Whilst we recognise that we are obliged to maintain good health, we are also aware that during our lifetime we will be afflicted with some or other illness condition. How should we respond to this?
The ḥadīth narrated by Abū Dardāʾ provides us with the answer:
“O Prophet, if I am cured of my sickness and I am thankful for it, is it better than if I were sick and bore it patiently?” And the Prophet ﷺ replied: “Truly the Prophet ﷺ loves good health, just as you do”
The above ḥadīth highlights the importance of maintaining health and seeking treatment when we are ill. Only with good health can we perform our activities of earning a living, performing ʿibādah and living a meaningful life.
However we should be aware that chronic and/or life threatening illnesses will affect most of us at some time or other. During this difficult period, the ḥadīth quoted below offers comfort and hope.
Muslim narrated in his Ṣaḥīḥ that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Every illness has a cure, and when the proper cure is applied to the disease, it will end it, Allah willing ”
Ibn Qayyim elaborates on the ḥadīth on the previous page:
“For when the sick person is aware that for his illness there is a remedy, which will make it cease. His heart clings to the spirit of hope, so he is cooled from the heat of despair and the door of hope is opened to him”
Whilst it is important to seek proper treatment during illnesses, a person should guard against resorting to therapy that is not in keeping with the Qurʾān and Sunnah.
We have it on the authority of a ḥādīth narrated by Abū Hurayrahؓ who said that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever is treated with a remedy that Allah SWT has made permissible will be cured, but whoever is treated with a remedy that Allah SWT has made impermissible will certainly not be allowed by Allah SWT to be cured ”
From the above ḥādīth, we are clearly instructed that permissible remedies that are in keeping with Qurʾān and Sunnah, are the only treatments to be used. There is, however, one disorder for which treatment is not effective, and that is old age, highlighting that ultimately death is inevitable. Concerning this Usāmah ibn Shuraik narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“For Allah SWT, has not created a disease except that he has also created its cure, except for one illness…old age