The life of this world glides on an unstable plane. One passes through alternating periods of happiness and sadness, boom and gloom, strength and weakness wealth and poverty, health and sickness etc. All of these represent the true nature of human life. They equally represent the tests and trials with which our Creator has promised to afflict every human being. Allaah says: "Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient those who, when afflicted with calamity say, Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return." it is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones." (Q2[BaqarahJ:155- 157)

These afflictions strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. For a Muslim, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgiveness and elevated rank (in Jannah). One of the afflictions of life that no one is spared is the occasional transition from a state of health and well-being to that of illness.

Every human being is bound to feel ill sometime and somehow. What should be the reaction of a Muslim when his own portion of such vicissitude of life comes calling?

Health is Allaah’s Blessing

First, a Muslim must know that health is indeed a blessing from Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing righteous deeds." (Bukhari)

Our body is a great and superb creature. There are many organs inside and outside of our body - billions of cells and tissues, extremely well ordered systems and mechanisms, continuous and orderly functions and progresses, biological phenomena and activities that repeat themselves continually in perfect order. Our mysterious and marvelous brain, tireless heart, fine nervous system, circulatory systems, kidneys that contain millions of filters, bone structure that is an engineering marvel, layers of assorted muscles that cover all these, skin, eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, sweet speaking tongue, organs to produce new generations, endless mind, limitless and countless senses, wonderful system of reflection, discovery, inventions, arts.... So our health is an aspect of grace for which we should constantly express gratitude to Allaah.

Health is a Test from Allaah

 When it eventually comes calling, a Muslim should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allaah tests His ibaad (servants), giving them a chance to acquire rewards.

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allaah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its leaves." (Bukhari, Muslim) In yet another narration, AbuSaeed al-Khudree (RA) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "A Muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression - even if pricked by a thorn, but Allaah expiates his sins because of that. " (Bukhari, Muslim) Aishah (RA) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. She said: "Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him." He replied: "An ailment is intensified for the righteous.

Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank ( in Jannah)." (Ahmad)

Only Allaah can Remove it

A Muslim should believe that Allaah is the Healer and the Source of cure, and that no healing or cure occurs except with His permission. This is what Prophet Ibraheem (alayhi salaam) expressed: "He said: “0 you observe that which you have been worshipping, you and your ancient fathers? Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists); Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me; and it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and Who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again); and Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Recompense, (the Day of Resurrection) " (Q26[Shuaraa: 75-89)

From the supplications of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) is this statement that underlines the fact that real healer is Allaah: "0 AIlaah! The Lord of the people, the Remover of trouble! (Please) cure (Heal) (this patient), for You are the Healer. None brings about healing but You; a healing that will leave behind no ailment."(Bukhari) Abu Ramthah (RA) narrated that he visited Allaahs Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) with his father. His father saw the mark [distinctive mole-sign of prophet hood] on the Messengers back and said to him, "Let me treat this thing on your back, because I am a tabeeb (physician or healer)." The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) replied, AIlaah is the [true] Healer.

You are only a kind man. Its healer is the One Who created it." (Ahmad) Every Illness Has a Cure When sickness is aggravated and persists, naturally, the sick their care-givers wonder if the illness would be cured. The reality is that there is no disease without a cure. This is affirmed by Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) when he said: "Verily, Allaah has not sent down a disease without sending down a cure for it." (Bukhari)

Perhaps the only the disease that remains incurable is old age and death. The Prophet (salallahualayhi wa sallam) said, "Verily, Allaah has not sent down a disease [or sickness] but that He has sent down the cure for it- except for old age. So drink the milk of cows, because they eat from all sorts of plants. "(Nasaaee) If the cure is delayed in coming or the illness persists, it not because there is no cure rather it is because it is because it is not known to the care-giver. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Verily, AlIaah did not send down a disease without sending down the cure for it-he who knows it knows it, and he who is ignorant of it is ignorant of it-except for death." (Haakim): Based on the foregoing, it clear that Alaah has full knowledge of the disease and its remedy and The care-givers and those in the medical profession are encouraged to research into the nature of diseases and their cure.

If there is any disease for which the physician has not discovered a cure, it is, simply, because they have not been given adequate knowledge, or that Allaah has concealed its cure or delayed the discovery of its cure. It could also be that Allaah has sent the disease to be a trial or punishment for a particular period of time until the people repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and Allaah knows best.

Seek Lawful Medical Treatment

 The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) not only permitted the use of medical treatment, but he urged it. However, whatever pressure is occasioned by the illness, a Muslim must always resist the urge to seek cure in what Allaah has forbidden. Tariq ibn Suwaid (RA) once asked the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) if he could use liquor as medicine. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) replied: It is not a cure, but a disease." (Muslim) Umm Salamah (RA) reported that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) once said: "Allaah has not placed a cure for your diseases in things that He has forbidden for you." (Ibn Hibban)

Seek Quality Treatment

Aside from the recommendation to seek lawful treatment, Islaam strongly recommends that you seek it from competent physician. Allaahs Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) once visited a wounded man and said, "Send for the physician of such-and such tribe for him." When the physician arrived, he exclaimed, "O Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)! Is medicine of any benefit?" The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) replied, "Glory be to Allaah! Did Allaah send down to earth a disease without creating a cure for it?" (Ahmad) If you have several options of who to consult, go for the best option.

Zayd ibn Aslam (RA) reported that a man was wounded during the time of the Messenger of Allaah (saalahu aayhi wa salam) and blood congealed at the [wounded] spot. The man sent for two men from the tribe of Banee `Anmaar. They came and examined him, and they asserted that the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) enquired of them, "Which of you two is better at treating with medicine?" He [one of them] said, "Is the science of medicine of any good?" Zayd asserted that the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) responded by saying, "He who has sent down the disease has also sent down the medicine [cure]." (Muwatta) Thus, it is expedient that one chooses he who is skilled in medicine and prudent in the art as success is more likely to be achieved when the best is consulted.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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