Advertisement

The Journey of the Nafs and the Muslim Physician: Moral Plasticity in Medicine

  • Thalia ArawiEmail author
  • Maya Chebaro
  • Wadad Hoss
Living reference work entry
  • 9 Downloads

Abstract

The physician-patient relationship is being subjected to factors that, with time, continue to destroy the core of the medical profession – which has trust at its center. In the Arab region, bioethics is theologically oriented as a rising interest in medical ethics connected to the Muslim faith is witnessed. The means by which Islam helps the physician follow her moral compass and remain faithful to the profession of medicine and what it stands for is the subject of this chapter. The authors argue that the Islamic notion of the levels of the soul (nafs) as portrayed in the Qurʾān offers a guide for the physician to fight the lures of modern medicine and to do the right thing even when no one is looking. The authors begin by looking at the human as portrayed in Islam; then they proceed to describe the nafs and the three levels which it can attain as portrayed in the Qurʾān. They examine the characteristics of the nafs at each level as well as the ascension of the nafs from one level to the next in order to attain the state at which a person chooses to do (and does) what is right.

Keywords

Physician-patient relationship Islamic bioethics Levels of the nafs Levels of the soul 

References

  1. Al-ʿAsqalānī A (1986) Fatḥ al-Bārī bi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, vol 13. Dār Al-Rayyān li Al-Turāth, Cairo. Retrieved from https://books.islamway.net/1/773/549_binhjar_fthalbari_00.pdfGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Bukhārī M (n.d.) Saḥih al-Bukhāri. Translated by Muḥammad Muḥsin KhānGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Jawziyyah IQ (1972–3) Madārik Al-Sālikīn bayna manāzil iyyāka naʿbudu wa-iyyāka nasta'īn. Edited by Muhammad Hâmid Al-Fîqî, 3 vols. Dār Al-Kitāb Al-ʿArabī, BeirutGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Jawziyyah IQ (2011) Kitāb Al-Rūḥ. Edited by Muhammad Ajmal Ayyoub Al-Islahi, 2 vols. Dār ʿAlam Al-Fawā'ed, JeddahGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Jurjānī A (1413) Muʿjam Al-Taʿrīfāt. Edited by Muhammad Siddiq Al-Minshawi. Dār Al-Fadila, CairoGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Maydānī AR (1999) Al-Akhlāq al-Islamiyya wa Ususuha, vol 1. 5. Dār Al-Qalam, Damascus. Retrieved from http://waqfeya.com/books/14/1383.rar
  7. Al-Nawawī MY (1929) Al-Minhāj fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bin al-Ḥajjāj (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bi Sharḥ al-Nawawī), 18 vols. Al-Maṭbaʿa Almaṣriyya bil Azhar, Cairo. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/alhelawy05
  8. Al-Qurṭubī M (1935) Al-Jāmiʿ li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, 24 vols. Dār Al Kotob Al-Masriyya, CairoGoogle Scholar
  9. Al-Ṭūsī A (1914) The Kitāb allumaʿ fi'lTasawwuf. Edited by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson. E. J. Brill, LeydenGoogle Scholar
  10. Amanullah M, Luqman Z, Sayyed MM, Bouhedda G (2018) Medical ethics in the light of Maqāṣid Al-Sharīʿah: a case study of medical confidentiality. Edited by Ishtiaq Hossain. Intellect Discourse (IIUM Press, International Islamic University Malaysia) 26(1):133–160Google Scholar
  11. Arawi T (2010) The Muslim physician and the ethics of medicine. J Islamic Med Assoc N Am 42(3):111–116.  https://doi.org/10.5915/42-3-5403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Arawi T (2011) The ethics of the Muslim physician and the legacy of Muhammad. J Islamic Med Assoc N Am 43(1):35–38.  https://doi.org/10.5915/43-1-7124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Aristotle (1947) The Nicomachean ethics (trans: Rackham H). W. Heinemann, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Auda J (2007) Maqāsid al-Sharīʿah as philosophy of Islamic law: a systems approach. The International Institute of Islamic Thought, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Baraka M (1984) Islam and development from the perspective of an Islamic thinker and a labour unionist: GamaI aI-Banna. Islam Q 28(4):201–208Google Scholar
  16. Brody H (1992) The Healer’s power. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  17. Calverly EE (1943) Doctrines of the soul (nafs and rūh) in Islam. Moslem World 33(4):254–264.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-1913.1943.tb01309.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crane RD (2009) Maqāsid al-Sharīʿah: a strategy to rehabilitate religion in America. International Institute of Islamic Thought, Hemdon, March 30. Retrieved from http://www.iiit.org/Portals/0/pdf/Maqasid%20al%20Sharia.pdfGoogle Scholar
  19. Gabay G (2015) Perceived control over health, communication and patient-physician trust. Patient Educ Couns 98(12):1550–1557.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2015.06.019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hilmi M (2004) Al-Akhlāq Bayn Al-Falāsifa wa Ḥukamā' Al-Islām. Dār Al-Kutub Al-ʿIlmiyyah, BeirutGoogle Scholar
  21. Kalliainen LK, Lichtman DM (2010) Current issues in the physician-patient relationship. J Hand Surg Am 35(12):2126–2129.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsa.2010.06.012CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Karzūn AA (1995) Manhaj al-Islām fi Tazkiyat al-Nafs, vol 1. Umm Al-Qurā University, Mecca. Retrieved from https://books.islamway.net/1/Alislam_anas.pdfGoogle Scholar
  23. Kasule OH (2004) Medical ethics from Maqāsid AI Shari’at. Arab J Psychiatry 15(2):75–86. Retrieved from http://www.ishim.net/ishimj/jishim4_7_8/Vol4No7/kasule.docGoogle Scholar
  24. Lee YY, Lin JL (2009) The effects of trust in physician on self-efficacy, adherence and diabetes outcomes. Soc Sci Med 68(6):1060–1068.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.12.033CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Picken G (2005) Tazkiyat al-nafs: the Qur’anic paradigm. J Qur’anic Stud (Edinburgh University Press on behalf of the Centre for Islamic Studies at SOAS) 7(2):101–127.  https://doi.org/10.3366/jqs.2005.7.2.101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rakhmat J (2000) Tentang Syariat, Islam Fundamentalis dan Liberal. Retrieved from http://luk.staff.ugm.ac.id/kmi/islam/gapai/Syariah.html
  27. Riddell P (2005) Islam, person hood and … where is God in all this? Evang Q 77(1):47–63. Retrieved from https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/2005-1_047.pdfGoogle Scholar
  28. Taqwa (n.d.) In: The Oxford dictionary of Islam, edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Accessed 23 June 2018. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2340

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Salim El Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program, Department of Internal MedicineAmerican University of Beirut Medical CenterBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.International CollegeBeirutLebanon

Personalised recommendations