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Review of Religions: December 20012 The realm of medicine has fascinated man for centuries. Particularly with the expectation of a longer and a healthier life, man has been obsessed with understanding nature and medicine. In the modern world, we have a range of treatments available based upon hundreds of years of compiled knowledge and experimentation. It does however come as a shock to many people to learn the extent to which our knowledge of nature, biology and medicine comes from the early religious scholars and the insights and inspiration that they gleaned through the Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa). The feature article takes a closer look at how our understanding of medicine evolved in the schools of knowledge in the Islamic world. It shows how they preserved and built upon the knowledge of the Greeks. Moreover, it illustrates how unlike much of modern medicine which aims to treat the symptoms of illness, Islam encouraged early practitioners (or hakims) to treat the cause in order to treat the illness. In this way, Islamic medicine concentrated on lifestyle (exercise, food, stress, prayers, family) as well as the disease itself. Even in modern times, scholars can explain phenomena through the insights of the Qur’an as shown by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad in his outstanding work R a t i o n a l i t y, Revelation, Knowledge and Truth. In this issue, we have an extract from his book covering the science behind sidedness in nature as seen in animal and plant life. For many centuries, Muslims were at the forefront of scientific and medical advance because they understood that the physical and spiritual aspects of life are closely intertwined, just as the modern phrase ‘healthy mind, healthy body’would allude to. Modern science has taken a more selective approach to medicine in which sporadic successes have pushed the medical profession to the view that they can play at creation as witnessed by recent activities around cloning and gene experimentation. Hopefully, the articles in this issue will remind scholars of the fact that all life was created by God, and that the physical and spiritual aspects of life are governed by the same Laws of that one God. To understand one aspect without investigating the spiritual aspect will lead to a flawed confidence in our ability to control medical conditions. Editorial

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