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Time for Muslims to revisit Golden Age of Islamic science: Rahman Khan
Says Muslims should emulate father of modern medicine and surgery Al-Zahrawi to serve the mankind
Saturday December 14, 2013 11:21 AM, Pervez Bari,

"The time has come for the entire Muslim world to introspect and get awakened to revisit five centuries, from 750 to 1258 AD – which is often described as the Golden Age of Islamic science -- the teaching and practice of medicine in Europe was heavily influenced by the works of Al-Razi (d. 925), Al-Zahrawi (d. 1013) and Ibn Sina (d. 1037) to reinvent Islam's image of peace, human values and service to humanity through Quranic injunction and Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) sayings (Hadiths).

The difference between non-Muslims and Muslims is only that of service to humanity by the latter on the directives of Quran".

The above observation was made by K. Rahman Khan, Union Minister of Minority Affairs, who was the chief guest, while delivering the inaugural address of the three-day International Conference on "Revisiting Abul Qasim Al-Zahrawi's Legacy in Medicine and Surgery" here on Friday evening at the India Islamic Cultural Centre.

Rahman Khan lamented that whole of Islamic world today is in turmoil despite it is blessed with wealth at its hand but no research is being conducted to benefit mankind. He called upon Muslims, especially youth, to emulate Al-Zahrawi, who has been called father of modern medicine and surgery, not only in medical but all other fields to serve the mankind.

The New Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies, (IOS), in collaboration with MESCO (Muslim Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation, Hyderabad), and Maulana Azad Education Foundation, Ministry of Minority Affairs, New Delhi is organizing the three-day international conference on to mark the 1000th death anniversary of the pioneer physician and surgeon and highlight his wide-ranging contributions to medicine and surgery. The co-sponsors of the event are India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, and PARAS HEALTHCARE.

Prof. Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, KSA, in his presidential address said that Islamic medicine is not specific medical procedures or therapeutic agents used in a particular place or a particular time. Islamic medicine is universal, all-embracing, flexible, and allows for growth and development of various methods of investigation and treatment of diseases within the framework described above'. The conceptual clarification from this definition opened the door to Islamization of modern scientific medicine.

Prof. Kasule said Islamic Health Care Industry provides a value-added to medical care, spirituality, ibadat-friendly hospital, and Islamic ambience. The Islamic approach provides holistic care. Unlike Islamic finance, it started with professional training at faculties of medicine. All have a stake in health only a few have a stake in banking, he added.

Meanwhile, Harish Chandra Singh Rawat, Union Minister of Water Resources, in his address said that he salutes the sense of dedication and sense of inequality in Islam which Al-Zahrawi followed to serve whole humanity and not Muslims alone.

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, chairmn of IOS, speaking on the occasion said Al-Zahravi, who made original and enduring contributions to medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, pharmacology, dentistry and cosmetology, represents one strand of Islamic civilisational heritage, albeit a significant strand.

Dr. Alam said: "We have been mulling over the establishment of an Al-Zahravi museum in India where we would love to display editions of most of his works and replicas of his surgical tools, large facsimile editions of his drawings and other memorabilia. At this stage we are in planning stage. All this is to protect the heritage".

Dr. Ahmad Abdul Hai, MD & Chief Consultant, Hai Medicare & Research Institute, Patna, in his key-note address said: "Islam has made a very glorious contribution to the art of healing. The basic impetus and the inspiration for this Islamic medicine came from the Noble Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet which took medicine away from the realm of superstation & fantasy and gave it a rational footing. This was the basis of Islamic Medicine".

Dr. Hai quoted Dr. Ahmad Al Kadi of USA who had said: "the treatment in question may be spiritual, physical, exercises, nutritional adjustment, pharmaceuticals preparation (natural or synthetic) surgical procedures, implants, use of modern diagnostic tools (MRI & PET Scan), radiation therapy or a combination of any of these modalities".

This definition of Islamic medicine may come as a surprise for some of us who feel that Islamic medicine is something limited to the therapy practiced by the revered old Hakeem's, or is rooted only in natural herbs or is limited to the direct health related teachings found in the Quran & Hadith, or some faith healing manoeuvres, he added.

He said that Islamic medicine includes all the modalities of modern medicine but yet differs from it because it is rooted in divine faith & ethics. It strives for excellence. It is comprehensive, paying attention to the body, the psyche and the soul. It takes into account not only the individual patient but also the society. It is universal, utilizing all useful resources and offering its services to all mankind.

Earlier, Dr. Fakhruddin Mohammad, Organising Secretary & Hony. Secretary, MESCO, Hyderabad threw light on the introduction of the theme of the international conference aptly.

Dr. Fakhruddin said that Abul Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi (940-1013), known as Albucasis in the West, devoted his entire life, in Madinat al-Zahra, near Cordoba, in Muslim Spain, to medical research and practice. He made an outstanding and original contribution to medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology and obstetrics, pharmacology and dentistry. He has been described as the father of modern surgery.

At the outset Maulana Abdullah Tarique recited verses from the Holy Qur'an. Prof. M. Afzal Wani, Professor of Law, GGS IP University, Delhi, welcomed the dignitaries, guests and delegates. The inaugural session of the International Conference will be webcast live on the link Dr. Mohammed Iftekharuddin, Director, MESCO, Hyderabad conducted the inaugural function with aplomb.

Meanwhile, after the Maghrib prayers a plenary session was held on the theme of Islamic ethos in al-Zahrawi's contribution to medicine and surgery which is still going at the time of going to the press. The plenary session is chaired by Maulana Dr. Saeed Al Azami Al Nadwi, Chancellor, Integral University and Chief Editor, Al Baas Al Islami, Lucknow. Prof. Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Founder President, Ibn Sina Academy of Medical Medicine and Sciences, Aligarh is the Co-Chairman of the session.

After the plenary session a Scientific Exhibition & Display of Instruments in the premises of IICC was inaugurated by Maulana Abdullah Mughesi, President, All India Milli Council, New Delhi.

[Photo Caption: A view of Scientific Exhibition & Display of Instruments in the premises of IICC]

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