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Islamic Medical Wisdom - The Tibb al-A'imma

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According to Fiqh E Jaferia..... Islamic Medical Wisdom - The Tibb al-A'imma by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) (Author), Andrew J. Newman (Editor), Batool Ispahany (Translator) The present is the...

According to Fiqh E Jaferia..... Islamic Medical Wisdom - The Tibb al-A'imma by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) (Author), Andrew J. Newman (Editor), Batool Ispahany (Translator)

The present is the first English translation of a text in the Twelver Shi’i prophetic medical tradition. As such it will prove of both interest and importance to specialists and non-specialists alike. The former include those pursuing study of various aspects of Islamic history and civilization in general and especially students of the history of Islamic medicine. The latter include both those wishing greater awareness of the Twelver Shi’i faith and heritage in general, and those desirous of greater familiarity with practical dimensions of the faith in particular.
For these audiences a fuller appreciation of this text is perhaps best achieved by some discussion of the place of the prophetic medical tradition within the context of the history of Islamic medicine.
Western-language scholars have generally defined Islamic medicine as composed of two distinct and dichotomous traditions, pre-Islamic Galenic medicine and prophetic medicine. Galenic medicine is understood to have become available to Islamic medical writers and practitioners as Greek scientific texts were translated into Arabic, beginning especially in Baghdad In the early 3rd/9th century. Supported by the Abbasid caliphs and other wealthy benefactors, over the next two hundred years the translation movement made much of Greek philosophy and science available in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization.

 

The Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, were as concerned with treating the body as they were with treating the soul, and their regard for the soundness of the body was similar to their regard for the refinement of the soul. They were physicians of the soul and the body, and Muslims would consult them for their physical illnesses as they would for curing their spiritual sicknesses. This collection of Hadith is ample evidence of that. The Imams, peace be upon them, were not merely conveyors of religious regulations and legislation, but were leaders committed to caring for the Muslims, equally concerned-if such a term is correct-with the health of their bodies and their beliefs, such that they encouraged the learning of medicine (al-.tibb). In his comprehensive statement on the divisions of knowledge, 'Ali b. Abu Talib (d. 40/661) Amir al-Mu'minin, peace be upon him, combined it [medicine] with the knowledge of jurisprudence (al-fiqh), saying: 'There are four kinds of knowledge: jurisprudence for religions, medicine for bodies, grammar for languages, and [study of] the stars to recognize the seasons. Much has been related from the Imams in collections [of Hadith] on medicine and preserving good health, just as there are more descriptions of various remedies related from them. Here for the reader are a small number of their sayings which are general rules for preserving health and physical well-being.

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