Tag Archives: Muhammad

Islam and the World of Sciences

Islam and the Sciences

Muslims’ Contributions to the Advancement of Medical Sciences

The story of Islam would remain incomplete without looking at all that it has brought to the world, both in the past and today, in the fields of the arts, sciences, mathematics and medicine. Arab scholars translated scores of learned works from Greek and Latin into Arabic. In this way the works of such thinkers as Aristotle, Plato and Euclid, among many others, had been preserved. The world’s early physicians, Galen and Hippocrates, were studied by Arab doctors who brought to medical science their own knowledge of drugs and medicines.

It is through these Arabic versions that European scholars first learnt much about the scientific knowledge of the ancient world, In fact, Arabs not only rendered scientific works into Arabic but also made huge contributions to them. Many modern scientific terms, such as chemistry, zero, and rocket, among many others, came from Arabic. What we call Arabic numerals today (1 , 2, 3, and so on), were actually invented in India, but it was Muslim scholars who worked out the full system of decimal calculation and passed it on to Europe.

Islam and MedicineMedical Research

In the field of medicine, Muslim physicians concentrated on the use of drugs and herbs. They knew about the importance of dieting, the climate and mental strain affecting the health of patients. Muslim doctors became experts in treating eye diseases. Muslims also set up public hospitals with highly trained, permanent staff, where young doctors could study and do research.

There are several verses of the Quran in which medical questions of general order are discussed. There are also many sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) dealing with health, sickness, hygiene and problems pertaining to the field of medicine. Diseases such as leprosy, ophthalmia are mentioned. This body of hadeeth on medical questions was systematized by later Muslim scholars and became known as at-Tibb an-Nabawee, or Medicine of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) once said, “There is a remedy for every disease, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” (Muslim)

Western Europe trusted the medical knowledge of the Muslim World. In the Middle Ages, France sold a very popular ointment called Blanc de Razes. It was named after a very famous doctor and scholar called ar-Raazee.

Abu Bakr ar-Raazee (known in the West as Razes), who came from near Tehran in Iran, wrote on almost every aspect of medicine. He died in 31 3 AH/925 AD. Ar-Raazee wrote the earliest book we have about infectious diseases in which he set out very clearly the differences between measles and smallpox.

Ar-Raazee also wrote two other books, which had been translated into Latin and became the main textbooks for medical students in Western Europe in the Middle Ages. Altogether ar-Raazee had written 1 75 books. Besides his medical works and the books on mathematics and philosophy, he experimented and wrote on chemistry and many other sciences. Among numerous medical works, ar-Raazee’s most important was Al-Haawee (The Comprehensive Book), an enormous medical encyclopedia originally in twenty volumes, of which ten have survived.

Al-Birunee also wrote on a wide variety of scientific subjects. His most important contributions as a scientist were his keen observations of natural phenomena, rather than theories. Sometimes called “the master,” he became one of the best-known Muslim scientists of his time.

The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) have rendered a very significant contribution in the development of medical sciences. There are tomes of Arabic medical literature lying dormant in museums and libraries which contain ideas and knowledge on every conceivable field of medicine; from bacteriology, surgery, physiology, gynaecology, immunology, psychology, psychiatry and ophthalmology, which are not only valid today but in some cases far in advance of contemporary concepts held in the west.

The Arabs played a vital and dynamic role in medical history. Their discoveries covered such fields as surgery where the principles of suturing (stitches made in sewing up a wound) and wound treatment are still valid today, They were the first to establish hospitals, as we know them today, with separate wards for different diseases.

It is interesting to note that the scientists in Cordova with their seventeen libraries, one of which contained more than four hundred thousand volumes, enjoyed luxurious baths at a time when washing the body was considered a dangerous custom at the University of Oxford. In fact, free inquiry was considered a sin in Europe.

Consequently, great scientists were burnt alive, These include Bruno who believed in the revolution of the earth (a theory of Copernicus), and Galileo for their scientific beliefs. On the other hand, in Baghdad in 1 1 68 AD, there were about sixty well-organized medical institutions and the Mustansiriyyah Medical College, The College had a magnificent building, excellent furniture, a library with rare scientific books and a vast dining hall to serve food to the students, The hospitals had both outdoor and indoor departments. Female nurses served the patients.

Muslim anatomists carried out dissections of human bodies. They held that human skull consisted of eight bones while Galen had thought there were only seven bones.

The scholar Burhaanuddeen wrote in his book Sharf-ul-Asbaab that blood contains sugar. Ar-Raazee discovered a sour matter, acid, in the stomach. In his book Sharh Tashreeh al-Qaanoon, Ibn an-Nafees described pulmonary circulation centuries before the noted English physician William Harvey described the circulation of blood in 1628. His voluminous book on the art of medicine, titled al-Kitaab ash-Shaamil, featured sections on surgical techniques and the obligations of surgeons to their patients.

Ibn Seenaa (best known in the West as Avicenna) explained the digestive system and he discovered that the secretions in the mouth mixed with food and helped its digestion long before this was known in the west. He also excelled in bacteriology: the basis of modern medical science, which is a product of research on germs.

Measles and smallpox were regarded by ar-Raazee as two distinct diseases. He wrote a book on the subject. Muslims in Turkey treated smallpox through vaccination in 1679. The system reached Europe in the eighteenth century through Lady Montague, wife of the British ambassador in Turkey.

Abul-Qasim az-Zakraawee discovered the cause of paralysis due to injury to the spinal cord. Hay fever was first described by Bahaa-ud-Dawlah in 1507, which was discovered by the Europeans centuries later.

Tuberculosis was defined for the first time by Abul Hasan at-Tabaree as an inflammation that not only affects the lungs but also other parts of the body. He was the first physician who acquainted the world with scabies, a skin disease that makes one itch a lot.

Najid-ud-deen as-Samarqandee discovered nephritis, an acute inflammation of the kidneys, which is named for Richard Bright, centuries before he claimed he discovered it. As-Samarqandee also described albumen, which causes the body to swell if it passes through urine.

The skill of surgery reached its zenith with Arab surgeons. Abul Qaasim az-Zahraawee invented many surgical instruments. Anaesthesia was applied by Muslim physicians to keep the patient unconscious as long as seven days while conducting operations, Most highly developed was the surgery of the eye.

According to al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) approved of hijaamah (cupping) treatment, which is a method whereby polluted blood is drained from the body. The Prophet (pbuh), however, advised not to resort to hijaamah (cupping) without proper medical advice.

The list of Muslim contributions to the world of sciences is long and very interesting indeed! You will, inshaa Allaah, learn more about this in the years to come.

Salat-ul Jumaat (The Friday Prayer) – Part 2

Salat-ul Jumaat - The Friday Prayer

Etiquette and Duties on Friday

  1. Wearing clean clothes and perfume

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Each Muslim male must take a bath on Friday and wear his best clothes; and if he has any fragrance, let him wear it,” (Ahmad and Abu Daawood)

  1. Reciting Surat al-Kahf

It is recommended to recite Surat al-Kahf on the preceding night or during the day of Friday, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Whoever recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, what is between the Fridays will be illuminated by light for him,” (al-Haakim)

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Salat-ul Jumaat (The Friday Prayer)

Jumah - The Friday Prayer

The Friday Prayer is an Obligation upon Men

The Friday congregation prayer (Salaat-ul-Jumaat) is compulsory for men, as Almighty Allah says,

“O you who have believed, when (the adhan) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumaat (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (Quran, 62:9)

The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “Let some people stop avoiding attending the Friday prayer, or Allah will stamp a seal on their hearts. Then they will become of those who are heedless.” (Muslim)

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Al-Qasr: Shortening the Prayers

Al-Qasr: Shortening the Prayers

Definition

Shortening the obligatory prayers (Qasr-us-Salaat) means to perform two rakats instead of four rakat for the noon prayer (salaat-udh-Dhuhr), the afternoon prayer (salaat-ul-Asr) and the late evening prayer (salaat-ul-lshaa’) l reciting Surat al-Fctcttihah in addition to another surah of the Quran. There is no shortened form of the dawn prayer (salaat-ul-Fajr), which always consists of two rakats, nor of the sunset prayer (salaat-ul-Maghrib), which invariably consists of three rakats.

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Surah al-Burooj – The Mansions of the Stars

Learn Quran - Surah Borooj

Sural al-Burooj was revealed in Makkah and consists of twenty-two verses. This surah may be divided into six parts.

  1. In the first part (verses 1-3), Almighty Allah swears by the sky and the great stars; the Day of Resurrection; the witness, which is Friday and the witnessed, which is the Day of Arafah.
  2. The second section (verses 4-9) refers to the story of the People of the Ditch. It provides information about a group of people who were among the disbelievers. They went after those among them who believed in Allah and they attempted to force them to give up their religion. However, the believers refused to recant, so the disbelievers dug a ditch for them in the ground. Then they lit a great fire in it and prepared some fuel for it in order to keep it ablaze. Then they tried to convince the believers to leave their religion again, but they still refused to do so, so they threw them into the blazing fire.

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At-Tayammum – The Symbolic Ablution (Using Earth for Purification)

At-Tayammum - The Symbolic Ablution

The Word Tayammum

Jayammum is an Arabic word which means ‘to turn to, to aim at, to head for, to intend’. The relevance of the term in the Islamic Law [sharee’ah] is that when water is either not available or when its use is likely to cause harm one should ‘turn to’ clean earth with the intention of offering salaah and other acts of worship which require wudhoo. Toyammum is, therefore, a symbolic ablution. It is a way of obtaining purification when water is not available.

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Dua (Supplication)

Islam Dua

Making dua is one of the greatest bounties Almighty Allah has given us. Through it we may get anything we desire by sincerely asking Allah for it. Of course, there are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled for dua to be accepted. But dua is an act of worship in itself that is simple, easy and available at anytime we feel like it because Allah is al-Hayy and ol-Qayyoom: always there to listen to our dua and respond to it.

None of us, therefore, should ever despair and say, “I don’t think Allah will answer my supplication”. Rather, we should be hopeful and frequently pray to Him to grant us what we want in this life and in the hereafter.

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Suhat Mutaffifin

Learn Quran - Surah Mutaffifin

This surah consists of thirty-six verses and takes its name from the term al-mutaffifeen, which occurs in the first verse.

This surah may be divided into four sections.

  1. It opens up with a severe warning of distress and sorrow to those who deceive others in commercial dealings by giving short measures when they have to give by measure and weight to others and demanding full measure when they have to receive by measure and weight from others. Thus it touches upon every aspect of social, practical and moral relations. It applies to every individual’s rights and duties. This surah strongly warns those who practise cheating, trickery and other evil methods when dealing with others. The first part of the surah condemns those people who try to gain something at the cost of others. They use double standards — one for themselves, the other for everyone else. We observe this wicked practice among shopkeepers, grocers, traders and businessmen, among many others. They evade taxes, use cheap materials, sell outdated medicines, hide defects in their products, use false advertisements and bribe officials in order to amass money. They spend their whole lives cheating and hoarding. They defraud their workers by not paying them a just wage, use false weights and measures, adulterate food and other products for sale, re-write expiry dates, overcharge customers and even deal in usury (the so-called interest) by taking unjust advantage of other people’s needs in order to make excessive profits. The Quran warns them, “Do they not know that they are bound to be resurrected and called to account on an awesome day, the day when mankind will stand before the Lord of all the worlds?” (verses 1 – 6)

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Patience (Sabr)

Patience and Quran

Almighty Allah says about patience:

“O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.”

(Quran, 3:200)

He also says:

“And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they cons”

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AI-Ma’moom: The Person Following the Imam

The Persons Following the Imam  in Salah

If there is only an individual present (one ma’moom), the ma’moom must station himself to the right of the prayer leader (imam); he must not stand behind him or on his left,

If they are a congregation (jamaah), that is to say, if there is more than one ma’moom, they should stand behind the imam. Hence, if the male followers are two or more, they stand behind the imam. If the group is made up of men and women, the men stand behind the imam while the women stand behind the men. If there is only one man and one woman, the man stands beside the imam on his right, while the woman stands behind them.

The ma’moom is not allowed to pray alone behind a row; otherwise, his prayer will not be valid.

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