“Put a piece of meat in various parts of town and see in which place it will get rotten more slowly, that would be the proper place for a hospital.” That was the extraordinarily wise and innovative advice of a famous Iranian physician, who at that time lived in Baghdad, to the people who were in search of the most suitable place for building a hospital.This great physician is no one other than Muhammad Ibn Zakariya Razi, also known as Ar-Razi or Rhazes among European scholars, who for the first time in the history of medicine and chemistry, discovered a chemical substance, which served a great deal to these fields, called “alcohol.”
He was born in 865 A.D in the city of Rey, located in Iran. Though his father tried so hard to make him follow his occupation which was gold smithery, he finally pursued his interest which was alchemy and chemistry at that time.
Having spent many years of his life as an alchemist, he eventually found out that the only field worth learning and working in, was medicine. Moreover, as Al-Birooni  claimed, he lost his eyesight when he was occupied in alchemy, and finding a cure for this disability became his motive in turning his direction to medicine.
To learn medicine thoroughly, he left his hometown for Baghdad where the most advanced hospitals were located. He studied and practiced medicine at the local hospital. After spending many years in Baghdad and gaining experience, he moved back to his beloved hometown, Rey.
There, he became the head of its local hospital. He is known to have been the first person who introduced the method of teaching medicine in its modern form used today in our hospitals. As compassionate and devoted as he was, he never stopped curing sick people, rich or poor, and teaching medicine to the students of any background.
He died on the 15th of October in 925 A.D where he was born and spent most of his life, in the city of Rey.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica , he was the first physician who differentiated between measles and smallpox. Besides he is considered to be the father of pediatrics and a pioneer in ophthalmology- the study and treatment of eye disorders and diseases.
He also believed in treatment with proper diet rather than prescribing medicines to his patients. The translation of his most important works in medicine such as “Al-Hawi”  and “Al-Mansuri”  has long been taught in medical universities of European countries such as Germany and France.
He was a devoted Muslim who was profoundly influenced by the teachings of Islam. His idea about the importance of seeking knowledge with one’s full capacity is in close association with the idea of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he said: “those who peruse knowledge, will be perused by heaven”  & .
The great Iranian Muslim physician, chemist, and philosopher, Muhammad Ibn Zakariya Razi, with his everlasting contributions in medicine and chemistry, did not remain limited to his time or geographical boundaries. He was the great physician of his time and is considered a respected and influential doctor of our age in all parts of the world.
- "ar-Razi." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.Jun. 2014
- Mahmud Najm Abadi, The History of Medicine in Iran and World of Islam.
- Mottaqi Hindi, Kanz al-Aamal.
- Muhammad, Mizan al Hekmah, vol. IV, Qum: Dar al-Hadith Institution, 1386. p.398.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. In this holy month Muslims fast from the food, drink, smoking, and sexual activity, and other specific activities drawn by Islam between dawn to nightfall until when the evening adhan is sounded in order to practice abstaining. There is definitely a higher purpose beyond not eating or drinking behind fasting. Fasting is one of the Principles of Islam, a religious duty commanded by Allah. Muslims who obey such commands or duties are said to receive thawab* each time for each good deed and receive redemption in the afterlife. Today we are going to discuss the real philosophy behind this Principles but at first, let us see some of the Quran verses pointing to fasting and its place in Islam.
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –
(The Holy Quran 2:183)
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion
(The Holy Quran 2:185)
This principle is often emphasized in the principles of Islamic jurisprudence “The basis for the formation of all religious and divine rules is the interests and corruptions that philosophy is its cause”.
The second surah of The Quran (Al-Baqarah) clearly telling us the purpose of the act of fasting, talks about Divine bowing (verse 185), thanksgiving (verse 185), Benefiting from divine help (verses 45 and 153), benefiting from Allah (verse 184), attaining piety (Verse 183) and victory and success in deeds (verses 45 and 153) are among the wisdom and goals of fasting. We will discuss them deeply now:
Fasting has other benefits and effects, the most important one is identifying the sincere; Because fasting means abstaining from drinking and eating and sexual pleasures as well as other prohibitions, it is very difficult for many people who cannot wash their hearts of material pleasures and are only humble and submissive who give up by divine command. Therefore, it can be said that fasting is one of the most important divine tests through which sincerity can be recognized. Imam Ali (AS) says about this function of fasting: Allah made fasting obligatory in order to test the sincerity of the people. (1) Also, Lady Fatemeh (AS) says about the role of fasting insincerity: Allah has made fasting obligatory in order to establish sincerity. (2)
Other functions of fasting include the element of empathy; Because the fasting person understands the difficult conditions of others by fasting, and because of the suffering he suffers during the fast, he feels the suffering of the poor deeply now. Creating similar conditions and assimilating the living space with the lives of the poor, in the most important dimension, namely the lack of food and drink and other pleasures, causes a feeling of sympathy and provides the ground for financial benevolence and charity. Some rich people, for various reasons, including illness or intentionally not fasting, have to pay atonement, so one of the purposes of fasting is to reach a part of the wealth and property of the rich to the poor so that at least the life of the poor is provided and the level of class distance becomes slightly lower.
we can also refer to this wisdom that Imam Sadigh (AS) has stated about the obligation of fasting: Allah has made fasting obligatory so that the rich and the poor become equal (3) Imam Reza (AS) also says about this matter: People are commanded to fast in order to understand the pain of hunger and thirst, and through it to find the poverty and misery of the Hereafter. (4)
Another wisdom mentioned in the narrations for fasting is zakat of the body. In the sense that zakat is for everything; That is, just as it is zakat for property, which by paying for it provides the ground for proper growth and development of the body. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) said: Zakat is for everything and zakat on the bodies is fasting. (5) Also, our dear Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: Fast to stay healthy (6)
Medical research has proven today that fasting has a very effective role in eliminating diseases, especially cancer; this is because the lack of nutrients in the body has the first effect on cancer cells and dries out their roots. Therefore, in order to have a healthy body and all the organs of the body to work properly, we must accept fasting as a treatment and use it for the proper development of our body.
In the teachings of Islam, Jihad, especially its military one, has been set as a standard for other tasks due to its difficulty to achieve. Therefore, matters such as gaining halal, marrying well, and the like are considered and measured as jihad. Fasting is a difficult and arduous task because it is even permissible to step on carnal pleasures. Fighting against carnal desires and confronting erotic issues is one of the most important jihads known as the Great Jihad; and it is more difficult to fast in the heat of summer and under the sun and with work and labor. Such a fast is one of the best examples of deeds from the ideals of Prophet (PBUH&HP) that he said: Fasting in the heat is jihad. (7)
Imam Sadegh (AS) also says about fasting in extreme heat: Whoever fasts for Allah on a very hot day and becomes thirsty, Allah will appoint a thousand angels to touch his face and give him the good news until he breaks his fast. (8)
Achieving true fasting means that not just a person's body and tongue fasting, but also his heart and mind are fasting. Imam Ali (AS) says in expressing the best types of fasts: The fast of the heart is better than the fast of the tongue, and the fast of the tongue is better than the fast of the belly (9). So, in the real fast, all the organs of a person must be fasting from sin and mistakes. It is also narrated from Lady Fatima (PBUH) that: What is the use of fasting for a fasting person who has not preserved his tongue, ears, eyes, and joints? ** (10)
There is no point in Islam that hasn’t been checked by wisdom higher than human ones. If there are acts in Islam that are hard or pointless in our sight, that means we can’t see their higher purpose. Islam is always fresh and never gets old like other religions and it seeks human redemption so follow its orders to find yourself in the righteous path
- Nahj al-Balagha (verse 252)
- Bihar al-Anwar (96th volume – page 368)
- Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih (second volume – page 43)
- Wasa'il al-Shia (4th volume – page 4)
- Al-Kafi (4th volume – page 62)
- Bihar al-Anwar (96th volume – page 255)
- Bihar al-Anwar (96th volume – page 257)
- Al-Kafi (4th volume – page 64)
- Exalted Aphorisms and Pearls of Speech (first volume – page 417)
- Bihar al-Anwar (93th volume – page 295)
* Thawab means punishment and has been used in both good and evil deeds of the human, and of course it is often used in good deeds.
**Lady Fatima (AS) has made a Denial interrogation in this narration of hers that it makes it more understandable
Have you ever taken part in a challenge of self-building for a certain amount of time? These challenges, be it individual or social, need a few elements to keep you move on and get over them. Thirty days of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan seems like both an individual and a social challenge.
In this text, we would like to discover the ways that keep us motivated to finish our challenge of fasting in Ramadan. How can we complete this challenge and take the most benefits out of it?
The challenge is to perform fasting for thirty (sometimes 29) days in the month of Ramadan. Fasting in Islam is to avoid eating and drinking and many other worldly desires and sins from the morning prayer (Salat al-Fajr) time until the dawn prayer (Salat al-Maqrib). It is noteworthy that committing some acts will make fast invalid. 
The main goal of fasting like any other type of worship is to purify the soul and improve human beings spiritually: “Felicitous is he who purifies himself.” (87: 14)
But any type of worship, apart from its ultimate goal, has other benefits and some minor goals in training the human soul. For example, one of the small goals of praying the obligatory prayers (Salat) during the day and at night is to teach Muslims to adhere to certain principles. It is mentioned in the Quran that one of the characteristics of true believers is that they are “those who are humble in their prayers” (23:2) and “are watchful of their prayers” (23:9). These two verses, mentioned in the same Surah, show that one level of being a believer is to reach a feeling of utter humbleness in front of Allah. However, at the same time, being watchful on prayers and trying to perform them on time while observing all of its rulings is another aspect that will lead to higher spiritual levels. The same example applies to any other type of worship, especially fasting in Ramadan.
I have personally tried many different challenges for forty days; for example, forty days of waking up before dawn, forty days of avoiding fast foods, forty days of doing half an hour exercise per day, etc. I’ve been able to make some of those challenges a habit. However, in all those challenges, I needed something or someone to keep me motivated and guide me with the issues that I was facing throughout the challenge.
Regarding the challenge of fasting in Ramadan, I think it is essential to find some ways to help us enjoy fasting, instead of solely experiencing hunger and thirst.
Different things can keep us motivated to have better spiritual experiences of fasting in Ramadan. Having a different routine in the month of Ramadan, avoiding some entertainment and starting some new useful habits such as reading the supplications and contemplating on them, specifying a certain amount of time on reciting the Quran with translation and interpretation, performing the recommended prayers (Nawafil), trying to help others in any possible ways, and any other act of goodness that we can accomplish.
While we try to perform good deeds during fasting, reciting the Quran has a powerful influence on all our acts. Allah (SWT) mentions in the Quran: “So recite as much of the Quran as is feasible. He knows that some of you will be sick, while others will travel in the land seeking Allah’s bounty, and yet others will fight in the way of Allah. So recite as much of it as is feasible, and maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and lend Allah a good loan.” (73:20)
Allah (SWT) tells us to recite the Quran as much as we can. Then He mentions that He is aware of different conditions that people may have; some of them may be sick, some maybe traveling and working outside their houses to gain Allah’s provision, some may be fighting in the way of Allah. But then He mentions again that in whatever situation you are, do not forget to recite the Quran. It does not need to be a lot of recitation. Just recite as much as you can, and it will help you by both its miraculous and extraordinary achievements.
To provide a better definition of the above phrases, it can be said that the miraculous effects of the Quran are those effects that everyone can gain them by reciting it, even if they are not contemplating on its verses. However, exceptional achievements are for those who recite the Quran thoughtfully and intend to understand the words of Allah (SWT) as much as possible.
In sum, when you start the challenge of fasting in Ramadan and hope to gain the best results out of it, you need someone to motivate you, to be your mentor, and to elevate your knowledge and wisdom while you are going through the hard days of your challenge. The Quran could be that mentor who speaks to you the words of Allah (SWT), gives you hope, sympathizes with you in your hard moments, and guides you through the way to reach your ultimate goal. “So recite as much of the Quran as is feasible.” (73: 20)