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See also the main Wikipedia article on Islam.
There is great variety in the beliefs of Muslims, with many different sects (the best known of which are probably Shia and Sunni). There is a great deal of overlap between religious and cultural beliefs: some claim, for example, that not only male circumcision, but also female circumcision, often referred to as female genital mutilation, are mandated by Islam; while others claim that the latter, at least, is a cultural accretion. Shariah is the ideal realization of divine justice — a higher law reflecting God’s will but as interpreted by some can have cultural accretion. Some believe that the texts in the Koran about "modesty" should be interpreted to mean that women should cover their hair, or even their entire bodies while in the presence of adult males who are not family members; while others claim that these beliefs are also cultural accretions. Some of the beliefs are based on exhortations in the holy book of Islam, the Koran, to be as much like prophet Mohammed (PBUH) as possible: and this goes some way to explaining why some extreme sects believe that it is a sin, for example, for men to shave. It may also explain why classical Arabic is used by many Muslims.
(The "PBUH" above is an abbreviation for "peace be upon him" - a phrase which is usually added by devout muslims after mentioning the name of a prophet name in speech or writing.)
- Ramadan, fasting and medications - see below
- Islam and vaccination
- "The use of unlawful or juridically unclean substances in Food and Medicine" - see here.
- Medications derived from animals
- Dietary restrictions
- Treatment of the body after death
- Female (and male) modesty
- Transfusion is acceptable if there is a "good" case for it - in practice, there is usually no problem, and certainly none whatsoever in an emergency.
- Organ transplantation remains a grey area, with much inter-personal variation of opinion. Would probably be accepted.
- Site which claims to be Your authentic guide to Islamic belief, culture and civilization
Islam and fasting
- No food or drink allowed from before sunrise to sunset. Ramadan - like Easter - can occur at different points in the year. In mid-summer in the UK this can mean a daytime fast of over 19 hours in total.
- Individuals may lose sleep, due to requirements to pray during the night
Some people are not expected to fast - for example
- Pregnant women
- Nursing (breast-feeding) mothers
- Children (pre-puberty)
- People who are (or become) ill, or who have to take multiple medications
- Diabetics, especially if on insulin
- Fasting may cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, lethargy, dehydration, digestive problems, stress, or (occasionally) fainting.
- NHS Choices page "Fasting and your health"
- Diabetes.org.uk page "Ramadan and diabetes"
- How to be healthy in Ramadan while fasting- a resource for patients and clinicians
Islam and vaccination
The Muslim Council of Britain has always maintained and advised that immunisation/vaccination must be offered to all individuals identified to be at risk of communicable disease in order to prevent disease and deaths.
- "Caring for Muslim patients." Aziz Sheikh, Abdul Rashid Gatrad (eds). (155 pages, £17.95.) Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd, 2000. ISBN 1-85775-372-0.
- Article: " Islam and the four principles of medical ethics."
- ↑ Rules About Burial of the Dead Body. al-islam.org web site. Last viewed 23 October 2008
- ↑ Death of a muslim patient. DNUK thread (membership required).
- ↑ Amar AF. Understanding the veil: non-stranger sexual assault of a Muslim woman. J Foren Nurs 2007;3(3):134-136 (may require Medscape registration)
- ↑ Card RF. Is there no alternative? Conscientious objection by medical students. J Med Ethics 2012;38(10):602-4 PMID: 22556313.
- ↑ McLean M. Conscientious objection by Muslim students startling. J Med Ethics 2013 Online First. DOI 10.1136/medethics-2013-101332
- ↑ Aadil N, Houti IE, Moussamih S. Drug intake during Ramadan. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2004 Oct 2; 329(7469):778-82.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
- ↑ Resilient GP (closed Facebook group) post 2018 (14 May)
- ↑ DrGandalf. How to be healthy in Ramadan while fasting- a resource for patients and clinicians. eGPlearning. 2017 (last updated 04 May 2017; last viewed 16 May 2018)
- ↑ MCB News: Muslims must not deny immunisation. 02 February 2007
- ↑ Mustafa Y. Islam and the four principles of medical ethics. Journal of medical ethics. 2013 Aug 23.(Epub ahead of print) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)