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Posted By : Adrian Daley
4/29/2020 6:38 PM
For many centuries, medicine and religion were closely connected. Different religious systems and their traditions show a concern for the surrounding people. For example, in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, one of the main rules is the rule of cleanliness and hygiene of the person. As for Christianity, it is well known that every person has an immortal soul, which belongs to God, yet it is no less important to care well for the body, as it is created in the image of God. Thus, the Christian religion gave birth to the notion that the path to the physical health of a person lies in resolving spiritual issues. In addition to Christianity, many other religions pay great attention to both mental and physical health, including Islam. The purpose of the current paper is to study the attitude of Islam and Christianity to medicine and healing of a person in particular as in some kinds of cyber security essay. History of Interaction of Religion and Medicine For ages, religion and medicine have coexisted peacefully. Frequently, medicine was used to confirm the divine nature of the universe emphasizing the existence of God as the root cause of all that exists. Traditions of healing in temples arose in the cultures of the ancient East and later appeared in Greece and Egypt. Archaeologists discovered clay tablets sealed in clay envelopes, which show the records confirming the existence of hospitals on the premises of the temples. It was also obvious that not only nobles and church ministers were treated in such hospitals but also slaves. On this basis, the scientists concluded that already in those days, healing was a separate profession. Profession, that was under the protection of religion. These days, old traditions of healing have remained, for example, current popular systems of gymnastic exercises include various ritual movements, postures of prayer, and meditation systems that accompanied the religious ceremonies in the countries of the ancient world. In the modern world, a religious factor occupies a prominent place. It is natural as religion is a particular way of life and thinking. Religious canons regulate various aspects of individual and social life including medicine. Medicine has always been associated with religion and religion with the practice of medicine. Both religion and medicine are at the origins of life and death, and various religions use different medical practices for healing. They include ceremonies, dances, songs, herbs, teas, prayers, and sacrifice. Medicine and Islam In contrast to modern science, the disease in Islam is not always interpreted negatively. The disease is one of the forms of experience, through which there is perception to God. Besides, people believe that when Allah sends disease to a man, He gives him/her a signal that it is time to relax before it is too late. Both a doctor and a patient should understand that the possibilities of the human are limited. From the Islamic point of view, the question of life and death depends on Allah. No one can give life or overcome death. In fact, even a doctor cannot give an accurate prediction regarding the outcome of the disease. A specialist may help a patient using all available technologies and skills. Despite this fact, the ultimate fate of the patient remains in the hands of Allah. Muslims meet illness and death with patience and prayer. However, Muslims cannot be accused of a careless attitude towards their health. One of the first studies exploring the attitude of American Muslims to the health issues, revealed their conviction in the divine origin of the disease and recovery. This belief has a paramount influence on muslims? perceptions of medical care and health behavior. First of all, almost all respondents agreed on the fact that Allah is responsible for health, illness, and healing. All diseases from influenza to cancer occur according to His will. Moreover, some Muslims believe that every disease is destined. It can be a test sent by God to atone for sins, an opportunity to receive a spiritual reward, a reminder of the need to care for the health, and an evidence of deviation from Islamic Commandments. These views are accompanied by a holistic approach to treatment determined by a combination of spiritual and health insights. Thus, when sickness occurs, Muslims believe that they need to do a thorough inspection of their sins, which will help to understand the nature of the illness, and those sins will be erased through this suffering. Consequently, since God has created this disease, He also has created the treatments for it (The Koran, Saheeh Al-Bukhari), that is why it is allowed to turn to the medical professionals for help. Nowadays it is discussed intensively what is the role of imams and religious leaders of the Muslim community in matters of health. Allah says to take care of the body. It means that in the case of the necessity, a person has to resort to the help of earthly people. An imam plays a significant role in treatment and helps understand the disease. Although patients often seek advice from imams, a Muslim priest in the healthcare system of the United States is a great rarity. Nevertheless, many Muslims believe that a close relation between hospitals and imams can help Muslim patients solve their spiritual problems in the case of serious illnesses and better prepare imams to give correct advice to patients. It has to be noted, that Muslims of different origins have rather different approaches to medicine and health. Some of them, especially in rural areas, have no access to modern medical facilities and completely reject the modern medicine. Most of these people rely on prayer combined with elements of folk medicine and dietary restrictions. Therefore, folk healers are quite common. They operate by such means as the Qur’an, herbs, water, honey, oil, and amulets. Unfortunately, not all of them have passed the proper medical training and some exploit human superstition and are engaged in practices that Islamic teaching forbids. However, the vast majority of Muslims believe that prayers to Allah, reading the Qur'an, and repetition of dhikr play a significant role in the process of healing and recovery. In Sura Fussilat, Allah affirms that the Qur’an is a source of guidance and healing for all those who believe (The Koran). Nevertheless, it does not prevent them to recognize the positive aspects of modern medicine. In the book Medicine and Religion, it is noted that there has been no serious opposition to medical treatment among Muslims. Thus, most of the people visit a specialist in the case of the necessity. Medicine and Christianity Despite the fact that Christianity and Islam are extremely different religions, there are still certain similar features. These religions have much in common with regard to medicine and reverence for life. The attention to a physical health of the patients and a review of the spiritual side of the problem is traditional for Christianity. The Bible says that people need to care for the body, not only for the soul (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). Ephesians 5:29 reminds that “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church”. Hence, people should care for both physical and spiritual health equally. Thus, through these two channels, religion and medicine, people try to find their piece with such common issues as suffering, loneliness, despair, fair of death, while trying to reestablish their faith in life, its meaning and search for personal value in the time of sickness. In Christianity, monastic medicine was rather widespread in the past. Besides, cloisters had on their premises hospitals where monks with medical knowledge treated people. Currently, this practice has remained. In many countries all over the world, there are societies of Christian doctors that provide medical assistance to people in need with small or no opportunity to have access to the decent medical service. Christians trust modern medicine. However, some denominations of Christianity reject certain medical practices such as blood transfusions, termionation of life support or organ transplants. In this case, a health care provider cannot force a person to conduct these procedures. A doctor can only list their benefits and conclude that they will be necessary for the patient. The moral ethics of the medical culture of the physician is a fundamental component of his/her professionalism. The ability of the doctor to discuss the spiritual issues the patient may face, his competence in spiritual history of the patient will enable him to incorporate this information into the medical treatment plan and will provide a firm confidence that this treatment program will work well. Therefore, it is highly important to consider the patient’s religious beliefs. In general, Christians listen to doctor’s prescriptions and follow the prescribed treatment. However, healing with the help of herbs, teas, and honey is also rather widespread. It is another common feature of Christianity with Islam where patients also resort to this kind of treatment. It is the so-called folk medicine. In Christianity, it is believed that such medicine cures and prevents from diseases by providing preventive, sanitary, and hygienic care. Thus, both in Christianity and Islam, believers often use honey and herbs for the treatment of the disease. Yet, prayer and fasting remain the most widespread methods of healing in these religions. For believers, prayer is a dialogue with God. Thus, it is a crucial spiritual force for healing in Christianity and Islam, as it helps finding meaning and purpose of human life. Both Islam and Christianity are categorically opposed to abortions. It is a marked sign of moral degradation and the threat to the future of humanity. In this regard, the Christian church defends unborn children considering them the most vulnerable human beings. Nevertheless, the church does not reject women who have made an abortion and appeals to them to repent and atone for this sin with the help of prayer. However, if there is a threat to the life of the woman, it is recommended to reveal leniency. Therefore, the Christian church insists on the manifestation of the maximum liability for physician diagnosis that can prompt a woman to the abortion. Thus, according to church canons, a doctor should properly match the medical evidence and the dictates of a Christian conscience. Among other factors, religious and cultural identity has a great influence on beliefs, behavior, and the existantional experiences of people with health, healing and disease. Generally, people, when resorting to health services, have certain preferences and face various obstacles, and it is important to them to know and feel that they are fully understood by their doctor. The treatment plan for such patients would ideally incorporate not only medical activities, but also spiritual ones, which will help patients to cope better with their illness, both physically and mentally. Thus, a patient should explain to a doctor that faith is the most important component of the inner spiritual world and it is necessary to respect it.
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StudyGrades 10/15/2020 7:33 PM
Great article.

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