Prophetic Medicine – Sunday Seminar

This month’s Sunday Seminar was on Prophetic Medicine. Sheikh Abdalla started by overviewing the history of Prophetic Medicine, noting that Ibn Al Qayyim had devoted an entire volume in his five-volume “Provisions for the Hereafter” to the subject. The volume includes sections on spiritual diseases — and their cures — but also on physical ailments, and the Prophetic treatments for them. He then spoke about Ibn Sina’s book on medicine, which has been widely studied even in the West. In the present day, he acknowledged the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) who organizes regular conferences for Muslim doctors and has researched Prophetic Medicine.

When exploring Prophetic Medicine, a significant portion of the content has to do with preventing illness through a healthy lifestyle. Sheikh Abdalla used the example of the famous hadith on eating: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is enough for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls to keep him going, but if he must (fill his stomach), then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for air.”

In the area of treatment, Sheikh Abdalla covered two common Prophetic medicines: honey and cupping. The benefits of honey are well documented in the scientific community, and its benefits were emphasized by the Prophet SAW. He was reported to have said: “the believer is like a bee which eats that which is pure and wholesome and lays that which is pure and wholesome [honey].” Cupping (hijama) is also repeatedly recommended in hadiths, and the Prophet SAW was reported to have done it at Hajj. Research has shown cupping has a variety of benefits, such as regenerating bone marrow.

Sheikh Abdalla then spoke about mental health, noting the Prophetic treatment of Ruqya.

At the end of everything, however, what is central to Prophetic medicine — and indeed Prophetic living — is to trust Allah SWT. We have been given recommended treatments to certain ailments by the Prophet SAW, and we should apply them, but at the end of the day trust in our Creator must be paramount, for He SWT can cure any illness and He SWT has power over all things.

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