Islam and Medical Sciences (Part 1)

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By: Qurratulain Bashir   Jamea Fatima tuz Zahra, Mansehra

Topic 1: Infection control in Islamic perspective

There are two aspects I would like to talk upon in beginning of this article.
1.  Islam is not a religion for only those who watched the revelation of Holy verses and heard them from Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم himself and practiced upon them, no, not at all. Islam is a universal way of life which encompasses every era, every type of people related to any nation or place.
2. We are going to focus on people’s way of living in different eras. In any condition a man is, Islam deals with it. Islam was not present in the hearts of the people who campaigned with Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم only but it relates to every single human of the world in whatever situation he is.  Islam is a complete code of life; it was not limited to the people in the times of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم only. We cannot say that as it was revealed in front of them so it was for them to act upon only and it cannot be implemented in the modern times as the traditions, the life style has changed immensely. No way. Islam deals with every aspect of a person’s life, from his physical basic needs to his spiritual cleanliness and physical health and care in every age.
The command to purify our hearts from sin has been an essential Islamic teaching ever since the early stages of the revelation in Makkah. This is known as “purification of the soul” (tazkiyya-tun-nafs).
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی has said:
Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self. And he fails who corrupts his own self. (91:9-10)
And Allah  سبحانہ وتعالی has said:
A day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. Except him who comes to Allah with a clean heart (26:88-89)
We learn from these verses that our success in the Hereafter depends upon the purification of our hearts in this life. We must purify our hearts from spiritual sins such as greed, malice, envy, arrogance, and worldliness. In their place, we must adorn the heart with spiritual virtues such as generosity, compassion, benevolence, humility, and asceticism.
Purification of the heart was one of the first commands with which Hazrat Musa علیہ السلام was sent to the Pharaoh.
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی said:
Go to Pharaoh, verily he has transgressed all bounds. And say (to him): “Would you purify yourself?”  (79:17-18)
Purity of the heart was also one of the defining characteristics of Hazrat Ibraheem علیہ السلام.
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی said:
And verily, among those who followed his (Noah’s way) was Ibraheem. When he came to his Lord with a pure heart.  (37:83-84)
One of the primary methods we can use to purify our hearts is to perform sincere supplications and prayers according to the prophetic way (sunnah).
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی has said:
Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success.  And remembers the name of his Lord and prays compulsory prayers and nawafil. (87:14-15)
When we exalt Allah and ask for our sins to be forgiven, this removes arrogance from our hearts and makes us humble. When we pray for Allah to guide others, this removes malice and hatred from our hearts and makes us love others for the sake of Allah. When we remember the Hereafter and the Day of Resurrection, this makes us less attached to this world and more inclined to help others.
In this way, Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم would purify his heart every morning and evening… by offering supplications and prayers.
Hazrat Anas ibn Maalik رضی اللہ عنہ reported: Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said to me:
'O my son! If you are capable of (waking up in) the morning and (ending) the evening, while there is nothing of deception in your heart for anything, then do so.' Then he said to me: 'O my son! That is from my Sunnah. Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.'
 (Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2678, Grade: Hasan)
Salat is meant to prevent us from committing sins and immoral deeds.
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی says:
Verily, salat prohibits immorality and wrongdoing and the remembrance of Allah is greater. (29:45)
Hazrat Abu Huraira رضی اللہ عنہ reported: A man came to Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and said, “Indeed, so-and-so prays in the night but he steals in the morning.” The Prophet said:
Verily, it should prevent him from doing that.
(Source: Musnad Ahmad 9486, Grade: Sahih)
The next method we can use to purify our hearts is to give charity and perform good deeds for others.
Allah سبحانہ وتعالی says,
But the righteous will be far removed from it (Hell). He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification. (92:17-18)
And Allah سبحانہ وتعالی says:
Take sadaqah from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and Allah for them. (9:103)
When we give away our wealth in charity, this removes worldliness from our hearts and envy of what others have and it makes us hope for our good deeds to be stored in the Hereafter. Charity means not only giving wealth, but also giving people your time, your effort, your work, and even a smile or a kind word.
Hazrat Jabir ibn Abdullah رضی اللہ عنہ reported: Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said:
Every good deed is charity. Verily, it is a good deed to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left from your bucket into the vessel of your brother.  (Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1970, Grade: Sahih)
Charity is a duty upon every Muslim, for every person can give something from his wealth, time, and energy. At the very least, Muslims can refrain from harming others and that is also charity.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ عنہ reported: Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said:
Charity is due upon every joint of the people for every day upon which the sun rises. Being just between two people is charity, and helping a man with his animal and lifting his luggage upon it is charity, and a kind word is charity, and every step that you take towards the mosque is charity, and removing harmful things from the road is charity.
(Source: Sahih Muslim 1009, Grade: Sahih)
When a Muslim commits a sin, his or her heart is covered by a stain, but it is removed by repentance and good deeds.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ عنہ reported: Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said:
Verily, when the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears upon his heart. If he repents and abandons the sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished, but if he increases in sin, the blackness increases. That is the covering which Allah has mentioned in his Book: Nay, but on their hearts is a covering because of what they have earned. (83:14)
Source: Sunan ibn Majah 4244, Grade: Sahih
Therefore, a Muslim must continue to perform supplications, prayers, charity, and good deeds until his heart is purified from sin.
In conclusion, the salvation of a Muslim depends upon purification of the heart from vices and adorning the heart with virtues. Purification is achieved through performing sincere supplications, prayers, and acts of charity toward others. We must remember that we will be judged on the Day of Resurrection according to the purity of our hearts and the righteousness of our deeds.
(to be cont.)