Religious Traditional Treatment of Epidemics: A Legacy From Acehnese Manuscripts

Fakhriati Fakhriati, Choirul Fuad Yusuf


Traditional medication practice roots widely across region. A number of less complex traditional medicine practices also operated within small and sometimes isolated groups based largely on local experience since the very long time ago. Historical contribution of traditional medicine as one of complementary or alternative therapy is unquestionably recognized amongst the people of the world-wide. The Acehnese manuscripts written by ulamas, aligned from Muslim prior generations within a care giver environment cannot be denied its existence. One of the important subject contents is related to traditional medication applied since the very past time. This paper describes traditional medication written in the Acehnese manuscripts, of which particularly might be useful for handling the virus appeared today. With the use of philological and historical approach, uses text and contextual analysis, the paper highlights some findings, that the three Acehnese manuscripts -- Ar-Rahmah Fi at-Tibb wa Al-Hikmah, a manuscript of Teungku Nurdin, and a manuscript of Teungku Amir -- explain traditional medical treatment preventing the disease outbreak. Historically, the Acehnese used traditional medication therapy by means of consuming herbs beside staying as close as possible to religion and intensifying prayer to God. Due to its practical function as one of effective therapy and the valuable cultural legacy, the Acehnese manuscripts of traditional medication need any professional preservation, conservation, and reproduction for enriching the Nusantara’s civilization.


epidemics; traditional medication; medical legacy; manuscript

Full Text:



Akbar, Zaidul. 2020. Jurus Sehat Rasulullah: Hidup Sehat Menebar Manfaat. edited by S. L. D. Bandung: PT Sygma Media Inovasi.

Al-Rawi, Sara, and Fetters, Michael D. 2012. “Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine: A Conceptual Model for Clinicians and Researchers.” Global Journal of Health Science 4(3): 164-169.

Anon. 2018. Managing Epidemics: Key Facts about Major Deadly Diseases. World Health Organization.

Anon. n.d. Manuscript of Teungku Nurdin. Aceh Utara (North Aceh).

Ar-Raniry. n.d. Bustanussalatin. edited by MCP.

Azaizeh et al.. 2010. “Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine, Re-Emerging Health Aid. ”Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 7(4): 419–424.

Bergman, David et al.. 2020. “Physical Distancing with Social Connectedness.” The Annals of Family Medicine 18(3): 272–277.

Bodeker, G. et al.. 2005. WHO Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Kobe-Japan: Center for health Development - WHO.

Chambert-Loir, Henri. 2017. “Islamic Law in 17th Century Aceh.” Archipel 94: 51-96.

Chen, Lili. 2007. “Binding Interaction of Quercetin-3-β-Galactoside and Its Synthetic Derivatives with SARS-CoV 3CLpro: Structure-Activity Relationship Studies Reveal Salient Pharmacophore Features.” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 14(24): 8295–8306.

Chiang, L.C. et al.. 2003. “In Vitro Antiviral Activities of Caesalpinia Pulcherrima and Its Related Flavonoids.” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 52(2): 194–198.

EAP329/5/33, ed. n.d. Manuscript of Teungku Amir. EAP-British Library.

Fakhriati. 2011. “Ramuan Alami dan Doa dalam Naskah Kuno Aceh: Kajian Teks dan Konteks.” Jurnal Lektur Keagamaan 9(2): 205–226.

Galm, Ute, and Shen, Ben. 2007. “Natural Product Drug Discovery: The Times Have Never Been Better.” Chem Biol 14(10): 1098–1104.

Hays, J. N. 2005. Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.

Hendrawati, Tuty. 2018. “Digitalisasi Manuskrip Nusantara Sebagai Pelestari Intelektual Leluhur Bangsa.” Media Pustaka 25(4): 26–32.

Hidayat, Syamsul. 2012. “Keberadaan dan Pemanfaatan Tumbuhan Obat Langka di Wilayah Bogor dan Sekitarnya.” Media Konservasi 17(1): 33–38.

Holil, Munawar. 2019. “Medical Manuscripts in the Nusantara Context.” International Review of Humanities Studies 4(1): 508-529.

Hurgronje, Snouck. 1996. Aceh: Adat Istiadatnya. Jakarta Indonesia: Indonesian Netherlands for Islamic Studies.

Karang, Teungku Syik Abbas Kuta. 2014. Kitab Ar-Rahmah Fi Al-Tibb Wa Al-Hikmah. edited by M. D. Kalam. Banda Aceh: Boebon Jaya.

Karang, Teungku Syik Kuta. 2017. Ar-Rahmah Fi at-Tibb Wa Al-Hikmah. edited by H. M. Y. Mohd Affendi Mohd Shafri. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Jawi Malaysia.

Kessler, C. et al.. 2013. “Ayurweda: Between Religion, Spirituality and Medicine”. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: 1-11.

Khajehdehi, Parviz. 2012. “Turmeric: Reemerging of a Neglected Asian Traditional Remedy.” Journal of Nephropathology 1(1): 17–22.

Lane, A. N. 2001. “Abd Al-Ghani Al-Nabulusi’s (1641-1731) Commentary on Ibn Arabi’s ‘Fusus Al-Hikam’ An Analysis and Interpretation.” Oxford University. United Kingdom.

LePan, Nicholas. 2020. “Visualizing History of Pandemics.” Retrieved July 1, 2020 (

Lin, Liang-Tzung, Hsu, Wen-Chan, and Lin, Chun-Ching. 2014. “Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicine.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 4(1): 24–35.

Martin, Paul M.V. and Martin-Granel, Estelle. 2006. “2,500-Year Evolution of the Term Epidemic.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 12(6): 976–980.

McMillen, Christian W. 2016. Pandemics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford.

Nablusi, Abdul Gani. 1998. Al-Muslimūna Fī Zamanil Fatani Kamā Akhbarul Rasūlullāh. Cairo: Maktabah al-Qāhirah.

Naim, Darlina Md., Yusoff, Zuraidah Mohd., and Othman, Saad. 2017. Traditional Medicine Current Practice and Belief. Penerbit Universiti Malaysia.

Nurdin AR. 2012. “The Manuscript Collection of the Aceh Museum.” Indonesia and the Malay World 40(116): 94-110.

Roza, Ellya. 2014. “Ramuan Herbal Non Instan dalam Naskah Kitab Tib sebagai Alternatif Pengobatan.” Jurnal Sosial Budaya 11(1): 1-18.

Shahrajabian, Mohamad Hesam et al.. 2020. “Chinese Herbal Medicine for SARS and SARS-CoV-2 Treatment and Prevention, Encouraging Using Herbal Medicine for COVID-19 Outbreak.” Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science 70(5): 437–443.

Sirriyeh, Elizabeth. 2005. Sufi Visionary of Ottoman Damascus: ’Abd Al-Ghani Al-Nabulusi, 1641-1731. London: Routledge Curzon.

Speake, Jennifer. 2008. A Dictionary of Proverbs. 5th ed. Oxford University Press.

Syarani, Abdul Wahab. 2004. Latā’ful Minān Wal Akhlāq. Damaskus: Darut Taqwa.

The Presidency of Islamic Researches IFTA, ed. 1991. The Holy Qur-an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary. Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah.

Valdez, L.D., Macri, P.A., and Braunstein, L.A.. 2012. “Intermittent Social Distancing Strategy for Epidemic Control.” Physical Review E85, DOI:

van Bavel, Jay J. et al.. 2020. “Using Social and Behavioural Science to Support COVID-19 Pandemic Response.” Nature Human Behaviour 4: 460–471.

Wibowo, Priyanto. 2009. Pandemi Influenza 1918 di Hindia Belanda. Jakarta: Departemen Sejarah FIB UI.

Yuan, Haidan et al.. 2016. “The Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine from Natural Products.” Molecules 21(5): 559.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Analisa: Journal of Social Science and Religion

Creative Commons License
Analisa: Journal of Social and Religion is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 hit counter joomla View My Stats