On behalf of FIMA program of Youth Protection from HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), it is my pleasure to share with you this article prepared by Dr. Abdulhameed Al-Qudah, Director of FIMA Program in the Middle East:
PROTECTION OF OUR YOUTH FROM HIV/AIDS AND STDS
Hoping it will promote combined FIMA-IMAs efforts in education and prophylaxis from these conditions.
We welcome any comments or suggestions.
Aly Misha’l MD, FACP
FIMA Exec. Director
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3. Substances and actions that nullify the fasting
According to the Quran and the authentic Sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) three
actions nullify fasting: eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. Therefore,
the passing of any solid or liquid sybstance that can be described as food
or drink, in any quantity through the gullet would nullify fasting. Accord
ingly, the p.articipants agreed unanimously that the following do not
1. Eye and ear drops, and ear wash.
2. Nitroglycerine tablets placed under the tongue for the treatment of
3. Insertion into the vagina of pessaries, medical ovules, vaginal washes,
vaginal speculum, and doctor's or midwife's fingers during pelvic
4. Insertion of the urethroscope into man or woman radio-opaque media for
X-ray diagnosis or bladder irrigation.
5. Tooth drilling, extraction, cleaning or the use of mis-wak and
toothbursh, provided nothing is swallowed into the stomach, do not nullify
6. Injections through the skin or muscle or joints or veins, with the
exception ofintravenous feeding.
7 .Blood donation or receiving blood transfusion.
8. Oxygen and anaesthetic gases.
9. All substances absorbed into the body through the skin, such as creams,
ointments, and medicated plaster.
10 .Drawing blood samples for laboratory testing.
11 .Catheter and media for arteriography of heart or other organs.
12 .Endoscopy for diagnostic or intervention purposes.
13. Mouth wash, gargle or oral spray, provided nothing is swallowed into
14 .Hysteroscopy or insertion of an intrauterine device.
15. Biopsy of the liver or other organs.
A majority ofparticipants added the following:
1. Nose drops, nose sprays, and inhalers.
2. Anal injections, anoscopes, or digital rectal examination.
3. Surgery involving general anaesthetic, if the patient decided to fast.
4. Machine or intraperitoneal renal dialysis.
5. Use of gastroscope, provided it does not entail the introduction of
liquids or other substances into the stomach.
On the conclusion of its business, the Seminar was pleased to express its
deeply-felt thanks and appreciation to His Majesty, King Hassan II of the
Kingdom of Morocco, for his kind support of the Seminar which was hosted by
the Kingdom of Morocco. The Seminar prays to God to grant His Majesty and
His Heir victory and glory, and the people of the Kingdom of Morocco
prosperity and progress. The Seminar further thanks His Majesty's Government
and officials for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.
The Islamic Organisation for Medical Sciences wishes to express its sincere
thanks to all the participating organisa- tions, including Hassan II
Institute for Medical and Scientific Research on Rarnadhan, the ISESCO, the
Institute of Islamic Fiqh, Jeddah, and the World Health Orgarusation
Regional Office. The IOMS would also like to extend its thanks to all the
Islamic jurists, doctors and scientists who have contributed to the
successful outcome of this Seminar, praying to God to reward them in a most
generous and compassionate way. God's peace and mercy be upon you
by Ahmed Zaafran
With Ramadan rapidly approaching, the time has come to prepare mentally, spiritually, and physically for one of the most important times of the year in Islam. The month of Ramadan comes at the height of summer this year, bringing unique challenges.
The focus of this particular article is geared towards those who are medical professionals: physicians, students, nurses, technicians. However, as people from all lines of work deal with time management issues, in sha’ Allah (God willing) those who do not work in the healthcare industry may still benefit from this advice and can work collectively to implement it.
Making a Plan
Making a plan is a useful way to get things moving in the right direction. List out the objectives you aspire to meet for the day. For example, as a resident physician in Anesthesiology at the busiest trauma center in the country, I anticipate being in the operating room for many hours at a time, often without a break. Knowing that, sometimes I have to use lunchtime or break time to fulfill my obligatory prayers and may even be forced to combine my prayers in unusual situations.
Many hospitals provide prayer areas within chapels for Muslims to pray or even have a masjid (mosque) within the hospital. However, this may not always be the case. Whatever the situation, try to find a spot where you can reflect on your prayer, reconnect with Allah and your intentions for fasting, and reenergize yourself. In time, you’ll find many unexpected gifts from Allah peppered throughout your day, giving you a firsthand view of the fruits of hard work and good intentions. Remember that Allah knows your circumstances even more than yourself. You may become discouraged that because of your time constraints, you cannot fulfill your desire to be fully engaged with Allah during your Ramadan. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that rut; your two rak`at (units of prayer) are worth more than you think.
Establishing the Right Mindset
Establishing the right mindset is half the battle. I can’t tell you how many times throughout medical school my Muslim peers would make excuses as to why they don’t need to fast during Ramadan. The most common excuse I heard was, “How could I possibly concentrate on my studies if I’m fasting?” Another common cop-out was, “Bro, I’ll just make it up later once finals are done with.”
To many of you, this may sound outlandish or even blasphemous, but it is commonly seen in people who deal with the physical and emotional demands of being a medical student or physician, which brings me to the point of this section. Establishing the right mindset means more than just telling yourself that you will fast during Ramadan. It means training yourself that your “starvation” is in fact the easiest part of Ramadan. The real challenge lies in your remembrance of Allah, making all of your actions a form of worship, and fulfilling your role as a representative of Islam in the midst of a watchful environment.
To be honest, Ramadan is the best time to showcase the beauty of our religion and its focus on self-control. For example, how many times, in any occupational platform, have people come up to you, after finding out that you are fasting from food AND water (for some reason they are always impressed with the water part), to inquire more about your fast and your faith? This is the perfect time to explain to them what fasting during Ramadan really means, that abstaining from our material desires, including food, sexual relations, backbiting, and slander, are only the physical vehicles that allow the spiritual self a viable platform to elevate itself. People in the healthcare industry understand what it means to make sacrifices. It might sound like clockwork to you, but for many of your colleagues, it is the most profound thing they will ever hear.
Amongst medical students and physicians, a quite broad category in and of itself, a high demand on time handcuffs their abilities to have an effective Ramadan. The amount of information required of medical students to learn, memorize, digest, and apply is quite daunting, and they often find themselves missing out on prayers entirely, whether during Ramadan or other times of the year. The key is to prioritize your time around your prayer by redistributing it. The epicenter of your day is your prayer, and you should make everything else the ornamentation to that foundation. As hard as it many seem at the time, you’ll eventually find yourself both excelling in your prayers and concentrating on patient care as well. Keep in mind that the workday has its gaps and moments when you can take quick breaks. For the student, study breaks are a part of the daily routine. Rather than rushing to the TV for a break, take a moment to reconnect with the Qur’an, even if it is just for a few minutes. Ramadan comes only once a year. Don’t let the month leave without cashing in on those precious moments that usually go wasted.
Finally, put your work into perspective. The type of work you do in medicine exposes you to various situations that challenge your mind and your soul. You are given the task to heal people’s ailments, whether physical or mental, and are able to provide them with a service that nurtures and improves the thing most precious to them: their health. Personally, I can relate to the spiritual challenges faced by physicians on a daily basis at the hospital. Just a few weeks ago, I took care of a young man in his early 30s who seemed to have the world ahead of him. A minor ailment initially brought him to the hospital, but his health deteriorated quite rapidly.
“Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” [Qur'an, 2:156]
The team working to save his life moved quickly and diligently, doing everything humanly possible to resuscitate him. The exact moment Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) took his soul was quite evident, and the organized chaos in the room instantly transformed into a deafening silence. Despite exhaustive measures on my part and on that of the medical professionals around me, we were not able to save his life. Muslims and non-Muslims alike had to deal with that situation, and the fear can choke the air out of your throat. Moments like these can shake one’s faith if he is not prepared, but it can also strengthen one’s resolve and solidify his love for Allah.
Use Ramadan to strengthen yourself. Seek refuge from Allah from all your insecurities. Use the training that Allah has blessed you with to fulfill His commandments. Take every opportunity to show Allah that more than anything else, you are trying to purify yourself and humble yourself under His Presence. Medicine is a field that carries much responsibility and much prestige. Use your status amongst your peers as a pedestal to serve your Lord and as a mechanism to eradicate arrogance. The Qur’an gives us pearls every time we read it, and perhaps the verse that can be used by medical practitioners the most to correct their intentions and set the tone for their daily work lies in Surat al-Ma`idah, entitled “The Table Spread.”
“Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” [Qur'an, 5:32]
With this verse in mind, we can truly use the month of Ramadan as a springboard not only to serve our fellow human beings in need of medical treatment but also as an opportunity to use our skills as a means to please our Creator, Allah, exalted is He.
Praise be to Allah (God), the Teacher, the Unique, Majesty of the heavens, the Exalted, the Glorious, Glory be to Him, the Eternal Being Who created the Universe and all the creatures within, and the only Being Who contained the infinity and the eternity. We serve no other god besides Thee and regard idolatry as an abominable injustice.
Give us the strength to be truthful, honest, modest, merciful and objective.
Give us the fortitude to admit our mistakes, to amend our ways and to forgive the wrongs of others.
Give us the wisdom to comfort and counsel all towards peace and harmony.
Give us the understanding that ours is a profession sacred that deals with your most precious gifts of life and intellect.
Therefore, make us worthy of this favoured station with honor, dignity and piety so that we may devote our lives in serving mankind, poor or rich, literate or illiterate, Muslim or non-Muslim, black or white with patience and tolerance with virtue and reverence, with knowledge and vigilance, with Thy love in our hearts and compassion for Thy servants, Thy most precious creation.
Hereby we take this oath in Thy name, the Creator of all the Heavens and the earth and follow Thy counsel as Thou has revealed to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). "Whoever killeth a human being, not in liew of another human being nor because of mischief on earth, it is as if he hath killed all mankind. And if he saveth a human life, he hath saved the life of all mankind." (Qur'an V/35)
This medical oath which is a composite from the historical and contemporary writings of physicians of Islamic World, was officially adopted by I.M.A. in 1977. Islamic Medical Association of North America
"Almighty God, Thou has created the human body with infinite wisdom. Ten thousand times ten thousand organs hast Thou combined in it that act unceasingly and harmoniously to preserve the whole in all its beauty the body which is the envelope of the immortal soul. They are ever acting in perfect order, agreement and accord. Yet, when the frailty of matter or the unbridling of passions deranges this order or interrupts this accord, then forces clash and the body crumbles into the primal dust from which it came. Thou sendest to man diseases as beneficent messengers to foretell approaching danger and to urge him to avert it.
"Thou has blest Thine earth, Thy rivers and Thy mountains with healing substances; they enable Thy creatures to alleviate their sufferings and to heal their illnesses. Thou hast endowed man with the wisdom to relieve the suffering of his brother, to recognize his disorders, to extract the healing substances, to discover their powers and to prepare and to apply them to suit every ill. In Thine Eternal Providence Thou hast chosen me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. I am now about to apply myself to the duties of my profession. Support me, Almighty God, in these great labors that they may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.
"Inspire me with love for my art and for Thy creatures. Do not allow thirst for profit, ambition for renown and admiration, to interfere with my profession, for these are the enemies of truth and of love for mankind and they can lead astray in the great task of attending to the welfare of Thy creatures. Preserve the strength of my body and of my soul that they ever be ready to cheerfully help and support rich and poor, good and bad, enemy as well as friend. In the sufferer let me see only the human being. Illumine my mind that it recognize what presents itself and that it may comprehend what is absent or hidden. Let it not fail to see what is visible, but do not permit it to arrogate to itself the power to see what cannot be seen, for delicate and indefinite are the bounds of the great art of caring for the lives and health of Thy creatures. Let me never be absent- minded. May no strange thoughts divert my attention at the bedside of the sick, or disturb my mind in its silent labors, for great and sacred are the thoughtful deliberations required to preserve the lives and health of Thy creatures.
"Grant that my patients have confidence in me and my art and follow my directions and my counsel. Remove from their midst all charlatans and the whole host of officious relatives and know-all nurses, cruel people who arrogantly frustrate the wisest purposes of our art and often lead Thy creatures to their death.
"Should those who are wiser than I wish to improve and instruct me, let my soul gratefully follow their guidance; for vast is the extent of our art. Should conceited fools, however, censure me, then let love for my profession steel me against them, so that I remain steadfast without regard for age, for reputation, or for honor, because surrender would bring to Thy creatures sickness and death.
"Imbue my soul with gentleness and calmness when older colleagues, proud of their age, wish to displace me or to scorn me or disdainfully to teach me. May even this be of advantage to me, for they know many things of which I am ignorant, but let not their arrogance give me pain. For they are old and old age is not master of the passions. I also hope to attain old age upon this earth, before Thee, Almighty God!
"Let me be contented in everything except in the great science of my profession. Never allow the thought to arise in me that I have attained to sufficient knowledge, but vouchsafe to me the strength, the leisure and the ambition ever to extend my knowledge. For art is great, but the mind of man is ever expanding.
"Almighty God! Thou hast chosen me in Thy mercy to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures. I now apply myself to my profession. Support me in this great task so that it may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed."