Compendium of Traditional Medicine

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By A Staff Writer
Bengaluru: Tibbe Nabawi: Junoobi Hind kaQadeemTariqa e Ilaj (Prophetic Medicine: Ancient Unani and Ayurvedic Cures from Southern India) has been published by the American Institute of Islamic History and culture, California, USA.
The book is a compilation of herbal cures handed down by renowned Hakeems and Vaids who practiced Unani and Ayurvedic medicinal system. The book brings together nusqas (prescriptions) of yore that were collected, written and documented by late Abdul Azeem (1910-1966) of Tumkur. His son Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed went on to become an engineer and space scientist in NASA and was associated with Apollo Mission. Still later he worked with Hubble Space Telescope. It is he who has brought out the book from the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture, California.
Abdul Azeem hailed from a poor family and learnt Urdu, Arabic and Persian from a maulvi sahib and still later became interested in hikmat (traditional medicine). During a trip to the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer in company of a few Sufis, he collected traditional Unaninusqas (treatments) for a variety of ailments. He later on turned into an avid researcher and collector of such home-made remedies from other oral traditions. The nusqas written by him in precise calligraphy were treasured by the family for over half a century.
Dr. Nazeer, who is popularly known as ‘Rank Nazeer’ in old Mysore state region told Islamic Voice during his recent trip that around 150 nusqas were found catalogued with the family elders. They were collected, typeset into Urdu and were brought out by his Turmkur-based brother Mr. Muneer Ahmed.
The terminology of ingredients and the procedure of use have been described in old style Deccani Urdu which is no longer understood. Similarly, weights and measures too are outdated. Persian idioms that intervene frequently, too have remained unexplained. The value of the book, which is otherwise produced with great care, would have been greatly enhanced had the publisher taken a little effort to get the old text transcreated in a language understood by today’s youth. Such compendiums being a treasure-house of old medicinal wisdom will be of immense value for the modern pharmacists who are looking for alternative medicine devoid of chemicals. It will also be a useful reference for Bengaluru-based Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) which undertakes research in traditional health systems.
The book runs into 150 pages and carries an introduction in English from Dr. Nazeer Ahmed. It can be had from Distributor Mr. Muneer Ahmed, Ghouse Buildings, Horpet main Road, Tumkur-572101, Ph: 98802-87960, 81622-71643. g