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A Living

Unani Legend

By Aleem Faizee


In Hakeem Abu Bakra, Dr. Mehta found his heir but 76 years old Hakeemsahib is still searching for the one.



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Born in Greece and flourished during Abbasid Caliphate, Unani Medication has created many experts and one among them was in Malegaon recently. Hakeem Abu Bakra was in Malegaon again for a week.


During his tenure as the principal of Mohammadia Tibbia College, Mansoora from 1984 to 1986, it was Hakeem Abu Bakra, who had helped in starting the hospital and developing Saidla (Unani Medical laboratory) where Unani drugs are manufactured for various diseases. In an exclusive interview with theawaz.com he recalled how he was treating as many as 300 to 350 patients every day in this hospital. Hopeless and helpless patients used to come from all over India for the treatment after trying hard for cure everywhere. Working on therapeutic diagnosis practice, he recollected how Yunis Waliullah came from Bhiwandi suffering abdominal leukemia cured in this hospital. Rejected by Tata Cancer Hospital, Mumbai and unable to sit, Hakeemsahib said, Yunis had given up all the hopes for his life but soon he left walking on his own foot after the treatment.


It is because of this that since he left Malegaon in 1986, Malegaon always felt his absence. Hakeemsahib said it was his devotion coupled with experience that helped cure the patients. He said, in contrast to general perception about hakeems, he had never concealed the experience and the knowledge from his students. The experience that he received after treating several patients with various diseases, reported as well as unreported, he always wanted to share with his students.


About the Unani way of Medical treatment, he said, “The temperaments of both, the patients as well as the drugs, are very important. A particular drug suitable for a person may not suite other persons with same disease. It advises using low quality drugs with lesser quantity initially and incrementing it gradually depending on the resistance and acceptance power of a person. Since Unani medicines have no side effects they are becoming very popular and Unani medicine in appropriate quantity and ratio, combined with the resistance power of a person, can cure any disease”.


Hakeemsahib said he did not need any supplementary test for prognosis and to achieve this he had to develop expertise in analysing various physical changes in the body of a patient and meticulous study of the action of drugs. For attaining this, he had to experiment various drugs on himself. He recalled how a doctor sitting with him was surprised when he stated about a patient that he was suffering from leukemia. The doctor had certain doubts and conducted the tests on the patients only to confirm Hakeemsahib’s opinion.


In reply to a question, Hakeemsahib said it was a young boy’s case that had become memorable. Recalling this case he said, “I was just sitting in my consulting as usual when a boy came with his right palm blood-stained due to some injuries. After keenly observing, I said to a doctor sitting with me that I don’t know what is the cause of this injury but I know its’ treatment.” The doctor wondered what kind of statement was this that although Hakeemsahib did not know the cause but he insisted he knew the treatment. To his surprise Hakeemsahib applied some dosage on the young boy and after some time realized that the wounds were healing.


It was in 1948, he recalled, that he was sitting with Hakeem Ziya in his clinic in Allahabad when a man in sherwani and chudidar pajama came in and sat there chatting. “What are you doing, young man”, the man asked young Abu Bakra. He replied he had just completed his junior college and doing nothing right now. The man arranged for his admission in Allahabad Medical College in BIMS degree course. The man with pure-Muslim attire was Dr. Mehta of Punjab. Dedicating his success to Dr. Mehta, Hakeemsahib said, “Timely intake of food and timely output of waste is the essence of healthy life”.


In Hakeemsahib Dr. Mehta found his heir but 76 years old Hakeemsahib is still searching for the one.




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