MEDICINAL PLANTS IN THE TRADITIONS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD
Dr. M.I.H. FAROOQI
Reviewed by Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed
Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad is authored by Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi and Published by Sidrah Publishers, C-3/2 Shahid Apartments, Chakarvarti Road, Golaganj, Lucknow-226018, INDIA. Pp.208, 2004 (Third Revised Edition).
Reviewed by Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D., President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., 7102 W. Shefford Lane, Louisville, KY 40242-6462. Website: WWW.IRFI.ORG
Dr. Mohammed Iqtedar Husain Farooqi is a renowned Plant Chemist who retired as Deputy Director of National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India.
“ Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad” is Dr. Farooqi’s second scholarly work that provides scientific information on almost all the important plants and plant products mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (SAS) for their uses in Medicine, Food, and Perfumes with relevant references of Ahadith.
The author has made attempts to identify plants, which the Prophet mentioned in his sayings. He has identified more than seventy plants and plant products. The description is brief and precise with useful and interesting data in English, the name in Arabic, Other names (Spanish, French, Persian, German, Hebrew and other Indian vernacular names), botanical identification, distribution (geographical) and references in traditional literature relevant to Prophet Muhammad (SAS).
The book also provides information on eating habits and choices and preferences of the people during the Prophet’s period and specifically the Prophet himself, thus suggesting clues to many herbal remedies used or recommended by the Prophet. The author clearly confesses “No in-depth study of Botany, Chemistry or Medicine has been attempted in this book…..The objective is just to provide enough scientific information to readers to understand the Prophetic Traditions (Ahadith) in a proper scientific perspective and thus to show that by his Sayings, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wanted to inculcate a sense of rationale and realism, towards medicine, in his Ummah (followers) so that they could discover natural cures for the suffering humanity.” To prove this point he has included a Chapter II on “Islam and Medicine- Views by Western Scholars”
The author correctly cautions the readers not to resort to the use of medicinal plants without taking the medical advice of an expert and recognized physician, as natural remedies (medicinal plants) may cause harm without a physician’s care.
At the end of the book one finds an extensive Bibliography. It has Index I that gives English names of plants and Plant Products with pertinent page numbers. Index II gives Arabic names in Arabic script of plants and plant products with appropriate page numbers. Index III contains Botanical Names with page numbers.
I highly recommend this book for those who want to understand the “Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad” in the light of modern knowledge and for those who evince keen interest in seeking medical cures (under the care of an expert and recognized Physician) using the plants and plant products mentioned in this book. There are several publications on the subject in different languages published during the last few decades, however credit is to be given to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Farooqi who has successfully attempted scientific description based on coherent scientific reasoning, of all the plants and plant products used in medicine, foods and perfumes mentioned in the Prophetic Traditions.
My suggestion to the author is to identify in the seventy plants and plant products he has described, those that contain Flavonoids and antioxidants and describe their disease-preventing, health-promoting, and anti-ageing characteristics in the next edition.
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