Islam on Health and Illness
The belief that body and soul belong to God and will return to him grounds Muslim recognition of the sanctity of human life and of the need to ensure both physical and spiritual well-being. The Qur'an speaks of God's revelation as healing for the illness of the human heart, and the Prophet is reported to have exhorted treatment of the sick. His statement that for every illness God gives a cure has inspired Muslims through the centuries to pursue medical knowledge. Notwithstanding a minority view that true faith requires total reliance on God, recourse to medical treatment is not viewed as a weakness of belief, even if illness can also be seen as a trial by God meant for atonement and spiritual progress. During much of the Middle Ages, Islamic medicine was more advanced than in the West. In more recent centuries, Muslims have sought to harmonize advances in medical science and technology emanating from the West with religious values around issues including the beginning and end of life, such as abortion and artificial life support.