Islam and medicine

The statue of Persian physician and philosopher Avicenna in the United Nations office in Vienna as a part of the “Persian Scholars Pavilion” donated by Iran. (File photo)

Islamic scriptural sources are redolent with references to the human body and to health and hygiene in general.

From chapters explaining the conditions and goals of ritual purification to others dealing with bodily care or illnesses, in virtually every page, fuqaha, some of whom were also considered medical specialists in their own time, refer to what would today be called medical ethics.

From its onset, Islam placed great emphasis on health. The Holy Quran in several verses mentions the importance of good health. From distinctive sleeping patterns to advises on diet and medicinal properties of such as basil.

Modern medicine as we know it today has in fact been hugely influenced by Muslim physicians and scholars who laid the basis for medical practice in Europe. In this episode, we ask how Islam incorporates medicine.

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