Traditional Islamic Healing & Medicine

Volume 1: Principles & Foundations

6 x 9 in. hardcover, 282 pages

Published by Fons Vitae


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Many are acutely aware of the inability of Conventional Medicine to understand and care for the entire Body-Mind-Soul. This failing is seldom from a lack of character, concern, or effort on the part of modern health care providers, but rather the result of a fractured paradigm. A reductionist, materialist framework usurped the spiritual worldview that informed most of the world for millennia, including the world of medicine. For this reason, many turn to Traditional Medicine additionally or exclusively, as it endeavors to care for the entire Body-Mind-Soul. It is a sign of the times that these wisdom traditions are labeled as “alternative” and “complementary” by the dominating institutions of Conventional Medicine.

Traditional Islamic Healing and Medicine is unique among the systems of Traditional Medicine in that it has explicitly preserved a spiritual ontology in study and practice. God, Spirit, and soul are central to any understanding of health, well-being, illness, and disease. Furthermore, the human being is not seen as an isolated individual, but rather a facet of community, society, nature, planet, and cosmos, so that true health and well-being is understood in the context of our interconnectedness. We are a microcosmic emergence of a fundamentally sacred macrocosm. Health-conscious Muslims—whether they are laypersons, students, practitioners, and scholars—are characteristically thirsty for this knowledge, as it is a seamless extension of the Islamic tradition. Muslims trained in Conventional Medicine often struggle to reconcile their medical framework with their spiritual lives. They know that something is wrong, but they are often at a loss to correct the situation. Many people of faith also desire the integration of the physical and spiritual dimensions within themselves, rather than living a disembodied spiritual life—a growing concern with the relentless encroachment of technology into our daily lives and soon even into our very bodies. This book speaks directly to each of these concerns, beginning with foundational principles that can serve us in navigating our immediate challenges.

This book presents the principles of Islamic Medicine as articulated by the Holy Qurʾān and aḥādīth and organizes them by the mystical letters of the Arabic alphabet. The principles are applicable to spiritually inclined health students, practitioners, and scholars across traditions, while speaking directly to Muslims. Some books take a reductionist approach, listing remedies and the conditions they purportedly treat. True healing, however, must account for the entire Body-Mind-Soul.



The publication of this volume signals the revival of Traditional Islamic Healing and Medicine, and its recognition alongside Chinese, Ayurvedic, and other forms of holistic medicine. Like a polymath from a bygone era, Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī draws upon many sources of knowledge, including scripture, poetry, spirituality, science, psychology, and medicine. This book reads as a sustained meditation on healing the whole human being through Islamic wisdom teachings that speak to the heart. It is an immersive process of coming into alignment with God and our true nature through the gentle, yet powerful words of a sage.

-Zachary Markwith, Ph.D.
The Graduate Theological Union


The Persians say it well when they say, “Words that come from the heart reach the heart.” Ḥakīm Mīrzā Ilyās Kāshānī’s glowing reflections on the healing message of the Holy Qurʾān are bound to deeply resonate in the inner hearts of all those who have the good fortune of reading these luminous pages.

-Pir Zia Inayat Khan, author of Saracen Chivalry,
Mingled Waters, and Immortality


An important contribution to our understanding of health from an Islamic perspective. Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī illuminates how the wisdom of the Qurʾān and Aḥādīth can guide us to true well-being and health. Step by step, he lays out the principles for taking responsibility for our own health.

-Kabir Helminski
Sufi shaykh, and author of Living Presence, The Knowing Heart, and Holistic Islam


Anyone who is seriously interested in traditional Islamic Medicine cannot afford to miss this outpouring of most profound reflections and insights into the way the Qurʾān and sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad can guide one to become a true human being, and by the same token, help one dwell in a sound body. Masterfully written in an unassuming language and with keen awareness of the universal conditions of the human state, Ḥakīm Ilyās’ present work can inspire patients, healers, and any serious spiritual seekers to further strengthen their connection to the Sacred. This book is bound to be a classic.

-Tarik M. Quadir, Ph.D.
Author of Traditional Islamic Environmentalism: The Vision of Seyyed Hossein Nasr


Kāshānī’s Traditional Islamic Healing and Medicine locates the message of healing in the Qurʾān, sayings of the Prophet, and Islam’s spiritual traditions. Healing means being aware of reality and living mindfully, as Kāshānī reminds us, and it requires a holistic approach, both body and soul. Organized through the letters of the Arabic alphabet, and using the author’s own insights into the Arabic, this book will be a treasure for all those interested in the Islamic tradition of inner and outer wellbeing.

-Cyrus Ali Zargar, Al-Ghazali Distinguished Professor,
Department of Philosophy, University of Central Florida


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