By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

Learning Objectives
  • Definitions and types of Health
  • Determinants of Health

Health Promotion

Key Words and Key Terms
        Definition of health
  • Health is a positive state of being and not just absence of disease
  • Components of health
  • Spiritual health, sihat ruhiyyat
  • Physical health, sihat al jasad/rahat jasadiyyat
  • Psychological and mental, sihat nafsiyyat/rahat nafsiyat
  • Social health 
  • Holistic outlook

        Measurement of health

        Health as a trust, amanat

  • Health as a bounty, ni'imat al sihhat wa al ‘aafiyat
  • Determinants of health
  • Nutritional determinants of health
  • Environmental determinants of health
  • Life-style determinants of health
  • Psychological determinants of health
  • Spiritual factors determinants of health
  • Family health
        Threats to the family
        Prevention of family break-up
        Dysfunctional families
  • Community health
        Community diagnosis
  • Indicators of community health
        Improvement of community health
  • Health promotion
  • ‘aafiyat
  • sihhat
  • raahat
  • rifahiyat




A. Definition of Health

B. The Qur'an and Health

C. Measurement of Health

D. Health as Amanat

E. Health as a Bounty, Ni'imat Al Sihhat Wa Al ‘Aafiyat



A. Nutrition

B. Environment

B.     Life-Style

C.     Psychological Factors

D.     Spiritual Factors



A. Children and the Family
B. Mutually Satisfying Spousal Relations
C. Threats to the Family
D. Prevention of Family Break-Up
E. Dysfunctional Families



A. Good Healthy Communities
B. Bad Unhealthy Communities
C. Community Diagnosis

D. Indicators of Community Health

E. Improvement of Community Health



A. Spiritual Promotion at the Individual Level
B. Spiritual Promotion at the Community Level
C. Physical Promotion at the Individual Level
D. Physical Promotion the Community Level
E. General Health Promotion





Health is a positive state of being and not just absence of disease. Individuals who are disease-free may not be healthy. The components of good health are spiritual health, physical health, psychological and mental health, and social health. Islam looks at health in a holistic sense. If any part of the body is sick the whole body is sick. If a member of a family is sick the rest of the family are affected emotionally and psychologically. Any sickness in the community will sooner or later have some negative impact on all the members. The holistic outlook also means that physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health are considered together. Health is relative and subjective. It varies by age, place, norms, gender, and state of iman or tawakkul. The Qur'an has used terms that refer to the general concept of holistic well being such as raahat and raghad. Health is often assessed subjectively using terms such as ‘good health’, ‘healthy’, ‘poor health’ and ‘unhealthy’. Attempts have been made to measure health more objectively based on the ‘disease model’ which defines health is absence of disease. The best index would be one that includes both spiritual and physical parameters. Such an Islamic index has not yet been constructed to our knowledge. This index would also include criteria that reflect relations with Allah, with the self, with other humans, and with the environment. Keeping body in good health is a responsibility, amanat. Good health is a gift from Allah,. An ordinary person may not understand or appreciate the value of good health when in good health. On falling sick, the value of good health is understood and is appreciated but most often for a limited time. Everything is forgotten as soon as the illness is over.



The state of health is determined by nutrition, exposure to environmental risk factors, lifestyle, behavior, and iman. Diet is at the root of many diseases. The habitat also determines the character and behavior of people. The life style that people choose affects physical and mental health. The Qur’an has described several life-styles that are injurious to health such as taraf and fasaad. There is a strong relation between iman, character, behavior and health. Humans suffer from diseases of the heart such as jealousy, hasad and rancour, hiqd,  that lead to violence in the person or those around him. These diseases may manifest physically as psychosomatic illnesses or may manifest more dramatically such as homicide or bodily injury. Addiction to alcohol, or drugs is a reflection of weak iman. It leads to many physical and psychological diseases



A healthy family promotes the health of all its members. There is no alternative to the family for child up-bringing. The family teaches trust, loyalty, a sense of belonging, and rights and responsibilities. It is an economic unit. It is the main source of primary health care. It is a source of calmness and tranquility. Threats to the family are extra-marital sexual relations, neglect of family duties in pursuit material goods, extreme individualism and self-interest, and bad socio-economic circumstances. Dysfunctional families are not healthy in the physical and psychological sense and have long-term impact on the children. The causes of family dysfunction are multiple: economic pressures, a hedonistic life-style, and decline of moral and religious values in the society.



The Qur’an has described good and bad communities in the past. It described communities that were punished or destroyed by Allah sue to moral deviations. No community is destroyed or is punished until it receives a warning from Allah. Community diagnosis is identifying and describing health problems in a community with a view to initiating public health interventions. Many communities are unhealthy in the physical and social or mental sense. Underlying causes of poor community health are social and moral such as social injustice, immorality, sexual promiscuity, over-nutrition, and addiction to alcohol and drugs. Community health can be improved by having healthy individuals in the community, fulfilling communally obligatory functions, and establishing mutual cooperation and mutual complementation.



Most diseases can be prevented using spiritual approaches. These involve aqiidat, ibadat, avoiding haram and promoting halaal. Spiritual promotion at the community level involves enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Physical health promotion at the individual level includes immunization, good nutrition, personal hygiene, and disinfection. Physical promotion at the community level involves environmental saniation. Health promotion involves pro-active measures that make health better such as exercise, good nutrition; adequate rest; mental calmness; tranquility of family life, iman and spiritual calmness.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. August 2005