Definition of Islamic medicine as paradigms and values
Islamic Medicine is defined as medicine whose basic paradigms, concepts, values, and procedures conform to or to do not contradict the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is not specific medical procedures or therapeutic agents used in a particular place or a particular time. Islamic Medicine is universal, all-embracing, flexible, and allows for growth and development of various methods of investigating and treating diseases within the frame-work described above. Islamic Medicine thus becomes the result of an Islamic critique and reformulation of the basic paradigms, research methodology, teaching, and practice of medicine. This process of conceptual transformation is called Islamization of Medicine. The end-result of the Islamization process will not be a medical system for Muslims only but for the whole humanity because Islam is a set of universal and objective values. Islamization is not theologizing, localizing of parochializing medicine but making it objective, universal, value-based, and excellent for all.
Impact of Islamic Medicine
The above-mentioned understanding of Islamic medicine is gradually changing the practice of medicine in the ummat. Islamic hospitals and clinics are being established in many Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is increasing research inspired by the Islamic medicine movement. Medical faculties are being established on the same philosophy. In years to come, Muslim physicians will be able to make a marked impact on mainstream medical practice by introducing Islamic values to it.
The motivation behind Islamic Medicine: conceptual and moral problems
European medicine has some paradigms that we do not accept as Muslims. Death is rejected as a natural phenomenon and resources are wasted in terminal illnesses. Aging is also not accepted as a normal process. There is no consideration of balance and equilibrium in selecting treatment modalities with the result that an unacceptably high number of patients are being treated for side effects of modern therapeutic agents. Too much narrow specialization leads to lack of a holistic approach to the patient. The physician behaves as a technician turns a blind eye to moral and social issue of the day that affect the health of his patients and claims that his responsibility is medical care only. Secularized medicine has no consistent set of ethics leading to malpractice, fraud, and bias in research. Accepting only empirical knowledge and negating other sources of knowledge had also created new problems. By denying a religious and moral dimension, European medicine operates in a presumed moral vacuum. It is a gross mistake to attempt to solve social and medical problems of a moral or spiritual nature by use of technology.