Medicine in Islam carries a history of enquiry, innovation, and change. Through and through, the search for knowledge occupies an esteemed place in the Islamic worldview. This notion, combined with the universal need to preserve and restore health, has therefore invigorated the development of the science of medicine in the earlier centuries of Islam by leaps and bounds. All over the Islamic world, physicians, scientists and philosophers alike have sustained the wealth of medicinal knowledge with their incalculable contributions. Al-Tibb: Healing Traditions in Islamic Medical Manuscripts attempts to make manifest this journey of discovery and accomplishments. A selection of manuscripts, along with accompanying objects, seeks to bring into life the intellectual impulse of the scholars of the past. In gauging the breadth of the subject, the discourse navigates across several areas, namely: Prophetic medicine, the translation movement, pharmacy and dietetics, bimaristan, anatomy, Malay medicine, and traditional medicine. ‘Every disease has a cure’, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said; and the search for healing in Islamic traditions has covered many milestones ever since.
(Photo courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.)