in the context of caring about physical health, islam stresses the importance of both preventive and therapeutic medicine. it particularly cares about preventive medicine because prevention is better than cure. these days are known for the discovery of many preventive vaccines, especially for infant diseases such as small pox, polio, and certain types of fever. it is not a matter of choice in islam whether to take the vaccinations or not, they must be taken (al-qaradawi 32). according to the author if you see the most prominent hadith compilations, you will always find a chapter on medicine included; in addition, you will always find more information scattered on the same subject in other chapters (al-qaradawi 34)
most importantly, al-qaradawi deduced a number of directives from the sunnah, pertinent to medicine and hygiene. the first of these directives is to establish the value of the body. this basically means to recognize the rights that the body has. the body has the right to be fed when feeling hungry, the right to rest when feeling tired, the right to be cleaned when it gets dirty, and the right to be treated when it falls ill (al-qaradawi 36). the second directive is to realize that medicines are part of allah's decree. some muslims think that "believing in fate" is against treatment with medicine. they are quite wrong, for allah has created the illness and has created the cure (al-qaradawi 38). the third directive is to realize that illness is an irrefutable fate of allah; nevertheless, we try to cure it — or better yet — prevent it. the final directive is to especially respect the medicine that is based on experiments rather than all kinds of superstitious medicines or the spells and omens of soothsayers (al-qaradawi 37-41).
in addition to taking care of material medicine, the prophet (peace be upon him) also instructed us to value the "divine medication" (supplication to allah and dhikr). according to imam ibnal–qayyim, "divine medication" cures an illness both before and after its occurrence. the first case is illustrated by the hadith in al-bukhari on the authority of `a'ishah: "whenever the messenger of allah went to bed, he used to recite surahs al-ikhlas, al–falaq, and al-nas, holding his hands together before his mouth, spitting lightly on them, and then rubs his hands over his body." also the hadith reported by al-bukhari and muslim "whoever recites the last two verses of surat al-baqarah at night, they would suffice for him (i.e. drive away evil and bad things) . an example of the second case is what is reported that the prophet advised usingsuratal-fatihah to cure anyone bitten by a snake (al-qaradawi 48).