MIZAJ AND ITS UNDERSTANDING <ul><li>Presented by </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Mohd Zulkifle </li></ul><ul><li>Reader & HoD, Dept. of Tahaffuzi wa Samaji Tib </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore </li></ul>
Mizaj is a core concept of Unani medicine ,whole Unani therapy in context of diagnosis and treatment revolves around this concept . Adherence to this concept is inevitable for the survival and advancement of Unani medicine. Any advancement keeping away or ignoring concept of mizaj cannot be considered that of Unani medicine.
This is the very concept that individualised the individual, disease and treatment modalities .Various eminent Unani physicians have denied and strongly opposed the generalisation of treatment modalities .They have advocated that disease in two individuals, even in same individual at different time cannot be identical then how the treatment can be the same.
Before discussion the role of mizaj in health, diseases and in treatment, first we should try to conceive and to comprehend the spirit of this concept. The way in which it is described in mostly Unani text needs clarification. The definition and description presented in our most text is of retrospective type not prospective or functional.
Actually this concept addresses a problem that has been persisting since long. Seemingly the problem was and is very simple but answers to it or to explain it neither was easy nor is easy for present time scholars. It is beyond the doubt that material for every organism is almost identical and every plant and animal consist of and made from same material then why every plant and animal look different and perform different functions ,even in the same animate object organs are different in structure and performing different functions .
‘’ When building material is same then why does every organ, plant and animal look different and functions differently?’’ According to Unani medicine all are made from ajzae awwalia (arkaan ) and present science suggests protein, fat and carbohydrate as building blockers.
Both modern science and Unani medicine accept that building material is same for all animate objects but their quantity vary from organism to organism. What enforce the same material to acquire the different shape in different organism and in different organs of the same organism, even in the same cell?
Apart from morphological differences another fact is observed as functional diversity. Organs of similar structures are performing same functions in almost all organisms with different capacities. It was the relationship in between structure and functions that was defined by Unani philosophers in terms of this excellent, everlasting theory of mizaj .It defines Structures ---------function and variations in these.
In very simple terms mizaj imparts a shape to a compound ,which is made from different primary components and it is the end point where the interaction ceases in between building blockers . In itself it is independent property of a compound distributed uniformly.
The shape imparted by mizaj is surat e naueia (morph of species ), this surat (morph) then lodges the tabiyat , which is compound specific and distinct ,the sole initiator of all movements possible and for which the compound meant . Comprehensively spirit of Unani medicine can be define in context of mizaj as “ Resulted from the interaction of primary components mizaj imparts a shape for the lodgement of the tabiyat which then performs intended function through pneuma dependent capacities associated with simple and compound organs nurtured by humours.”
The different mizaj and thereby different shapes or species of compound result from quantity differences of primary building components as they are same in all compounds and with same properties. The glaring example is hydrocarbons and whole animal and plant kingdoms. In Unani medicine primary building blocks or primary components are accepted four in terms of arkan and their elemental involvement in making compounds, both animate and inanimate, is emphasized. It is emphasized that during formation these primary components act and acted upon till an equilibrium is attended, at which all properties of parent components are lost.
BY MIZAJ DIFFERENT COMPOUND ACQUIRE THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF PRIMARY COMPONENTS THAT WOULD BE MOST SUITABLE FOR THAT COMPOUND’S SHAPE AND FUNCTIONS. THESE FUNCTIONS ARE PREDETERMINED AND ARE SAID MIJAZI OBLIGATION. MIZAJ ALSO ENABLE THE ORGANISM TO SURVIVE AND TO ADOPT THE GIVEN ENVIRONMENT AND TO LIFE STYLE, OTHERWISE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO SURVIVE FOR AN ORGANISM IN VARYING ENVIRONMENT. IN THIS BROAD CONTEXT MIZAJ IS DESCRIBED AS “ EXISTING DYNAMIC STATE OF THE BODY AT WHICH FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE ARE IN PERFECT HARMONY WITH AMBIENT BIOSPHERE AND THE SUBJECT ENJOYS SURVIVAL AND PROCREATION EVEN AT MODEST HARDSHIP”.
The obligatory functions of mizaj are accomplished by different organs as tools, these functional tools are also provided with a specific temperament to provide them function specific structure and then with specific tabiyat to initiate their functions and then specific capacities to continue these functions. According to Unani philosophers primary properties are two i.e. softness and hardness which are primarily associated with water and earth. These two are among primary building blocking components. Others two are fire and air. Associates with these primary building blocking components are four primary qualities i.e. hararat, buroodat, rutubat and yaboosat.
These primary properties are associated with four primary components in compound forms. Two properties i.e. hararat and buroodat are said active which cannot be together but they may be associated with either passive property i.e. yaboosat and rutoobat giving four combinations har ratab (air),har yabis(fire),barid ratab(water), barid yabis(earth). These four primary active or passive properties remain and do not loss during interaction. As during compounding one or other primary component dominates.
Because of dominance of one or other primary building blockers mizaj is characterized by properties associated with that primary component and not neutralized by opposite quality. The mizaj is described in terms of dominant qualities as har, ratab ,barid, yabis, harratab, har yabis , barid ratab , barid yabis.
DEGREE OF ENERGY AND HYDRATION AND THEIR COMPARATIVE DEGREE ARE CONSIDERED AS THE PARAMETER FOR THE DETERMINATION OF MIZAJ. ULTIMATELY MIZAJ IS A REFLECTION OF HOW AN ORGANISMS ADJUSTED IN ITS SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS VARIABLE IN ITS HEAT AND WATER CONTENT, SOMETIMES IT IS AQUATIC. MIZAJ IS NOT A STATIC ENTITY RATHER FLEXIBLE IN BETWEEN TWO LIMITS OF HIGH AND LOW FOR A SPECIES, RACE, INDIVIDUAL AND ORGAN. THIS FLEXIBILITY IMPARTS FUNCTIONAL VARIATIONS AND ADJUSTABILITY ACCORDING TO AGE, SEX , HABIT AND ENVIRONMENT.
When mizaj exceeds the limit of normalcy then structure and function relationship becomes distorted and the structure fail to maintain harmony with functions and functional disturbance becomes evident. This flexibility in mizaj provides functional capacities by which organs work in different conditions and states. As it is evident that functions of the organs of a child or a woman are not identical to adolescent or adult man.
As a result of external influences and internal living processes, all are some sorts of movements. As a rule every movements is associated with dissolution of matter. Thus whatever is lost from matter and gases should be replenished with most approximate matter and gases to maintain the mizaj within limits and these are alteratives of mizaj.
For all types of movements(functions) that are mediated by tabiyat , specific capacity (power) exists, which is imparted by specific mizaj to the organs and as a whole to the body. These capacities work within limits of mizaj and from this concept of weakness of organ originated.
Though structures look same even then some definite unseen and unperceived differences exist there, otherwise it would not have been possible to survive and function in different states of body and environment. Once the tabiyat is furnished to the specific structures it then works to maintain the mizaj, though tabiyat is subordinate but once it is furnished it opposes changes in mizaj by bringing changes in tabayee functions. Since every change in mizaj is associated with certain degree of weakness of powers, the weapon of tabiyat.
In every type of mizaji deviation more or less it weakens the weapon of tabiyat i.e. power, thus underlying or originating function can’t be performed with normal efficiency even by the same structure. That is why initially structural changes remain obscure.
Congenital mizaj imparts species, racial peculiarities and results from the fusion of two semens. The individualism is imparted by amalgamation of organ’s mizaj. Because of this all organs are in a harmonious state and works for each other, no organ is fully independent in its functions. Usually organs serve and are served to accomplish their functions. Some organs provide vital services of survival value to others, these organs are called vital organs and their failure is incompatible with life and failure has widespread effects.
So far as alteration in mizaj is concerned, since mizaj results from primary building blockers having matter and qualities, so any deviation in matter or qualities may result in mizaji deviation. These alterative may belong to the body or to exterior.
<ul><li>External alterative are </li></ul><ul><li>Diet </li></ul><ul><li>Drinks </li></ul><ul><li>Air </li></ul><ul><li>Inhabitation </li></ul><ul><li>Altitude </li></ul><ul><li>Wind direction </li></ul><ul><li>Planetary influence </li></ul><ul><li>Occupation </li></ul><ul><li>Hammam </li></ul><ul><li>Massage </li></ul><ul><li>Internal alterative are </li></ul><ul><li>Mental status </li></ul><ul><li>Elimination </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul>
Among the alterative diet and elimination are the most important. By these two tabiyat replenishes and maintain the balance in matter and thereby in primary building blockers. Any deviation in nutritive and eliminative functions of tabiyat leads to either exess or deficiency of one matter and dominance of other. Such mizaji deviation is classified deviation with matter and their treatment is restoration of balance either by ingestion or elimination. In this regard tabiyat is provided with so many eliminative means and various methods of eliminations are suggested for the help of tabiyat in restoration of balance in matter and thereby mizaj.
Thus this concept should be studied and be conceived in this context. It should not be correlated with static things. Moreover no single entity can explain mizaj fully. Though genetic, hormonal, enzymatic, psychological, biochemical and biotechnological approaches may be adopted to explain the structure function relationship but till date as per my knowledge no single theory explain all aspects related to mizaj satisfactorily.