Islam and Medicine


In Islam, the human body is a source of appreciation, since it was created by the Almighty Allah (God). How it works, how to keep it clean and safe, how to prevent diseases by attacking or healing them, were all important issues for Muslims.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself urged the people to “take medicine against their diseases”, as people at that time did this with much opposition. He (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) also said: “God did not create a disease, without setting a drug for it, except for old age. When the antidote is inserted, the patient will become better if God wants it. “

This was a strong motivation to encourage Muslim chemists to research, develop and apply empirical laws. Much attention was given to medicines and public health care. The first hospital was built in Baghdad in the year 706. The Muslims also used camel caravans as mobile hospitals, which moved from place to place.

Since religion did not forbid it, Muslim scholars used the corpses of people to study anatomy and physiology and to show their students how the body functions. This empirical study made it possible for surgery to develop very quickly.

Al-Razi, known in the West as Rhazes, the famous physician and scientist, (died in 932 after Alhidjra) was one of the greatest medicine in the world at the time of the Middle Ages. He emphasized empirical observations and clinical medicine, and was unmatched in diagnosing. He also wrote a treatise on hygiene in hospitals.

Khalaf Abul-Qasim Al-Zahrawi was a well-known surgeon in the eleventh century, known in Europe for his work Concessio (Kitab al-Tasrif).

Ibn Sina (died in 1037), better known in the West as Avicenna, was perhaps the greatest physician to the modern era. His famous book, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, remained a standard textbook even in Europe, for more than 700 years. Ibn Sina’s work is still being studied and used as a basis in the East. Other significant contributions were made in pharmaceuticals, such as the Kitab al-Shifa (the Book of Healing) of Ibn Sina, and in public health. Every major city in the Islamic world had a number of excellent hospitals, some provided training for hospitals, and many were specialized in certain diseases, including mental and emotional.

The Ottomans were particularly known for the hospitals they built and for the high level of hygiene that they experienced.