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Qur’anic (Dynamic) Paradigm of Health: – 16 Therapeutic Sociology

Qur’anic (Dynamic) Paradigm of Health: – 16 Therapeutic Sociology

Applying Qur’anic Definition of Health (3):

The social transformation was being pushed through in accordance with the demands of the market, which more often than not brought new diseases to the epidemiological levels. While formulating the laws of the country, economics was given the chief consideration and health became an easy victim. There is now a need to change the whole concept of preventive medicine/community health. The focus must now be shifted to finding social solutions to problems arising out of social practices or changes. Instead of being the only solution, the medical solutions should be an important supplement to the social solution. This approach is consistent with the System envisaged in Qur’an and it is this concept which I have named as Therapeutic Sociology…..

The truth is that the overwhelming majority of human beings are susceptible to desires that more often than not land them in trouble. The system must safeguard them against exposure to dangerous substances and practices. The system has to be health protective, and must not become captive of the forces that seek to exploit human susceptibilities for their economic interests. The current socioeconomic system is in fact provocative, not protective, in terms of the factors that contribute to health hazards.

Dr. Javed Jamil

Therapeutic Sociology

The current international curriculum of medicine has Social and Preventive Medicine as one its chief disciplines. It is also known as Community Medicine or Public Health. This subject studies the statistics related to the various diseases, the factors associated with its spread, how to respond to widespread medical problems at a large scale like epidemics and endemics, and how to prevent them. The public health programmes like Population Control/Reproductive & Child Health, vaccination programmes for diseases like Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Meningitis, Hepatitis, Bird Flu, Chicken pox, Polio, etc, anti-mosquito drives, Tuberculosis and Leprosy control programmes and the Programme for control of HIV/AIDS come under the Community Medicine. This is also taught as one of the subjects in the medical degree courses all over the world as well as a postgraduate course. With the march of “globalisation”, community health too has gone “global”. We will see how the forces of globalisation have hijacked the whole concept of community health and how all the programmes are being used to further their interests.

The basic problem with the Community Medicine is that it focuses only on finding medical solutions to the medical problems created by social reasons. There is hardly any talk of finding social solutions to medical problems caused by social practices of different kinds. When the forces of economic fundamentalism contemplated that the population should not be allowed to grow at the current speed if their model of “growth” has to succeed, the medical experts were approached, and they began to put all their energies in finding medical ways to control the population. When the market forces embarked upon the sexual revolution that required protection of men and women against pregnancies and sex transmitted diseases, the medical fraternity was quick to provide all kinds of solutions. The social transformation was being pushed through in accordance with the demands of the market, which more often than not brought new diseases to the epidemiological levels. While formulating the laws of the country, economics was given the chief consideration and health became an easy victim. There is now a need to change the whole concept of preventive medicine/community health. The focus must now be shifted to finding social solutions to problems arising out of social practices or changes. Instead of being the only solution, the medical solutions should be an important supplement to the social solution. This approach is consistent with the System envisaged in Qur’an and it is this concept which I have named as Therapeutic Sociology.

Therapeutic Sociology is not a passive concept like Community Medicine. It is an aggressive and dynamic concept that has an overriding and overpowering influence on all the other aspects of social life, both governmental and non-governmental. It will not be a mere spectator to what is happening or developing on the earth but would pose a challenge to the dangerous ideas and practices. The primary purpose of human living is to avoid death and disease and promote a healthy being, and this primary aim must never be lost sight of in the glitter of the market. Therapeutic Sociology would be a wall in the way of the forces that care little for the masses, and exploit their weaknesses for their own ends. Therapeutic Sociology will conduct health impact studies of all the developments taking place, and will then suggest suitable remedial changes in legal, social and medical structure to stop the march of the diseases and deaths. It will also help in developing a “healthy morality” in the face of “commercial morality”. Healthy morality is what Islam and other religions preach, which is aimed at ensuring health and peace in society. Commercial morality on the other hand preaches what is good or bad for the market.

To sum up, the aims of Therapeutic Sociology, a concept based on the Qur’anic Paradigm of Health, will be:

· To ensure that the supremacy of health is never compromised with in the affairs at different levels: individual, family, social, national and international;
· To campaign for establishing and strengthening a health-protective and promoting family system;
· To campaign for establishing and strengthening a health-protective and promoting social system;
· To ensure that the national and international laws are rewritten to safeguard health;
· To ensure that substances and practices that are decidedly dangerous for human beings are not allowed to exist or at least prosper;
· To conduct health impact studies of different socio-economic developments and spread awareness about them;
· To aggressively campaign against the institutions that are involved in practices that increase dangers for the lives of human beings;
· To create atmospheric and environmental conditions suitable for the promotion of health;
· To promote a model of family health that is conducive for the health of men, women and children;
· To focus on both the primary and secondary preventive methods;
· To unveil the designs of economic and political forces so that they are not able to do anything that endangers health in any way;
· To promote such customs and rituals as are beneficial for individual’s health, family health and the health of the masses;
· To lay an equal stress on the survival and health of all the human beings in different stages of lives: foetus, paediatric, adolescent, youth, middle aged and geriatric;
· To lay an equal stress on the health of both the genders: men and women

The onus of maintaining Health cannot be on individuals alone. It is not merely the duty of individuals to safeguard their health; it is also the duty of the system to protect the health of the citizens as individuals, as families and as society. The duty of system is in fact greater. The individuals tend to err; not all of them are equally intelligent to understand the implications of their actions. Even if they understand, not all of them have the moral power to always behave correctly. Some of the people tend to err more often; but most of the people tend to err sometimes. The peer pressure, the varying situations in life and the environment around them – all can have negative impact on their decisions. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of human beings are susceptible to desires that more often than not land them in trouble. The system must safeguard them against exposure to dangerous substances and practices. The system has to be health protective, and must not become captive of the forces that seek to exploit human susceptibilities for their economic interests. The current socioeconomic system is in fact provocative, not protective, in terms of the factors that contribute to health hazards. The problems related to alcohol, drugs, sex and gambling are hugely dependent upon the availability of the required materials. If they are easily available, more and more people will fall victims. If their availability is restricted, relatively less people will suffer. The only argument in favour of allowing these materials and practices is the economics of these substances and practices. The concept like “personal rights” and “freedom of choice” are nothing but mere tools to sustain the economics. Freedom of choice is understandable only till it is limited to freedom of good or acceptable choices. Giving the hazardous choices is a travesty of choice.

Previous chapters can be read at
https://javedjamil.com/defining-health-alternative-islamic-definition-978374043069#.ecgqw8sc4

Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”, “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. Read more about him athttp://www.worldmuslimpedia.com/dr-javed-jamil. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drjavedjamil; also https://javedjamil.com/. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com.