Islam And Sickness, By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.
Dear brothers and sisters! Ever wondered why a Muslim is allowed by Allah Almighty to get sick?
Abdullah (RA) said, I visited Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! You have a high fever.” Allah’s Messenger said, “Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have.” I said, “Is it because you will get a double reward?” Allah’s Messenger said, “Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves.” [Bukhari]
“Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (RA) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression –even a thorn’s prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Expect good, because Allah Almighty makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of repose. As for a disbeliever falling sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it and then lets it loose –it does not understand why it was tied, nor why it was freed.
- The cure…
Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: “There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” [Bukhari]
“Yahya related to me from Malik from Zaid Ibn Aslam that a man received a wound in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), the blood clotted in the wound and the man called two men from the Banu Ammar tribe. They looked at it and claimed that the Messenger of Allah said to them, “Which of you is the better doctor?” They said, “Is there any good in medicine, Messenger of Allah?” Zaid claimed that the Messenger of Allah said, “The one who sent down the disease sent down the remedy.” [Muwatta of Imam Malik]
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Worshippers of Allah, use medical treatments.” [Ahmad]
Narrated Abdulmalik Ibn Umair, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:
“Fatihatul-Kitab contains healing for every disease.” [At-Tirmizi]
- Severe Trials for those Firm in their Religion
Narrated Sa’ad, when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked which people suffered the greatest affliction, he replied, “The Prophets, then those who come next to them, then those who come next to them. A man is afflicted in keeping his religion. If he is firm in his religion his trial is severe, but if there is weakness in his religion it is made light for him, and it continues like that till he walks on the earth having no sin.” [At-Tirmizi, Darimi and Ibn Majah]
- Rewards for those Afflicted
Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “On the Day of Resurrection, when people who have suffered affliction are given their reward, those who are healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world.” [At-Tirmizi]
The ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted with a hardship, be it a thorn or more, a sin is taken off him because of it, and he is elevated on level (in Jannah [Paradise]).
Also a traveller’s or sick person’s deeds are recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well.
Narrated Abu Umamah (RA), The Prophet (Peace be upon him) stated that Allah, who is Blessed and Exalted, said “Son of Adam, if you show endurance and seek your reward from me in the first affliction, I shall be pleased with no lesser reward than Paradise for you.” [At-Tirmizi]
Narrated Aisha (RA), The Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, “Do not say, ‘I feel rotten.’ Instead, say, ‘I do not feel well.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Narrated Ata Bin Abi Rabah (RA), Ibn Abbas said to me, “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet and said, ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet said (to her), ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.’ She said, ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So he invoked Allah for her.” [Bukhari]
- Kindness to the sick
Narrated Abu Sa’id (RA), Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “When you go in to visit an invalid (sick person), express a hope that he will live long. That will not avert anything, but it will comfort him.” [Mishkat]
Narrated An-Nu’man Bin Bashir (RA), Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” [Bukhari]
- Visit the sick
“O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.” [Hadith Qudsi]
- Supplication of an Invalid (sick person)
Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “When you visit an invalid (sick person) tell him to make supplication for you, for his supplication is like that of the angels.” [Ibn Majah]
- Taking Medicine
Narrated Jabir Bin Abdullah (RA), The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Every disease has a medication: If the medication for a particular disease is found, it will be cured with Allah’s Almighty permission.” [Muslim]
Narrated Ibn Abbas and Aisha (RA), Abu Bakr kissed (the forehead of) the Prophet (Peace be upon him) when he was dead. Aisha added: We put medicine in one side of his mouth but he started waving us not to insert the medicine into his mouth. We said, “He dislikes the medicine as a patient usually does.” But when he came to his senses he said, “Did I not forbid you to put medicine (by force) in the side of my mouth?” We said, “We thought it was just because a patient usually dislikes medicine.” He said, “None of those who are in the house but will be forced to take medicine in the side of his mouth while I am watching, except Al-Abbas, for he had not witnessed your deed.” [Bukhari]
- Read Qur’an when Sick
“And We send down from the Qur’an that which is a healing (cure) and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss.” [Qur’an, 17:82]
- Ruqyah (plural: Ruqa): is Du’a or Zikr used for protection or cure
Awf Bin Malik al-Ashja’i said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), “O Allah’s Messenger! We used to apply ruqa during Jahiliyyah. What do you think of that?” He replied: “Present your ruqa to me. There is nothing wrong with them (ruqa) as long as they do not involve shirk.” [Muslim]
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (RA) reported that Jibril came to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad, are you sick?” He replied, “Yes.” He said: “Bismillahi arqik, min kulli shai’in yu’zik, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘ainin hasid — With Allah’s Name I shelter to (give you ruqyah), from all that ails you, from the evil of every soul, or that of the envious eyes. May Allah cure you; with Allah’s Name I shelter you.” [Muslim]
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
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