Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)


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This is where classical Muslim theology, or kalam , joined the work of Muslim cosmologists and physicists and produced a scientifically sound and philosophically integrated view of the natural world. The controversies surrounding faith and reason in Islam were hardly between religion and science or religious faith and rational argumentation. Many scholars of religion were also scientists, philosophers, historians, and philologists, and vice versa.


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When the question of the compatibility of faith and reason was raised, it was raised not by secular philosophers, as in post-medieval Europe, but by religious authorities who did not feel comfortable with particular theories and interpretations of Muslim philosophers.

Most of their objections pertained to the philosophical and cosmological system developed by the Muslim Peripatetics on the basis of Aristotle's core ideas. Science per se was hardly a matter of controversy. Al-Ghazali 's attack on the Muslim Aristotelians in his Tahafut al-falasifah is a case in point.

Ghazali's criticism of Peripatetic metaphysics and cosmology has been interpreted as the death knell of philosophy and science in Islam—a point still raised in the Islam-science debate today. This is a simplistic reading of the intellectual tradition of Islam and fails to do justice to the long and complex history of science in the Muslim world. Philosophical and scientific studies continued after al-Ghazali and reached a climax in terms of accumulated scientific knowledge and advanced techniques in Andalusia, the Ottoman world, and the subcontinent of India.

More importantly, al-Ghazali makes it clear in his autobiography al-Munqidh min al-dalal that his primary objections were directed not at philosophy falsafah as such but at the philosophers falasifah and their metaphysics in particular. Al-Ghazali held that the Aristotelian system, which the Muslim Peripatetics endorsed, was not adequate for an Islamic metaphysics of God and the creation of the universe because it reduced God to an Unmoved Mover, which hardly did justice to God's absolute power, infinity, mercy, and love.

With this background in mind, three main positions can be identified in the present religion-science discourse in the Muslim world. The first is that science is a cross-cultural enterprise and that it does not take an "Islamic" or "Western" form. In simple terms, science studies the world of nature and is a tool to make people's lives better.

It is not a philosophical project and does not need religious justification. What the classical Islamic civilization had in the past was a scientific tradition carried out in Muslim lands, which was then transmitted to the West, preparing the ground for the rise of modern science. Thus the Muslim world should import science and technology to solve its economic and social problems without fearing their religious or ethical implications. This view has been generally defended by such figures as Jamal al-Din Afghani and Sayyid Ahmad Khan in the nineteenth century and is held by scores of Muslim scientists and engineers today.

One of its most ardent defenders was Ataturk , who said in his usual crisp tone: "We shall take science and knowledge from wherever they may be, and put them in the mind of every member of the nation. For science and for knowledge, there are no restrictions and no conditions.

For a nation that insists on preserving a host of traditions and beliefs that rest on no logical proof, progress is very difficult, perhaps even impossible. While many Muslim countries lag behind in scientific research and publication, they share the goal of transferring and owning science and technology to empower their military, economic, and societal development.

In a pious religious context, a different version of this view has been produced to show the compatibility of the Qur'an and science. The proponents of this view, such as Farid Wajdi, Said Nursi , and the latter's follower Fethullah Gulen , both of whom have popularized the study of science among their followers, assign to the natural sciences the task of deciphering the signs of God in the universe. According to them, science reveals the divinely ordained codes built into the natural order and thus helps us marvel at God's creative act. The Qur'an describes the world of nature as a book to read under its guidance, and every sign in the cosmos points to God's power and generosity.

This view of science as the decoder of the sacred language of the cosmos has appealed to generations of pious believers in the Christian and Muslim worlds. It has been deployed to show the unity of the three orders of reality: the divine who has created the universe, the natural world that bears to witness to God's creation, and the human order that is attached to both and thus occupies a unique position.

This view of science has also been used as a bulwark against the anti-religious claims of aggressive scientism and atheism. Those who hold a religious view of the universe reject scientism not only on philosophical but also on scientific grounds, and assert that scientism is not verified by the objective findings of natural sciences.

The world of nature, when properly studied, reveals a remarkable structure of order, balance, and proportion, all of which point to a higher principle in the universe.

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God's "invisible hand" is seen most clearly in the cosmos, which humans must not only use for their practical, worldly needs but also understand in order to appreciate God's grace. Thus the sciences, which study nature, God's great work of art, can only enhance one's belief in God. The scientistic critics of religion misuse scientific theories and facts and create a pseudo-religion called scientism. Far from contradicting each other, Islam and science complement each other. Thus Farid Wajdi, one of the most prolific writers of modern Islam, states in his hefty work Islam in an Age of Science , published in Arabic in the middle of the last century, that "science in all ages supports and confirms Islam and Islam helps and backs its learning.

A more recent version of this view has been popularized by the work of Harun Yahya, the pen name of Adnan Oktar, a Turkish scholar and popularizer of Islam. Through numerous publications, videos, and Internet resources, Yahya has launched a major attack against Darwinism and evolutionary theory and defended monotheistic creationism as a scientifically proven doctrine.

His work is also a typical example of what some have called "the scientific exegesis of the Qur'an. The construction of science as a way of deciphering God's signs in the cosmos has led some Muslim scholars to interpret Qur'anic verses according to the findings of modern natural sciences. In turn, scientific discoveries have been interpreted to show their compatibility with religious belief.

Some have gone even further and tried to prove not only that the Qur'an is compatible with scientific facts, but that it predicted new scientific discoveries fourteen centuries ago, and that this should be seen as a miracle of the Qur'an and demonstrate that it is the word of God. From the creation of the universe and the formation of clouds to the genesis of the fetus, Qur'anic verses as well as the sayings of the Prophet of Islam have been analyzed with a view toward explaining their scientific precision and truth.

Best exemplified by the French medical doctor Maurice Bucaille 's The Bible, the Qur'an and Science , published in , this approach has led to what is called "scientific exegesis" al-tafsir al-ilmi, al-tafsir al-fanni of the Qur'an. Its primary focus is to prove the miraculous nature of the Qur'an by using recent scientific discoveries. Today, there are numerous publications in various languages advocating a pious interpretation of modern natural sciences. The pietistic interpretation of modern science in the name of Islamic compatibility fails to address the deep philosophical differences between the Islamic scientific tradition and the secular outlook of modern science.

As William Chittick argues in his Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul: The Pertinence of Islamic Cosmology in the Modern World , it is misleading to think that the goals of the traditional natural sciences are the same as those of modern science. It is also wrong to assume that premodern science is different from modern science only in the advancement of techniques, methods, and the accumulation of scientific data. The qualitative differences in the overall outlook of classical and modern science are too obvious to ignore.

As George Saliba discusses in his Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance , the rise of the Islamic scientific tradition cannot be relegated to the Muslim encounter with the Greco-Hellenistic tradition and its appropriation by successive generations of Muslim scholars and scientists. A more complex set of circumstances were at work in the formation of the Islamic scientific heritage, and they were underlined by both philosophical considerations and practical necessities, which will be examined below.

The second view of science in the Muslim world, which we may call the "epistemic view," takes its cue from contemporary philosophy of science and focuses on the social and historical bases of scientific theories. Its proponents criticize modern Western science on epistemological grounds and make use of the postmodern critiques of natural sciences and their philosophical claims.

The epistemic view of science considers the sciences of nature like any other human enterprise: historically grounded, socially bounded, culturally situated, and economically motivated. Led by the work of T. Kuhn, P. Feyerabend, I. Lakatos, and others, the philosophy of science has gradually become a sociology of knowledge, unearthing the social circumstances, historical prejudices, and tacit assumptions that shape the outlook and practice of science at any given time in history.

There is no such thing as '"pure science"' untouched by contexts of historical formation; sciences, no matter how objective or precise they may claim to be, cannot claim immunity. The natural sciences are both cultural products and intellectual constructs that seek to understand the natural world in certain specific ways. As a result, the exclusivist claims of modern science and scientism over other forms of knowledge, including religious, philosophical, and artistic knowledge, should be discarded and the validity of different types of knowledge should be recognized.

The epistemic and methodological critique of modern science and its exclusivist claims of epistemic dominance have been fully developed by a number of Muslim scholars and intellectuals, including Ismail Faruqi , Ziauddin Sardar , Zaki Kirmani, and M. Ahmad Anees. They have also attempted to give an Islamic content to the epistemic-philosophical architecture of natural sciences. The "Islamization of knowledge" project, developed by Ismail Faruqi and his followers at the International Institute of Islamic Thought IIIT , aimed at creating a new epistemic foundation for social and natural sciences from an Islamic point of view, and adopted an interdisciplinary approach.

Both cupping and phlebotomy were considered helpful when a patient was sickly. Surgery was important in treating patients with eye complications, such as trachoma and cataracts. A common complication of trachoma patients is the vascularization of the tissue that invades the cornea of the eye, which was thought to be the cause of the disease, by ancient Islamic physicians.

The technique used to correct this complication was done surgically and known today as peritomy. This procedure was done by "employing an instrument for keeping the eye open during surgery, a number of very small hooks for lifting, and a very thin scalpel for excision. This was done by lifting the growth with small hooks and then cut with a small lancet. Both of these surgical techniques were extremely painful for the patient and intricate for the physician or his assistants to perform. In medieval Islamic literature, cataracts were thought to have been caused by a membrane or opaque fluid that rested between the lens and the pupil.

The method for treating cataracts in medieval Islam known in English as couching was known through translations of earlier publishings on the technique. After the procedure was complete, the eye was then washed with salt water and then bandaged with cotton wool soaked in oil of roses and egg whites. After the operation, there was concern that the cataract, once it had been pushed to one side, would reascend, which is why patients were instructed to lie on his or her back for several days following the surgery.

In both modern society and medieval Islamic society, anesthesia and antisepsis are important aspects of surgery. Before the development of anesthesia and antisepsis, surgery was limited to fractures, dislocations, traumatic injuries resulting in amputation, and urinary disorders or other common infections. Some of these drugs, especially opium, were known to cause drowsiness, and some modern scholars have argued that these drugs were used to cause a person to lose consciousness before an operation, as a modern-day anesthetic would.

However, there is no clear reference to such a use before the 16th century. Islamic scholars introduced mercuric chloride to disinfect wounds.

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Physicians like al-Razi wrote about the importance of morality in medicine, and may have presented, together with Avicenna and Ibn al-Nafis , the first concept of ethics in Islamic medicine. Many hospitals were developed during the early Islamic era. They were called Bimaristan , or Dar al-Shifa , the Persian and Arabic words meaning "house [or place] of the sick" and "house of curing," respectively. It quickly achieved fame and led to the development of other hospitals in Baghdad.

As hospitals developed during the Islamic civilization, specific characteristics were attained. Bimaristans were secular. They served all people regardless of their race, religion, citizenship, or gender. The hospital was not just a place to treat patients: it also served as a medical school to educate and train students.

Islamic hospitals were the first to keep written records of patients and their medical treatment. During this era, physician licensure became mandatory in the Abbasid Caliphate. The birth of pharmacy as an independent, well-defined profession was established in the early ninth century by Muslim scholars. Al-Biruni states that "pharmacy became independent from medicine as language and syntax are separate from composition, the knowledge of prosody from poetry, and logic from philosophy, for it [pharmacy] is an aid [to medicine] rather than a servant".

Sabur d. During the medieval time period Hippocratic treatises became used widespread by medieval physicians, due the treatises practical form as well as their accessibility for medieval practicing physicians. The Hippocratics blamed the womb for many of the women's health problems, such as schizophrenia. Many beliefs regarding women's bodies and their health in the Islamic context can be found in the religious literature known as "medicine of the prophet.

For example: quince makes a woman's heart tender and better; incense will result in the woman giving birth to a male; the consumption of water melons while pregnant will increase the chance the child is of good character and countenance; dates should be eaten both before childbirth to encourage the bearing of sons and afterwards to aid the woman's recovery; parsley and the fruit of the palm tree stimulates sexual intercourse; asparagus eases the pain of labor; and eating the udder of an animal increases lactation in women. However, the pain and medical risk associated with childbirth was so respected that women who died while giving birth could be viewed as martyrs.

He recommended that the girl and others possessed by the Eye use a specific invocation to God in order to rid themselves of its debilitating effects on their spiritual and physical health. It has been written that male guardians such as fathers and husbands did not consent to their wives or daughters being examined by male practitioners unless absolutely necessary in life or death circumstances.

Female doctors, midwives , and wet nurses have all been mentioned in literature of the time period. A hospital and medical training center existed at Gundeshapur. The city of Gundeshapur was founded in by the Sassanid king Shapur I.

Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization: Animals in the Qur'an : Sarra Tlili :

It was one of the major cities in Khuzestan province of the Persian empire in what is today Iran. A large percentage of the population were Syriacs , most of whom were Christians. Under the rule of Khosrau I , refuge was granted to Greek Nestorian Christian philosophers including the scholars of the Persian School of Edessa Urfa also called the Academy of Athens , a Christian theological and medical university. These scholars made their way to Gundeshapur in following the closing of the academy by Emperor Justinian. They were engaged in medical sciences and initiated the first translation projects of medical texts.

Later after Islamic invasion, the writings of Mankah and of the Indian doctor Sustura were translated into Arabic at Baghdad. Medieval Islam's receptiveness to new ideas and heritages helped it make major advances in medicine during this time, adding to earlier medical ideas and techniques, expanding the development of the health sciences and corresponding institutions, and advancing medical knowledge in areas such as surgery and understanding of the human body, although many Western scholars have not fully acknowledged its influence independent of Roman and Greek influence on the development of medicine.

Through the establishment and development of hospitals, ancient Islamic physicians were able to provide more intrinsic operations to cure patients, such as in the area of ophthalmology. This allowed for medical practices to be expanded and developed for future reference. The contributions of the two major Muslim philosophers and physicians, Al-Razi and Ibn Sina, provided a lasting impact on Muslim medicine.

Through their compilation of knowledge into medical books they each had a major influence on the education and filtration of medical knowledge in Islamic culture. Additionally there were some iconic contributions made by women during this time, such as the documentation: of female doctors, physicians, surgeons, wet nurses, and midwives. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about medicine in the medieval Islamic culture. For Islamic religion in medicine, see Prophetic medicine. For the contemporary alternative practice, see Unani. Left image: Folio from the "Liber continens" by Al-Razi Right image: "Liber continens" , translated by Gerard of Cremona , second half of the 13th century. Leclerc, Vol. Main articles: Bimaristan and Islamic hospitals. See also: History of hospitals. Islam portal Medicine portal Middle Ages portal. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association.

The Western medical tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Advice to the Healer: On the Art of Caring. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. Science, Civilization and Society Lecture series. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hussein Cultural Competence in Caring for Muslim Patients. Palgrave Macmillan. Die Muqaddima. On the history of the world. Munich: C. Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums Bd. Leiden: E. II, , P. Jahrhunderts n.

Medicine in the medieval Islamic world

Islamic Culture 11 , P. Sultan Qaboos University Med J.

Islamic Studies. Yasin T. Retrieved 18 June S Part 2 ". Retrieved 21 June Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology and medicine in non-western cultures. Journal of Religion and Health. Shane 1 April Journal of Anatomy. In: Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums Bd. Science and Technology in World History: The ancient world and classical civilization.

Jefferson: Mcfarland. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Retrieved 6 December World Digital Library. Retrieved 2 March Henna is useful is healing athlete's foot, fungal skin infections, headaches, burning of the soles and palms and local inflammation. The leaves and seeds act as cooling agents for the head and body Mutmainaa, Izkhir Cymbopogon schoenanthus leaves, stems or the rhizomes are used in the therapeutic traditional ones, as well of internal use, like tonic, antispasmodic, febrifuge, intestinal disinfectant, as external, like disinfecting funerary, antimalaria and against Guinea worm.

In Egyptian this plant has a good reputation to be an antispasmodic and a renal diuretic. It has been established by various authors that the active ingredient responsible for the antispasmodic activity is a sesquiterpenediol, the cryptomeridiol. A recent ethnobotanic study shows that this plant is used in traditional pharmacopoeia in Burkina Faso to treat the cough of infants and children Yentema et al.

Myrrh Commiphora molmol is thick, yellow, gummy resin extracted from a shrub. Essential oils like myrrh have considerable medicinal properties as ancient Egyptian physicians surmised. Myrrh was extensively used to embalm the dead Highet, The herb is particularly beneficial for treating bronchitis, asthma, cold and catarrh or running nose.

This quality of myrrh is especially useful in treating arthritis, rheumatism as well as gout GmbH, Sweet marjoram Majorana hortensis Moench. It is considered expectorant, carminative and tonic. It is reported to be useful in asthma, hysteria and paralysis. Its oil is used as an external application for sprains, bruises, stiff and paralytic limb and toothache. It is also used for hot fomentation in acute diarrhea. Leaves and seeds are reported to provide a ready remedy for colic Indian food, Ocimum basilicum Sweet basil-Raihan acts principally on the digestive and nervous systems, easing flatulence, stomach cramps, colic and indigestion.

Aromatic Plant Species Mentioned in the Holy Qura’n and Ahadith and Their Ethnomedicinal Importance

The leaves and flowering tops are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative and digestive, galactogogue, stomachic and tonic. The mucilaginous seed is given in infusion in the treatment of gonorrhoea, dysentery and chronic diarrhoea. It is said to remove film and opacity from the eyes. Extracts from the plant are bactericidal Plants For a Future, Oregano Origanum vulgare has a beneficial effect upon the digestive and respiratory systems and is also used to promote menstruation.

The leaves and flowering stems are antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, mild feverish illnesses, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation. This plant is one of the best natural antiseptics because of its high thymol content Plants For a Future, Thyme Thymus serpyllum has been used by mankind since pre-recorded times.

Ancient Greeks derived its name from one of its many uses: "to fumigate. Thyme was used as incense in religious ceremonies and as a funeral herb. The dried flowers are also used to repel moths from clothing Belt, b. The antiseptic abilities found in the volatile phenolic compounds , thymol and carvacrol, in thyme make it ideal in combating bad breath, gum disease, gastric problems caused by viruses or bacteria, eczema, burns, ringworm, psoriasis, parasitic infections, sore throats and body odour.

However, thyme should not be used by pregnant women or by children as it can act as a uterine stimulant and is toxic in high doses Burns, Subscribe Today. Science Alert. All Rights Reserved. Research Article. Similar Articles in this Journal.

Search in Google Scholar. Report Citation. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 8: DOI: Botanical name. Rhizome: Emetic, antispasmodic, carminative, analgesic, stomachache, insectifuge, nerve tonic. Given in dyspepsia, colic, remittent fever, epilepsy bronchial, granular tumours and snake-bite. Useful against moths and lice. Also employed for kidney and liver troubles, rheumatism and eczema. He asked, have you grass mytle? I told, yes. He Salallaho Alaihe Wasallam said, apply it on the pimple Farooqi, Artemisia Karmala, Afsanteen is used as antiperiodic, deobstruent, stomachache, tonic and anthelmintic.

It is given internally in dyspepsia, jaundice, flatulence and worms. It is used externally as antiseptic. Burseraceae plant family members Boswellia carteri etc. The most important derivative of Boswellia serrata tree is the Boswellia Gum Resin. Diaphoretic, diuretic, astringent, emmenagogue. Used in nervous diseases, rheumatism, skin eruption. Chiefly used in incense. Ingredient of ointments. He mixed brown sugar in it and drank.


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  • He said, it is the best remedy for memory and urine problem Farooqi, He Salallaho Alaihe Wasallam said, take kundar Boswellia serrata and soak it in water and drink that water early in the morning. It is a useful phytotherapy for memory Farooqi, Sedative, anodyne, antiseptic, diaphoretic, anthelmentic, stimulant, carminative. Used as insecticide. Toxic causing headache, nausea, excitement, confusion and delirium.

    He said, give Her a bath three or five times and it will be better to use cedar beri leaves and water for a bath and apply camphor after that Farooqi, Fruits-Nutritive, cardiotonic, refrigerant, carminative, stomachic, appetizer. Cures catarrh, urinary calculus. Leaves and peel are highly medicinal. Germicides, wound healer, old cough, oral fragrance, baldness, swelling of urinary bladder. As a medicinal plant , saffron has traditionally been considered an anodyne, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant and sedative.

    The plant has been used as a folk remedy against scarlet fever, smallpox, colds, insomnia, asthma, tumors and cancer. Given to promote eruptions in measles. In over doses, saffron is toxic. Tonic, antispasmodic, febrifuge, intestinal disinfectant, antimalaria and against Guinea worm, antispasmodic, diuretic, to treat the cough of infants and children.

    Also used as astringent and febrifuge.

    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)
    Animals in the Quran (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)

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