Dr Husain Nagamia, age 81, of Tampa, passed away on June 4, 2021 at the age of 81. He was b rn June 29, 1939 in Baroda, India, son of the late Fakhruddin and Kamaljehan (Refai) Nagamia. His wonderful achievements leave a positive legacy an there is much to celebrate when assessing all that he did.

History class in  the  U.S.  consisted  of reading about the Greeks, Romans, and then fast forward to the conquering of England and the European Renaissance. Although the main goal at that time was to not fall asleep, it wasn’t hard  to  notice  this  huge  gap  in  our  history education. That gap that neglected to mention the vital contributions from the Middle East and North Africa was normalized. I never really questioned this until I truly learned about the history of Islam and science, specifically medicine, from Dr.   Husain   Nagamia.   To   the   world   he   was   the Chairman/Founder    of    the    International    Institute of Islamic  Medicine (IIIM), a Cardiothoracic surgeon,  Past President  of  the  Islamic  Medical  Association  of North America (IMANA), member of the Founder’s Committee of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA),Editor-in-Chief    of    the   Journal    of   the    Islamic   Medical Association of North America (JIMA). To me, he was Uncle.

I  was  a  resident  when  we  first  implemented  an  IIIM essay   competition    for    undergraduate    and    medical students about the history of  Islam in medicine. I didn’t know much about IIIM and only knew of Dr. Nagamia through a family friend connection. But I quickly learned of   his  genuine  passion  for   educating  young   Muslim professionals about their history in their own field, and ultimately their identity. I didn’t realize at the time how that would shape me. We did this essay competition for a few years, where we learned about surgical instruments developed by Muslims during the Golden Age of Islam, advances in the understanding of the circulatory system and optics by Muslim physicians. We learned about all the papers Dr. Nagamia wrote and published about the history of Islamic  medicine  and surgical  procedures and Neo-Islamic medicine throughout the years. Despite his amazing achievements,  wealth  of  knowledge  and being so busy, he always reached out  to me and included me in the planning of these competitions. He expressly wanted youth involvement in these efforts because he knew that whether he was there for it or not. it  wasn’t  about  him,  but  about the  mission and vision, whether he was there for it or not.

Because  of  the  success  and  growth  of  the  IIIM since 1992, eventually NIIMS was born in 2019, the Nagamia Institute  of Islamic  Medicine and Science. Dr.  Nagamia oversaw the creation of an independent institution solely dedicated  to  Islamic  medicine  and  science  history, the first of its kind in the United States. An institution that engages  with  and  teaches  local  students,  showcases  a unique   and   rare   Qur’an   exhibit,   provides   monthly education webinars on medical advances both current and historical.   Dr.   Nagamia’s   vision   became   a physical reality.  He was also a well published author and wrote a variety of publications and academic articles on  different topics. These include:

  • Islamic Medicine History and the current practice
  • Prophetic Medicine:   ‘A    Holistic    Approach   to Medicine’ Medicine’
  • New Definition of Islamic Medicine: ‘Neo-Islamic
  • A Museum and Library of Islamic Medical History: A new perspective
  • The Great Physician Historian During the Golden Islamic Medical History – Ibn Abi Usaybi’aa
  • Abū Zayd Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-‘Ibādī: A Physician Translator Par Excellence Ibn A-Nafis
  • The Bukhtīshū’ Family: A Dynasty of Physicians in the Early History of Islamic Medicine
  • What is Wrong with American Medicine? The Role of IMANA

This  vision  and  passion  weren’t  sing  lar  events This journey  was  25   years   in  the   making  ,   to   which Dr. Nagamia  dedicated  a  lifetime.  Understanding  that  our Islamic  history  isn’t  just  for  one  culture  or  group, he collaborated  with  leaders  and  motivated  people around the  world to spread this knowledge and passion for our history. This led to multiple presentations at international IMANA  meetings, to collaborative  research projects,  to the creation of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine (ISHIM), and many other  international conventions. Dr. Nagamia was attending these meetings every year and was only forced to stop because of the COVID-19  pandemic.   These  meetings created lifelong friendships,  friends  who are  now feeling the  pain of the loss of  Dr.  Nagamia.  His legacy invigorated  people  to know  their  history,   and  ultimately  know  themselves.

Dr. Nagamia knew who he was. Born in 1939 in Baroda, India he remained connected to his roots where he studied medicine. He was one of the founding members of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian origin, dedicated to the universal education for minorities in India to achieve 100% literacy. He had all these accomplishments and was still working in his busy clinic! But his main passion and dedication was to his family. He was married to Dr. Zubeda Nagamia for 55 years, traveling together around the world as they spread this passion for Islamic history. His daughter, Dr. Afshan Ahmed, son, Dr. Sameer Nagamia, and grandchildren were his pride and focus as he attended every major event, most recently is  youngest  grandchild’s highschool graduation.

Dr.  Nagamia  was  one  of  those  people  with  the  great blessing  to  have  changed  their  community  so  much during their time here on Earth, and also leaving a legacy that is a Sadaqahjariyah. He was one of a kind, and will be dearly missed. Though we grieve, he would urge us to continue the work because  it  wasn’t  just  his;  he  made sure it was ours.