Friday, May 27, 2022

Hakeem Ajmal Khan's Contributions To The Renaissance Of Unani System Of Medicine

Hakeem Ajmal Khan Was For The Modernisation Of Unani System. Main Points: 1. He established the All India Unani Tibbi Conference in 1906. 2. He united al the Unani practitioners of the country. 3. He founded Tibbiya College. 4. He was one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia. 5. He was an educationist. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 27 May 2022 Hakeem Ajmal Khan who was honoured with the title Masihul Mulk (Messiah of the nation) was not only a Unani physician but had many facets. He not only brought about the renaissance of the Unani system of medicine in the country but was also involved in the freedom movement of India and had played an important role in the educational and scientific upliftment of the Muslim community. Hakeem Ajmal Khan was born on 11 February 1868. His grandfather Hakeem Sharif Khan and father Hakeem Mahmood Khan were also Unani physicians. Hakeem Sharif Khan was the court physician of Mughal emperor Shah Alam. Therefore, Ajmal Khan also adopted the family profession and made Unani medicine proud with his research and medical insight. He did research and experiments and later his research and prescriptions were compiled in books titled Bayaz-e-Ajmal and Afadat-e-Maseehul Mulk. His prescriptions and compositions are not only used by the students of Unani medicines but also by the companies manufacturing Unani medicines. Hakeem Ajmal Khan was the first to unite Unani physicians under the umbrella of All India Unani and Ayurvedic Tibbi Conference. In 1910, the British government planned to bring a law making registration for doctors mandatory for practice but wanted to bar Unani and Ayurvedic physicians from registration. This way, the British government wanted to promote allopathic medicines and destroy Unani and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. Hakeem Ajmal Khan sniffed the conspiracy and called a conference of 400 Unani and Ayurvedic physicians. In the conference, Unani physicians shed light on the efficacy and importance of indigenous system of medicine. This made the British government to retract. Hakeem Ajmal Khan was not satisfied with the data base of knowledge of Unani medicine and stressed the need to do new research to bring it at par with modern systems of medicines. He exhorted Unani physicians to make a record of newer diseases and find new herbs for their cure. He also advised Unani practitioners to adopt modern methods of making medicines and instead of preparing Khameera and Majoon, they should prepare medicines in the form of tablets and capsules. To promote the knowledge of Unani medicine, he established Unani Tibbiya College and Hindustani Dawakhana. As a physician, Hakeem Ajmal Khan was very adept in diagnosing and treating diseases and so he charged a high fee for consultation. At the same time, he treated the poor free of charge. He could diagnose the disease by simply looking at the face of the patient and by feeling the pulse. He used to say that feeling the pulse was also a science and doctors with varying insight could diagnose the disease by feeling the pulse. Apart from being a Unani doctor, Hakeem Ajmal Khan was also an educationist and a freedom fighter. He was involved in the Khilafat Movement and came into contact with Mahatma Gandhi. He was made the President of the Congress after the death of Chittaranjan Das. He was also made the President of the Muslim League. This speaks volumes about his political calibre, popularity and wisdom. As an educationist, he had his own ideas about education of the Muslims. As a liberal Muslim, he was not against the modern education but he believed that Muslims should get modern education in their mother language. In one of his addresses to the students of Jamia Millia where he served as its Vice Chancellor he said: "In 1839, when Lord Macaulay advocated making English the medium of education due to which India suffered losses. Its children were taught sciences in an alien language which required a lot of time and effort. But there was a reason. Their objective was not to impart them education. Their main objective was to destroy the Indian culture and civilisation and what better means to do this. Therefore, Lord William Bentinck, openly declared that their objective, was to propagate western language and sciences and so all the money that was to be spent on education should be used to achieve this objective. The funds that were granted for the education of Sanskrit and Arabic were stopped." Hakeem Ajmal Khan's idea of the true education was that it should prepare an individual for the collective communal welfare and progress. Aping the west was not the purpose of education. The Muslims should have a long term objective of education but lamented the fact that Indian Muslims had sacrificed long term objectives for short term benefits. The movement for the development of Unani medicine he started in 1906 continued even after his death in 1926. The All India Unani Tibbi Conference was established in 1952 and the All India Tibbi Congress was established in 1990. Though he was a doctor, unlike other doctors, he was an avid reader of books. He had a deep knowledge of world history, religion and was aware of the philosophy and thoughts of renowned thinkers and philosophers. Thanks to this he had a balanced approach to the society. Unlike other Muslim intellectuals, he was not a blind follower of western thinkers but analysed their thoughts from a rational point of view. He says: “When we study the views of the western philosophers, we find that despite their knowledge and insight they could not see the truth. They considered the group a tool or means for the fulfilment of the objectives of the individual. Therefore, the names of Michevally, Hobbes, Locke and Spencer become the final argument on any issue for those friends whose mind and intellect have been enthralled by the western wisdom so that they are not able to think innovatively and are groping in the darkness of ignorance. And the weakness of the totalitarian system of the Europe, the ever intensifying tussle between capital and labour and all the efforts of the anarchist and nihilist groups to destroy all the totalitarian systems are the result of the same ignorance." From the excerpts quoted above, it becomes clear that Hakeem Ajmal Khan had a keen eye on the history and the philosophy of his time. He had his own ideas on issues facing his community and the country. His contributions to the renaissance of Unani medicine will be remembered with reverence. The setting up of the ministry of Ayush by the government of India is only a realisation of Hakeem Ajmal Khan’s dream. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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