what breaks the fast

In his last article, Shaykh Jamir Meah discussed the concepts of health and disease within an Islamic framework. He also looked at the law of vibration. In the final article of this series, Shaykh Jamir looks at how holistic treatment and its principles practically benefits the believer and can help in their relationship with Allah Most High.

As we’ve mentioned previously, true health occurs when the whole person is functioning harmoniously on all levels, and is able to fulfil his or herself socially and spiritually. The goal of every true physician should be to guide each patient to this point as much as is possible through medicine.

How can holistic medicines help someone in their religion?

Holistic therapies such as homeopathy and traditional Chinese acupuncture reach the dynamic level of the human being, the level of pure energy, the Vital Force or Qi in Chinese Medicine. The Vital Force or Qi is where the real disturbance is, and when healing takes place on this level, the curative effect ripples throughout the whole organism, from centre outwards.

Given the above, it is natural to ask, how can holistic medicines practically help someone in the religion?

There is a strong connection between medicine and religious practice, and both are obviously invaluable in our lives. Just as we need this world in order to succeed in the next, we need medicine to grant us the ability to have mental and physical health to be able to fulfil our religious objectives.

This is why Imam al Shafi’i (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘Indeed, knowledge is of two types: knowledge of the religion and knowledge of the world. The knowledge of religion is to achieve understanding (fiqh) and the knowledge of the world is medicine.’ [Adab al Shafi’i].

Holistic medicine can greatly assist someone in the religion and in spirituality, or even someone who may not be particularly spiritual, but seeking more profound or alternative meanings in an overwhelmingly materialistic world.

A basic example from a real life case

Mr Ahmad comes for treatment for multiple sclerosis. During the consultation we find that since childhood he has always had a fear of poverty. During his twenties, he developed a tendency to buy useless items and hoard them. He has a fear of the dark and is terrified of death. He describes himself as religious though very materialistic. He finds it a struggle to progress in the religion in the way he feels he should. He finds faults with others very easily, has a very suspicious nature, and admits that he backbites people all the time. At the same time, he never desires to be alone and needs company. He feels an inner restlessness but doesn’t know why. This has caused many difficulties his personal and work.

After the 5 weeks of treatment, the patient reports in the first month an inner sense of calm as opposed to his restlessness. Over the course of treatment, the improvement steadily continues and Mr. Ahmad doesn’t feel the fear of poverty so intensely, though it is still there and can be quite crippling. The MS is still there but not as intense. At the eight month follow up he declares that he has started to get rid of some of his hoarded goods, and genuinely feels much more energetic and positive. Others have also noticed a change in his character, describing him as more affable and cynical.

Just over a year later, he states that he no longer senses a fear of poverty, and any thoughts of darkness and death are few and far between, and almost negligible. This has made a big difference in his whole outlook to life, work and his relationships, and most importantly his religious aspirations. He states that whereas reading the Qu’ran previously felt like a chore, he now was eager to read it daily, and he has started feeling some of the old zeal for the religion slowly coming back. His MS has disappeared completely.

These types of cases are very common. What happened is that the treatment affected the patient’s deepest being, and this in turn created an awareness within him of his diseased state. By becoming inwardly aware that his fears, delusions, and reactions, were disproportionate to real life, he was able to subconsciously let go, so that he no longer feared poverty, and was no longer terrified of the dark and of death, which was no doubt in this case a fear of losing material wealth, after all what is death but a step into the unknown, the dark, and a parting from the worldly possessions?

The treatment had an effect on all levels of his being, healing the physical manifestation of the inner disease (MS in this case), and changed his whole perception and dealings with everything and everyone around him.

One may view the role of such treatment as a ‘clearing out,’ ‘getting rid of unwanted baggage’ and ‘putting things in order.’ This is usually very difficult for people to do on their own. You can tell a person to get over an abnormal fear, to snap out of depression, or find ways to deal with chronic anxiety, but more often than not, they simply can’t. They just don’t have the will power or creativity to move forward, and so they remain stuck.

Because correct treatment reaches the higher planes of a person, it instigates the person to rouse up from the rut they find themselves in and see the reality of their situation. The person’s perceptions and reactions change, and they find themselves with a new inner strength and self-confidence, which enables them to think and decide with new found clarity, far-sightedness and purpose. When his takes place, the person starts to make the necessary changes in life they need in order to move towards their goal, productively and creatively.

In summary, it frees up the person to be open to, as Samuel Hahnemann said, ‘the higher purpose of our existence’.

Hering’s Law

Hering’s Law, named after Constantine Hering, the physician who observed and formulated the law, refers to the direction in which the symptoms of the patient will disappear during a cure under natural treatment. It is indispensable in practice. The Law states that real cure takes place:

From within outwards.
From above downwards.
From a more important organ to a less important one.
In the reverse order of their coming.

There’s a lot that can be said in regards this Law and how it aligns one’s natural vibration (discussed previously), however what is worth deducing from it for our benefit here is that it is applicable in the cure of us as individual believers and as an Ummah.

Allah Most High tells us in the oft quoted verse, ‘God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves’ [13:11]. In order for change to occur, it has to start within. As individuals and as a nation, we have to look at the ills that we have as a community and work towards improving and finding solutions to those issues. When we change as individuals, as communities, and as an ummah, then this will have an effect on everything around us. Inner order leads to outward order, healing is from within outwards.

Likewise, a just leader who takes himself into account and sets a good example, instils goodness into his subjects and guides them to goodness in both worlds, and in this way, whole nations are healed and guided. Like a father and mother guiding their children, from above downwards, the more senior figures set the standard in their own lives and through their own behaviour, and this has a rippling effect on those under their care. Such were the leaderships and guidance of the Prophets, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and the pious leaders of our communities.

Why can families, communities and nations grow so strong when pulling together in the same direction? Because everyone’s vibration is in tandem. And when this harmony occurs, ‘The similitude of believers, in their love, mercy, and compassion for each other, are like one body.’ [Muslim]

Allah is the Healer

Finally, we should end this series with the reminder that while discussing the many benefits and wonders of natural holistic medicine, it is ultimately Allah alone that heals, and not through any power of the medicine, nor any ability of the physician.

Just like fire does not have the intrinsic power to burn, nor the knife the inherent ability to cut, it is our belief that no substance has healing properties in of themselves, but rather, it is Allah who creates the relationship between the medicine and the healing effect through his Will and Power.

O Lord of the people! Remove the difficulty and bring about healing as You are the Healer. There is no healing but Your Healing, a healing that will leave no ailment.’ [Sahih al Bukhari]

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)