About Islam Observes Rare Disease Day

There are many hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which encourage Muslims to seek medical treatment. This by turn persuade Muslim societies to advance their medical knowledge and excel in biological sciences.

Some of these prophetic hadiths are mentioned below: Abu Hurayrah narrates that The Prophet PBUH said: “There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.” Bukhari 7.582.

Moreover, Usamah ibn Shuraik narrated: “… ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Should we seek medical treatment for our illnesses?’ He replied: ‘Yes, you should seek medical treatment, because Allah, the Exalted, has let no disease exist without providing for its cure, except for one ailment, namely, old age’.” Tirmidhi.

Taking proper care of one’s health is considered by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH to be the right of the body. 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

Rare Diseases are one of those illnesses which the Prophet PBUH has advised us to treat and encouraged us to fight. A rare disease is any disease that affects a small percentage of the population. Most rare diseases are genetic, and thus are present throughout the person’s entire life, even if symptoms don’t immediately appear.

Many rare diseases appear early in life, and about 30% of children with rare diseases will die before reaching their 5th birthday.

With a single diagnosed patient only, Ribose-5-phosphate Isomerase Deficiency is considered the rarest genetic disease in the world. No single cutoff number has been agreed upon for which a disease is considered rare. A disease may be considered rare in one part of the world, or in a particular group of people, but still be common in another.

However, a rare disease is defined by the American National Institute of Health (NIH) as any disease that affects less than 200,000 people at a given time. The last day in February is an internationally recognized day set aside to raise awareness of the impact that rare diseases have on society.

While each individual rare disease affects only a small percentage of the population, there are over 7,000 rare diseases. When combined, they collectively affect 10% of the general population or 30 million people. Of these 30 million people, roughly half are children and 4.5 million of them won’t live to the age of five.

Because of the focus of the world’s major private medical research conglomerates on widespread diseases, only 4% of the 7,000 known rare diseases have an effective treatment so far. Even though, researching rare genetic disorders will increase the chance of finding cures for more common diseases.