God says in Qur’an, “Invite towards the Abode of Peace”. Islam, in fact, means Peace, etymologically as well as metaphorically. Etymologically, Islam means Peace as well as submission to God; without submission to God, Comprehensive Peace cannot be achieved in the world. Metaphorically, Islam means peace because its grand objective is to achieve peace in the World and Hereafter, and it takes every possible step to achieve those objectives. Peace is of no use if it does not ensure security; and security is of no avail if it does not lead to security from all forms of diseases. Naturally, health is one of the most important constituents of Islamic definition of peace. The way Islamic definition of peace is comprehensive, the Islamic definition of health too is comprehensive. Islam is not just a religion nor is it just a complete way of life, something the Muslim scholars are very fond of repeating in their speeches and writings. Islam in addition is a system of collective living that includes governance. When we speak of Islam as a “way of life”, it is more or less an individualistic notion, or at the most a collective way of life. When we speak of Islam as “system”, it implies elaborate rules of governance and the adjustment of individual and collective life in accordance with those rules, so that the desired objectives can be achieved. So, Islamic definition of health does not simply deal with a “healthy living” of individuals, but also speaks of a health-protective system. In the present book, a new definition of health, derived from Qur’an, has been introduced:
The injunctions of Qur’an and the system they seek to build are not just health-friendly; health is in fact the essential criterion of these injunctions. It is not that Qur’anic system is beneficial for health; health is in fact an inseparable part of its ultimate objectives. What is good for heath is promoted, and what is bad for health is not acceptable. As I have explained repeatedly, Qur’anic Paradigm of Health is uniquely different from the modern paradigm of health. It marks a massive paradigm shift. The modern health concepts have the stamp of the economic forces for which health too is nothing more than a money spinner. Where certain concepts of health support their economic designs, they exhibit an extraordinary enthusiasm to promote them; the health concepts that do neither support nor disturb their designs are given either a silent disapproval or a passive approval; and the health concepts that disturb their plans are simply not tolerable. Such concepts are either totally rejected or, if there is a rising demand in favour of them, it is tackled through political, social and ideological manoeuvring. In short, health is used by the economic forces, especially the corporate to
1. Sell the medicines, where the treatment of particular diseases are available;
2. Sell the vaccines, where treatment to particular diseases are not available; if both are available, the preference will be given to sell the treatment, as it normally brings more money;
3. Sell the items related to health like solutions, lotions, creams and jellies.
4. Protect and promote the interests of the market such as in the case of AIDS Control programmes, Population control programmes, etc;
5. Manage the effects of the unhealthy social practices, promoted by the market, like alcohol, smoking, gambling and unhealthy sexual behaviour;
The same economic forces use their power to
1. Thwart any such concepts from emerging or getting popular, as can harm their interests;
2. Thwart any proposals that seek to ban or discourage practices that are major money-spinners for them. Primary prevention is of hardly any use to them, and they popularise only Secondary prevention.
It is this selfish approach that has substantially undone the achievements of the scientists. With the rapid advancement of science and technology and with the amazing advancement of medical sciences, mankind should have become healthier and more peaceful. But we are living in a world which is certainly more chaotic than what it used to be 500 years back. We have got rid of certain diseases alright, but have invited perhaps a bigger number of diseases deadlier than the ones we have got rid of. We have not been able to alleviate the sufferings that we could have had if we had not allowed the economics to outsmart religion and sciences. If we had followed religion, we could never have allowed practices like gambling, drinking, smoking, homosexuality and promiscuity to take roots in society. If we had followed sciences, we could not have wasted any time in banning these evils as soon their devastating effects started emerging for all to see. We are now living in a world where the organisations claim to be working for attaining “highest standards of health” but are allowing the system to achieve highest standards of practices that threaten life. How the “highest standards of health” can be attained without establishing a highly health-protective system, is for these organisations to explain.
Islam does not rule the current world with the result that chaos prevails, as is evident from the figures cited in the preceding chapters. Muslims of the current world have adopted Islam partially. This partial application has deprived them of peace in its entirety. Still they are in a much better state of peace than the people living in the so-called developed world. This is evident from the fact that they have
- one of the lowest rates of murders
- almost negligible incidence of suicides
- very low rates of rapes
- negligible consumption of alcohol and alcohol-related deaths and other problems
- very low rate of gambling related problems
- extremely low level of family break-ups
- extremely low number of prostitutes and pornographic actors among them
- negligible level of sexual abuse of children
- very low incidence of sex-related, alcohol related and gambling related diseases
- relatively low incidence of drug addiction
- relatively low incidence of psychiatric illnesses
- relatively very low level of the consumption of sedatives and tranquillisers
- very low incidence of single parents, negligible number of children born out of wedlock
- relatively much lower level of promiscuity and other sexual perversions
- very low level of abortions including teenage pregnancies, etc
- relatively low incidence of several diseases including Cancers of Penis and Cervix (due to circumcision), sex transmitted diseases, Urinary Tract Infections, other cancers due to alcohol, etc. and
- almost negligible deaths due to Rabies.
The world must know that if Islamic principles are allowed to function properly, every year more than 80 million lives can be saved. These include
- 2 million murders
- 2.2 million suicides
- 2.5 million deaths from AIDS
- 5 million deaths from smoking
- 2 million deaths associated with alcohol
- 2 million deaths associated with smoking, gambling and drugs
- 70 million cases of feticide;
- 60000 deaths due to Rabies
Even if feticide is excluded, more than 10 million people should have been saved every year from falling prey to the unwanted kinds of death had Islamic legal and socio-economic system been in force. These are no ordinary figures. These are staggering statistics from all accounts. If we add the figures of foeticide, more than 80 million lives are lost just because the laws of God are not followed. For a few thousands dead in terrorist attacks, the world is made hostage, trillions of dollars are put to the fire, cities are devastated and tens of thousands of innocents are killed. For millions of death as the result of the pursuance of socio-economic policies dictated by the forces of globalisation, virtually nothing is done except a few cosmetic measures.
Unfortunately we are denizens of a world where religion – thanks to the designs of the forces of globalisation – is being presented as some kind of a demon, which needs to be vanquished. If uprooting it is not possible, they think, it should at least be contained. The truth is just the reverse. The need of the time is to engage and kill the monster of economic fundamentalism as soon as possible. The challenge before Qur’anic Paradigm of Health is twofold:
First, in an environment full of disrespect for the role of religion, the intellectual mind tends to reject anything, which is primarily based on the religious texts. The world has to be told and convinced that if religion appears to have become something unworthy of serious consideration in scientific development, it is because the vested interests find religion an obstacle in their rise and also because the Islamic scholars have not succeeded in presenting Islam as a viable alternative for the current system. Qur’anic Paradigm of health is to be promoted in a way that it does not look to be a part of any political designs to impose Islam. The world is to be convinced that it is in the interest of the mankind to benefit from the paradigm, which can alternatively be called Dynamic Paradigm of Health. They must not feel shy to accept it, as it is scientifically much better placed to establish a healthy society than the current paradigm. The medical fraternity in particular is to be convinced that if we want a healthier world, Qur’anic (or Dynamic) Paradigm of health is the best and most potent option.
Second, the biggest challenge to the paradigm will of course come from the forces of globalisation. They will not let it even be a subject of serious deliberations, as the application of the paradigm would signal doom for their commercial interests. In order to overcome this challenge, Muslims must pursue an aggressive policy of promoting all the aspects of the paradigm and their implications. A very serious endeavour has to be made to earn the support of other religions, especially Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The leaders of these religions have to be told that Qur’anic (Dynamic) Paradigm of Health is much more consistent with the principles of these religions than the modern paradigm is. The basic fundamental of all religions is the same, each one of which promotes a healthy morality rather than the commercial morality advanced by the market forces. If the great religions unite against the forces of economic fundamentalism, there is no reason why healthy morality cannot be restored to the system.
Islam does not regard itself as an exclusive religion having no relation to other religions. Islam in fact is the final destination of a long journey of religion, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and other religions being notable milestones in that journey. Qur’an is the culmination of the process of guidance that included great scriptures like Vedas, Torah and Gospel. Accepting an Islamic system does not in anyway mean rejection or abandoning of other religions. One way of making the paradigm more acceptable is to present its secular version, Dynamic Paradigm of Health, which will present the same paradigm but without founding the arguments on the religious sources. This however in my view is not the right thing to do, as it would weaken the position of those religionists who want to see religion emerge as a beacon of guidance. It will be a gift on a platter to those who do not want to subscribe any beneficial role to religion, in general, and Islam, in particular. It is high time religion was resuscitated in its pristine role of guidance towards peace.
Knowledge in the clutches of villains is disaster. Time is witness that heroes are a rare species, and villains are often misjudged as heroes. With villains holding knowledge to ransom in the current world, the life and the quality of life are not determined by the presence or absence of diseases and the factors associated with diseases but in the availability of all kinds of options, good or bad to human beings. Yet, the villains keep shouting they alone are right, and the human beings are left with no option but to tread their footsteps. If people choose the bad options, they alone are held responsible and not the villains who are presenting the options in provocative colours. This is a strange system of barter where poisons are exchanged with currency.
We need a system in place in the world, which decreases mortality and morbidity, reduces the global burden of diseases, increases total life expectancy (with conception being the starting point of life) and decreases the burden of the cost of maintaining health. The current world systems based on modern economic ideologies including capitalism and socialism do just the opposite by exposing people to the dangerous social practices, and try to minimise the damage through artificial means of treatment and vaccinations. In this rivalry between the economics and the health, the economics is the clear winner. This book seeks to make the health winner with the promise that ultimately the true economy will also gain.
Let’s fight and defeat those who for their own sinister ends are trying to make the world more entertaining and more glamorous at the expense of healthy and peaceful living! Let’s all unite in our endeavour to make the world cleaner, purer, healthier and more peaceful!
- Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 91-8130340339. For his shayri visit http://urduyouthforum.org/shayari/poet-Dr-Javed-Jamil.html