The following is taken from a partial abridged translation of a book entitled “Mannerisms of the Muslim Doctor – Akhlaaq At-Tabeeb Al-Muslim” by Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool (may Allaah preserve him)
The Muslim Doctor and the Goal behind Medicine
The (practice) of Medicine is from the noblest occupations because its subject matter is about the life of the human being. Its aim and purpose is to preserve the health of the human being, strengthen his/her physical well-being and distance him/her from illness. The need for medicine is great (and) a person is in need of it in every situation. That is because he/she is in need of good health in order to carry out work and fulfil obligations in this life, which is the reason that Allaah created him/her. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). [51:56]
So the aim behind medicine is to preserve health, strengthen the body’s physical wellbeing and distance it from illness.
The Virtues of a Muslim Doctor
From the virtues of medicine is that it preserves life and this is one of the five necessities which Islaam came to preserve, and they are: Religion; Life; Intellect; Honour (i.e. sexual intercourse through marriage and not outside of it) and Wealth.
And from the virtues of a doctor is that he (or she) helps a Muslim and the society to repel harm. It is well known that the messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said:
لا ضرر ولا ضرار
‘’There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.’’ [Reported by Ibn Maajah 2341; Ahmad 1/313)]
And from the virtues of a doctor is that he (or she) fulfills the obligation of co-operating upon righteousness and piety from another angle. And with regards to this he (or she) fulfills the statement of Allaah:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ
Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety) 5:2
From the virtues of a doctor is that through practicing medicine, he (or she) fulfills the command of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam): Usaamah bin Sharik (radiyallaahu-anhu) said:
A Bedouin said, O Messenger of Allaah(sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)! Should we seek medical treatment? He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: seek medical treatment, for Allaah has not created any disease but He has also created a remedy for it, except for one disease: old age.’’
[Reported by Abu Dawud Number 3855]
The Need for Muslim Doctors
The practice of medicine is Fard Kifaayah, meaning: If some Muslims fulfil it the responsibility is removed from others.
The Muslim doctor should hope for Allaah’s reward and good recompense. He (or she) should be sincere to Allaah in his (or her) profession and should not practice medicine only for his (or her) status to be acknowledged. Rather he (or she) should be sincere and hope for Allaah’s reward. Alqamah Ibn Waqqaas Al-Laythiy said: I heard Umar Ibn Al-khattaab (radiyallaahu-anhu) saying whilst on the minbar:I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam ) saying:
إنما الأعمال بالنيات وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه
“Actions are (judged) by intentions and every person will have what he intended. So he whose migration was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger. And he whose migration was for some worldly (gain) or for a woman to marry, then his migration is to that for which he migrated.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Striving for Excellence in Medical Care
A doctor should be eager to (attain) proficiency in his (or her) job. A’isha (radiyallaahu-anhaa) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said:
إن الله يحب إذا عمل أحدكم عملاً أن يتقنه
Indeed Allaah loves that when one of you does a deed, he should do it proficiently.
[Declared ‘Hasan Li-Ghayrihi by Imaam Albaani (rahimahullaah) in Silsilah As-Saheehah. Number 1113]
Shadaad Ibn Aws (radiyallaahu-anhu) said that the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said:
إن الله كتب الإحسان على كل شيء
Indeed, Allah has prescribed excellence in everything.
[ Reported by Muslim]
Medicine is a Means only and the Cure is from Allah
He (or she) should believe that his (or her) knowledge of medicine is nothing else but only a means (of cure). As for the effects and effectiveness (of the cure), it is decided by Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) if He (Allaah) wishes to give cure and well-being. Allaah (The Most High) stated (that Ibraaheem- alayhis-salaam said):
وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
“And when I (i.e. Ibraaheem) am ill, it is He (Allaah) who cures me’’ [26:80]
So Allaah is the one who gives cure and not others. The doctor should make this known to the patient.