[ms] The Polemics of Muslim Society in Malaysia in Understanding the Role of Post-Modernism Islamic Medicine

Khadher Ahmad, Mohd Farhan Md Ariffin, Ahmad Za‘im Sabirin Mohd Yusoff


Beginning from the year-end of 1960, Muslim thinkers introduced the concept of Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) as an alternative model to Western bio-medicine. Initially, this development was seen as viable for the future. But however, even today, Islamic Medicine has not yet emerged as a comprehensive healthcare model in any country compared to the Western conventional model. Thus, the objective of this article is to evaluate the social polemics regarding the functional aspect of Islamic alternative medicine in Malaysia. Through distribution of questionnaires to patients who visit Islamic treatment centres in Malaysia, an analysis is made applying inductive, descriptive and quantitative methods based on Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software. Research concludes that discussing the function of Islamic alternative treatment is polemical. From one standpoint, Islamic Medicine in Malaysia serves a bigger role for the Muslim society compared to other alternative medicines. Its importance in treating disease is also undeniable. But from another standpoint, the role of Islamic Medicine in Malaysia is limited due to two factors: (1) the Muslim society only resorts to alternative medicine after experiencing dissatsfaction with conventional treatment (Western bio-medicine) due to reasons such as idiopathy, variety of disesases difficult to detect, or incurability by conventional or modern methods; and (2) the treatment of spiritual problems has become the main focus of Islamic Medicine. A moderate perception of respondent may be observed in two matters: (1) the role of Islamic alternative medicine in the treatment of physical diseases is not emphasized; and (2) the process of taking over the function of modern health institutions is not considered as appropriate by society. The finding of this research is useful as an early step to empower the role of Islamic alternative medicine in order to suit the needs of the present Muslim society.


Confusion in understanding; Islamic alternative medicine; importance; function; mainstream

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ISSN 0126-5636

Faculty of Islamic Studies
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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