By Fazal Amin Beg
It is imperative to note that no human nowhere could claim for being champion of or perfect in knowledge in its entirety, whether in secular or spiritual domain, in traditional or modern ones, in pure science or natural science, in philosophy or humanity and the like. That’s why different categories, disciplines fields and sub-fields have emerged to learn and specialize in the knowledge within the respective domains.If these arguments are true, then we cannot reject categorically or underestimate the huge indigenous knowledge based on scientific grounds that has been in practice not only for centuries but rather for millennia.
Unfortunately, a number of related experts , educated and/or trained in the modern scientific era seem either insensitive, ignorant, arrogant or otherwise, who discourage, underestimate and/or satirize the centuries old and highly effective and cheapest,even free of cost , scientific treatement in orthopedic field If the traditional or indigenous knowledge has no value, how come the modern methods evolved? Why is the indigenous or traditional knowledge on ecological and other fields respected and brought in use in broader context of development? In the same manner, it’s also worth mentioning that for many individuals, no approach could be termed as 100% accurate in any type of treatement, whether the traditional or indigenous one or the modern scientific ways of treatement. This however may depend on the patients age, physical make-up, psychological and other factors.
This little contribution I therefore present here with regard to the importance of the indigenous knowledge and practices concerned with the orthopedic domain, more specifically with joint dislocation, bone fractures and cracks prevalent in different societies, also including Hunza and Gilgit-Baltistan region in the northern Pakistan by taking a hip joint dislocation of Maqsad Murad just as one case that has been nicely brought under videography by Afiyat nazar of Gulmit in September 2008 and the patient brought before Hakeem Zafarullah Beg a leading specialist, deeply immersed in the field for more than 60 years by extending his voluntary treatement of bone-related issues of humans and even animals. It is noteworthy that thousands of such kind of cases of poor patients he has effectively, selflessly and successfully dealt without any advertisement of his genuine services and without any greed of financial gains . Conversely, he extended his knowledge and practice as a dedicated volunteer to humanity and these aspects could be crosschecked even from those whom he has cured in his lifetime.
Late Hakeem Zafarullah Beg son of Hakeem Attaullah Beg was a well-known indigenous knowledge expert and practitioner in orthopedic domain, specifically in the field of bone setting including adjustment of joint dislocation, fractures and cracks. He belonged to Gulmit, Hunza valley of Gilgit-Baltistan Region, Northern Pakistan. He passed away on December 21, 2014 when he was 86. When he was 18 years old, he got expertise in the field from his late father Hakeem Attaullah Beg.The expertise in the field runs in his family as his father acquired the knowledge from his father Hakeem Khairullah Beg who in turn acquired it from his father Hakeem Muhammad Ali.The inherited traditional knowledge is however traceable further behind that could reach further to the grandfather and great grandmother of Hakeem Muhammad Ali named as granma Gul Bahor. However, it needs to be explored further on scientific ground.
During his lifetime, based on the records and the estimation thereby, late Zafarullah Beg successfully treated between forty to fifty thousand patients in voluntary capacity.He was therefore well-known in the field and patients from all Hunza as well as different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and even the foreigners not only consulted but rather got successful treatement free of cost.
After spending hundreds of thousands of Pakistani rupees, a lot of patients are evidenced , in the modern scientific era, went through the medication in the prominent hospitals of Pakistan such as Aga Khan University, Hospital, PIMS, Islamabad, Combined Military Hospital (CMHs) , Military Hospitals, District Headquarters Hospitals, and the like but finally returned home disappointedly. As a final ray of hope, those patients thus moved towards and consulted late Hakeem Zafarullah Beg and recovered immediately and free of cost.
Is there any miracle? Or is there involvement of any spiritual healing? No, not at all. But rather, the treatement is embedded in his familial tradition for centuries in addition to its existence for millennia old practice having its basis in the scientific knowledge. In short, the indigenous or traditional knowledge on the subject matter is , in turn, embedded in the natural orders of bone fixation to enable the patient recover smoothly.There is no involvement of any herbal medicine either, at least in the familial tradition of Hakeem Zafarullah Beg.It should be noted that after the death of the legendary Hakeem Zafarullah Beg, one of his grandsons, named Mu’izullah Beg is currently his successor who like his grandfather has treated thousands of patients. Hakeem Mu’izullah Beg did spend over ten years with his grandfather in apprenticeship and practically involved in the knowledge practice and has been contributing to his community and the humanity marvellously.
It’s also noteworthy that apart from late hakeem Zafarullah Beg, his contemporary is Hakeem Muhammad Rahim son of Akbar Khan who is currently over 85 years old He has also been wonderfully contributing to the poor people and treated thousands of patients. He acquired the knowledge from his late father Akbar Khan and he in turn learned the knowledge from his maternal grandfather Hakeem Khairullah Beg (paternal grandfather of late Zafarullah Beg).
Well, lets come towards the video documentary in discussion, now. It is focused around a disappointed patient named Maqsad Murad, a senior citizen of Imit village in Ishkoman valley, Ghizer district, Gilgit-Baltistan Region.For the purpose of his eye treatement, he was in Gilgit and in the meanwhile he has fallen down and one of his hip joint got dislocated resulted him to be admitted in the District Headquarters Hospital, Gilgit on September 6, 2008. He was admitted in the hospital for 16 days and was given treatement in terms of hanging stone by his effected foot Finally, the patient’s son named Khush Murad , is asked to take his son to any prominent hospital of the down country such as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, or Karachi, for the purpose of surgery.
How to deal with all such challenges, especially financial management on top? Interestingly, an elderly patient from Gulmit, named Nayib Khan, comes across Khush Murad in the hospital and recommends him to take his father to Hakeem Zafarullah Beg as he was a renowned indigenous knowledge practitioner and expert on the bone related issues. Nayib Khan has further encouraged him that late Zafarullah Beg and another expert named Muhamad Rahim have dedicated their lives for patients treatement in voluntary capacity and free of cost. Therefore, better show the patient to Zafarullah Beg, a leading expert, Nayib Khan has further recommended. This stimulated Khush Murad to come in contact with late Zafarullah Beg through Sahib Jan son of Nayib Khan, a dispenser of Gulmit hospital, when late Hakeem was in Gilgit. Fortunately, Khush Murad meets and seeks the help of the specialist to examine Maqsad Murad, his father, and look for the possibility of treatement in his hand.
It’s fascinating to note that when late Hakeem Zafarullah Beg and his successor, Mu’izullah Beg were being taken to examine the patient in his relative’s house in Gilgit (Konodas), Afiyat Nazar, a graduate of Karachi University and Aga Khan University as well as a researcher and educational management professional, was going to take an in-depth interview of the Hakeem. He thus joins the team in co-incidence to capture and document the scene on the spot.In this way, the full video documentary has come to the limelight from its preparatory stage to joint adjustment and post-adjustment and evaluation stages. Otherwise, who cares. Thousands of patients have been given treatement and no video of such nature could be found.
After examination of the patient, Hakeem Zafarullah Beg tells Khush Murad the goodnews that the latter could cure the patient and was not necessary to take him to down country hospitals for the purpose of surgery. There was no fracture and instead the hip joint had dislocated .
Well, coming to the actual point. In the preparatory stage, the wooden tools (or traditional fixing machine) are made and the patient (who is laid in his bed for many weeks and cannot move) observes the activities in the processes from his own eyes within the room. Khush Muard is seen proactive to help facilitate Hakeem Zafarullah Beg and his grandson Mu’izullah Beg as his successor to carry out the philanthropic venture.
The preparatory stage in the video takes maximum 15 minutes. The patient is then carefully brought down from his bed and his hip joint attached with the tool in a lying position. Once the process gets completed, the adjustment time involves maximum five minutes as watchable in the video. During the process, the patient is seen crying for a while and the joint dislocation is fixed or brought to its original position .
The post-adjustment and evaluation stage takes 10-15 minutes where it is made sure that there is no issue left with the joint fixation. The patient, who could not move and faced severe hardship is seen not only sitting on his hips with a satisfaction but rather he is asked to stand on his challenged leg.Altogether, 35 minutes could be observed in the video involved in the entire process.After falling down and getting the joint dislocation, the challenged leg could be observed shorter than the normal leg. When the adjustment was made, it’s witnessed that the abnormal leg has also become normal and both legs are seen parallel to each other.
Though, the patient , Maqsad Muard, is relaxed and hopes of recovery and normality evidenced in front of his own eyesight without any anesthesia extension, The indigenous knowledge expert could be seen also consoling the patient psychologically by boosting his morale.
After the successful treatement of the patient, Afiyat Nazar gets the interviews him and his son Khush Murad in Wakhi and both of them reveal that how the patient got treatement in the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) , Gilgit under the concerned orthopedic doctor. The patient remained admitted in the hospital for 16 days and no proper attention was given to him. A stone of five kilo or so was hanged by the foot of the patient on his bed that it would fix the issue. Finally, with a disappointment, the patient was recommended to be taken to the prominent hospitals of the cities in Pakistan such as those in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi. Both the patient and his son are so after getting the effective cure and quick recovery in a natural order. Otherwise, if surgery had come, it woiuld have got fixation of rod in the hip which won’t be like its original hip.
In conclusion, it’s recommended that the indigenous knowledge practice related with bones dislocation, fracture and crack should be openly and with a big heart recognized by the related doctors and modern medical sciences. The workable or effectrively sustaining indigenous knowledge and practice should be integrated in the syllabus and medical science as well the competent practitioners should be employed in the related hospitals. Morever, if we advocate for scientific approaches, the indigenous knowledge practices of such nature are based on centuries old scientific approaches and experiments.
At the end, if you are interested to get access to and evidence the first hand data, you may click the following link of the EaglesWorld, watch, enjoy and learn out of the interesting video documentary in Wakhi as a testimony of the respective knowledge and practice of hip joint dislocation extended towards the patient Maqsad Murad by late Hakeem Zafarullah Beg:
My deep indebtedness to Afiyat Nazar for producing the documentary and thanks to Engineer Naveed Karim for the editing and improvement of the video. Similarly, I’m grateful to my sweet daughter Surush Ayman Beg and Mu’iz Rahman for helping me out in making the related videos.