Hakeem Abdur Razzaq Qaasimy
For Indians who cannot afford or do not trust Western medicine, the alternative may be someone like Abdur Razzaq Qaasimy, a 72-year-old hakeem in the northwestern Indian city of Ahmedabad. Practicing according to Ayurvedic principles, which teach that the human being is a miniature imitation of the universe, Hakim Sahab, as he is known, sees about 20 patients a day. They come to his second-floor apartment, across the street from a chicken store and a block from his mosque, seeking treatment for everything from cancer to diabetes to obesity. The hakeem refers to yellowed, hand-written journals handed down from his grandfather and pulls remedies from jars of dried roots and powdered herbs. He is assisted by his two sons, who are learning the healing trade. "Each crop has a relationship to the universe," the hakeem said. "And you must prepare it while keeping the stars and planets aligned."
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