Islam & Medicine P4 – Deniers of Modern Medicine

Having established the wide acceptance of modern medicine at many levels, in the previous part, hence for an individual to make blanket statements about the modern medical profession requires the individual to fulfill certain conditions for such statements to take weight and this matter would not have been hidden from the Muslim scholars regarding the whole profession, which is a matter of public safety, concern and an important affair (fiqh fil-waaqi), thus falling into the collective obligation of the scholars to be aware of any such dangers and warn of them. If such concerns and statements had come from the appropriate authority such as the trustworthy Muslim physicians or from the scholars, then the hearts would have been at ease and tranquil. However if we find individuals making such blankets statements that are in opposition to the aforementioned authority and the consensus (ijmaa’) of the ummah, then it is feared for these individual that they have begun to open a new door that wasn’t opened by any previous authority.

The criticisers that we are mentioning here are those that are attempting to give their criticism from an Islamic perspective. We have already discussed that modern medicine and how it has had wide acceptance by all Muslim and non-Muslim governments elsewhere, which needs to be kept in mind. The statements of the critics are presented below (underlining is mine):

It is our firm belief and conviction that modern (Western) medicine does little to treat or cure the true underlying causes of diseases and chronic illnesses. It is mostly centred around the treatment of symptoms, that is, to manage disease symptoms. This leads to the continued use and reliance upon prescription drugs with the true underlying causes of the disease never really being addressed. This model of disease treatment is by and large structured in order to facilitate the exploitation of disease conditions and states for profitable pharmacological agents.
... the “opinions” in your profession is essentially “bought” and “owned” by the companies that pretty much completely and totally dominate the entire spectrum of activity in medicine (education, research, institutions, grants, funds, awards, and practice) and since the overwhelming majority of contemporary medical research into disease is to enable the manufacture and production of profitable pharmacological agents...
Independence of thought in medical practice has been eliminated and regimentation of thought has been forced.
The scientism and scientific imperialism that is behind a good part of today's (corporate) medical profession is a akin to the mu'tazilite paradigm of old.

Such statements started around 2008-2009 through a website called Healthymuslim.com with its main author being an individual personally known to myself called Abu Iyaad Amjad Rafiq. This is an individual known to be from the callers to Islam and the religious undertones in his criticisms are clearly evident, particularly in the last statement when referring to mu’tazilite, who are a religious sect. He was advised by at least five different medical doctors including myself (Naseehah 2009). Yet it is evident that although he removed some statements he did not give up these concepts. Several other individuals were also advised of the situation and a copy of all the advice was sent to them. In particular to Abu Khadeejah AbdulWahid Alam and even back in 2009 it was evident that he was influenced by his teacher (Abu Iyaad) in this. Over time he slowly became more public with this up until he recently openly declared his intent by writing Why I post health articles on my site …. where he sets the religious stage quoting Muslim scholars then goes onto write:

Modern pharmaceutical drugs do not cure illnesses (the vast majority of drugs just mask the pain)....
His training almost completely revolves around offering prescription drugs as pain‐relief and symptom control resulting in long‐term dependency on drugs, which of course does more harm than good in the long term. Having said that, I must say in fairness, that I have met several intelligent qualified physicians and pharmacists in different countries who agree with this analysis and have (after much personal research and analysis) changed their views, and now take a more traditional (and sensible) approach to medicine – and not merely agree with every chemical and poisonous concoction they are taught/encouraged to prescribe. Some doctors live in fear (and guilt) because they are bound by medical convection to prescribe drugs to patients which they know do much more harm than good. Drugs, whose side effects are so bad that they exceed the original illness they were “designed” to mask – and these are regularly prescribed to patients.

He also wrote on twitter:

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It is upon the claimant to produce the evidence for this statement upon Imaam Bin Baaz (rahimullah) and if he is unable then we say do not open this door to tribulation without evidence.

Clearly all these statements together lead to the conclusion that modern medicine is not beneficial but rather more harmful and that its doctors (including Muslim doctors) are not trustworthy or upright in that they accept bribery and knowingly prescribe harmful medication for financial gain. These statements would necessitate that modern medicine in its current form would be impermissible both to practice and to use as a cure; in essence denying it. So again we say bring the evidence for this.

However this denial is difficult to openly spread due to the widespread acceptance of modern medicine and so at times, they try to water down their statements.  In particular they try to malign  ‘chronic disease management’ as these require long-term treatment but the principles for chronic disease management and acute emergency care stem from the same source. The effects of acute care are seen instantly so cannot be denied whereas the effects of chronic disease management or not seen except after many years and so becomes an easier target for criticism.

Looking at a single Muslim country like Saudi Arabia at present there are over 27, 000 doctors under the Ministry of Health practicing modern medicine then in addition we have the other Muslim countries and also we have the decades gone by where doctors have gone into retirement. If we are going to accept these statements then this implies large-scale harm by such doctors upon the general Muslim masses for which it is the collective duties of the scholars to warn the masses, yet we do not find any such warnings.

Likewise it is upon the claimant to produce the names of the “several intelligent qualified physicians and pharmacists in different countries who agree with this analysis” and something similar was claimed in 2009 in reference to Abu Iyaad (that he had Muslim doctors who were in agreement with him) yet he has been unable to produce their names so clarification can be sort. If Abu Khadeejah refuses to ‘name his men’ to allow others to seek clarification then clearly he is aiding in opening this door to tribulation without any evidence, which is blameworthy. We do see some political rewording from these two individuals but really they need to rectify themselves and openly clarify this rectification of theirs and close the door to this health tribulation.

So I openly say, as a Muslim doctor, with an element of authority in the field of health having insight that as a result of this prolonged health tribulation that started in 2008, it has affected the general Muslim masses leading to harming of health and remaining quiet is something sinful rather I openly advise the general public to not take knowledge that pertains to health, nutrition or medicine from Abu Iyaad or Abu Khadeejah as they both are clearly speaking out with their knowledge in these issues.

The most strangest of affairs is that these two individuals are known for translating and spreading the words of the religious scholars (having had recognition for that from some of the religious scholars – a noble characteristic they possess)  yet criticise other individuals for teaching without that recognition yet in the affair of health they act as if this recognition is not needed and the issue of life and limb is a small one.  This is the pivotal point of this issue; it is not about the health choices that one makes for themselves rather it is about incompetent teaching and incompetent practising of medicine that is the issue. These two lack the understanding of fundamental concepts and hence their conclusions are ludicrous.  If these two claim that they are recognised by Muslim doctors then present their names and contacts so I can speak to them. Without doubt, if such Muslim doctors do exist then they certainly will be unaware of the errors of these two.

In this website, Insha’Allah, I will try to deal with some of the issues that they have brought up to demonstrate their confusion, but really the number of issues is an ocean in itself. Thus one needs to protect themselves from such doubts by not accepting such health related knowledge in the first place from these two nor from pretend experts (quacks) or ‘celebrity doctors’ who have become corrupted by fame and greed.

I finish as I started; for an individual to make blanket statements about the modern medical profession requires the individual to fulfill certain conditions for such statements to take weight and this matter would not have been hidden from the Muslim scholars regarding the whole profession, which is a matter of public safety, concern and an important affair (fiqh fil-waaqi), thus falling into the collective obligation of the scholars to be aware of any such dangers and warn of them. If such concerns and statements had come from the appropriate authority such as the trustworthy Muslim physicians or from the scholars, then the hearts would have been at ease and tranquil. However if we find individuals making such blankets statements that is in opposition to the aforementioned authority and the consensus (ijmaa’) of the current Muslim nation (ummah), then it is feared for these individual that they have begun to open a new door that wasn’t opened by any previous authority.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Shaeeb A

    I agree with you. Practicing modern medicine is not bad and it has much benefit for patients however it came about. The definite problem is non medical professionals spreading information without understanding human anatomy and physiology, disease, pathology, pharmacology, zero experience or lack thereof in treating disease and a lot more. Without this knowledge the person can become dangerous and endanger people’s lives with incorrect advice. This can be said for any type of medicine and branches over to herbal, functional (medicine) etc etc.

    In recent times I have seen an ideology develop where modern medicine and treatments are being demonised and people’s health is suffering as a result. The problem is the people who spout this rhetoric cannot offer the physician skills and alternative treatment effectively (if at all) in effect leaving people with the idea not to seek medical advice.

  2. Usman shah

    Can we access abu Iyaadh’s reply to the naseeha document?

    Many thanks

    1. Dr Sheraz

      There has not been a reply to date by Abu Iyaad, Amjad.

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