Overview of Health Care in Islamic History and Experience - EthnoMed (2023)

Overview of Health Care in Islamic History and Experience - EthnoMed (1)


This article provides a short historical review about health care in Muslim experience, as well as current general information about Muslim people and their main observances and concerns in the Western health care system. Muslims in the U.S. come from many different cultures and schools of thought. A detailed explanation about differences is beyond this article’s scope and purpose. This document focuses on similar beliefs and observances with regard to health care, illness, and death and dying among Muslims in the US.

Finally this document offers a list of suggested readings and resources available on the Internet.

In the body of this article, common Islamic concepts or terms are linked to external websites that provide more information. These websites are noted, along with additional resources in the Suggested Resourcesat the end of this article.

General Information

The word “Islam” means peace and submission to the will ofAllah(translated literally as “the God”); those who follow Islam are called Muslims. Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions after Judaism and Christianity. In the 7 th century C.E. Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula, or present day Saudi Arabia. Muslims believe that there is only one God and that Muhammad was the last Prophet of God. They also believe that God revealed teachings to Muhammad, which are recorded in the Islamic Holy Scripture:

TheQur’an. TheQur’anadvises Muslims on their religious duties, including theFive Pillars of Islam, or religious obligations, including confession of faith, prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage.

Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad as an exemplar and they try to emulate his deeds in their own lives by following his traditions and theQur’anicinstructions. Such teachings have historically influenced attitudes and practices toward different aspects of life including birth, illness, and death and dying, as well as the development of political, social and economic structures. These factors often impact policies on health care and shape Muslim sub-communities’ attitudes about receiving medical treatment from the larger non-Muslim society.

During the early period of development, Islam was influenced by different factors including the cultural practices of newly conquered lands. Muslim rulers in these regions had to be rather flexible and they adopted and improvised many existing local practices; therefore, innovations in health care practice were accepted provided that they did not conflict with Islamic Law (The Sunnah: Practice and Law (shari'ah)). Shari’ah considers Muslims as one community (Ummah)

and prescribes their activity from birth to death. Measures for basic health care in Islamic Law include diet and personal hygiene. Due to differences between local personal habits, different interpretations of the Shari’ah developed during the early period of Islam. These interpretations resulted in the development of Five Distinct Schools of Figh, or Islamic Jurispurdence. Although these schools interpret the Shari’ah based on their own theological approach, they share nearly the same fundamental beliefs on the matter of death and dying.

Pre-Modern Medicine in Islamic Experience

There are no specific codes for medical treatment of physical illnesses in theQur’an. In Islamic tradition the difference between health and illness was, and still is, perceived as balance and imbalance or the Humoral Theory. Muslims have historically sought theQur’anas a healing source in times of psychological and spiritual distress. When experiencing physical illness, Muslims have also been open to the rituals and medicinal practices of different traditions, including those of non-Muslims. The following sayings of the Prophet are used to encourage patients to seek proper treatments in time of illness:

“There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.”Volume 7, Book 71, Number 58

“Taking proper care of one’s health is the right of the body.”Bukhari as-Sawm 55, an-Nikah 89, Muslim as-siyyam 183, 193, Nisai

“The Prophet not only instructed sick people to take medicine, but he himself invited expert physicians for this purpose.”D.o.H. p.50, As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet p.125

Historically, there has been a close relationship between religion and medicine and its practices. Muslims have been open to accept, use and improve non-Muslim as well as pre-Islamic healing rituals. They have adopted and improvised many practices such as home-made herbal and medicinal tonics, dietary restrictions, and amulets to ward off bad spirits. They also have adopted practices such as male circumcision, cupping, bloodletting, cauterization and ligaturing. During the pre-modern era, Islamic medical and other sciences leaned heavily upon local medical practices, as well as on works translated from Greek. These influences resulted in the further advancement of medical sciences, especially in the 11th and 12th century.

Modern Period

One of the most significant changes in Islamic history occurred toward the end of the Ottoman period. During this transition the previously united Islamic world was fragmented into many newly independent Muslim countries due to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the expansion of Western colonialism. These changes resulted in socio-political appropriation and adaptation of European influences, such as constitutional models and family law, as well as accepted medical treatments. As the result state-supported public and local health clinics were established and local therapeutic traditions experienced decline. By the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries in many Muslim states/nations, the aim of state-sponsored health clinics was to eliminate local diseases and to provide education about reproduction.

While European medical practices were strong influences in early modern Muslim societies, it should also be noted that the sciences in Europe did not arise in a vacuum. Rather, they were historically based upon theGreco-Arabic medicinal sciences.

Contemporary Approach

Contemporary Muslims’ approach to health care is still strongly based on preventative measures. In many cases, although Muslim patients seek a curative process through surgical or medical means, they still look to their religious and cultural heritage to address their spiritual, social and cultural needs. Preventative healthcare strategies in Muslim experience include: personal hygiene, dietary measures such as the restriction in eating specific ingredients (such as pork and its byproducts, and drinking alcohol), and the avoidance of addictive habits such as smoking tobacco or over-consumption of food.

The Muslim population in the US is very diverse and colorful. The cultural background of different Muslim groups might influence the way in which they respond to illness and other life crises. For example, some Muslims may perceive a sudden death or illness as a sign of punishment, or a test from God. Moreover, when an immigrant Muslim family moves to a larger non-Muslim society they may adopt certain elements of their new cultural environment. However, one aspect that is usually the same regardless of country of origin is in relation to the practices surrounding death and dying.


In Islam, life is considered sacred and belongs to God. (002.164;003:156). It is believed that all creatures die at a time determined by God (029:57;003:185). Therefore, suicide (002:195) and euthanasia are forbidden. DNR orders are acceptable:

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“The Islamic perspective on do-not-resuscitate orders has been described and is complex. A do-not-resuscitate order is consistent with the tenets of Islam. The withdrawal of support in the setting of a persistent vegetative state is less clear”. (Naughton and Davis, 2001).

Muslims believe in the after life. TheQur’anemphasizes that death is just a transition for the soul to depart the body and enter into another realm (002:28;002:56). Muslims also believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness (002:54;004:96). In times of illness Muslims find strength from prayer and meditation, and may find spiritual healing in reciting theQur’an, particularly if they perceive their illness as a test or punishment from God (003:17). Therefore, it can be very helpful and comforting to provide Muslim patients and their families a copy of theQur’anand access to a private space to perform their daily prayers.


The definition of death in Islam is the departure of the soul from the body in order to enter the afterlife. TheQur’andoes not provide any specific explanation of the signs of this departure. The common belief is that death is the termination of all organ functions. In 1986, at the third International Conference of Islamic Juristsin Amman, Jordan, aFatwa was issued thatequated brain death to cardiac and respiratory death. This ruling accelerates and facilitates the process for organ transplantation.

TheFatwa no. V: of this conference reads: “A person is considered legally dead and all the Shari’ah’s principles can be applied when one of the following signs is established:

(i) Complete stoppage of the heart and breathing which are decided to be irreversible by doctors.

(ii) Complete stoppage of all vital functions of the brain which are decided to be irreversible by doctors and the brain has started to degenerate. Under these circumstances it is justified to disconnect life supporting systems even though some organs continue to function automatically (e.g. the heart) under the effect of the supporting devices”(Hassaballah, 1996)

Since death is viewed as a process that bridges the soul’s existence from one life to the next, it isacceptableto discontinue the use of life support equipment that prolongs the life of a patient. In medically-futile situations, in which life support equipment is used to prolong organ functions, the condition needs to be carefully explained to the family so they do not mistake DNR orders with euthanasia.

When death happens, Muslims believe that the soul returns to his or her creator (002:156). The family members of the deceased immediately prepare to perform the burial as soon as possible. If death occurs in a hospital or hospice, the face of the deceased person or his/her bed should be turned toward Mecca (in a northeast direction in the United States). The clothes are removed by same gender family members and the body will be covered by sheets. The family quickly prepares the arrangements for washingFuneral Rites and Regulations in Islam.

In Islam, the body is sacred and belongs to God; therefore, autopsy examinations are only allowed when legal requirements demand it. Embalming and cremation are forbidden in Islam; therefore, the families try to bury their loved ones before the body decays. At the time of death of a loved one, Muslims usually are supported by their community of affiliation and mosques. When an unexpected or sudden death occurs, hospitals may receive a large number of visitors and community members to support the patient and family.

(See also in EthnoMed cultural information about Somali Muslims, including information about funeral traditions, beliefs surrounding death and encounters with the medical examiner:Somali Cultural Profile.)

Important Religious and Cultural Facts in Providing Care

In caring for hospitalized Muslim patients, the following information will help to provide a more comfortable stay for patients, and will facilitate communication between staff and their patients and families.


To support psychological and spiritual health and healing, it is widely believed that reading and reciting theQur’anbrings blessings to those who are spiritually and psychologically distressed; therefore, providing a copy of theQur’anto Muslim patients is helpful.

Muslim Women

Muslim women prefer to have same gender doctors and nurses in order to follow rules of modesty in regard to the opposite sex. Related to this, Muslim women cover their head and body in various Islamic coverings (Hijab), according to the custom of their country of origin. To show respect, healthcare workers should ask a Muslim woman for permission to uncover parts of her body for injection, or for any other medical reasons.

It is helpful to have a sign on female Muslim patients’ door asking the staff to knock first before entering. This will provide them a few seconds to put on their Hijab. Additionally, it is helpful to provide a sign requesting that medical staff return in a few minutes in order to give female patients enough time and privacy to perform their daily prayers.

Diet and Food Restriction

Muslims follow dietary requirements that may affect compliance with prescriptions. Muslims avoid eating pork or drinking alcohol, and are proscribed from taking medicines that contain alcohol or pork byproducts unless they are life-saving drugs and no substitute is available. Usually at a time of necessity Muslims follow the general rule that “necessity dictates exception” (016:115;012:068;006:145): “Porcine heparin, for example, contains gelatin from pork products, and is the only heparin universally used.

That was thought to cause a potential problem for Jewish, Muslim, and Seventh-day Adventist patients at this institution,” says Doha Hamza, the coordinator of Muslim volunteers at the spiritual care service department at Stanford (CA) University Medical Center. “We investigated the issue with an Imam and a Muslim doctor who concurred that the use of porcine heparin is lawful because of the chemical modification the product undergoes and the urgent need involved. Also the amount is so small, it doesn’t fit the definition of consumption.” Similar solutions might be found for insulin products derived from pork and porcine heart valves” (Pennachio, 2005). (Since January 2006,pork insulin for human use has no longer been manufactured or marketed in the U.S.)

In hospices it is helpful to pay attention to pork product usage in the daily food menu for Muslim patients. It is also recommended to inform the patient about medications that contain alcohol.

Another dietary sensitivity occurs during the month ofRamadan(9th month ofHijri Calendar) when all healthy and physically able adult Muslims fast (002-183).

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Those who are ill, menstruating, lactating or pregnant or those who are traveling are not expected to fast. Those who miss the Ramadan fast may fast once they become healthy, or once they have returned to their homes. Alternately, those who missed the fast may pay alms in order to make up for the days they missed (002-184).

Since many Muslims approach illness as a test or punishment, they may wish to fast to receive spiritual or physical healing. In these cases, a Muslim chaplain or an Imam may be helpful to encourage and negotiate an almsgiving alternative that reduces potential physical weakening.

Important Dates

Eid MubarakandEid Adhaare two of the most important holidays which all Muslims recognize. On these two days, Muslims visit hospitals to visit their communities’ patients, as well as cemeteries. Eid Fitr celebrates the final day of Ramadan. On the Eid Fitr, the fast is broken and all Muslims gather in community to celebrate with a celebratory community meal. On that day the head of each household pays their annual alms to a charity of their choice. Eid Adha occurs during the Hajj (pilgrimage) which celebrates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismael (Ishmael). On these important dates, healthcare workers may see an increase in visitors for their Muslim patients.


Devout Muslims pray (salaat) 5 times a day. Daily salaat is mandatory and performed at dawn, noon, mid afternoon, sunset, and late night. It is helpful to direct the bed of a terminally ill Muslim patient toward Mecca (in a northeast direction in the United States) for spiritual reasons. Also it should be noted that Muslims ritually wash (Wuzu) before their daily prayers. This ritual includes washing the arms, face, mouth, ears, and feet each time before prayers. Therefore, if a patient desires to engage in this practice, extra effort will be needed from the medical team and nurses to help the patient meet this requirement.


Since there are no specific codes onIslamic Ethics of Organ Transplantation and Brain Deathand organ donation in the Shari’ah, there are different approaches to treatment.

Most Muslim jurists and their followers accept organ donations because it is in harmony with the Islamic principle of saving lives. (5:32)

“The following requirements should be met before transplantation: (1) a transplant is the only form of treatment available; (2) the likelihood of success is high; (3) the consent of the donor or next of kin is obtained; (4) the death of the donor has been established by a Muslim doctor; (5) there is no imminent danger to the life of a living donor; and (6) the recipient has been informed of the operation and its arrangement for ritual body wash” (Sarhill, N., LeGrand, S., Islambouli, R., Davis, M. P., & Walsh, D. (2001).

Cited References

Hassaballah, A. M. (1996). Minisymposium. definition of death, organ donation and interruption of treatment of islam.Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation: Official Publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association – European Renal Association, 11(6), 964-965.

Naughton, M., & Davis, M. (2001). Discussing do-not-resuscitate status: Furthering the discourse.Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 19(13), 3301-3302.

Pennachio, D. L. (2005).Cultural competence: Caring for your Muslim patients. Medical Economics. Retrieved 5/10/2008, 2008, fromhttp://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/content/printContentPopup.jsp?id=158977

Sarhill, N., LeGrand, S., Islambouli, R., Davis, M. P., & Walsh, D. (2001). The terminally ill muslim: Death and dying from the muslim perspective.The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, 18(4), 251-255.

Suggested Journal Articles

Ahmed, Q. A., Memish, Z. A., Allegranzi, B., Pittet, D., & WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge. (2006). Muslim health-care workers and alcohol-based handrubs.Lancet, 367(9515), 1025-1027. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68431-6.

Ali, O. M., Milstein, G., & Marzuk, P. M. (2005). The imam’s role in meeting the counseling needs of muslim communities in the united states.Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 56(2), 202-205. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.56.2.202.

al-Shahri, M. Z., & al-Khenaizan, A. (2005). Palliative care for muslim patients.The Journal of Supportive Oncology, 3(6), 432-436.

Carter, D. J., & Rashidi, A. (2003). Theoretical model of psychotherapy: Eastern asian-islamic women with mental illness.Health Care for Women International, 24(5), 399-413.

Carter, D. J., & Rashidi, A. (2004). East meets west: Integrating psychotherapy approaches for muslim women.Holistic Nursing Practice, 18(3), 152-159.

Daneshpour, M. (1998). Muslim families and family therapy.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 24(3), 355-368.

El-Hazmi, M. A. (2004). Ethics of genetic counseling–basic concepts and relevance to islamic communities.Annals of Saudi Medicine, 24(2), 84-92.

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El-Sendiony, M. F., & Al-Hussain, Z. (1983). Sharia in islamic therapies for the aged.Current Psychiatric Therapies, 22, 249-251.

Gatrad, A. R., & Sheikh, A. (2001). Muslim birth customs.Archives of Disease in Childhood.Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 84(1), F6-8.

Gatrad, R., & Sheikh, A. (2002). Palliative care for muslims and issues after death.International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 8(12), 594-597.

Hassouneh-Phillips, D. (2003). Strength and vulnerability: Spirituality in abused american muslim women’s lives.Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 24(6-7), 681-694.

Hathout, H. (2006). An islamic perspective on human genetic and reproductive technologies.Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal = La Revue De Sante De La Mediterranee Orientale = Al-Majallah Al-Sihhiyah Li-Sharq Al-Mutawassit, 12 Suppl 2, S22-8.

Hedayat, K. (2006). When the spirit leaves: Childhood death, grieving, and bereavement in islam.Journal of Palliative Medicine, 9(6), 1282-1291. doi:10.1089/jpm.2006.9.1282

Hedayat, K. M., & Pirzadeh, R. (2001). Issues in islamic biomedical ethics: A primer for the pediatrician.Pediatrics, 108(4), 965-971.

Hodge, D. R. (2005). Social work and the house of islam: Orienting practitioners to the beliefs and values of muslims in the united states.Social Work, 50(2), 162-173.

Laird, L. D., Amer, M. M., Barnett, E. D., & Barnes, L. L. (2007). Muslim patients and health disparities in the UK and the US.Archives of Disease in Childhood, 92(10), 922-926. doi:10.1136/adc.2006.104364

Lester, D. (2006). Suicide and islam.Archives of Suicide Research : Official Journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research, 10(1), 77-97. doi:10.1080/13811110500318489

Miklancie, M. A. (2007). Caring for patients of diverse religious traditions: Islam, a way of life for muslims.Home Healthcare Nurse, 25(6), 413-417. doi:10.1097/01.NHH.0000277692.11916.f3

Padela, A. I. (2007). Islamic medical ethics: A primer.Bioethics, 21(3), 169-178. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2007.00540.x

Porter, B. (2001). The muslim festival of eid ul-fitr at L’arche daybreak: A pattern and principles for common worship services in solidarity with those not of the majority faith.Journal of Pastoral Care, 55(2), 197-200.

Pridmore, S., & Pasha, M. I. (2004). Psychiatry and islam.Australasian Psychiatry : Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 12(4), 380-385. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1665.2004.02131.x

Quadri, K. H. (2004). Ethics of organ transplantation: An islamic perspective.Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation : An Official Publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia, 15(4), 429-432.

Saha, N. (2007). The attitudes and practice of muslim patients using guttae medication during ramadan.Eye (London, England), 21(6), 878-879. doi:10.1038/sj.eye.6702753

Sarhill, N., LeGrand, S., Islambouli, R., Davis, M. P., & Walsh, D. (2001). The terminally ill muslim: Death and dying from the muslim perspective.The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, 18(4), 251-255.

Simpson, J. L., & Carter, K. (2008). Muslim women’s experiences with health care providers in a rural area of the united states.Journal of Transcultural Nursing : Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society / Transcultural Nursing Society, 19(1), 16-23. doi:10.1177/1043659607309146

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Suggested Resources

Aksoy, S (2001) A Critical Approach to the Current Understanding of Islamic Scholars on Using Cadaver Organs without Prior Permission. Bioethics 15(5-6):461-72 Retrieved 5/10/2008, 2008, from
( Note: online access limited; subscription required)

Albar, MA (1996). Islamic ethics of organ transplantation and brain death. Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation 7(2):109-14. Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

BBC – religion & ethics – ottoman empire (1301-1922): Introduction.Retrieved 5/10/2008, fromhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/ottomanempire_1.shtml

Five pillars of islam.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

Hijab.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

ILDC – islamic medical ethics.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

International institute of islamic medicine(IIIM).Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

Islamic burial guidelines – how to wash, cloth , and bury the dead body in islam.Retrieved 5/10/2008, fromhttp://burial.hdasti.net/

ISLAMIC MEDICAL ETHICS: The IMANA Perspective,Retrieved 5/10/2008, from http://www.ispi-usa.org/Med_ethics/frame.html

Islamic medicine and health care.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

Islamic voice.Retrieved 5/10/2008, 2008, fromhttp://www.islamicvoice.com

Islamset-abul qasim al zahrawi-al-tasrif.Retrieved 5/10/2008, fromhttp://www.islamset.com/isc/zahrawi/awadain.html#awaid3

Islam-usa.com.Retrieved 5/10/2008, 2008, from

Issues in Islamic medical ethics-health care.Retrieved 5/10/2008, fromhttp://www.islamiclearning.org/healthcare.htm

Medical economics – cultural competence: Caring for your Muslim patients.Retrieved 5/10/2008, fromhttp://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/content/printContentPopup.jsp?id=158977

Medical ethics in Islam.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

Sajid, A (2003). Death and Bereavement in Islam Retrieved 5/10/2008, from The Muslim Council of Britain:

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(Video) Forests and Human Health - A one health perspective

Ummah.Retrieved 5/10/2008, from

USC-MSA compendium of Muslim texts.R


How does Islam affect healthcare? ›

Islam considers human life sacred and suicide and euthanasia are forbidden. However, if a patient is suffering from a terminal condition and has been assessed as having no hope of recovery, it is permitted to stop medical treatment.

What is the importance of health in Islam? ›

Islam has honoured health as a fundamental right of every human being, which makes it a powerful source of guidance and information. Since its birth, Islam has prioritized health, placing it as second in importance to faith.

What were Islamic ideas on health and medicine? ›

Medical contributions made by medieval Islam included the use of plants as a type of remedy or medicine. Medieval Islamic physicians used natural substances as a source of medicinal drugs—including Papaver somniferum Linnaeus, poppy, and Cannabis sativa Linnaeus, hemp.

What are the main principles of healthcare ethics in Islam? ›

Each of the four principles (beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and autonomy) is investigated in turn, looking in particular at the extent to which each is rooted in the Islamic paradigm.

What is the meaning of health in Islam? ›

Our analysis revealed in the Islamic thought human being is an integrated entity. Therefore, his health not only consists of each single dimension, but also the full health together with the health of society gets meaning in a balanced and coordinated set.

How religion affects health care? ›

Religion and spirituality can impact decisions regarding diet, medicines based on animal products, modesty, and the preferred gender of their health providers. Some religions have strict prayer times that may interfere with medical treatment.

How is health important in our life? ›

Having good health is directly related to leading a productive life. The functionality of the body is interconnected between various organs. Keeping the organs healthy is essential for proper functioning. As health is the state of physical, mental and social well-being, having good health is important.

What is the importance of religion and health? ›

For example, researchers at the Mayo Clinic concluded, “Most studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Why is it important to have medical treatment and hospital in Islamic age? ›

The Islamic hospital served several purposes: a center of medical treatment, a convalescent home for those recovering from illness or accidents, an insane asylum, and a retirement home giving basic maintenance needs for the aged and infirm who lacked a family to care for them.

How did Islam develop medical treatment? ›

Techniques they developed—such as distillation, crystallisation, and the use of alcohol as an antiseptic—are still used. Arab physicians and scholars also laid the basis for medical practice in Europe. Before the Islamic era, medical care was largely provided by priests in sanatoriums and annexes to temples.

Who made medicine in Islam? ›

Muhammad Al-Razi, known as the father of Islamic medicine, was the greatest medical scholar and practitioner of his day. Many of his medical texts continued to be consulted in the Middle East and Europe hundreds of years after his death in 925.

What is Islamic medicine called? ›

Unani medicine, also called Unani tibb, Arabian medicine, or Islamic medicine, a traditional system of healing and health maintenance observed in South Asia. The origins of Unani medicine are found in the doctrines of the ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen.

What are the 4 basic principles of healthcare ethics? ›

The four principles of Beauchamp and Childress - autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice - have been extremely influential in the field of medical ethics, and are fundamental for understanding the current approach to ethical assessment in health care.

What are the 4 most important requirements of Islam? ›

The five pillars – the declaration of faith (shahada), prayer (salah), alms-giving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj) – constitute the basic norms of Islamic practice. They are accepted by Muslims globally irrespective of ethnic, regional or sectarian differences.

What is the most important source of Islamic ethics? ›

That is why the Qur'an is the most important source for faith knowledge about God, humans, and the world in Islam.

How can Islam improve health? ›

The five ways to good mental wellbeing and Islam, are based on NHS advice and are also encouraged in Islamic teachings, they are:
  1. Connect with Allah and with people.
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Learn something new each day.
  4. Give to others.
  5. Pay attention to the present moment.

What is the full meaning of health? ›

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

What is the name of Allah for health? ›

Allah SWT can heal with or without medicine. Allah SWT can heal even the most complicated cases. Use Allah SWT's comforting name, Ash-Shaafi, and call on Him, knowing that He can restore you or your loved ones' health the way He restored the health and body of Ayyub (AS).

How do you respect religion in healthcare? ›

Physicians should accommodate patients' religious or spiritual understanding of suffering, even when they disagree, as long as they uphold their commitment to health. Both physicians and chaplains, who promote patients' spiritual well-being, should respectfully challenge patients when necessary. AMA J Ethics.

Why is religion important in medical history? ›

Taking a religious or spiritual history may have far-reaching effects on the patient's ability to cope with illness as well as on the physician-patient relationship, affecting compliance and possibly future effectiveness of medical interventions.

What are the main advantages of religious care to the patient? ›

Generally, however, spirituality leads to positive coping. Patients seek control through a partnership with God, ask God's forgiveness and try to forgive others, draw strength and comfort from their spiritual beliefs, and find support from a spiritual or religious community.

How can we protect our health? ›

What's on this page
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight.
  2. Exercise Regularly.
  3. Don't Smoke Or Use Smokeless Tobacco.
  4. Eat a Healthy Diet.
  5. Limit Alcohol – Zero Is Best.
  6. Protect Yourself from the Sun And Avoid Tanning Beds.
  7. Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Infections.
  8. Get Screening Tests.

Why is it important to care for health? ›

Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health are important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body.

How does religion affect health care delivery? ›

Religious beliefs cause patients to forego needed medical care, refuse life-saving procedures, and stop necessary medication, choosing faith instead of medicine. Health Practitioners need to learn to respect the decisions that patients make based on their religious beliefs and not become offended or feel rejected.

How does culture impact healthcare? ›

The influence of culture on health is vast. It affects perceptions of health, illness and death, beliefs about causes of disease, approaches to health promotion, how illness and pain are experienced and expressed, where patients seek help, and the types of treatment patients prefer.

What is the religious model of health? ›

In the religion model, health is perceived as a 'correct way of living' and not just as a state of being free of disease. Moral aspects assume a more central significance than biological, psychological or social aspects.

What was the first hospital in Islam? ›

Damascus is credited with being the home of the first ever Islamic hospital, which was established between 706 and 707 CE. Founded by Walid ibn 'Abdulmalik, this hospital was meant to serve as a treatment center for both those with chronic illnesses, like leprosy and blindness, as well as the poor or impoverished.

What is traditional Islamic medicine? ›

A prominent traditional healing system in the world, Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine (TAIM), refers to healing practices, beliefs, and philosophy incorporating herbal medicines, spiritual therapies, dietary practices, mind-body practices, and manual techniques, applied singularly or in combination to treat, ...

Who is the first doctor in Islam? ›

Avicenna, Arabic Ibn Sīnā, in full Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, (born 980, near Bukhara, Iran [now in Uzbekistan]—died 1037, Hamadan, Iran), Muslim physician, the most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world.

When did medicine start in Islam? ›

The Islamic Golden Age, spanning the 8th to the 15th Centuries, saw many great advances in science, as Islamic scholars gathered knowledge from across the known world and added their own findings.

Who influenced Islamic medicine? ›

Islamic medicine was built on the legacies left behind by Greek and Roman physicians and scholars. [7] Islamic physicians and scholars were strongly influenced by Galen and Hippocrates, as well as by the Greek scholars of Alexandria, Egypt.

What surgical tools did Islam invent? ›

He also devised and invented surgical scissors, grasping forceps and obstetrical forceps. His illustrations of surgical instruments were the earliest intended for use in teaching and in methods of manufacturing them.

What does the Quran say about medical treatment? ›

Narrated by Usamah Bin Shareek (may Allah be pleased with him): 'I was with the Prophet (PBUH), and some Arabs came to him asking, “O Messenger of Allah, should we take medicines for any disease?” He said, “Yes, O You servants of Allah take medicine as Allah has not created a disease without creating a cure except for ...

How do Muslims feel about medicine? ›

Islam permits the use of any drug in a life-threatening situation. Fasting Muslims may create a challenge for the administration of drugs as they may refuse treatment. It is important for healthcare professionals to take the time to explain the importance of the medication to the patient.

What are the main principles of the health care? ›

These principles are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Each of these principles has a unique objective, but the four come together to empower you as a health care professional and ensure that patients are receiving high quality and ethical health care.

What is the most important ethical principle in healthcare? ›

The guiding principle of primum non nocere, “First of all, do no harm,” is found in the Hippocratic Oath. Actions or practices of a healthcare provider are “right” as long as they are in the interest of the patient and avoid negative consequences.

What are the main ethics in healthcare? ›

Four Pillars of Medical Ethics

Beneficence (doing good) Non-maleficence (to do no harm) Autonomy (giving the patient the freedom to choose freely, where they are able) Justice (ensuring fairness)

What are the 5 most important things in Islam? ›

They are: Muslim creed, prayer, charity to the poor, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who are able.

What is the most important value of Islam? ›

They include kindness (to people and animals), charity, forgiveness, honesty, patience, justice, respecting parents and elders, keeping promises, and controlling one's anger, love of God and those God loves, love of his messenger (Muhammad) and of believers.

What are the 7 principles of Islam? ›

Each of the key beliefs explored; Tawhid (Unity), Ihtiram (Respect), Ikhlas (Sincerity), Iqtisad (Moderation/ Humility), Haya' (Modesty), 'Ilm (Pursuit of Knowledge), Dhikr (Remembrance), will contextualise and shed light on the visible and invisible nature of both the Islamic belief discussed and its corresponding ...

What is the purpose of ethics in Islam? ›

Ethics plays an important part in Islam in that it protects the pure beliefs of Muslims"(Center of Islamic Studies, 1991:140). The survival concept faces a dilemma: on the one hand it must face the secularity of social life; on the other hand, it must believe the illusive wonder described by religious theories.

What are the factors that influence ethical behavior in Islam? ›

In Islam, there are clear-cut factors that affect ethical behavior. They include legal interpretations, organizational factors, individual factors, social factors, the environment, and the manager (Beekun, 2004, p. 3) (Figure 1). Legal interpretations.

How does Islamic ethics teach to protect the environment? ›

Muslims believe that humans should act as guardians, or khalifah, of the planet, and that they will be held accountable by God for their actions. This concept of stewardship is a powerful one, and was used in the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change to propel change in environmental policy in Muslim countries.

How did Muslims contribute to hospitals? ›

All the hospitals in Islamic lands were financed from the revenues of pious bequests called waqfs. Wealthy men, and especially rulers, donated property as endowments, whose revenue went toward building and maintaining the institution.

What are the contribution of Muslims in medical science? ›

Ever since the religion did not prohibit it, Muslim scholars used human bodies to study anatomy and physiology and to support their students' realization on how the body works. This pragmatic study allowed surgery to mature very quickly. 1.

What Allah says about health? ›

The Prophet says: "Wealth is appropriate to a God-fearing person, but good health is better for the God-fearing than wealth". He further says: "He of you who finds himself enjoying good health, secure in his community and has his daily sustenance, is as if he had the whole world at his finger tips".

Is mental health important in Islam? ›

Islam values the importance of good mental health and emotional wellbeing. The Qur'an can be used as a guide to those suffering from emotional distress and aims to lead people to a meaningful quality of life. 'There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment' (Hadith).

Is self care important in Islam? ›

As Muslims, we know we have a duty to be healthy and not consciously do anything that can hurt ourselves or be detrimental. Not taking time to routinely prioritize your health and well-being causes you to not be able to do your best for yourself or others.

Who developed medicine in Islam? ›

Although the Muslim world produced many highly erudite Muslim physicians, five individuals are outstanding for their developments to Islamic medicine. These were al-Rāzī (865–925), al-Zahrāwī (936–1013), ibn Sīna (980–1037), ibn Rushd (1126–1198) and ibn Nafīs (1213–1288).

How is religion affecting medical treatment in the world? ›

Religion and spirituality can impact decisions regarding diet, medicines based on animal products, modesty, and the preferred gender of their health providers. Some religions have strict prayer times that may interfere with medical treatment.

What is the healthy Lifestyle in Islam? ›

Precision in obtaining, consuming and choosing food, avoiding unclean and forbidden foods such as blood, dead animals and pork are highly approved in Islamic culture. However, eating vegetables and fruits, poultry and fish, cooked food, brief nutrition are emphasized.

What does Islam say about health and fitness? ›

Islam has put a great emphasis over healthy life because Islam believes that a person should be fit in terms of health in order to be at peace. Thus, by healthy lifestyle, people would be able to spend their lives in a proper and thoughtful manner.

What does Islam say about medical ethics? ›

The guiding principle in Islamic medical ethics which is mentioned in Quran and also in the Torah is, "If anyone has saved a life, it would be as if he has saved the life of the whole of mankind." However, the question that we are faced with, in terms of saving life, is at what cost and what quality.


1. Dr. Andrew Weil Awarded the H.H. Rusby Award for Ethnobotany and Ethnomedicine
(New York Botanical Garden)
2. How To Get Rid Herpes Virus with Autophagy Fasting? – Natural Treatment For Herpes by Dr.Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
3. Caring for Diverse Older Adults in Primary Care
4. Maya ethnomedicine: the role of plants and sunlight in an indigenous One Health approach
(Daylight Academy)
5. Multilingual Tools for the Evidence-Based Practitioner
(USAHS Library)
6. Our Afghan Neighbors - Cultural Awareness Seminar for Medical Providers
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