World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Nursing in Islam

Article Id: WHEBN0027114194
Reproduction Date:

Title: Nursing in Islam  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of nursing, Nursing, Islam and science, Ambulatory care nursing, Public health nursing
Collection: Islam and Science, Nursing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Nursing in Islam

In Islam, nurses provide healthcare services to patients, families and communities as a manifestation of love for Allah and Muhammad. The nursing profession is not new to Islam. Islamic traditions include sympathy for and responsibility toward those in need.[1]This perspective had emerged during the development of Islam as a religion, culture, and civilization.


  • Ethos of Health Care Service 1
  • Approach to Health Care Service 2
  • The First Muslim Nurse 3
  • Nursing in Hospitals 4
  • References 5

Ethos of Health Care Service

In Islamic traditions caring is the manifestation of love for Allah and Muhammad.[1] Caring in Islam, however, is more than the act of empathy; instead, it consists of being responsible for, sensitive to, and concerned with those in need, namely the weak, the suffering and the outcasts of society.[1] This act of caring is further divided into three principles: intention, thought, and action.[1] Intention and thought refer to who/what/where/when/ and why to care, whereas action is related to the knowledge necessary to be able to care.[1] In short, health care is deemed as service to the patients and to Allah, as opposed to other professions that are commercial based.[1] This ethos was the fundamental motivating factor for the majority of the doctors and nurses in the history of Islam.[1]

Approach to Health Care Service

Another aspect of Islamic health care service that distinguishes it from contemporary Western

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j G. Hussein, Rassool, (2000), "The crescent and Islam: healing, nursing and the spiritual dimension. Some considerations towards an understanding of the Islamic perspectives on caring",  
  2. ^ a b c d e Kasule, Omar Hasan Sr. (November 1998) 9811 - Historical Roots of the Nursing Profession in Islam Islamic Medical Education Resources, retrieved January 3, 2012
  3. ^ a b Kasule, Omar Hasan Sr. (2008-05-17) Historical Roots of the Nursing Profession in Islam Islamic Medicines Forum, retrieved April 26, 2010
  4. ^ Syed, Ibrahim B. Efficient Hospitals: Islamic Medicine’s Contribution to Modern Medicine The Imam Reza Website, retrieved April 26, 2010
  5. ^ a b c Zaimeche, Salah (September 2004) Al-Qayrawan (Tunisia) Foundation for Science Technology and Civilization, retrieved April 26, 2010


In hospitals built in the Medieval Muslim society male nurses tended to male patients and female nurses to female patients.[4] The hospital in Al-Qayrawan (Kairouan in English) was especially unique among Muslim hospitals for several reasons. Built in 830 by the order of the Prince Ziyadat Allah I of Ifriqiya (817-838), the Al-Dimnah Hospital, constructed in the Dimnah region close to the great mosque of Al Qayrawan, was quite ahead of its time.[5] It had the innovation of having a waiting area for visitors, not to mention the fact that the first official female nurses were hired from Sudan to work in this hospital.[5] Moreover, aside from regular physicians working there, a group of religious imams who also practiced medicine, called Fugaha al-Badan[5] provided service as well, likely by tending the patients’ spiritual needs.

Nursing in Hospitals

Rufaidah is described as a woman possessing the qualities of an ideal nurse: compassionate, empathetic, good leader and a great teacher, passing on her clinical knowledge to others she trained.[2] Furthermore, Rufaidah’s activities as someone greatly involved in the community, in helping those at the more disadvantaged portions of society[2] epitomize the ethos of care identified above.

The first professional nurse in the history of Islam is a woman named, Rufaidah bint Sa’ad, from the Bani Aslam tribe in Medina.[2] She lived at the time of Muhammed and was among the first people in Medina to accept Islam.[2] Rufaidah received her training and knowledge in medicine from her father, a physician, whom she assisted regularly.[2] After the Muslim state was established in Medina, she would treat the ill in her tent set up outside the mosque.[3] During times of war, she would lead a group of volunteers to the battlefield and would treat casualties and injured soldiers.[3]

The First Muslim Nurse

[1] (Oneness of Allah), a dimension lacking in current Western models of Nursing and, thus, could pose as a challenge for application of this model of Nursing to Muslim patients as it does not meet their holistic needs.Tawheed This spiritual component comes in the form of [1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.