The First Hospital in Islamic Civilization

Hospitals are health facilities that play a vital role for modern society. The existence of hospitals in an area is an indicator of public health aspects. Treatment is not a field that can be controlled carelessly. It takes knowledge and qualified facilities to plunge in the world of medicine.

Not only in modern society, the historical record is much alluded to about the important role of hospitals in the society of the past. This is also included in the Islamic community.

In the time of The Prophet Muhammad SAW, hospitals can be referred to as medical services moving alongside Islamic forces. The medical personnel at that time were mostly friends of the women, including the wives of the Prophet.

Rahman notes in his article ‘The Development of Health Sciences and Related Institutions During the First Six Centuries of Islam’ mentions that when returning to Medina with friends who were partially wounded in the Khandaq war, the Prophet ordered a tent to be erected in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque.

The tents were used as a place to care for friends who were wounded in the war until healed. Even so, the hospital has not become a permanent health institution. The new hospital emerged during the reign of Caliph Al Walid of the Umayyad Dynasty.

The hospital was founded initially to treat the blind and treat lepers. At least there has been a kind of Standart Operational Procedure (SOP) to deal with blindness and leprosy, which in those days were not yet known in any part of the world.

The hospital is named Bimaristan, derived from Persian meaning ‘place of the sick’. Established in Damascus, Bimaristan developed into a center for medicine and public health.

Bimaristan is also listed as the first hospital to implement a salary system for doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Bimaristan existence was durable even though the leadership has changed.

History of Umayyad Caliphate, The first Islamic caliphate

In the leadership of Caliph Harun Al Rasyid of the Abbasid Dynasty, management changed slightly with the presence of a doctor named Abu Said Ubaid Allah who was a non-Muslim. That is, the management of Bimaristan at that time was open marked by the use of medical personnel from non-Muslims.

One hundred years later, there are about five Bimaristans standing in Baghdad. Then in the 10th century AD, health services were developed with doctors and pharmacists who came to the corners to provide treatment.

The health care system during the Islamic caliphate was administered egalitarianly. That is, everyone can indiscriminately enjoy the health service.

In the records of the United State National Library of Medicine, Bimaristan is a hospital that really attaches importance to health affairs for everyone regardless of the background of patients or sentiments between groups. This fact then became the benchmark for the medical world, that hospitals should stand up for all groups.

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