well such as the Greeks (Yunani), Mesopotamian, Persian, Roman, Chinese and Indian, among others. Muslim physicians such as Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna) and Muhammad ibn Zakaria al-Razi (also known as Rhazes) have expanded upon this tradition using Islamic principles. Although Ibn Sina made advances in pharmacology and in clinical practice, his greatest contribution was probably in the philosophy of medicine. He created a system of medicine that today we would call holistic and in which physical and psychological factors, drugs, and diet were combined in treating patients.

Not surprisingly, given the holistic nature of Islamic medicine and the emphasis of Tawheed in Islam, many of the well-known Muslim doctors, or Hakims, were also accomplished philosophers, jurists and scholars of metaphysics in their own right. Their quest for spiritual knowledge and faith in Allah SWT is what led them to find cures for physical ailments in the nature that Allah SWT created.

1 comment

  • R. Hamade

    Salam, I am a doctor specializing in Family medicine. I am currently in the integrative medicine track which focuses on the well-being of a patient as a whole. Basically we focus on lifestyle, integrative techniques including supplements, sleep, spirituality, other aspects that could affect the physical/mental well-being. I have to do a project to graduate. I was thinking about presenting some “supplements” recommended in Islam or other practices in Islam particularly Shia Islam, I want to ask you about any suggestions for my project so that I can benefit the community.

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