Prophetic Medicine: Building an Epistemological Framework to Overcome the Conflict between Religion and Evidence-Based Medicine


  • Khalid B. Orayj BPharm, PharmD, PhD, School of Pharmacy, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia



Prophetic Medicine, Epistemological Framework, Conflict between Religion and Evidence-Based Medicine


Prophetic medicine (PM) is the body of medical advice given by the Prophet Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam). Although various theories have been advanced to explain the articulation of PM in Islamic history, the most coherent theory is that PM was articulated by Islamic scholars to reconcile the Prophet’s medical advice with Greek medicine. In a similar fashion, faced with the current-era domination of the medical scene by Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), some Muslim researchers have hastened to attempt combining EBM with PM by using EBM tools to validate PM. A literature review revealed four features shared by most of the current PM studies. First, they were conducted in Islamic countries. Second, their main purpose was to confirm the validity of PM. Third, they lacked a consistent epistemological framework. Fourth, they used deductive reasoning that treated PM as absolute truth in their introductory sections, restricting their purpose to proving the validity of PM and leaving no room for refutation. To draw more effectively on the PM heritage without contradicting current scientific method, it is instructive to extract and adapt the methods used by earlier Islamic scholars to combine PM with Greek medicine. After an extensive textual analysis of the books of the Prophet’s sayings (Hadiths) and scholars’ commentaries, the methods by which scholars combined PM and Greek medicine were extracted. The study concludes by proposing several models that combine PM with EBM. The closest model found to acknowledge the holiness of the Prophet’s Hadiths without contradicting the scientific nature of EBM is to limit the divine validity of the Prophet’s medical Hadiths to those to whom the Prophet prescribed the medicine, without including those who came after them in later times. This approach opens the door to benefiting from these Hadiths as indicating possible directions for modern scientific research without calling the Prophet’s prophecies or the validity of his words into question.




How to Cite

Orayj, K. B. (2022). Prophetic Medicine: Building an Epistemological Framework to Overcome the Conflict between Religion and Evidence-Based Medicine. European Journal of Medicine and Natural Sciences, 5(1), 44–62.