Miraculous Medical Recoveries and the Islamic Tradition

Miraculous Medical Recoveries and the Islamic Tradition

6 Pages · 2007 · 68 KB · English

Newtonian-like mechanized processes play themselves out. injects into the subject of miracles sends a clear message to . prayer. All of these modalities, including a full embrace of modern allopathic medicines, are found in the Muslim pop- ulations of Europe, Asia and Africa, and now among the.

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Special Section: Spirituality/Medicine Interface Project Miraculous Medical Recoveries and the Islamic Tradition Faiz Khan, MD As an extension of aconcept known astawheed,* nothing lies outside of The Jurisdiction of Divine Intervention; nor is God the deist’s watchmaker, winding up reality and watching various Newtonianlike mechanized processes play themselves out †Once this latter deist notion is embraced, and given a particular subtle type of human propensity for selfexaltation (a type which is by definition not within the secular humanist’s recognition but well known to the world’s yedic and abrahamic faith traditions), it is only a matter of time before God is cast out of the ontological picture and these alleged processes are themselves seen as ab solute and selfexistent–they themselves become all powerful “deities” which some day will be clearly elucidated The Qur’an, as an entity not derived of human intellect or some other human machination, but as Divine Disclosure about God and reality itself, informs humanity that God is both immi nent and transcendent As an extension of this, God possesses attributes of enveloping intimacy and utterly remote majesty, attributes which are purely abstract as well as anthropomorphic, and attributes that include both compassion and rigor The man ifestation of attributes of The Near, The Present, The Creator, The Sustainer, The Annihilator, and The Sovereign—an onto logical view known in modern parlance as occasionalism, dominates the Islamic worldview It posits that reality as we know it is a discontinuous series of creations and annihilations, and the fluidity in which we experience cause and effect are not abso lute Hence, God as Sustainer maintains all of reality at every instant Although most laity (and so called “educated moderns”) are not explicitly aware of this doctrinal exposition, its logical extensions are intuitively recognized by every traditional Mus lim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Parsi, and Hindu That is–there is nothing absolute about our understanding of cause and effect Causality itself is a phenomenon, under the command (Amr) of Allah The traditional Muslim understands that all causality in the spatiotemporal realm is continuously contingent upon and effectuated through what we may call Divine Permission (be idhnillah) This ontological point assumes that the mundane and material is immersed in The Sacred ‡Hence when fire burns, it burns not only through a phenomenon which we call combus tion, but combustion itself is at the command of God Hence, combustion was delinked from its exothermism in the Qur’anic account when Abraham was plunged into the fire The Qur’an states God commanded the fire to cool for Abraham–and the idolaters attempt at torturing him was foiled 1 As a child, I remember drinking the medicine given to me by my mother who is anaccomplished and celebrated modern allopathic physician–AllahuShaafee, AllahuKaafishe would whisper as I gulped down the bittersweet antidiarrheal “God is the Intercessor [through which healing occurs], God Suffices” is the nearest English translation of this incantation § Although some of the chemical and physiologic pathways that are distal to the healing process have been elucidated, these mechanisms work ‘be idhnillah,’ or with the permission of God These pathways, be they in the realm of physics or chemistry, are observed by the human empirical faculty as part of usual experience, and it is this which human ingenuity relies upon, takes advantage of, and manipulates for goaldirected outcomes That penicillin is thermodynamically driven into the bacterial cell wall is a mercy from God, and itself one of theayaatullah (signs or symbols of God); that acardiac glycoside or catechol amine analog compels the heart to increase its output is also a mercy andayatullah–such things areayaatullahfor those who reflect with humility and sincerity ¶ From the Nassau University Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, East Meadow, NY Reprint requests to Dr Faiz Khan, Nassau University Medical Center, De partment of Emergency Medicine, 2201 Hampstead Tpke, East Meadow, NY 11554 Email: [email protected] Copyright © 2007 by The Southern Medical Association 00384348/02000/100001246 *Tawheed— or “the reality of Oneness of God,” or “The making or existent unity of God” has implications such that nothing exists independently of God, and all that allegedly exists subsists upon God’s Existence,

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