THIRD ISLAMIC MEDICINE CONFERENCE, 1984

Third Islamic Medicine Conference, organised by the Governments of the State of Kuwait and Republic of Turkey with the cooperation of IRCICA, Istanbul, 28 September-2 October 1984


The Third Conference on Islamic Medicine was held in Istanbul on 3-7 Muharram 1405 (28 September-2 October 1984) under the auspices of H.E. Kenan Evren, President of the Republic of Turkey. The international conference was organised jointly by the Ministry of Public Health of Kuwait and the Council for High Education of Turkey with the collaboration of the Istanbul Centre. 120 participants in total from 21 countries, the USA and Germany, including Ministers of Health of Islamic countries and Muslim scientists, were present at the conference.

The conference was opened on 28 September 1984 by H.E. Mr. Turgut Özal, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, at the historical Conference Hall of the Istanbul University. The audience was first addressed by H.E. Dr. Abderrahman Al-Awadi, Minister of Public Health of Kuwait, President of the Islamic Organisation for Medical Sciences, and President of the Conference. The Minister emphasized that medicine always had a prominent place in Islam and one of the major principles in Islam is to render medical treatment accessible to all. Dr. Al-Awadi also mentioned that Islamic medicine should be restored its earlier glory.

Then, H.E. Mehmet Aydın, Minister of Health and Social Security of Turkey took the floor and explained that a major characteristic of Islamic medicine is that it is always open to scientific developments and that innovations in the West are always welcomed if they are beneficial.

Prof.Dr. İhsan Doğramacı, Head of the Turkish Council for High Education addressed the meeting and explained that at a time, Islamic sciences were one thousand years ahead of Western sciences with respect to their productivity and contributions. He expressed his conviction that the presentations and discussions would shed light on the achievements, contributions and problems of Islamic medicine and that this gathering of Muslim scientists would constitute an occasion whereby they could renew friendships and establish contacts.

H.E. Turgut Özal, Prime Minister of Turkey read the message of H.E. Kenan Evren, President of the Republic of Turkey. In his message, the President of Turkey expressed his conviction that the conference would further enhance the friendship, fraternity and mutual support among Islamic countries. He emphasized that the science of medicine is a sacred branch at the service of man, and Islam has always attributed due importance to medicine, given birth to eminent scientists and taken the lead in the field of medicine for centuries.

H.E. Kenan Evren said: "Today in the world, innovations and new developments are gaining more importance in the field of medicine, as in other fields. It is known that Islamic medicine is making all possible efforts to follow these innovations and developments closely and to solve the problems of Muslims. I am sure that with the cooperation established among Islamic countries in the field of medicine, even more effective work would be realised in the coming years and the objectives fixed would be attained".
Inaugurating the Conference, H.E. Turgut Özal, Prime Minister of Turkey said that in Islam, medical sciences come before religious sciences. He emphasized the fact that starting with the 8th Century, in the period referred as the Golden Era of Islamic science and medicine, great importance was accorded to medicine and medical education; there has never been a contradictory attitude to science in Islam. "Islam has been the precursor in medecine as in other fields. This third meeting will enhance friendship and close relations among the brotherly Islamic countries. The aim of this conference is to understand the past and to establish confidence in the future".

During the sessions of the Conference, the presentation of technical papers was accompanied with fruitful discussions and deliberations. Numerous papers were presented about each of the main themes on the agenda of the conference. The main themes were the following:

"The influence of Islamic civilisation on European civilisation during the Renaissance period in the field of medicine or its allied subjects";

"The influence of Islam and its teachings on health of human being and the society";

"Certain diseases, transmitted due to un-Islamic behaviour";

"Pharmacological evaluation for some plants mentioned by the Muslim scientists";

"Clinical evaluation for some plants mentioned by the Muslim scientists";

"Applied research";

"Psychiatry and its treatment in Islam";

"Alcohol-induced diseases".

Simultaneously with the Conference, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Süleymaniye Library where an "Exhibition of Medical Manuscripts" was organised by the Library's administration with the collaboration of the Centre. The exhibition was opened the first day of the Conference by the Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Turgut Özal. At this exhibition, the visitors had the occasion to see the precious manuscripts on medicine dating from the Ottoman period.

On the occasion of the conference, the Istanbul Centre organised an "Exhibition of Calligraphy and Gilding by Contemporary Artists". The exhibition was opened the same day at the Sheraton Hotel jointly by H.E. Mr. Mehmet Aydın, Minister of Health and Social Security of Turkey and H.E. Mr. Abderrahman Al-Awadi, Minister of Public Health of Kuwait. Prof.Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Director General of the Centre explained the purpose of the exhibition and the masterpieces being displayed. The exhibition comprised 86 calligraphies by 20 living Turkish artists.