I once asked an Austrian friend of mine who had just qualified as a doctor where he went when he was sick.
The surprising answer was that he and most of his colleagues went to a homeopath. He reminded me of our family G. P. who didn’t believe in medicines. I was told ‘just take your son home and make sure he eats well’.
My friend’s preferring a homeopath to one of his fellow professionals, was as I later found out, a rejection of what he had learned during his many years of study. He felt that he had been taught a set of beliefs, which, in his words, ‘did more harm than good’.
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He believed that he had been trained to ‘manage symptoms using chemicals’ and that his profession had nothing to do with looking for cures or curing people. Also, he told me that he felt dirty when he had finished his shift and that he wasn’t being ‘true to himself’.
My friend may be an exception and is probably frowned upon and dismissed as a crank by other doctors, but, his views raise many interesting issues relevant to professionals and non-professionals alike.
There is an increasing interest in alternative approaches to health. The rise in health shops and alternative clinics shows that the world of commerce is cashing in on this fact.
Most bookshops stock books on acupuncture, homeopathy and other forms of Eastern medicines. However, the West’s search for an alternative has overlooked the medicine of the Muslim world, sometimes referred to as al-Tibb al-Nabawi, the medicine of the Prophet or Islamic medicine.
The name al-Tibb al-Nabawi literally means prophetic medicine. In fact, it’s based upon the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, it encompasses much more than the relatively small number of prophetic sayings.
It incorporated Greek and Indian philosophy and practice wherever they were found to be in accordance with the general principles of Islam.
The sayings of the Prophet (Peace and blessings upon him) set down general guidelines and principles which later led to the great discoveries and observations of the likes of Ibn Sina and other Muslim thinkers. This series of articles will be an introduction to some of these principles.