- Published: October 22, 2022
- Updated: October 22, 2022
- University / College: McMaster University
- Level: Masters Degree
- Language: English
- Downloads: 9
Hospitals in Islam Hospitals have been around for a long time and it is interesting to think that there was a time that none existed. Hospitals are social inventions and there are the Caliphs to thank for it. Caliphs were the titles given to civic and religious leaders in the Islamic world, which included Persia, Syria, India, Turkey and Egypt. Early hospitals were sanatoria and travel lodges that were close or attached to temples and attended by priests. Before the invention of medicine, most treatments consisted of sacrifices and prayers and when a person was cured, it was attributed to divine intervention only (Swartley, 2005, 70).
Many hospitals were developed during the Islamic revolution, but it was Caliph Al-Walid I an Ummayad who founded the first hospital in 705 AD in Jundishapur. This was a Persian city in the Ahwaz province although some critics consider this institution was only a place where lepers because it imposed isolation. The physicians and attendants operating the hospital were paid for their services and it was at the hospital that Greek medicine together with Persian medical practices began to thrive.
The first Islamic hospital was built in 786-809 AD in Bagdad, Iraq, during the reign of Caliph Harun-ul-Rashid. The task of operating and heading the facility fell to Jibrail Bakhtishu, who was a well-revered physician. During his tenure, the hospital achieved fame and the building of other hospitals soon followed (Doak, 2010, 113). One of the latter hospitals to be built was the Audidi hospital in 982 AD, whose inception was started by Al-Razi who personally selected the building site due to the existence of germs in the area. He wanted a place where there were fewer germs and the hospital soon opened with 24 physicians who included specialists from different fields of medicine. They included physiologists, oculists and surgeons (Bonner, 2007, 95).
Bonner, Michael D, Mine Ener, and Amy Singer. Poverty and Charity in Middle Eastern Contexts. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007. Web
Doak, Robin S. Empire of the Islamic World. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. Print.
Swartley, Keith E. Encountering the World of Islam. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2005. Print.