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Medicine (Kitab At-Tibb)

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, November 23, 2009 0 comments

Narrated Usamah ibn Sharik:
I came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and his Companions were sitting as if they had birds on their heads. I saluted and sat down. The desert Arabs then came from here and there. They asked: Apostle of Allah, should we make use of medical treatment? He replied: Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.


Narrated Umm al-Mundhar bint Qays al-Ansariyyah:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came to visit me, accompanied by Ali who was convalescing. We had some ripe dates hung up. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) got up and began to eat from them.
Ali also got up to eat, but the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said repeatedly to Ali: Stop, Ali, for you are convalescing, and Ali stopped.
She said: I then prepared some barley and beer-root and brought it. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then said: Take some of this, Ali, for it will be more beneficial for you. AbuDawud said: The narrator Harun said: al-Adawiyyah (i.e. Umm al-Mundhar).


Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The best medical treatment you apply is cupping.


Narrated Salmah:
the maid-servant of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), said: No one complained to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) 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.


Narrated Abu Kabshah al-Ansari:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) 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.


Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) had himself cupped three times in the veins at the sides of the neck and on the shoulder. Ma'mar said: I got myself cupped, and I lost my memory so much so that I was instructed Surat al-Fatihah by others in my prayer. He had himself cupped at the top of his head.


Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If anyone has himself cupped on the 17th, 19th and 21st it will be a remedy for every disease.


Narrated Kabshah daughter of Abu Bakrah:
(the narrator other than Musa said that Kayyisah daughter of AbuBakrah) She said that her father used to forbid his family to have themselves cupped on a Tuesday, and used to assert on the authority of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) that Tuesday is the day of blood in which there is an hour when it does not stop.


Black Seed for Prevention and Good Health

Posted by Arqustany Putra Sunday, November 22, 2009 0 comments

How convenient is it to find a cure for all ailments in one substance?
I think that would save us a lot of money in health care costs, and would make life more enjoyable. Well, in fact, there is a plant that the prophet of Islam (PBUH) has described as the cure for every disease except death.
Nigella sativa, black cumin, Al-habate Souda, Habate Al-Barakah, “Seed of blessing”, Kalonji in Hindi, or Siyah daneh in Persian, these are all names for the same plant, native to southwest Asia that the Prophet Mohammed exalted its medicinal properties.

Narrated Khalid bin Sa'd R.A:We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar R.A was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick. Ibn Abi 'Atiq came to visit him and said to us, "Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for 'Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet saying, 'This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.' 'Aisha said, 'What is As-Sam?' He said, 'Death.' " (Bukhari)

The black Seed has been used for medicinal purposes in different cultures and for centuries. In the Islamic tradition, Ibn Sinaa or Avicenna, prescribed the seed as a stimulant for body energy, and helps recovery from fatigue.

Ibn alqayem listed many medicinal uses for the black seed. He mentioned that it helps against all types of cold ailments, increases milk production in nursing mothers, eliminates flatulence, extracts the helminthes (worms), relieves leprosy and phlegm fevers, opens clogs, and decomposes accumulating gas and excess moisture in the stomach. When the black seed is ground, blended with honey and drunk with some warm water, it will dissolve the stones in the kidney and the prostate. When the Black Seed is fried and finely ground, soaked in oil and then drops are administered in the nose, it will help against cold conditions accompanied by intensive sneezing. When it's cooked in vinegar, and then one rinses his mouth with it, it will relieve the symptoms of toothache resulting from sensitivity to cold. When it's inhaled in its powdered form, it will help against water that accumulates in the eyes. When it is used in a bandage while blended with vinegar, it heals spots and exposed skin ulcers and decomposes the acute mucus tumors and hard ones.

So many other benefits of black seed were listed in the book “Prophetic medicine”, but as with any type of medicine, the author warned against excess use. Twenty five grams is the recommended dosage, and consuming the black seed in excess has been known to be deadly.
Modern Science has empirically proved the beneficial properties of the Nigella sativa, its oil has been found to help relieve the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and coughing.
There is also ongoing research done on this herb at the Kimmel Cancer center at Jefferson in Philadelphia, headed by Hwyda Arafat, MD, PH D. Early findings “suggest that thymoquinone, an extract of Nigella sativa seed oil, could eventually have some use as a preventative strategy in patients who have gone through surgery and chemotherapy or in individuals who are at a high risk of developing cancer.”
Using the black seed daily would surely prevent a lot of illnesses, fortify your immune system, and energize your body.
Verily, the prophet Mohamed, the truthful, the trustworthy, doesn’t speak in vain. If his teachings were followed by humanity, our souls and bodies would be cured from all disease.

http://islamic-health.com

ARABS AND OBSTETRICS

Posted by Arqustany Putra Saturday, November 21, 2009 0 comments



Hynayn Ibn-Ishak (Joannitius, 809-873 A.D.) translated the work of the Greek pioneer in obstetrics, Paul of Aegina, into Arabic. Hunayn also translated to the Arabic world most of the work of Hippocrates, Galen, and Ptolemy. Moreover, he was a gifted physician and philosopher. Ali Ibn-Al- Abas Al-Majusi (Halle Abbas) who died in 994 A.D. was the first to describe in his book "Al-Kitab Al-Malaki" (The Royal Book) that the uterine contractions are the cause of delivery of the fetus (Keys 1971). Before him, it was thought that the uterine contractions were only as indication of the onset of labor; subsequently the fetus would swim its way out of the womb and birth canal.

Most of the deliveries were performed by midwives at home. For complicated obstetrics Al-Zahrawi offered advice to midwives as mentioned before, used fetal craniotomy for delivery of obstructed labor, and introduced the required instruments. The operation of cesarean section was described in 1010 in the Book of Kings by Abul Kasim Al-Firdaws (Speert 1973). It described cesarean section practiced on R'uda'ba, the mother of King Rustam at his birth. Another reference for cesarean section is written by Al-Biruni in his book, Al-Athar Al-Baliiyah dated 1307 A.D. (Hitti 1977) as shown in figure 9 which is preserved in the library of the University of Edingurgh (Hitti 1977).

Ibn-Al-Quff (1233-1305) is another physician who contributed to perinatology. He was born in Jordan (Hamameh 1971). In his book "Al-Jami", he presented original observations on embryology. He spoke of "... the formation of a foam stage in the first 6 to 7 days, which in 13 to 16 days, is gradually transformed into a clot and in 28 to 30 days into a small chunk of meat. In 38 to 40 days, the head appears separate from the shoulders and limbs. The brain and heart followed by the liver are formed before other organs. The fetus takes its food from the mother in order to grow and to replenish what it discards or loses ... There are three membranes covering and protecting the fetus, of which the first connects arteries and veins with those in the mothers womb through the umbilical cord. The veins pass food for the nourishment of the fetus, while the arteries transmit air. By the end of seven months, all organs are complete ... After delivery, the baby's umbilical cord is cut at a distance of four fingers breadth from the body, and is tied with fine, soft woolen twine. The area of the cut is covered with a filament moistened in olive oil over which a styptic to prevent bleeding is sprinkled ... After delivery, the baby is nursed by his mother whose milk is the best. Then the midwife puts the baby to sleep in a darkened quiet room... Nursing the baby is performed two to three times daily. Before nursing, the mother's breast should be squeezed out two or three times to get rid of the milk near the nipple". These findings of Ibn-Al-Quff, appear basic and fundamental, but seven hundred years ago, they were new and different.

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

ARABS AND ANESTHESIA

Posted by Arqustany Putra Friday, November 20, 2009 0 comments


Being an obstetric anesthesiologist, I feel obligated to write a little more on the contributions of the Arabs to both anesthesia and obstetrics.

First, in anesthesia, the Arabs described in detail the pharmacology of important narcotics such as opium and other central nervous system depressants such as hyoscyamus and hashish (Khairallal 1942). Burton (1886 A.D.) stated that "anesthetics have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and chloroform became the fashion in the civilized West. In a Treatise on the Canon of Medicine by Gruner it is stated by Avicenna under the article 8l4 ANESTHETICS:"If it is desirable to get a person unconscious quickly, without him being harmed, add sweet smelling moss to the wine, or lignum aloes. If it is desirable to procure a deeply unconscious state, so as to able the pain to be borne which is involved in painful applications to a member. place darnel-water into the wine, or administer fumitory, opiuium, hyoscyamus (half dram doses of each); nutmeg, crude aloes-wood (4 grains of each). Add this to the wine, and take as much as is necessary for the purpose. Or. boil black hyoscyamus in water, with mandragore bark, until it becomes red. Add this to the wine."

The Arabs also introduced "the Soporific Sponge" which was commonly used for anesthesia in the middle ages. The sponge was soaked with aromatics and narcotics to be sucked and then held under the nostril to provide anesthesia prior to surgery (Keys 1971).

Avicenna wrote more than 1,000 years ago about the effect of pain on ventilation: "Pain dissipates the bodily strength and interferes with the normal functions of the organs. The respiratory organs are inhibited from drawing in air, and consequently the act of breathing is interfered with, and the respiration becomes intermittent, rapid, or altogether unnatural in rhythm" (Gruner 1930).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

IBN-MAIMON (MAIMONEDES) 1135-1204 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Thursday, November 19, 2009 0 comments




In 1135, Musa Ibn-Maimon (Moses Maimonides) was born in Cordova, Spain (Minlcin 1968). His father was a Rabbi and had a great influence of Moses in his interests and future achievements. During that period, the Jews had a golden era in Spain. Minkin (1968), a renowned scholar and an eminent Rabbi wrote "It was Mohammedan Spain, the only land the Jews knew in nearly a thousand years of their dispersion, which made the genius of Moses Maimonides possible."

In1160 A.D., Moscs emigrated to North Africa to the city of Fas where be studied medicine. In 1165 A.D., he left to Palestine. However, he was dissatisfied with the cultural atmosphere. Therefore, he went to Egypt where he stayed until he died in 1204 A.D. He was buried in Teberias, Palestine.

Maimonides first started his career as the Rabbi of the jewish Comniunity of El-Fostat city, the capital of Egypt at that time and part of old Cairo now. Later on in life, he practiced medicine. He became an eminent and respected physician. He served both Kings Salah-El-Din (Saladin) and his elder son Sultan Al-Malik Al-Afdel during his short reign (1198-1200 A.D.). He had the confidence of both. During Salali-El-Din war with King Richard, the Lion-Hearted, the latter fell sick. Although those two kings were at war, they had respect and admiration of each other. Saladin sent Ibn- Maimon to Richard to treat him. After being, cured. Rictiard asked Ibn- Maimon to join his court. But the latter politely declined and preferred to stay with Saladin (Minkin 1968).

Ibn-Maimon's impact on the Jewish religion is very important. He wrote classical work in the Jewish religion including codification of the Jewish laws (Black and Roth 1970). Hc also wrote in philosophy. His book, "Dalalat Al-Hai'ran" (The Guide of the Perplexed) is an important achievement which was welcomed not only by those of the Jewish faith but also by Moslems and Christians alike. He was affected by his contemporary Ibn- Rushd, and by Aristotl'e, but he tried to unite logic and faith. He wrote his book in Arabic. He did not live long enough to see the Hebrew translation of his book which would have given him a great satisfaction.

In medicine Ibn-Maimon did two important things: First, be translated many Arabic books into Hebrew which were than translated into Latin and other European languages. An example of these books is the Canon of Avicenna. Second, be wrote a few books of his own. One of them is "Magala fl Tadbir Al-Sihha" (Regimen Sanitatis) which stressed proper diet, personal hygiene, and moderation in the pleasures of life. It was in the form of letters to the Sultan Al-Afdel. The other was "Kitab" Al-Fusal fi Al-Tibb" (Fisul Musa). This was a collection of 1,500 aphorisms extracted from Galen writings together with forty-two critical remarks. Moses also wrote a book on poisons and their antidotes (Al-A'sar 1971).

When he died, the Jewish Community in Egypt built a synagogue named after him. Some Jews, up-till-now, stay overnight in this synagogue in hope of receiving healing through the spirit of this great physician (Minkin 1968).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

IBN-EL-NAFIS 1208 - 1288 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Wednesday, November 18, 2009 1 comments





In 1208 A.D., Ala'El-Deen Ibn-El-Nafis was born in a small town near Damascus called Kersh (Fig. 7) (Ibrahim 1971). He learned medicine and philosophy in Damascus and spent most of his life in Cairo. He was a physician, a linguist, a philosopher, and a historian. He was the first chief of Al-Mansuri Hospital in Cairo and the dean of the School of Medicine in 1284 A.D.

During this era, the medical profession together with other branches of science were passing a crisis. The Mongol Tartar invasion and destruction of Baghdad in 1258 A.D. caused an injury to the Islamic civilization from which it never recovered. It destroyed forever the Caliphate, symbolic unity of the Arabian Empire, and the preeminence of Baghdad as a center for learning. Also during that period Islamic culture was declining in Spain. It was then Cairo and Damascus the centers for education and medical prestige. There, the medical profession was characterized by the freedom of discussion and expression of opinion, something that was very new in medicine and not known to Europe until the 17th century when introduced to England by Sedenbam (Ibrahim 1971).

Ibn-El-Nafis was a dedicated person. He used to start his day after dawn prayers by making rounds at the hospital, followed by case discussions with students and colleagues, then hospital administration. His evenings were spent reading, writing and discussing medicine and philosophy with frequent scholar guests at his home in El-Hussein District in Old Cairo. His house was an example of beautiful Arabic architecture, made of marble with a fountain in the central hall.

In the history of mankind, there are persons whose importance is revealed with the flight of time and their truth glows with the passage of centuries; Ibn-El-Nafis is one of those. He wrote many books, ten of them in medicine and a special one in philosophy. In the latter book "Fadel Ibn- Natik", he tried to present the counter point of the philosophical view of Avicenna expressed in his book "Hai Ibn-Yakzan". He was an authority in theology on which he wrote several books, e.g. "The complete Message of the Prophet" and "Al-Ragol Al-Kamel" (The Perfect Man) supporting unitarianism. Ibn-El-Nafis had an important character, not being a follower but a scholar. This was evident in his writings whether in philosophy or medicine.

In medicine he wrote many books, two of them are "Mujaz Al-Qanun" which means the "Summary of the Canon". In these two books which were based on avicenna's writings, he criticized the short comings of Avicenna's book and of Galen's views and added to them. That is why he was named by some as Avicenna the Second. For example be wrote "... We have relied chiefly on his (Galen) teachings, except in a few details which we think are wrong and were not given after a thorough investigation. In describing the function of the organs, we have depended on careful investigation, observation, and honest study, regardless of whether or not these fit with the teachings and theories of those who have preceded us."

Ibn-El-Nafis added lights to the physiology of the circulation. In the ancient history, Erasistratus of the Alexandria Scbool (310 B.C. - 250 B.C.) believed that blood was contained only in the eight side of the circulation, namely the veins and the fight side of the heart. The left side of the circulation, namely the left side of the heart and the arteries were supposed to contain air because arteries were found empty when an animal was sacrificed, hence the name "arteria".

When Galen came (131 - 210 A.D.), he described blood to pass from the right side of the heart to the left side through minute openings in the septum of the heart, then it mixed with air from the lungs, and sequently distributed to the whole body. For centuries this was the prevalent belief and no one, including the Arab physicians and their eminent writer Avicenna, could dare to challenge this sacred view. Ibn-El-Nafis did. Five times he stated in unmistakable terms that "... the blood from the right chamber of the heart must arrive at the left chamber, but there is no direct pathway between them. The thick septum of the heart is not perforated and does not have visible pores as some people thought or invisible pores as Galen thought. The blood from the right chamber must flow through the vena arteriosa (pulmonary artery) to the lungs, spread through its substance, he mingled with air, pass through the arteria venosa (Pulmonary vein) to reach the left chamber of the heart... " (Salem 1968). In describing the anatomy of the lung Ibn-El-Nafis stated: "The lung is composed of. first, the bronchi: second, the branches of the arteria a venosa; and third, the branches of the vena arteriosa; all of these are connected by loose porous flesh ... The need of the lung for the vena arteriosa is to transport to it the blood that has been thinned and warmed in the heart, so that what seeps through the pores of the branches of this vessel into the alveoli of the lung may mix with what is of air therein and combine with it ... and the mixture is carried to the left cavity of the heart by the arteria venosa" (Haddad 1936).

Ibn-El-Nafis also made other contributions in the circulation. Avicenna, following Galen's description of the anatomy, stated that the human heart has three ventricles. Ibn-El-Nafis rejected that as he said "...And his statement ((Avicenna's) that the heart has three ventricles is not correct, as the heart has only tow ventricles..." He was also the first to describe the coronary circulation as he wrote "...Again, his statement (Avicenna's) that the blood in the right side is to nourish the heart is not true at all, for the nourishment of the heart is from the blood that goes through the vessels that permeate the body of the heart... "

Three centuries after the discovery of the pulmonary circulation by Ibn- El-Nafis, others, such as Michael Servetus, Realdus Colombus, Carlo Ruini, Andrea Cesalpino, and Francois Rabelais, claimed the same thing (Mayerhof 1935). There is a strong suspicion that these authors obtained their knowledge from the Arabic literature which was available at that time to the European investigators without giving credit to Ibn-El-Nafis (Keys 1971, Haddad 1942). It is considered to be more than a coincidence that Servetus would discover the pulmonary circulation, and also to write a book, similar to that of Ibn-El-Nafis, on Unitarianism. Servetus was burnt with his book, "Restitutio Christianismi" in Geneva in October 1553 at the order of Calvin because he was considered heretic.

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

IBN-RUSHD (AVERROES) 1126-1198 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, November 17, 2009 0 comments




Ibn-Rashid, or Averroes as known in Europe, was born in Granada in 1126 A.D. He studied philosophy, medicine and law. He was appointed as a judge in Seville in 1169 A.D. where he stayed in office for a quarter of a century. He was affected by Aristotle on whom he wrote important commentaries (Black 1970, Al-A'sar 1972). In these interpretations he asserted that the human soul is not independent, but shares a universal mind. This belief caused a great controversy and was later declared heretical by both the Moslems and Christians alike because it contradicted the doctrine of personal immortality.

He was admired by the Jews of Spain who spread Ws philosophy into Europe especially into Italy and France after they were forced out of Spain. His followers interpreted some of his writings to mean that there are two kinds of truth, a philosophical and a religious truth. This implied a separation of reason and faith and influenced philosophical and theological speculation for many centuries. Because of his bold ideas, he was dismissed from his work and sent to Morocco where he was kept in prison till he died on December 12, 1198. his important contribution to medicine was "Al- Kulliyat fi Al-Tibb" (Colliyet). It was a summary of the medical science at that time and composed of seven parts. He wrote another book, "Al-Taisir" on practical medicine. It consisted of useful excerpts and a clinical description of diseases including serous pericarditis and mediastinal abscens. He personally suffered from the latter disease and left very careful records of his own symptoms. The book is not known in Arabic, but there are several Latin editions (Haddad 1942). Ibn-Rushd was another example of the cultured Arabic physician.

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

AL-RAZI (RAZES) 841-926 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, November 16, 2009 0 comments





His full name is Abu-Bakr Mohammaed Ibn-Zakaria Al-Razi, known to the Western World as Razes. He was born in Ray, a suburb of Tehran, the capital of modern Persia (Profile of Iran 1977, Sarton 1950). He first studied music which was his main interest in his early life. He was a skillful player on the lute. He then studied philosophy, and later medicine. But he was a better physician than a philosopher ,

He first became the Court-Physician of Prince Abu Saleh Al-Mansur, the ruler of Khorosan. Then he moved to Baghdad where he became the Chief Physician of the Baghdad Hospital and the Court-Physician of the Caliph. He had a good basis of physics and chemistry as well as medicine.

He published several books which were translated into Latin, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Greek. One of his main books is "Al-Mansuri" (Liber Al-Mansofis) which he dedicated to his patron Prince Al-Mansur. It was composed of ten treatises and included all aspects of health and disease. He defined medicine as "the art concerned in preserving healthy bodies, in combating disease, and in restoring health to the sick." He thus showed the three aspects of medicine namely, public health, preventive medicine, and treatment of specific diseases. he listed seven principles for the preservation of health:

1. Moderation and balance in motion and rest.
2. Moderation in eating and drinking.
3. Elimination of superfluities.
4. Improvement and regulation of dwelling places.
5. Avoidance of excessive evil happenings before they become uncontrollable.
6. Maintenance of harmony in ambitions and resolutions.
7. Acquisition of reticence through possession of good habits including exercise.

He also published another book called "Al-Murshid". In it, he emphasized the important lines of therapy that we mentioned earlier. He described the different types of fever including continuous, relapsing, and hectic. He stated that fever can be a symptom of a disease or a disease in itself. He introduced mercury as a therapeutic drug for the first time in history, which was later adopted in Europe. He realized that a man normally does not want to get sick, and he wants to recover as soon as possible. However, if a patient does not have the will or the desire to get well, the physician's hands are tied and cannot help him. He stressed the continued medical education of the physician. He advised him to record his own observations. He encouraged him to meet with other physicians to discuss medical problems. He recommended that the physicians should try solving these problems rather than depending on others for finding solutions.

Another book written by Al-Razi was named "Al-Hawi", which means the complete text. It was composed of 22 volumes. It was one of the main text books in the medical school in Paris, especially its 9th volume on pharmacology.

He wrote a treatise on measles and smallpox called "de Peste or de Pestilentia" which was translated to Latin in 1565 A.D. It is a masterpiece in clinical medicine (Browne 1962). It describes the clinical difference between the two diseases so vividly that nothing since has been added (Keys 1971).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

AL-ZAHRAWI : (ABULCASIS, BUCASIS, ALZAHRAVIUS) 930-1013 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Sunday, November 15, 2009 1 comments





His full name is Abu-Al-Qasim Khalaf Ibn'Abbas Al-Zahrawi. He had been known in the Western World as Abulcasis, Bucasis or Alzahravius. He is the famous surgeon of the Arabs. In 930 A.D., he was born in Al-Zahra, a suburb of Cordova. He attended the University of Cordova which had been established for one and a half centuries. At that time Cordova had a population of one million (Hitti 1977). It was the magnificent capital of Al- Andalus where culture and science were at their peak in Europe. In military power the Moslems also reached their zenith, not only in Spain but also throughout Europe after King Abdel-Rahman III defeated the Spanish kings of Navarre, Castile, and Leon at the north in 997 A.D.

Al-Zahrawi became an eminent surgeon. lie was appointed as the Court-Physician of King Abdel-Rahman III. He spent a productive life in Practicing medicine, especialy in surgery and medical writings. He died at the age of 83.

He wrote mainly four books. One of them is "Al-Tastif Liman Ajiz'an Al-Ta'lif' which is the best medieval surgical encyclopedia. It was used in Europe until the 17th century. He stressed the importance of basic sciences: "... Before practicing, one should be familiar with the science of anatomy and the functions of organs so that he will understand them, recognize their shape, understand their connections, and know their borders. Also he should know the bones, nerves, and muscles, their numbers, their origin and insertions, the arteries and the veins, their start and end. These anatomical and physiological bases are important, and as said by Hippocrates: 'These are many physicians by title and a few by practice.' ... If one does not comprehend the anatomy and physiology, he may commit a mistake that can kill the patient. I have seen someone, who pretended to be a surgeon, incised an aneurysm in the neck of a woman , mistaking it for an abscess.The woman bled to death."

Heller stated that Al-Zahrawi described the ligature of arteries long before Ambrose Pare (Khairallah 1942). Al-Zahrawi also used cautery to control bleeding. He used wax and alcohol to stop bleeding from the skull during cranial surgery. Sprengel said that Al-Zahrawi was the first to teach the lithotomy position for vaginal operations (Khairallah 1942). Al-Zahrawi also described the tracheotomy operation and performed it as an emergency on one of his servants. He was the first to write on orthodontia. He showed evidence of great experience from details of clinical picture and surgical procedures e.g. his description of varicose veins stripping, even after ten centuries, is almost like modern surgery (Al-Okbi 1971): "... Have the leg shaved if it is much hairy. The patient gets a bath and his leg is kept in hot water until it becomes red and the veins dilate; or he exercises vigorously. Incise the skin opposite the varicose vein longitudinally either at the ankle or at the knee. Keep the skin opened by hooks. Expose, dissect, and separate the vein. Introducc a spatula underneath it. When the vein is elevated above the skin level, hang it with a blunt rounded hook. Repeat the procedure about three fingers from the previous site and hang the vein with another hook as previously done. Repeat the procedure at as many sites along the varicose vein as necessary. At the ankle, ligate and strip it by pulling it from the incision just above. When it reaches there, repeat at the higher incision until all of it is stripped. Ligate the vein and then excise it. If difficulty is encountered in pulling it, ligate its terminal part with a string and pass it under the spatula and dissect it further. Pull gently and avoid its tearing because if it does, it becomes difficult to strip all of it and can cause harm to the patient. When you have stripped it all, put alcohol spanges at the sites of the skin incisions and take care of the incisions until they heal. If the varicose vein is tortuous, you have to incise the skin more frequently, at each change of direction. Dissect it and hang it with the hooks and strip it as previously described. Do not tear the vein or injure it. If this happens, it becomes difficult to strip it. The hooks used should be blunt, eyeless, and rounded, otherwise it can injure the vein".

He also wrote about fracture of the skull (Al-Okbi 197 1): "... The types of skull fractures are numerous, their shapes are different, and their causes are many. For example, some skull fractures are due to a blow by a sword that splits the whole skull and reaches the dura, the same as the ax does to the wood, therefore it is called axial fracture. Sometimes the sword does not split the skull completely, it is thus called incomplete axial fracture. Such a fracture can be small or big. Another type is comminuted fracture Which can be due to a hit by a stone or a fall on a stone; and this fracture can reach the dura or only be limited to the outer part of the bone. This fracture can also be small or big. A third type is the hairy type of skull fracture which is so tiny and linear like a hair. A fourth type is the depressed fracture which occurs due to a fail or a blow so the bone is depressed like a brass jar when hit by a blunt instrument. This usually happens when the bone is soft as children. The types of these fractures are diagnosed by examining the wound, removing the debris and contused pan of the scalp, exposing the skull, and feeling it by the spatulas. The hairy fracture is difficult to discover and can be diagnosed by exposing the skull, and smearing it with ink; the linear fracture thus appears stained." In the treatment of fractures of the skull, Al- Zahrawi wrote: "... If the patient shows serious signs such as high fever, repeated vomiting, exophthalmos, convulsions, and coma, do not touch him because he is probably going to die. Otherwise, treat him as follows: first shave the patient's head. In comminuted depressed fractures, these pieces of bone should be removed as will be explained. If in the process of the patient's examination or during surgery bleeding occurs, it can be controlled by pressure using towels soaked in alcohol and by wax. Then after control of the bleeding, the small pieces of bone are removed using special forceps . To remove the depressed fracture, first, make trephines in the healthy bone around it. These trephine instruments should not penetrate beyond the skull into the soft tissues underneath, thus they are called non penetrating trephines. They have a rounded ring in their proximal end to prevent them from penetrating beyond certain depths. You should have a number of these trephines that can stop at different depths depending on the thickness of the skull. Connect the holes in the skull using special saws. First, use a fine small saw, then larger ones. These should be sharp and made of steel. Avoid cutting the dura by the trephine or saw. Once the depressed bone is freed, remove it gently, then smoothen the edges of the skull by special instruments. Wash with alcohol and treat the wound with packs soaked with ointment."

Al-Zahrawi described many dental operations such as dental extractions, fixation, re implantation, and artificial teeth. He described referred tooth pain and cautioned the physician against removal of the healthy tooth to which pain is referred. He used gold threads to fix teeth because other metals would tarnish and cause a reaction. Chapter 6 of his book was all devoted to foreign bodies of the ear and their treatment. He also devoted one whole chapter to mid wifery, giving tips to midwives, and describing the problems of difficult labor and obstetrical manoeuvre. He recommended decompression of the fetal head for obstructed labor and described the instruments used. He described the management of liver abscess by treating it into two stages (Khairallah 1942). The first stage was to allow adhesions around it and to close it from the peritoneal cavity. The second stage was to incise it. ..."If the procedure is done in one stage, the pus may spread to the whole abdomen and the patient may die." He described a total of 200 surgical and dental instruments most of them were original (Fig. 3). He said "... Choose your instruments carefully beforehand according to the operation. However, you should design other devices if needed." Thus he encouraged the physician to be innovative.

During the time of Al-Zahrawi, surgery in the Islamic world became a respected specialty practiced by reputable physicians. On the contrary in Europe, surgery was belittled and practiced by barbers and butchers. In 1163 A.D., the Council of Tours declared the following resolution "Surgery is to be abandoned by the schools of medicine and by all decent physicians."

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

IBN-SINA (AVICENNA) 980-1037 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Saturday, November 14, 2009 0 comments





Ibn-Sina's full name is Abu-Ali Husayn lbn-Abdullah lbn-Sina, and his titles were Al-Shaykh Al-Rais (The chief Master) or Al-Muallim Al-Thani (The Second Teacher), second to Aristotle (Browne 1962). He is known in the Western World as Avicenna.

In 980 A.D. Avicenna was born in Bukhara which is now part of Russia and known as Uzben. By the age of 10, he was already proficient in the Qur'an and Arabic classics. By the age of 16, he finished Islamic law studies, geometry, anatomy, logic and philosophy. His metaphysics were influenced by an earlier philosopher in Islam, Al-Farabi. By the age of 18, he completed the study of medicine. Soon after, he became the Prime Minister (the Visier) and Court-Physician of Prince Nuli-Ibn-Mansur, the Samanid Ruler of Bukbara. The prince was impressed by the intelligence and endurance of his Visier and opened for him the royal library which was unique in its literary richness. Ibn-Sina wrote his first book at the age of 21. Then he became Visier of Ali ibn Maimun, the ruler of Khawarazm or Khiva. But he ultimately fled to avoid being kidnapped by the Sultan Mohammed El-Ghazin. Ironically, fate played an important role in the life of Avicenna who was a master in planning. The ruler of Hainadan, the southern part of Persia, who was called Amir Shwnsu'd-Dawla, had renal colic. Ibn-Sina treated the Amir's colic. The latter was very pleased and appointed Ibn-Sina, not only his Court-Physician but also his Visier. Avicenna was a proud and arrogant man. This created enemies leading to a mutiny of the military leaders against him resulting in his dismissal and imprisonment. Fortunately, the Amir got renal colic once more and no one could relieve his pain. He thus summoned back Avicenna who cured him. The Amir apologized to Avicenna and reinstated him.

Avicenna's life during this time was extraordinarily strenuous. All the day he was busy with the Amir's services. The great part of the night was passed in lecturing and writing his books, with intervals of wine-drinking, music, and minstrelsy. After many vicissitudes, worn out by hard work and hard living, Avicenna died and was buried in Hamadan, Persia, in 1037 A.D. at a comparatively early age of 57. In his last illness, he treated himself unsuccessfully, so that it was said by his detractors that neither could his physics save his body nor his metaphysics save his soul (Browne 1962).

Avicenna wrote I00 treatises, 21 of them were major of which 16 were in medicine. He wrote in philosophy, medicine, named Al-Qanon fi Al- Tibb (Canon of Medicine). It was an encyclopedia containing more than one million words. It was composed of 5 volumes:

Volume I- described the principles and theories of medicine.
Volume II- contained the simple drugs arranged alphabetically.
Volume III- described localized diseases of the body from the head to the toes.
Volume IV- was addressed to generalized diseases of the body e.g. fevers.
Volume V- explained compound drungs.

The Canon contained all medical knowledge up to the 1Oth century. It was translated to many languages and was the reference for medical schools in Europe up to the 17th century. Although the Canon was a great book, it overshadowed the important works prior to it by Al-Razi and Al-Zahrawi, and subsequent to it by Ibn-Al-Nafis and Ali Ibn-Abbas, Halle Abbas, (Haddad 1942).

Avicenna wrote Arabic and Persian poems.The last of his Arabic poem, which is considered a classical beauty, describes the descent of the Soul into the Body from the Higher Sphere which is its home (Browne 1962).

Avicenna is considered a great philosopher, and his writings affected the thinkers and influenced many of those who appeared after him. He was a unique phenomenon, not only because of this encyclopedic accomplishments in medicine, but also because of the versatility of his genius. He has been compared in this respect with Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, and Goethe. (Keys 1971).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

Islamic Physicians

Posted by Arqustany Putra Friday, November 13, 2009 0 comments


Medicine in Islam passed through three stages:
I. The first stage is the stage of translation of foreign sources into Arabic. It extended mainly during the seventh and eighth centuries.

II. The second stage is the stage of excellence and genuine contribution in which the Islamic physicians were the leaders and the source of new chapters to medicine. This stage extended during the ninth through the thirteenth centuries.

III. The third stage is the stage of decline where medicine, as well as other branches of science, became stagnant and deteriorated. The stage started mainly after the thirteenth century.

During the first stage, Syrian and Persian scholars did a marvelous job by translating honestly the ancient literature from Greek and Syriac in Arabic. Thcy translated different branches of science including philosophy astrology, and medicine. The works of Hippocratcs (460-370 BC), Aristototle (384-322 BC), and Galen (131-210 A.D.) were among those translated From Arabic, the classic Greek literature was translated into Latin, then into Greek because most of the original scripts were lost and the only source was the Arabic translation. If the Arabs did only one thing, namely, preserving the ancient literature and handing it honestly to Europe, that would have been a sufficient contribution in itself. The Moslem rulers encouraged translation, e.g. Khalif Al-Mamun Al-Abbassi paid the translator the weight of his translation in gold (Haddad 1942). Among the eminent physicians who took part in the first stage were Jurjis lbn-Bakhtisliu, his grandson Jibril, Yuhanna Ibn-Masawaya, and Hunain Ibn-Ishak; most of them were Christians, yet they were respected and well treated by the Moslem rulers.

It is said, rightly or wrongly, that the history of a nation is the sum total of the history of a few of its individuals. Ths is particularly true in the history of medicine during the Arab period. In every stage of its development we find men of outstanding repute, the sum total of whose efforts has constituted this magnificent chapter. It is impossible to give an account of all the important physicians of Islwn. We thus are going to discuss some of those who were known to Medieval Europe and whose books affected its thinking and practice for centuries (Table 1), I chose an internist, Al-Razi (Razes); a surgeon, Al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis); the physician-philosopher of Islam, Ibn-Sina (Avicenna); the philosopher-physician of Islam, Ibn-Rushd (Averroes); a pioneer in physiology, Ibn-Al-Nafis; and a Jewish Arab, Ibn- Maimon (Maimonides).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

Medical Ethics in Islam

Posted by Arqustany Putra Thursday, November 12, 2009 0 comments



The medical profession was a well respected specialty and its Ieaders kept it this way by laying down proper ethics. Al-Tabari, the chief physician in 970 A.D., described the Islamic code of ethics as follows (Hamamch 1971, Levy 1967):

I. Personal characters of the physician:

The Physician ought to be modest, virtuous, merciful, and un addicted to liquor. He should wear clean clothes, be dignified, and have well- groomed hair and beard. He should not join the ungodly and scaffers, nor sit at their table. He should select his company to be persons of good reputation. He should be careful of what he says and should not hesitate to ask forgiveness if he has made an error. He should be forgiving and never seek revenge. He should be friendly and peacemaker. He should not make jokes or laugh at the improper time or place.

II. His obligation towards patients:
He should avoid predicting whether a patient will live or die, only God (Allah) knows. He ought not loose his temper when his patient keeps asking questions, but should answer gently and compassionately. He should treat alike the rich and the poor, the master and the servant, the powerful and the powerless, the elite and the illiterate. God will reward him if he helps the needy. The physician should not be late for his rounds or his house calls. He should be punctual and reliable. He should not wrangle about his fees. If the patient is very ill or in an emergency, he should be thankful, no matter how much he is paid. He should not give drugs to a pregnant woman for an abortion unless necessary for the mother's health. If the physician prescribes a drug orally, he should make sure that the patient understands the name correctly, in case he would ask for the wrong drug and get worse instead of better. He should be decent towards women and should not divulge the secrets of his patients.

III. His obligation towards the community:
The physician should speak no evil of reputable men of the community or be critical of any one's religious belief.

IV. His obligations towards his colleagues:
The physician should speak well of his acquaintances and colleagues. He should not honor himself by shaming others. If another physician has been called to treat his patient, the family doctor should not criticize his colleague even if the diagnosis and the recommendations of the latter differ from his own. However, be has the obligation to explain what each point of view may lead to since his duty is to counsel the patient as best as he can. He must warn him that combining different types of therapy may be dangerous because the actions of different drugs may be incompatible and injurious.

V. His obligations towards his assistants:
If his subordinate does wrong, the physician should not rebuke him in front of others, but privately and cordially.

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

Halal Haram Lists: Why They Do Not Work?

Posted by Arqustany Putra Wednesday, November 11, 2009 0 comments

By Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

Due to the complexity of tracing the source of various ingredients of which a food or a drink is made up of, many halal conscious Muslim consumers look for a list of grocery items that would facilitate them selecting halal items for consumption. A few lists and some books enumerating Halal/Haram status of items for Muslim consumption have been in circulation amongst the Muslims in the USA. While the intentions of the compilers of such lists/books cannot be doubted; the fact remains that such list/books become out dated soon after their publication. The products researched today enjoying the halal status may change anytime to haram upon the inclusion of one, two or many haram ingredients due to formulation change and/or for economic consideration. In absence of any understanding and/or contract with the manufacturer, haram ingredients find their way into the so called halal items without any notice to the Muslim consumers. The manufacturer is obligated to list the name of ingredients of an item on the label, but he is not obligated to include only halal ingredients. Thus a product included under Halal category in the list or book today may become haram tomorrow and yet Muslims continue to buy and consume such (haram) products (assuming them halal according to the list or book).

There are 5.5 million Jews in the USA, and an estimated 16% Jewish households follow kosher guidelines. Nonetheless, there are more than 23,000 items that are certified Kosher with Kosher symbol on them for convenience. There are more than eight million Muslims in the USA and an estimated 75% of the Muslim households follow halal guidelines in one form or other. Because the Muslim consumers have failed to exert pressure on the manufacturer, the term Halal is rather unknown, leave alone the compliance of Halal standards. With the ready made list or book of Halal/Haram food items, the manufacturers are getting free promotion (advertisement) of their products without any obligation of compliance with Halal standards. Besides the (halal) status of such product can be changed without any notice and Muslims continue to buy such products still assuming them halal.

Considering the buying power of Muslim food dollars in the USA (about ten billion dollars annually), Muslims should speak out to the manufacturers for the compliance of Halal standards.

A Muslim organization has come up with 'Halal Slide Guide' enumerating the Halal/Haram status of the most commonly used ingredients (not products). This guide enables Muslims to check all the ingredients on the label, determine their Halal/Haram status and then select the item if all the ingredients are halal. This is a fool-proof device enabling Muslims to make halal selection based on the ingredients which by law are listed on a food package.

For a more permanent solution, Muslims should call and/or write to the manufacturers and insist on producing items complying halal standards. Manufacturers can be referred to qualified Halal certifying agencies for Halal certification. The demand and magnitude of Muslim consumers can easily convince manufacturers for halal production. Once a manufacturer finds a halal market niche and cater to the Muslim consumers with halal certification and halal symbol, other competitors may follow. Consequently a whole array of halal products with halal certification and halal symbol for easy selection will, insha'llah, be found in the US supermarkets. A concerted effort to promote halal is needed indeed. This is a challenge and an opportunity.

Reprinted with the permission from the book, Islamic Dietary Concepts And Practices by M.M. Hussaini

Discuss Your thoughs in the Forum: HALAL & HEALTHY

LIST OF HALAL AND HARAM FOOD INGREDIENTS

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, November 10, 2009 0 comments



The lists below have been taken with permission from the book 'Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini and M S Ahmad Hussein Sakr, Ph.D .

It should be noted that a product being imported from a Muslim country is not necessarily a guarantee that it is completely Halal. In fact, food is often imported from abroad into Muslim countries without proper checking of ingredients.

1. AN ALPHABETICAL DEFINITION GUIDE

An alphabetical list of Halal and Haram ingredients to look out for:

Bacon: A side of pig meat (pork).

Choletsorol: type of fat always of animal origin. If extracted from Zabiha animal, it is Halal.

Diglyceride: Emulsifier. If of animal origin it should be suspected till the source is known.

Gelatin (Jello Gelatin): Usually of animal origin, mostly from pig. If extracted from a dhabiha animal, then it is halal/

Glycerol (Glycerine): It could be of animal, plant or Glyceryl-Stearate synthetic origin. If animal source is used, it is suspected.

Hormones: Usually animal hormones are used for human consumption. One has to find out the source before passing a judgement.

Lard: Fat from swine particulaly found in the abdominal cavity. Totally Haram for us.

Magnesium Stearate (stearic acid): Used as an active ingredient in medicine tablets. Haram when derived from animal source.

Mono Glycerides: When derived from animal source. (Halal when the source is plant).

Pepsin: A digestive enzyme mostly from pig stomach.

Rennin (Rennet): A protein Enzyme. Usually not labeled. (In most cheeses).

Shortening: Fats and oils of animal origin. Animal/Lard

Vanilla: Extracted using alcohol.

Vitamins: Haram when from animal source. Mostly the source is synthetic or plant and are Halal.

Whey: Used in ice creams and yogurt. Haram when from animal source.

2. A PARTIAL LIST OF HALAL INGREDIENTS
S/N Name of Ingredients Code No Brief Description

Antioxidants: Chemical compounds used to protect certain food components from being destroyed or lost through oxidation.

Ascorbic acid: Vitamin C.

Benzoate (Benzoic acid): Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are used for food preservation.

Biotin: A member of the B complex vitamins.

BHA: An antioxidant, preservative.

BHT: An antioxidant, preservative.

Citric acid: Sources are plant, usually of the citrus family. (e.g. orange, lime, lemon).

Cobalamine: Synthetically prepared Vitamin B12.

Dextrin: An emulsifying, sizing, and thickening agent.

Fiber: Sources are plant. Provide roughage to diet.

Fructose: Fruit sugar.

Gliadin (Gluten): Ptotein found in wheat and rye.

Hydrogenated oil: Vegetable oil being hydrogenated making it solid at room temperature.

Iodine: A nutrient for thyroid gland.

Lecithin: Emulsifier of fat. In the USA, sources are mainly soyabean and egg yolk.

Lipids : Essential fatty acids found in fish, plant and animals. If source is animal; it is suspected.

Malt: A kind of fermented grain.

Molasses: Syrup liquid obtained in refining sugar.

MSG: Flavoring. Imparts meat flavor to foods.

Niacin: One of the B complex vitamins.

PABA: A food supplement.

Pectin: A gelatinous substance extracted from fruits.

Propionic acid: A preservative.

Riboflavin: One of the B complex vitamins. Usually the source is synthetic.

Pure vegetable shortening: Source of this kind of shortening is plant.

100% vegetable shortening: Source of this kind of shortening is plant.

Sweetener: Substance that gives a sweet taste.

Thiamin: One of the B complex vitamins.

Vanillin: Flavoring agent, extracted from vanilla.

Vitamin A: If source are plant and synthetic, it is halal.

Vitamin C: Natural sources are from plant. (e.g. citrus fruit, tomatoes, etc).

Vitamin D: Natural sources are yeast and fish liver oil. Also synthetically produced.

Vitamin E: Rich sources of Vitamin E are vegetable oils. When source is synthetic, it is halal. If source is animal, it is suspected.

Water: The nutrient most vital to man's existence.

Food yeast: Microscopic, unicellular, fungal plant used for fermentation process and in baking bread.

Alcohol Effects On Health and the Heart

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, November 9, 2009 0 comments

(LifeWire) - Alcohol effects on health come in many different forms. It can cause addiction and liver disease if taken chronically, but it can also lower cholesterol and heart disease risk if taken in moderation.

Most of the time, alcohol gets a bad rap. Most research indicates, though, that alcohol can actually be good for cardiovascular health, including your cholesterol levels. The key, however, is moderation — and the definition of moderation may surprise you.

How Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol?

Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol has been shown to be beneficial for your heart and your cholesterol levels. Alcohol increases HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the so-called “good cholesterol." HDL goes through the body and picks up unnecessary deposits of cholesterol. Its counterpart, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the "bad cholesterol," travels through the body depositing cholesterol. Unfortunately, alcohol has not been shown to either decrease LDL cholesterol levels or to lower total cholesterol levels — two things many people want to do.

Studies do indicate, however, that a moderate amount of alcohol benefits your heart because of the increase in HDL. Anything beyond the standard definition of “moderation,” however, is considered detrimental to heart health, and alcoholic beverages are usually high in calories, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. Those extra pounds can increase your risk of diabetes and stroke. In addition, overconsumption has been connected to liver disease and even damaged heart muscle.

So What Is "Moderation"?

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the “lowest coronary heart disease mortality occurs at an intake of one or two drinks per day.” A drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 1 ounce of 100-proof liquor or 4 ounces of wine.

Keep in mind that you do not increase your heart health by increasing your consumption beyond the one to two drinks a day. Binge drinking on a Saturday night is not healthy and will not result in cardiovascular benefit — even if you haven’t consumed alcohol throughout the rest of the week.

Does the Type of Alcohol Make a Difference?

When it comes to cholesterol levels, research indicates that you may want to pass on the beer in favor of a glass of wine.

Wine, particularly red wine, contains antioxidants called "flavonoids." These compounds have been linked to a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels and overall heart health. According to a 2005 study, people who consumed wine in moderation saw an 11 to16% increase in heart-healthy HDL. The study again, though, found no significant effect of wine consumption on LDL, total cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Although not as beneficial as wine, in moderation, beer and liquor also have positive impacts on HDL levels.

A French study found that beer and liquor lowered triglyceride levels and increased HDL levels, although not to the same degree as wine.

Should I Start Drinking?

Not necessarily, according to the American Heart Association. If you or a loved one has elevated cholesterol levels, you’ll likely see more benefit from beginning an exercise program or making dietary changes. Even in moderation, drinking can raise your blood pressure, and it has been linked to several types of cancer.

If you have high cholesterol and you have been wondering whether a glass of wine or beer would be harmful, though, you can relax. Relaxation is key, because an American Psychological Association study found that stress can raise cholesterol levels as well.

Do Positive Alcohol Effects Extend To Lowering Cholesterol?

Posted by Arqustany Putra Saturday, November 7, 2009 0 comments

Question: Do Positive Alcohol Effects Extend To Lowering Cholesterol?

Answer: Alcohol effects on health are clear - consuming a small amount of alcohol everyday could help your cholesterol and your heart.

There have been many studies that have shown that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol), raise HDL (“good” cholesterol), and promote heart health. “Moderate consumption” consists of one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one alcoholic drink per day for women. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine.

Current studies reveal that HDL levels can increase by up to 12% in people who drink between one to two alcoholic beverages per day. LDL levels can be lowered by 4 to 8% with moderate alcohol consumption. Additionally, moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 50%.

There is a limit on the amount of alcohol you can consume, however. Studies have also shown that drinking more than three alcoholic drinks per day can actually increase your risk of heart disease. So, you can drink any type of alcohol, but do so in moderation: One drink a day if you are a healthy woman, and one to two drinks a day if you are a healthy man.

Is Alcohol Good for Your Heart?

Posted by Arqustany Putra Thursday, November 5, 2009 0 comments

Question: Why is alcohol forbidden in Islam?

Answer: Intoxicants were forbidden in the Qur'an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend to prayers while intoxicated (4:43). Then a later verse was revealed which said that alcohol contains some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good (2:219). This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, "intoxicants and games of chance" were called "abominations of Satan's handiwork," intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to abstain (5:90-91). (Note - the Qur'an is not arranged chronologically, so later verses of the book were not necessarily revealed after earlier verses.)

In the first verse cited above, the word for "intoxicated" is sukara which is derived from the word "sugar" and means drunk or intoxicated. That verse doesn't mention the drink which makes one so. In the next verses cited, the word which is often translated as "wine" or "intoxicants" is al-khamr, which is related to the verb "to ferment." This word could be used to describe other intoxicants such as beer, although wine is the most common understanding of the word.

Muslims interpret these verses in total to forbid any intoxicating substance -- whether it be wine, beer, gin, whiskey, or whatever. The result is the same, and the Qur'an outlines that it is the intoxication, which makes one forgetful of God and prayer, which is harmful. Over the years, the list of intoxicating substances has come to include more modern street drugs and the like.

The Prophet Muhammad also instructed his followers, at the time, to avoid any intoxicating substances -- (paraphrased) "if it intoxicates in a large amount, it is forbidden even in a small amount." For this reason, most observant Muslims avoid alcohol in any form, even small amounts that are sometimes used in cooking.

Alcohol In Islam

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, November 3, 2009 0 comments

Question: Why is alcohol forbidden in Islam?

Answer: Intoxicants were forbidden in the Qur'an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend to prayers while intoxicated (4:43). Then a later verse was revealed which said that alcohol contains some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good (2:219). This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, "intoxicants and games of chance" were called "abominations of Satan's handiwork," intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to abstain (5:90-91). (Note - the Qur'an is not arranged chronologically, so later verses of the book were not necessarily revealed after earlier verses.)

In the first verse cited above, the word for "intoxicated" is sukara which is derived from the word "sugar" and means drunk or intoxicated. That verse doesn't mention the drink which makes one so. In the next verses cited, the word which is often translated as "wine" or "intoxicants" is al-khamr, which is related to the verb "to ferment." This word could be used to describe other intoxicants such as beer, although wine is the most common understanding of the word.

Muslims interpret these verses in total to forbid any intoxicating substance -- whether it be wine, beer, gin, whiskey, or whatever. The result is the same, and the Qur'an outlines that it is the intoxication, which makes one forgetful of God and prayer, which is harmful. Over the years, the list of intoxicating substances has come to include more modern street drugs and the like.

The Prophet Muhammad also instructed his followers, at the time, to avoid any intoxicating substances -- (paraphrased) "if it intoxicates in a large amount, it is forbidden even in a small amount." For this reason, most observant Muslims avoid alcohol in any form, even small amounts that are sometimes used in cooking.

Muslims and Weight Loss

Posted by Arqustany Putra Sunday, November 1, 2009 0 comments

By Karima Burns

An English proverb points out, "Some men walk through the forest yet see no firewood." As Muslims, we should be careful of falling into this proverbial truth.

Muslims often seek outside help to lose weight, although the Qur'an and Hadith provide guidance on many ways through which we can combat being overweight. They include periodic cleansings, eating simple and whole foods and herbs, avoiding excess, drinking plenty of water, praying and seeking guidance from Allah, seeking the help of others, and being persistent and patient.

Ramadan is a time for physical cleansing as well as spiritual cleansing. A prophetic tradition (Hadith) states, "Fast the month of Ramadan so to heal your bodies from disease." If we strive to eat only pure, simple and light foods during Ramadan, we can undergo a physical as well as a spiritual cleansing. Since there is such a strong scientifically proven correlation between our spiritual, mental and physical health, to purify all systems at the same time provides the ultimate and most powerful detoxification fast that we have available today.

To eat purely means to eat the whole, unprocessed and pure foods that Allah has provided us such as whole wheat breads, grains, beans, vegetables and fresh fruits. These are perfect foods and we do not need to improve them with colors, chemicals and preservatives. The Qur'an (5:4) says, "They ask thee what is lawful to them as food. Say, 'Lawful unto you are all things good and pure.'" And (50:7), "And the earth we have spread out, and we have set firm mountains on it, and have made every kind of beautiful growth to grow on it."

The Qur'an also says (7:31),"Eat and drink, but waste not by excess for God loves not the prodigals." Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasized this in Hadith when he mentioned that, "The stomach is the home of disease, and abstinence the head of every remedy. So make this your custom." It is easy to eat in excess since foods once reserved for royalty are now readily available in every supermarket. However, there is a hidden cost to excess consumption that keeps them expensive. Livestock pay this hidden cost by being injected with hormones and chemicals to increase the production of meat, cheese, milk and cream. The earth pays an even higher price when we consider the amount of grain and water used to raise the excess number of cattle for meat consumption.

Eating breakfast is also an important part of weight loss as it speeds metabolism of the body. The Hadith say, "Eat your meal at dawn, for there is blessing in the meal at dawn," and, "There is blessing in three things: the early morning meal, bread and soup."

Also, we must not ignore the benefits of the many herbs that Allah has provided us. Sahih Bukhari relates that, "For every malady Allah created, He also created its cure. Whoever acquires such knowledge shall benefit from it, and one who ignores it will forgo such benefit."

Another gift that Allah has given us in the battle against excess weight is water. The Qur'an says (15:45), "The righteous will be amid gardens and fountains of clear-flowing water," and (21:30), "We made water essential for all life." Muslims wanting to lose weight would benefit by drinking ten glasses of water a day, at least one half hour before and after meals.

As well as their spiritual benefits, the five prescribed daily prayers also provide physical toning benefits to the body. And patience is often the greatest test we face when we decide to lose weight. However, the Qur'an says (2:155), "Give glad tidings to those who exercise patience when struck with adversity and say, 'Indeed, we belong to God, and to Him is our return.' Such ones receive blessings and mercy from their Lord, and such are the guided ones."

Lastly, we cannot forget the power of prayer and support from others. The Qur'an says (26:80), "... And when I sicken, then He (Allah) heals me." Abu Hurairah relates, "Allah never inflicts a disease unless he makes a cure for it." Weight gain is often caused by excess, and the weakness of one or more organs of the body. A Hadith even says, "The origin of every disease is cold. So eat when you desire and refrain when you desire." Many people have lost weight simply by warming up their bodies with herbs and warm foods, and reducing heavier, colder foods and those that clog and chill the system.

"Oh, Lord! Advance me in knowledge..." The Qur'an says, and the Prophet has stated, that we should, "Seek knowledge, even in China." Along these lines, we can also obtain wisdom from people all around the world in the subject of weight loss. Utilizing the support of programs such as Weight Watchers or information provided in magazines can be beneficial - as long as we turn to the Qur'an as our ultimate inspiration
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Karima Burns, MH, ND has a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Masters in Herbal Healing. She has studied natural healing for 12 years, published a natural healing newsletter for 4 years, and writes extensively on natural healing and herbs. Sister Karima became interested in natural healing after ending her personal lifelong struggle with asthma, allergies, chronic ear infections, depression, hypoglycemia, fatigue and panic attacks with herbs and natural therapies.

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