How did pious medieval Muslims experience health and disease? Rooted in the prophet’s experiences with medicine and healing, Muslim pietistic literature developed cosmologies in which physical suffering and medical interventions interacted with religious obligations and spiritual health. This book traces the development of prophetic medical literature and religious writings around health and disease to give a new perspective on how patienthood was conditioned by the intersection of medicine and Islam.
The author investigates the early and foundational writings on prophetic medicine and related pietistic writings on health and disease produced during the Islamic Classical Age. Looking at attitudes from and towards clerics, physicians and patients, sickness and health are gradually revealed as a social, gendered, religious, and cultural experience. Patients are shown to experience certain sensoria that are conditioned not only by medical knowledge, but also by religious and pietistic attitudes.
This is a fascinating insight into the development of Muslim pieties and the traditions of medical practice. It will be of great interest to scholars interested in Islamic Studies, history of religion, history of medicine, science and religion and the history of embodied religious practice, particularly in matters of health and medicine.
Table of Contents
1 "A Beau Ideal for whosoever hopes for God"
2 From Medical Prophetics to Prophetic Medicine
3 Piety and Illness
4 Spiritual Medicine
5 The Pious Physician
Ahmed Ragab is Richard T. Watson Associate Professor of Science and Religion, Affiliate Associate Professor at the Department of the History of Science, and Director of the Science, Religion and Culture program at Harvard University, USA. He is a physician, a historian of science and medicine, and a scholar of science and religion.