Homeopaths and Traditional Religious Healers Among the Muslims

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

According to the Pew Research Center, substantial numbers of Muslims report that they turn to traditional religious healers when they or their family members are ill. This practice is common among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In the former region, more than half in Senegal (73%), Chad (68%), Cameroon (57%), Liberia (55%), Mali (55%) and Tanzania (53%) say they sometimes use traditional healers. In South Asia, most Afghan and Pakistani Muslims (66% and 55%, respectively) say the same.

Although a majority of Tajik Muslims (66%) also report turning to traditional religious healers, fewer in the other Central Asian nations say they sometimes seek such help for themselves or a family member.

Across the countries surveyed in Southeast Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region, fewer than half of Muslims say they ever enlist the aid of traditional religious healers. In Southeast Asia, the practice is most common in Thailand (48%), while in the Middle East and North Africa reliance on traditional healers is most prevalent among Muslims in Iraq (46%), Egypt (44%), Jordan (42%) and Tunisia (41%).

Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe are less likely to consult traditional religious healers. About four-in-ten Albanian Muslims (38%) say they sometimes use such healers, while elsewhere in the region a quarter or fewer say they ever turn to a traditional healer.

In some countries, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less often to use traditional religious healers. For example, in Jordan 47% of those who pray more than once a day have turned to traditional healers, compared with 31% of those who pray less often; in Turkey, the difference is 35% vs. 18%. Smaller but significant gaps are found in Kosovo (+16 percentage points among those who pray more than once a day), Azerbaijan (+15), Kyrgyzstan (+13), Egypt (+12) and Lebanon (+12).

The use of homeopathy is variable in the Muslim countries.

Homeopathy is becoming popular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in Iran. The UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) recognizes and regulates the practice of homeopathy in a systematic way. Both medical doctors and lay practitioners can practise homeopathy but they all should pass MOH exams which cover both medical science and homeopathy.[93] The Ministry of Health of Iran recognizes homeopathy as a legal alternative treatment. The Iranian Homeopathic Association, formed with the permission of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health, is the reference association for providing standards of homeopathy. In Iran only medical doctors can practice homeopathy.[94]

India has a large Muslim minority with more than 200 million Muslims. India has the largest homeopathic infrastructure in the world, with low estimates at about 64,000, but going as high as 300,000 practising homeopaths. In addition, there are 180 colleges teaching courses, and 7500 government clinics and 307 hospitals which dispense homeopathic remedies.[86][87] The Ministry of AYUSH was formed on 9th November 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care. Earlier it was known as the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) which was created in March 1995 and renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003, with focused attention for development of Education and Research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.[88] In China and Japan, homeopathy appears to be almost unknown.[89][90][91]

Homeopathy is fairly common in some countries while being uncommon in others. In some countries, there are no specific legal regulations concerning the use of homeopathy, while in others, licenses or degrees in conventional medicine from accredited universities are required.

Homeopathic preparations are not effective for treating any condition.[1][2][3][4] Outside of the alternative medicine community, scientists have long considered homeopathy a sham[5] or a pseudoscience,[1][2][3][4] and the mainstream medical community regards it as quackery.[3]

If strict standards of proof for different treatment options are not enforced by law then it falls on the individuals to decide for themselves as to which treatment they will pursue.

This does open up opportunities for faith healers, homeopaths and quacks and a Pandora box for the patients.

Additional reading

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France and What it can Tell Us About Medicine, Spirituality and Homeopathy

There is no scientific case for homeopathy: the debate is over

Richard Dawkins on Medicine, Placebo and Homeopathy

Successor To Khamenei Died Because He Trusted Islamic Medicine, Son Reveals

Head of NHS voices ‘serious concerns’ about homeopathy

Is laughter the best medicine for homeopathy?

Prince Charles’ mission to save homeopathy is a boon for anti-science in an increasingly disbelieving world

Ted Talk: Homeopathy, Quackery and Fraud

References from the Wikipedia article on homeopathy

  1.  Tuomela, R (1987). “Chapter 4: Science, Protoscience, and Pseudoscience”. In Pitt JC, Marcello P (eds.). Rational Changes in Science: Essays on Scientific Reasoning. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 98. Springer. pp. 83–101. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-3779-6_4ISBN 978-94-010-8181-8.
  2. Jump up to:a b Smith K (2012). “Homeopathy is Unscientific and Unethical”Bioethics26 (9): 508–512. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01956.x.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Baran GR, Kiana MF, Samuel SP (2014). Chapter 2: Science, Pseudoscience, and Not Science: How Do They Differ?Healthcare and Biomedical Technology in the 21st Century. Springer. pp. 19–57. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-8541-4_2ISBN 978-1-4614-8540-7within the traditional medical community it is considered to be quackery
  4. Jump up to:a b Ladyman J (2013). “Chapter 3: Towards a Demarcation of Science from Pseudoscience”. In Pigliucci M, Boudry M (eds.). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-226-05196-3Yet homeopathy is a paradigmatic example of pseudoscience. It is neither simply bad science nor science fraud, but rather profoundly departs from scientific method and theories while being described as scientific by some of its adherents (often sincerely).
  5. ^ Caulfield, Timothy; Rachul, Christen (2011). “Supported by science?: What Canadian naturopaths advertise to the public”Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology7: 14. doi:10.1186/1710-1492-7-14PMC 3182944PMID 21920039Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham
  6. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l “Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A Worldwide Review”(PDF). World Health Organization. World Health Organization. Note that the document specifically states that it is not an official document of the WHO. 2001. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  7. Jump up to:a b Dacey J (14 January 2011). “Alternative therapies are put to the test”. swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  8. ^ “Council Directive 92/73/EEC of 22 September 1992 widening the scope of Directives 65/65/EEC and 75/319/EEC on the approximation of provisions laid down by Law, Regulation or Administrative Action relating to medicinal products and laying down additional provisions on homeopathic products”.
  9. Jump up to:a b “Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use”.
  10. ^ “Het Belgisch Staatsblad”.
  11. ^ “Strengere regels voor beoefenen van homeopathie”nieuwsblad.be.
  12. ^ “Bescherming van de patiënt: strikte regels om homeopathie te beoefenen – Presscenter.org”.
  13. ^ “KCE 154A: Stand van zaken van de homeopathie in België”(PDF). kce.fgov.be. 2011. p. vii.
  14. Jump up to:a b c Fisher, P; Ward, A (1994-07-09). “Medicine in Europe: Complementary medicine in Europe”BMJ309 (6947): 107–11. doi:10.1136/bmj.309.6947.107PMC 2540528PMID 8038643. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  15. ^ Scott, Ivy (2019-07-10). “France cancels coverage for homeopathy, ‘a grave error'”France 24. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  16. ^ §38 and § 39 of the German Arzneimittelgesetz(pharmaceuticals law).
  17. ^ European Medicines Agency“Report of a workshop on homeopathic medicinal products” (PDF), including: European Committee for Homeopathy’s. “presentation” (PDF). [links are broken]
  18. ^ “Pharma-Daten 2018” (PDF). bpi.de. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  19. ^ Bücker, B; Groenewold, M; Schoefer, Y; Schäfer, T (2008). “The use of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) in 1001 German adults: Results of a population-based telephone survey”. Gesundheitswesen70 (8–9): e29–36. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1081505PMID 18785094.
  20. ^ Menniti-Ippolito, F; Gargiulo, L; et al. (2002). “Use of unconventional medicine in Italy: A nation-wide survey” (PDF). European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology58 (1): 61–4. doi:10.1007/s00228-002-0435-8PMID 11956675.
  21. ^ Indaco Systems (2007-05-07). “Legea nr. 118/2007 privind organizarea si functionarea activitatilor si practicilor de medicina complementara/alternativa”Lege5.
  22. ^ Indaco Systems (2007-05-21). “Procedura de autorizare simplificata pentru unele medicamente homeopate din 10.05.2007”Lege5.
  23. ^ Indaco Systems (2014-10-21). “Legea nr. 95/2006 privind reforma in domeniul sanatatii actualizat la data de 22.10.2014”Lege5. Archived from the original on September 4, 2011.
  24. ^ “La OMC aclara su rechazo a la homeopatía por no tener “ninguna evidencia científica de eficacia”” [The WTO clarifies its rejection of homeopathy for not having “any scientific evidence of efficacy”]. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  25. ^ “La OMC reconoce la homeopatía como acto médico que habrá de realizar personal cualificado en centros sanitarios autorizados” [The WTO recognizes homeopathy as a medical act to be carried out by qualified personnel in authorized health centers]. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  26. ^ “European manifesto against pseudo-therapies”. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  27. ^ “Una juez sentencia que la homeopatía “puede poner en riesgo la salud”” [A judge rules that homeopathy may put health at risk]. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  28. ^ “‘Doctors can recommend homeopathy’: Court”The Local – Swedens News in English. 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  29. ^ “Skeptic News: Swedish doctors can recommend homeopathy”The Twenty First Floor. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  30. ^ “Socialstyrelsen: Homeopati bara i undantagsfall”DagensMedicin.se.
  31. ^ “Homeopathy”. National Health Service. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  32. ^ “Homeopathic medicines”. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  33. ^ Beckford, M. (30 August 2011). “NHS spending on homeopathy prescriptions falls to £122,000”The Daily Telegraph. London.
  34. Jump up to:a b House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (20 October 2009). “Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy” (PDF). Fourth Report of Session 2009–10. parliament.uk.
  35. ^ “History of The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine”. University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  36. ^ “The Liverpool Hahnemann Hospital and Homeopathic Dispensaries including Liverpool branch of the British Homeopathic Society”. National Archives.
  37. ^ “Homeopathy Commissioning Review: Conclusions & Recommendation”. West Kent NHS Primary Care Trust. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  38. ^ “NHS homeopathic treatment”. BHA. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011.
  39. ^ “NHS referrals”. Faculty of Homeopathy. Archived from the original on 16 November 2011.
  40. ^ “List of Homeopathic Dentists – British Homeopathic Dental Association”.
  41. ^ “Find a Vet”bahvs.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011.
  42. ^ “Briefing Paper – General Practitioners”British Medical Association. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  43. ^ “About the veterinary profession”Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  44. ^ “NHS Dental statistics for England: 2010/11” (PDF). NHS Information Centre. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  45. ^ “Homeopath”TES Growing Ambitions. Retrieved 5 May2012.
  46. ^ Perry, R; Watson, L; Terry, R; Onakpoya, I; Ernst, E (June 2013). “British general practitioners’ attitudes towards and usage of homeopathy: A systematic review of surveys”. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies18 (2): 51–63. doi:10.1111/fct.12018.
  47. Jump up to:a b Frean, Alexandra (3 January 2009). “Universities drop degree courses in alternative medicine”The Times. London.
  48. ^ Puttick, Helen (24 April 2009). “NHS scraps doctors’ training at Scots homeopathic hospital”The Herald. Glasgow.
  49. ^ “Course Title: Homeopathy”. University of Central Lancashire. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  50. ^ “UK Academic Partners”. Middlesex University. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  51. ^ Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee report ‘Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’ (PDF), Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, July 2010, ISBN 9780101791427
  52. ^ Boseley, Sarah (29 June 2010). “Ban homeopathy from NHS, say doctors”The Guardian. London.
  53. ^ “Third of NHS trusts fund homeopathy”BBC News. 2011-02-18.
  54. ^ “PCTs abandon funding for homeopathy”GPonline.com. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  55. ^ “ASA adjudication on Society of Homeopaths”. ASA. 3 July 2013. Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  56. ^ Triggle, Nick (2016-10-06). “Why does the NHS spend money on homeopathy?”BBC News. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  57. ^ “NHS to ban homeopathy and herbal medicine, as ‘misuse of resources'”Daily Telegraph. July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 21,2017.
  58. ^ Gallagher, James (2015-11-13). “Homeopathy ‘could be blacklisted'”BBC News. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  59. ^ Donnelly, Laura (5 June 2018). “High Court backs NHS decision to stop funding homeopathy”Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  60. ^ Donnelly, Laura (2018-06-05). “High Court backs NHS decision to stop funding homeopathy”The TelegraphISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  61. ^ “Judge dismisses homeopathy challenge against NHS decision to stop funding unproven pills”The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  62. ^ “Swiss recognise ‘alternative’ medicine – for now”.
  63. ^ Swissmedic: Rules for homeopathic medicines. German versionFrench version.
  64. ^ Davey, Melissa (2015-03-11). “Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  65. ^ MacLennan, AH; Wilson, DH; Taylor, AW (1996). “Prevalence and cost of alternative medicine in Australia”. Lancet347 (9001): 569–73. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(96)91271-4PMID 8596318.
  66. ^ Spigelblatt, L; Laîné-Ammara, G; Pless, IB; Guyver, A (1994). “The use of alternative medicine by children”. Pediatrics94 (6 Pt 1): 811–4. PMID 7970994.
  67. ^ Junod, SW (2001). “An alternative perspective: Homeopathic drugs, Royal Copeland, and federal drug regulation”Food and Drug Law Journal55 (1): 161–83. PMID 12375600.
  68. ^ “CPG Sec. 400.400 Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed”. December 2018.
  69. ^ Pharmacopoeia Convention of the American Institute of Homeopathy; American Institute of Homeopathy; Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States; National Center for Homoeopathy (U.S.) (1979). The homoeopathic pharmacopoeia of the United States (8th ed.). Falls Church, Virginia: American Institute of Homeopathy. OCLC 5880151.
  70. ^ “What is the HPUS Online Database?”hpus.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  71. ^ “Products and Services”hpus.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  72. ^ Milgrom, LR (2007). “Conspicuous by its absence: The memory of water, macro-entanglement, and the possibility of homeopathy”. Homeopathy96 (3): 209–19. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2007.05.002PMID 17678819.
  73. ^ Stehlin, Isadora (December 1996). “Homeopathy: Real Medicine or Empty Promises?”FDA Consumer30 (10). pp. 15–9.
  74. ^ “The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States: Cost Data”. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  75. ^ “Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007”(PDF). National Center for Health Statistics. 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  76. ^ Miller, Timothy (1995). America’s Alternative Religions. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 80ISBN 978-0-7914-2397-4.
  77. ^ Karst, F (1988). “Homeopathy In Illinois”. Caduceus4 (2): 1–33 (5). PMID 3048570.
  78. ^ Charles S Cameron, Homeopathy in Retrospect, Trans. Stud. Coll. Phys. Philadelp., 27, 1959, 28-33; p. 30
  79. ^ History of Homeopathy, Creighton University Department of Pharmacology, archived from the original on 2007-07-05, retrieved 2007-07-23
  80. ^ Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, et al. (1998). “Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey”JAMA280 (18): 1569–1575. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1569PMID 9820257.
  81. ^ Kelly Servick (April 21, 2015). “FDA takes new look at homeopathy”Science. Retrieved April 23, 2015. Under FDA guidelines issued in 1988, a company can sell homeopathic products over the counter without demonstrating their safety or efficacy, and—unlike dietary supplements—their packaging can include claims about treating specific conditions, as long as they are “self-limiting” and not chronic. Such conditions include sprains, colds, or allergies.
  82. Jump up to:a b U.S. Food and Drug Administration (March 27, 2015). “Homeopathic Product Regulation: Evaluating the Food and Drug Administration’s Regulatory Framework After a Quarter-Century; Public Hearing”federalregister.gov. Federal Register. Retrieved April 23, 2015. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a public hearing to obtain information and comments from stakeholders about the current use of human drug and biological products labeled as homeopathic, as well as the Agency’s regulatory framework for such products. These products include prescription drugs and biological products labeled as homeopathic and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs labeled as homeopathic. FDA is seeking participants for the public hearing and written comments from all interested parties, including, but not limited to, consumers, patients, caregivers, health care professionals, patient groups, and industry. FDA is seeking input on a number of specific questions, but is interested in any other pertinent information participants would like to share.
  83. ^ Press Release (15 November 2016). “FTC Issues Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Drugs: Efficacy and Safety Claims Are Held to Same Standard as Other OTC Drug Claims”. FTC. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  84. ^ Nigenda, G; Cifuentes, E; Hill, W (2004). “Knowledge and Practice of Traditional Medicine in Mexico: A Survey of Healthcare Practitioners”. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health10 (4): 416–420. doi:10.1179/oeh.2004.10.4.416PMID 15702756.
  85. ^ Sólo médicos especializados podrán ejercer la homeopatía en ColombiaEl Observatorio de la Universidad Colombiana,19 March 2009
  86. ^ Manchanda, RK; Kulashreshtha, M. “Cost Effectiveness and Efficacy of Homeopathy in Primary Health Care Units of Government of Delhi- A study”.[unreliable source?]
  87. ^ Arokiasamy, P; Guruswamy, M; Roy, TK; et al. “World Health Survey, 2003” (PDF). International Institute for Population Sciences. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  88. ^ “About the Ministry”. Archived from the original on 2020-03-09.
  89. ^ “Alternative Systems of Medicine: Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda”. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  90. Jump up to:a b “WHO: Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A Worldwide Review”(PDF). 2001. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  91. ^ “Interview to Dr. Luc after a 3 weeks visit to china”. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-21.[unreliable source?]
  92. ^ Das, Eswara (2005). Jain, B. (ed.). History & Status of Homoeopathy Around the World. New Delhi, India: B. Jain. p. 56. ISBN 81-8056-573-4.
  93. ^ “Alternative Medicine”moh.gov.ae. Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  94. ^ “Homeopathy Iran”homeopathyiran.org. Archived from the original on 2019-10-09. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  95. ^ “History of Homeopathy”CCRH Official website.
  96. ^ Ministry of AYUSH. “AYUSH”. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  97. ^ “CCRH History”. Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH).
  98. ^ “Professional Councils”University Grants Commission(UGC) website. Archived from the original on 2010-01-06.
  99. ^ National Rural Health Mission. “State Action Plan Uttar Pradesh (2007 – 2008)”. Department of Family Welfare Uttar Pradesh. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  100. ^ “Number of Indian homeopath doctors doubles”Times of India.
  101. ^ The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. “The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa”.
  102. ^ The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. “The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa”.
  103. ^ The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. “ahpcsa.co.za”.
  104. ^ “The origins and development of Homeopathy and Education in South Africa”.
  105. ^ “Department of Homeopathy”. Archived from the original on May 21, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
  106. ^ “Homeopathy”. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
  107. ^ “Homeopathy Education Training”. Archived from the original on 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  108. ^ Section 22C(5) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, (Act 101 of 1965)
  109. ^ Act 132, the South African Medicines and Medical Devices Regulatory Authority Bill (64)
  110. ^ Das, Eswara (2005). History & status of homoeopathy around the world. B. Jain Publishers. ISBN 81-8056-573-4OCLC 243498389.
  111. ^ “Welcome to csonet.org – Website of the UN DESA NGO Branch. At your service”.
  112. ^ Nwusulor, E.E. (2006). “Homeopathy: The Nigerian experience”. Homeopathy95 (2): 105–107. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2006.01.002PMID 16569628.

1 reply

  1. Homeopathy doesn’t have any acceptable data of trials just anecdotes from word of mouth. It flourishes where people can’t afford mainstream health care.

Leave a Reply