Medicine is one of the well-respected fields of science in the holy religion of Islam, to the extent that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) mentioned it along with theological studies as two main branches of knowledge . However, as in any branch of practical science, there are specific moral codes that Islam obliges people who are involved in them to observe.
Accordingly, a Muslim doctor is not only concerned with his/her patient’s bodily health but also is responsible for his/her spiritual side. This is where doctors need medical ethics in their profession to fulfill their job satisfactorily both for themselves and patients, which ultimately brings with it God’s satisfaction and contentment.
The first and foremost responsibility of doctors is to find a cure -if there is any- as fast as possible and to put the needs of their patients above their financial concerns. Imam Sadiq (AS) said: “the one who avoids curing the injury of an injured person, would be associated with the one who caused the injury. Since the injurer intentionally harmed the wounded person, and the one who avoided his/her treatment did not intend to cure him, thus he/she intended his/her destruction” . In other words, if a doctor neglects his responsibility and does not make enough effort to help the patient, he would be the cause of any harm that inflicts on him/her.
In their decision-making also, doctors should follow the codes of ethics. First of all, they should consider the patient’s opinion and then try to offer the best option to him/her, being always observant of his/her wellbeing and satisfaction. Islamic rules and regulations should play an essential part in the decision that doctors make - e.g., in the case of child abortion, euthanasia, etc. Moreover, they should try to be as kind and tolerant as possible toward their patients; the disease is severe enough for patients to make them anxious, add an impatient and rude doctor to that and imagine how they might feel.
Being a doctor, according to Islam, is not only a religious responsibility but also a social and humane necessity and a moral obligation . Therefore, a doctor should do his best to fulfill all those duties and should not be content with the mere financial benefits of the work or the social position that might be attached to his/her job.
Finally, the most important characteristic of an ethical work is to gain Allah’s satisfaction; in other words, if a person did something and his intention in doing it was God’s contentment and not financial matters and earning more money, the given effort would be worthy to be called ethical .
While a Muslim doctor believes in his/her power in curing the patients, he/she knows that the ultimate healer and decision-maker is Allah and all he/she does is in line with His will.
- Bihar ulanvar. Vol. I, p 220.
- Muhammad ibn Yaqub Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi (The Sufficient Book). Vol.VIII. Tehran, Masjed Publication, p 345.
- Morteza Ameli, Medical Etiquettes in Islam, Jame’e Modaressin Qom publication, p 59.
- Morteza Mottahari, Taalim va Tarbiat dar Islam (Teaching and Education in Islam), Sadra publication, 23rd ed. p71.
It might have happened to you that when there is a ladder leaned against a wall and as you want to pass under it, someone calls you and says: “Do not pass under a ladder!” You might think it's crazy, or you might find it acceptable and even follow it. Which one is true? If you decide to follow Islam as your faith, should you follow those superstitious beliefs or ignore them all at once?
Collins Concise English Dictionary defines superstition as an irrational belief usually founded upon ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc. . Superstitious beliefs are not limited to a particular faith or region; all nations and clans have their own beliefs, followed by their fears and ignorance. They are mostly routed in the past of a nation, transferred from generation to generation.
Islam defines superstition as all the words, manners and beliefs without a religious or logical base and backbone .
The Quran defines superstition as a burden put upon the human mind and soul by his/her own hands. It introduces Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to us as the last messenger of Allah, responsible to make things clear for his followers to see what to do and believe in, and what not to do and ignore .
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be successful.” (7:157)
Shackles are those beliefs human beings had or might have, which made them do things and stop doing some others with no definite reason or scientific study and research. It is the duty of Islam to guide people to accept everything they believe in with their hearts and minds sure of it, which requires research and reasoning.
Well, there was a time when superstitions were limited to passing under a ladder or seeing a black cat. But now, superstitions are more woven in the lives of people. Reports have shown that a quarter of adults in the United States consider themselves to be so. American Youths are more superstitious than the elders, and 70 percent of them rely on luck charms for better academic results. According to some scientific research, this occurs because people think superstitions can relieve their anxieties, improve their performances and help them pay the extra costs of an adverse outcome, be it financial, mental, or whatsoever .
As you might also conclude, superstitions have not only been less common, but also they are becoming more frequent among young Americans. There are ways to overcome those beliefs which we are going to discuss in our next article. Still, aside from that, these words uncover one fact: when you follow superstitions and believe in them, they will take the lead in your life and the life of your children, family, friends, etc. One day you might come up with the fact that many of your friends' fears passing under a ladder, too.
The other outcome of following superstitious beliefs is a weaker mental belief in a superpower. Put simply, when you believe in superstitions, you see other powers, be it of Satan, natural elements, or any other thing, stronger and more effective than that of Allah. You might not mean or think that way, but being superstitious makes you so.
One last important aftermath of this system of thinking is a feeble religious mind, one which is easily broken, misled, and gone far away from the straightway of truth. Superstitions weaken your faith, and then they weaken you. A weak person goes forward with a slow speed.
These are the least consequences of superstitious beliefs. You might think about the ways of overcoming these thoughts and getting rid of them which we will discuss later.
So, Are you still afraid of passing under a ladder?
- Collins Concise English Dictionary at Word Reference Online Language dictionaries
- Mokhtaripour, Marziyeh Islam, Superstitions and their Prevention Pasdar Islam, Vol. 385
- Makarim Shirazi, Nemuneh Interpretation of Quran, Vol 1, P 184
- Sandoiu, Ana How do Superstitions affect our Psychology and Wellbeing September 2019
We are far ahead of the time when people lived in actual social networks. People living in a town or village were in a strong relationship with one another, and of course, it served them well.
But, maybe people were too closely related back then. And it had its downsides, too. “Give me a break, please, I need some privacy!” That’s what we said to the social life of the past times. The modern way of life ascribed so much importance to our privacy. This, too, had its downsides and sometimes made us feel so lonely. It didn’t quench our need to see and be seen. We needed to share more.
But, modern life and technology also had the answer to that. They provided an unaccountably cheap and easy way of making relationships, without the need for getting quite out of our private zone; virtual Social Networks!
Well, that’s great! We can get to know about our family and friends without spending much time or money. We can easily make thousands of friends from around the world. We can share our ideas and lifestyle with them and get to know about theirs. Like all other inventions, there are many good ways to benefit from social networks. And there being many good ways to benefit from something, is somehow equal to its lawfulness in Islam.
“… who bids them to do what is right and forbids them from what is wrong, makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things…” (7:157).
But is using social networks in Islam forbidden? Does Islam have any special resistance to these networks? Well, not really. And the rules on what we should do and what we should try to avoid are pretty much the same as the ones we need to observe in actual communications.
Therefore, as we are always careful to avoid any harm in our actual relationships , we should also do the same in these virtual sites of getting together, and try not to go for the bad things that might be found in there, nor spread things that might do more harm than good to others or to the society.
That means even if it is a boy-girl or man-woman relationship, there is nothing wrong with it as long as it is an upright, righteous, and honest one, and as long as you observe modesty and the rules of covering, the same way as a relationship between men and women in the outer world.
Also, Islam very much calls us up to mind the circles we move in , which are, more or less, a representation of our character and inclinations! Do our friends and groups in social networks –as well as in the real world– help us and change us for better? Or that they are just fun for a short time and may bring us lasting sorrows and regrets? 
You might have noticed that conventional social networks, being inherently so cheap and easy, tend to make everything cheap and easy in all respects… and maybe too much so sometimes!
Suppose you share a highly valuable and precious post on Facebook –which is the easiest way to share it, of course– and your friends would barely spend five seconds to look at it!
We are in the habit of taking everything easy in these virtual places; even our relationships. We don’t care that much about what we see or share, and sometimes about the kind of relationships we are making, while, to the contrary, a Muslim is always required to be watchful of his or her doings! 
So, apart from the benefits of being cheap and easy for use, they also make it easier to lie, to pretend, or to do any wrong. We may not be quite conscious that some of our relationships in the social networks could be, more or less, a kind of betrayal of our wedlock! Or a little too open to be modest and righteous! For, according to Islam, a husband’s level of modesty affects that of his wife and vice versa.  That means, the more righteous a spouse, the more so will be the other! That’s why it is even more important here never to forget that, little as it may be, a wrongdoing is always wrong, whether in a virtual social network or out there in the real world.
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (99:7,8)
- Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 26, p. 14, Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 90
- Al-Amali, p. 518, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 167
- Quran, 25:27,28
- Quran, 59: 18, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 349
- Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 317