The Principles of General Health in Islam



Islam has adopted positively the principles of the general health to concentrate in the legislative fields. All of the precepts and laws of Islam yield the best fruits that preserve the physical health and guard against many diseases. Some Western physicians, after they had been acquainted with the Arab and Islamic medicine, accepted Islam. Dr. Georgeo Dar Blanto says, “All of the Islamic precepts, rituals, and recommended practices have a good relation to health. They always intend to achieve two goals at the same time; religious and physical.”

Dr. Ronan confirms the same fact. Dr. Rondsandge says, “The Islamic instructions represent health since they call to contentment and moderation in food and drink, cleaning, and washing with pure water five times a day before every ritual prayer. In addition, the ritual prayer is a set of physical activities. Islam has also decreed to confine those who are defected by infectious diseases. The Islamic sciences allot a great part of searches for the health conservation.”

The fascinating physical instructions of Islam admired the Western physicians, such as Dr. G. Blanton and Dr. Ronan, who regard the Prophet (s) as the noblest and the excellent physician in this world. Dr. Blanton says, “It is quite undeniable that treatment and health were within the main topics that Mohammed dealt with. In addition, he himself enjoyed a considerable acquaintance with medicine.”

At any rate, the Prophet (s) cared very much for the well-being since he believed that without the marks of the physical education along with its application, the elements of the sound life are unavailable. He was so careful of the physical soundness such that he used to instruct his companions to supplicate to God for good health and recovery, “After certitude, nothing is more beneficial than sound health.” He also approved medicine and called to specialization in this field. He said, “Science is of two sorts; physical and religious.” Likewise, he ordered of medication and assured that each malady has a remedy. He said, “Use medication. God has not made a malady before He had created its remedy, except death- it is surely cureless.” He also constituted a special medical program titled ‘At-Tibb un-Nabawi –The Prophetic Medicine-’. In this program, he exposed some diseases and provided their remedies in addition to a comprehensive elucidation of food, such as fruits, edibles, and meat that are medically useful.

Imam Ali (a) also expressed some physical courses within his recommendations and advice, among which was that magnificent advice he had afforded to his son Imam al-Hassan (a) in which he said: “O son! May I offer four words after which you will no longer need medicine? Do not eat unless you are hungry. Stop eating while you are still hungry. Chew food deliberately. Before sleeping, go to toilet. You will not need medicine.”

This advice is the highest physical recommendation that the modern medicine has declared. Overeating and inaccurate chewing bring about many diseases to the digestive system.

Imam as-Sadiq (a) also discussed medicine and hygiene and delivered valuable lectures that revealed the most accurate affairs of these sciences. He also discussed physiology, blood circulation and the microbes that affect diseases. Moreover, he reviewed the qualities of fruits, vegetables, meat, and the like. These physical and medical discoveries have been compiled in a book titled ‘Tibb ul-Imam as-Sadiq’ –Medicine of Imam as-Sadiq-. The Imam argued with the best physicians of his age and discussed the deepest and most accurate medical advances. Those physicians submitted to his knowledge and confessed of the questions he had provided. Most of these argumentations are recorded in the books dealing with the life of the Imam. We may consider that the best of these advances are those recorded in the book titled ‘Amalil Imam as-Sadiq’ –Dictations of Imam as-Sadiq-, in which chapters pertaining to physiology with its accurate questions and topics are recorded. The most modern scientific labs and analytic devises and technology have not attained the topics that are discussed in that book. Naturally, these treatises contributed in the development of hygiene. As much as we conceive, the most splendid physical theses that are related to the Imams (a) are those recorded in the book titled ‘Ar-Risaletul Thehebiya’ –The Golden Treatise-. It is also called ‘Tibbul Imam ar-Rida’ –The Medicine of Imam ar-Rida-.

Imam ar-Rida (s) wrote it as a response to the demand of al-Mamun, the Abbasid caliph. Historians mention that the caliph concerned greatly with that book that he ordered the writing it with gold and betook as a course of his physical life. He also eulogized that book honorably. He said, “I named it the golden and stored it in the store of wisdom after the Hashemite youth had copied it. The soundness of corporeality depends upon the well preservation of food and averts diseases to form vigorous life that brings about wisdom due to which the Paradise is gained.”

It surely deserved protection, guard, attention, and consideration since the seekers of wisdom and knowledge could depend and refer to it. It also was the authority since it came out of the houses that inherited the Prophet’s rulings, the prophets’ eloquence, the successors’ proofs and the scholars’ ethics. It is the remedy of the diseased. I showed it my retinue and the most knowledgeable people of wisdom, medicine, and authoring. They all praised and applauded it for the high rank of its writer and the truthful contents.”

The Imam (a) disputed with the master scholars of his age that the caliph had gathered for overcoming him so that the caliph would have a flaw through which he would debase and disgrace him. However, those master scholars were unable to overpower the Imam. They confessed of his virtue and mastery in that field.



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