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Islam and Health: An Introduction. Islamic Global Health Network (IGHNet). Contributors : Abdullatif Husseini, Izzeldin Hussein, Sherine Shawky and the (Islamic Global Health Network) IGHNet Websites: Islamic Global Health Network Islamic Supercourse. Why the IGHNet?.

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Islam and health an introduction l.jpg

Islam and Health: An Introduction

Islamic Global Health Network(IGHNet)


Slide2 l.jpg


Why the ighnet l.jpg
Why the IGHNet? Sherine Shawky and the

  • Religion plays a major role in the life of billions around the world.

  • There are more than a billion Muslims around the world. Many of those are deprived from their basic health needs.

  • Islam puts a considerable emphasis on health and prevention.


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Why the IGHNet?-Continued Sherine Shawky and the

  • It also provides a wealth of scientifically sound information on different health issues.

  • It has an established infrastructure through scholars, Imams, preachers, and ordinary Muslims which can help in delivering health information to the masses.


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Why the IGHNet ?-Continued Sherine Shawky and the

  • Above all, it is an acceptable and influential mean of communicating health promotion and disease prevention information to masses, through its already established structures, such as mosques.

    • (Islam with the internet could do much to prevent disease) Letter to the editor of the BMJ.


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Tailored Prevention Sherine Shawky and the

  • Little attention has been paid by modern public health for prevention tailored towards Muslims.

  • Religion is a major component of the social life of many communities in the globe. However, often in prevention we use the concept of “one size fits all”, with little recognition of religion or culture in disease prevention.


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Tailored Prevention-Continued Sherine Shawky and the

  • Religion positive influences can be incorporated into a strategy for health promotion and disease prevention, utilizing recent developments in information technology (e.g. The internet).

  • There are many methods available to achieve this task, and many more will become available with continuous technological development.


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The Sherine Shawky and theInformation Superhighway

  • Our goal is to provide access to scientifically sound and culturally acceptable information on health promotion and disease prevention, to all those who need it, using the information superhighway (The Internet).

  • Utilizing this ever-expanding resource will play a major role in information accumulation and dissemination to those who need it most.


The internet l.jpg
The Internet Sherine Shawky and the

  • A major component of disease prevention, management and treatment is information exchange.

  • Information transfer can be conducted utilizing different methods, which vary in speed, quality and effect.

  • The Internet is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective method available until now for achieving our goals.


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Islam and the Internet Sherine Shawky and the

  • There may be wonderful opportunities to improve global health. Clearly we need to harness the new technology of the Internet, as most of prevention is information sharing. However, less that 5% of the worlds are connected.

  • Islam, as with most religions are very good at reaching “the last mile”, the poor who are not connected, but who have the highest disease burden.


Islam and the internet continued l.jpg
Islam and the Internet-Continued Sherine Shawky and the

  • Having the Internet be the backbone of prevention information for Islam and other religions and using the existing information sharing capabilities could have a powerful effect in disseminating the most potent prevention systems worldwide.

  • Thus the Internet alone cannot reach those across the health and digital gap, but the Internet connected with religion potentially can.


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IGHNet Sherine Shawky and the

  • We have initiated the development of a network of professionals interested in Islam, the Internet and Prevention from all parts of the world.

  • This network is open to all those interested in exploring the wealth of information that religious sources bear on our mental, physical and social health. We have begun by establishing (Islamic Global Health Network) homepage.


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The Islamic Supercourse Sherine Shawky and the

  • An internet-based Islamic Supercourse was also established, including a variety of lectures on Islam and health, and other topics.

  • Since this is an exploration into the impact of religion on our holistic concept of health, research into this area will be important for all religions. We look forward to professionals of all faiths to join this global community.


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Health Principles in Islam Sherine Shawky and the

  • In the following few slides we will go rapidly through few selected examples of the health principles and prevention measures encouraged and promoted in Islam.

    • Source: Health promotion through Islamic lifestyles “The Amman Declaration” WHO-EMRO, 1989.


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Hygienic Principles Sherine Shawky and the

  • Cleanliness is a pillar of health in Islam.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said:

    "Cleanliness is part of being faithful.“

    "It is incumbent upon any Muslim to wash his head and body every seventh day."


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Washing Hands Sherine Shawky and the

  • Hands should be washed when one touches something polluted or unclean; likewise, before or after eating.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said: "Whoever sleeps and his hands are not clean from fat and thereby gets harmed should blame no one but himself".

    "The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, used to wash his hands before eating."


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Brushing the Teeth Sherine Shawky and the

  • Consists of rubbing the teeth with a miswak or a toothbrush and is necessary for preserving the health of teeth and gums.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said: "Brushing the teeth purifies the mouth and is likable to God."


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Food Contamination Sherine Shawky and the

  • Islam commands food to be covered and not left exposed to pollution.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said:

    " Always cover food utensils."

    "Always cover food and drinks."


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Disease Prevention Sherine Shawky and the

  • Islam ordains the taking of all steps to protect against disease.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said:

    "Do not harm yourselves or others."

    "Do not let those infected transmit their disease to those who are healthy.

    "If you know that plague is raging in a specific land do not enter it and if it happens in a land where you are, do not seek to leave it."


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Treatment of Disease Sherine Shawky and the

  • Islam requires people to treat illness, especially if the treatment protects against development of the disease or of other more serious diseases.

    The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said:

    "Seek treatment, for God creates diseases along with their cure."

    "For every illness there is a medicine; if the right medicine is given there will be a cure."


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FUTURE Sherine Shawky and the

  • These are the first steps of the IGHNet in exploring the unlimited possibilities to spread the axiom that governs the universe (religion) using the ultra-modern tool (internet), for health promotion and disease prevention.


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Suggested Readings Sherine Shawky and the

  • LaPorte R, Akazawa S, Hellmonds P, Boostrom E, Gamboa C, Gooch T, et al. Global Public Health and the Information Superhighway. BMJ 1994; 308: 1651-2.

  • Al-Khayat M, 1997. Health An Islamic Perspective. Alexandria: WHO-EMRO.

  • Husseini A, LaPorte RE, the IGHNet. Islam with the internet could do much to prevent disease. BMJ 2001;323:694 (letter)


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