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Islam and Human Rights ( 10 May 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Healthcare As A Chapter of Human Rights in Islam Commands Muslims To Follow - Whoever Saves The Life Of A Person Saves The Life Of The Whole Of Humankind

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

11 May 2021

Love The Creation Of Allah To Show Your Gratitude To Him And Love Yourself As True Manifestation Of The Teachings Of Islam

Main Points:

1.    Keeping Healthy Is The True Manifest Of Teachings Of Islam.

2.    The mental, physical and social health of human being is at the centre of all Islamic teachings.

3.    A human being should be thankful to Allah and take care of His beautiful gift – health.

4.    Islam recommends medical therapy and other methods of treatment.

5.    No wonder Islam's Golden Age produced the greatest physicians of the age whose work founded the present practice of medicine in Europe and then the world.


Love the creation of Allah to show your gratitude to Him and love yourself as the true manifestation of the teachings of Islam

Islam, the universal religion commands human being to be mindful of theirs and others health. Islamic traditions of health justify the saying ‘a healthy mind lives only in a healthy body’. People of the world in general and the Ummah in particular should be advocates of healthy surrounding and clean atmosphere. Allah the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:

‘And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers…’  Quran 17:82

‘And when I am ill, it is He who cures me.’  Quran 26:80

 ‘…Say, “It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure…’  Quran 41:44

And consider the following Hadees highlighting the importance of health:

“A stronger believer is better than a weak believer” (Part No. 3; Page No. 205)

The human being, as the best creation of Allah, has been commanded to respect the right of Medical care of a fellow being to acknowledge with respect the creation of Allah, the Most Merciful.

The mental, physical and social health of human being is at the centre of all Islamic human rights teachings. Every Surah, every Ayat so much so that every word of the Holy Quran is dedicated to the welfare of human being. Allah, the Most Merciful is mindful of all His creation irrespective of its genre as none of them is created without reason. The Holy Quran and Hadees traditions have abundant numbers of suggestions regarding the importance of health and methods of cure from the illness.  Allah has bestowed human being with wisdom and intellect of highest degree so that it understands what his Creator commands him to do in respect of human rights.

Allah, the Almighty says in the Holy Quran that He is the creator of man and being the perfectionist, that He is, man is also a perfect creation. Consider the following Ayat:

And We did certainly create man out of clay from an altered black mud. ... (Surah Al-Hijr Verse 26) - Sahih International

Who has perfected everything He created. And He originated the creation of humankind from clay. Then He made his descendants from an extract of a humble fluid, (Surah As-Sajdah--7:8) — Dr Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Quran

After creating a perfect human being He bestowed wisdom and intellect that were needed to control him from everything causing harm to his life. The Holy Quran says:

"Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep." (Surah Az-Zumar:62) -Sunan Abi Dawud

The Ayat mentioned above is a clear indication of Allah, the Best Creator has commanded men to look after themselves and their brothers to the best of their power and ability. If a human being does not look after himself and overlooks others health-related necessities, it will be like disrespecting his spiritual abilities bestowed by Allah, the Self-Existing by Whom all subsist (the Al-Qayyum) on them.

Allah, the Creator, has created the human being with the superlative system having enormous potentials. The human being is one of the most important thread in Allah’s creation of the universe therefore it should be thankful to Allah and take care of His beautiful gift – health. Imagine the depth of the kindness of Allah that He has commanded us to take care of our health and has sent cure of the ailments through His Book, the Holy Quran and wisdom of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the form of Hadees traditions and narrations.

Islam takes the Health and Medicare of people as human rights of utmost importance as the following Ayaat and Hadees traditions show: not put yourselves into destruction... — (Surah Al-Baqarah - 195) - Mufti Taqi Usmani

….. and a cure for the ailments of your hearts, … (Surah Yunus - 57) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

‘…There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colours, in which there is healing for people.’ (Surah An-Nahl – 69)

Following Ayat of the Holy Quran is for the members of the medical fraternity who do not care for their own lives while saving the lives of their patients.

.... and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind. (Surah Al-Maidah - 32) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

Islam and Individual Health

Various Ayaat and Hadees traditions point towards the importance of being health conscious. There are recommendations for the people to follow to make the world capable of maintaining healthy traditions, cultures and atmosphere.

Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you ...." — Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127

There are two gifts which many men are unmindful about – good health and leisure.’ (Bukhari)

'Ask Allah for Forgiveness and Health, for after being granted certainty, one is given nothing better than Health.' (An Nasai)

Aisha (RA) reported:

 The Prophet Muhammad (SAW), sent for Uthman ibn Mazh’un and he came. The Prophet said, “O Uthman, do you not desire my practice?” Uthman said, “O Messenger of Allah, no by Allah. I seek your practice.” The Prophet said, “Verily, I sleep and I pray, I fast and I break my fast, and I marry women. Fear Allah, O Uthman, for your family has rights over you and your guest has rights over you. Verily, your own self-has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep.” Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1369

Allah, Al-Shafi (the Healer) recommends Islam to take a walk after dinner that now the medical fraternity also proposes people to do for better health. Consider the following Ayat and the Hadees:

They say, “What sort of messenger is he that eats and walks in the markets?… (25:7).

 “I raced with the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and beat him in the race. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won.” [11, 16(p26),17]

Cleanliness: A Part of Piety and Health

Being clean is one of the most important tenets of being healthy so Allah, the Most Gracious commands the believers in the Holy Quran to maintain cleanliness as it is a way of piety. Consider following Ayat and Hadees in this regard:

O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. (Surat Al-Maidah: 6) - Sahih International

According to Imam Ali (AS):

 “Piety. . . heals the diseases of your body” (Imam Ali, 1380,658).

Following Ayat of the Holy Quran commands the Muslims not to fast during a journey or if they are ill and if fasting is harmful to their physical health.

 [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of other days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers good [i.e., excess] - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. (Surah Al-Baqarah - 184 ) — Saheeh International

Taking Medicine for Cure

As described in the following Ahadees, Islam recommends medical therapy and other methods of treatment.

Narrated by Usamah Bin Shareek (AS);

‘I was with the Prophet (PBUH), and some Arabs came to him asking, “O Messenger of Allah, should we take medicines for any disease?”

He said, “Yes, O You servants of Allah take medicine as Allah has not created a disease without creating a cure except for one.”

They asked which one. He replied “old age.”  Sunan Abu Dawood 3: Chapter 29, Hadith 3855

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم said: The best medical treatment you apply is cupping. Sunan Abu Dawood 3: Chapter 29, Hadith 3857

Narrated Salmah:

the maid-servant of the Messenger of Allah صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم, said: No one complained to the Messenger of Allah صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم of a headache but he told him to get himself cupped, or of a pain in his legs but he told him to dye them with henna. Sunan Abu Dawood 3: Chapter 29, Hadith 3858

Narrated Abu Kabshah al-Ansari:

The Messenger of Allah صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم used to have himself cupped on the top of his head and between his shoulders, and that he used to say: If anyone pours out any of his blood, he will not suffer if he applies no medical treatment for anything. Sunan Abu Dawood 3: Chapter 29, Hadith 3859

Some of the Famous Physicians Of Islamic Golden Age

Islamic Golden Age understood to have begun during the reign of Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid between the 8th century to the 14th century is known for the Islamic scientists and physicians who brought glory in the field of science and medicine.  Various scientist and medicinal luminaries experimented in science and medicine that are still considered as the pioneering work in their respective fields and are consulted for new researches.

Here are some of the Islamic Golden Age luminaries from the field of medicine:

Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari

Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari stressed the necessity of ties between psychology and medicine

Muhammad bin Sa'id al-Tamimi

Muhammad bin Sa'id al-Tamimi is known for his study in compounding medicines, especially for his medicinal compound used as an antidote to poison or snake bite.

Ali ibn al-'Abbas al-Majusi

Ali ibn al-'Abbas al-Majusi’s book ‘Kitab al-Maliki translated as the Complete Book of the Medical Art. ‘Kitab al-Maliki was used as a textbook of surgery across Europe.

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi is known as the First Doctor in Islam. He was a physician, alchemist and philosopher.

Abu-Ali al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn-Sina (Avicenna)

Abu-Ali al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn-Sina is known as Avicenna in the West and regarded as ‘Father of Early Modern Medicine’ was a physician of the tenth and eleventh centuries.

(Inputs from various Wikipedia)

As per ‘As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet’:

The Prophet not only instructed sick people to take medicine, but he himself invited expert physicians for this purpose. — As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet p.125

Islam has been the greatest proponent of human rights. World nations and international organisations fighting for human rights have taken guidance from the Islamic texts and Hadees traditions to constitute their preamble of human rights. Among the most important points of human rights in Islamic traditions is the recommendation for health. Islam as a universal religion has directed the world population to ascertain the fulfilment of health-related needs.

In the present pandemic situation, all the human being in general and the Muslims, in particular, must try their best to reach to heal the pain of the patients of Covid-19 as the Holy Quran says: .... and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind. There can not be any better worship and charity than saving a life.

And Allah knows the best.


Arman Neyazi is a columnist with


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