Towards an Islamic Medical Anthropology
Keywords:Medical Anthropology, Holistic Medicine, Islamic Medicine
Medical anthropology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of study, which holds that health and sickness arc related not only to biological and physiological processes but to social, cultural, and psychological factors. It has a holistic perspective on health and sickness.
Four distinct dimensions of Islamic medicine form the perspective of medical anthropology. First, health and sickness are to be seen in their totality and in relation to not only biochemical and physiological processes hut environmental, sociocultural, moral, and personal factors. Second, the Islamic perspective on health and sickness is embedded in the Islamic ethos that avoids the extremes of excessive self-gratification, abnegation, and renunciation. Third, Islam underscores the positive as well as negative consequences of behavioral, affective and attitudinal factors for one's health. Finally, rather than viewing sickness and disease in altogether negative terms, the Islamic medical system takes cognizance of its positive dimensions as well.
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