The Touching Story of Hassan Hathout, the Muslim Doctor Who Worked for Allah and Humanity
Islam is truly a total way of life and it is no surprise that it encourages the pursuit of knowledge, worship of the Creator, and service to humanity. In Islam, there are Muslims who embody these values and this piece is going to focus on one example in the person of Hassan Hathout.
Born on the 23rd of December, 1924 in Egypt, he would become a truly global citizen who lived and worked in different parts of the Middle East, United Kingdom, and the United States. A professor of medicine and a doctor, this Muslim scholar was also respected as an expert in theology, writing, poetry, and humanism.
In the field of medicine, Hathout was so accomplished that he got all the certificates and awards from prestigious medical institutions like the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Surgeons, the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the American College of Surgeons. He had a seat as a member of the committee focused on the ethics of human reproduction at the World Health Organization.
However, even though Hathout reached the highest levels of achievements in the medical world, he never forgot his faith. The greater his achievements, the more he applied the principles of Islam. In Islam, nothing has greater sanctity than human life. Human life is so important and valued in our faith that in Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:32) of the Quran, Allah (SWT) said:
“…that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or corruption done in the land, it is as if he had killed all of humanity. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved all of mankind.”
Throughout his career, Professor Hathout never forgot this verse of the Quran and it guided his actions. He was a man who was keenly interested in the correct interpretation of Islam while putting his focus on showcasing the sanctity of human life as stated in the Quran. A man of peace, he was also devoted to peace and did all in his power to work against the arms race.
Even with his hectic schedule as a medical doctor and professor of medicine, he always had time for the propagation of Islam. He attended several events where he gave moving speeches and lectures on topics in Islam, peace, medicine, humanity, and so on.
In the last ten years of his life, Hathout concentrated much of his efforts on preaching the humane nature of faith. He also wrote a lot of books on Islam (like An Introduction to the Life of the Prophet), medicine and specific Islamic medicine themes like topics in Islamic medicine, the perspectives of Islam in obstetrics and gynaecology. He never stopped in his efforts until his death on the 25th of April, 2009 at the age of 84.
If there is any lesson Muslims of today can pick from the life of Hassan Hathout, it is that we can perfectly pursue worldly careers while also adhering to the commandments of Allah (SWT). May Allah forgive him all his sins and grant him the highest ranks in Aljannah, aameen.