Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet

William Courson

"Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet" ("Al-Tibb al-Nabawi") by Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyah (1292-1350 C.E.) translation by Juail Abdual Rub is the most famous example of the body of work collectively known in the Islamic world as "Prophetic medicine" or "medicine of the Prophet." Ibn Qayyim aims to give guidance stemming from the Prophet Muhammad for the preservation and restoration of both physical and spiritual health.

Despite its medical content, "Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet" differs from the writings of earlier Muslim physicians, such as Razi, Tabari and Avicenna in that it is written by a theologian who is more concerned with devotional praxis than medical theory. Ibn Qayyim's book is of great interest in that it delineates a wide range of customs and attitudes current at the time and the practices of ordinary people. The present work is just one part of Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyah 's lengthy compilation, 'Zaad al-Ma`aad' or 'Provisions for the Hereafter', which he wrote from memory whilst journeying from Damascus to Mecca for pilgrimage.

The book is split into four sections. Throughout, the author presents the guidance of the Prophet in dealing with a variety of health issues, including the treatment of ailments and preventive remedies to keep the body fit. As the Qur'an and Sunnah are the main sources of Islamic lifestyle codes, it stands to reason that they should likewise be referred to in the matters of health and disease. This is the approach taken by Ibn Al-Qayyim as he presents verses of the Qur'an and statements of the Prophet as his main reference relating to medical issues. The final chapters of the work include a glossary of remedies, herbs, foods and other natural substances that aid in the pursuit of health.

In these days when there is a great spirit of Islamic revivalism, many Islamic scholars and researchers have gone back to the wisdom of the most ancient Muslim scholars. This book is an example in particular of that process. Most Muslim physicians, if not all, are aware of the golden era of Islamic medicine that lasted for more than one thousand years, and are cognizant of the contributions of Muslim physicians made during that time that indeed laid the foundations of modern medicine.

"Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet" is a combination of religious and medical information, providing advice and guidance on the two aims of the Islamic medicine of its day - the preservation and restoration of health - in careful conformity with the teachings of Islam as enshrined in the Qur'an and the Hadith, or sayings of the Prophet. This book is a mine of information on the customs and sayings of the Prophet, as well as on herbal and medical practices current at the time of the author. In bringing together these two aspects, Ibn Qayyim has produced a concise summary of how the Prophet's guidance and teaching can be followed, as well as how health, sickness and cures were viewed by Muslims in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and which still enjoys much popularity in the Muslim world.

This is a fascinating work that will appeal not only to those interested in alternative systems of health and traditional lineages of medicine, but also to people wishing to acquaint themselves with or increase their knowledge of Qur'an and Hadith, the religion and culture of Islam, and Islamic contributions to world science and world civilization.

تعليقات (0)