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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0401-CHALLENGES OF MUSLIM DOCTORS

Lecture by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. at Ibadah Camp held at Mahallat al Zahrawi on 16th January 2004 at Maghrib and organized by the students council

1.0 THE CHALLENGE OF EXCELLING:

Our situation today was described correctly by Imaam al Shafe’e more than a thousand years ago as quoted by Jalaluddin al Suyuti in his book al Tibb al Nabawi. Imaam al Shafe’e said ‘After the science which distinguishes between what is halal and what is haram, I know of no science which is more noble than that of medicine.... Truly the people of the Book have overcome us and overtaken us in this supreme art”.

 

Medicine is closely associated with all the 5 purposes of the Law: diin, nafs, nasl, aql, & maal. Study of medicine is therefore fardh kifayat. However at the moment there are not enough Muslim doctors to satisfy the medical needs of the ummah. Muslims need both intellectual and practical stimulation to work hard in medical research and medical services delivery in order to become leaders and not followers in medicine.

 

2.0 THE CHALLENGE OF QUALITY

The purpose of medicine is to restore, maintain or improve the quality of remaining life. It cannot prevent or postpone death because ajal is in the hands of Allah. In order to deliver quality care Muslim physicians must have the following characteristics: health and not disease oriented, focused on quality and not quantity of life, humble to recognize limitations to their abilities, holistic in outlook, understand society, scientific capability, clinical expertise, and leadership.

 

3.0 THE CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATION AND BALANCE

European secular-oriented medicine is fragmented by organ, disease process, and is not holistic. Islam can provide an integrative tauhidi paradigm to replace the European non-tauhid world-view that is atomistic, analytic, and not synthetic. In the absence of an integrating paradigm, European medicine lacks balance and equilibrium in its therapeutic approach. The Qur’anic concepts of wasatiyyat, mizaan, i’itidaal, and tadafu’u provide a conceptual framework for balanced medical practice.

 

4.0 THE CHALLENGE OF COMMUNITY SERVICE

Medicine should be practiced as a form of mutual social support. Medical education should prepare the future physician to provide service to the community. They should look at medicine iithaar (putting the interests of others first) and not a means of self-enrichment.

 

5.0 THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP

The best physician should be a social activist who goes into society and gives leadership in solving underlying social causes of ill-health. The physician as a respected opinion leader with close contact with the patients must be a model for others in moral values, attitudes, akhlaq, and thoughts. He must give leadership in preventing or solving ethical issues arising out of modern biotechnology. He must understand the medical, legal, and ethical issue involved and explain them to the patients and their families so that they can form an informed decision. He should also provide leadership in advocating for the less privileged and advocacy for human rights.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. January 2004