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Attitude during Sickness

12283 2009/07/26 2024/04/21
Article translated to : العربية Deutsch Español

a person aware of his faith will be steadfast and put himself in allah's hands whenever he is sick because he realises that his illness is a test from allah, just as he realised that his health is a test from allah. he realises that trials and afflictions are tests from allah just as are well-being and prosperity and ease, and indeed the latter are probably more serious and difficult tests. for this reason, no matter how uncomfortable he is, he will be steadfast and continue to pray in sincerity to allah. he knows that it is allah who created illness and thus it is allah who will give the cure. in the qur'an, allah praises the steadfastness of a believer during illness and lists it among the qualities of "true devoutness":


…rather, those with true devoutness are those who believe in allah and the last day, the angels, the book and the prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who establish prayer and pay zakat; those who honour their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. those are the people who are true. they are the people who have taqwa. (surat al-baqara: 177)


while being steadfast, the believer will also take the treatment required to make him better. he will not be emotional or childish to attract the attention of those around him. he will consciously take the treatment and medicine recommended for his illness. this behaviour will actually be a prayer to allah. at the same time and as a result of living according to the teachings of the qur'an, he prays constantly that allah will help and cure him. in the qur'an, allah gives ayyub (peace be upon him) as an example of this attitude of faith:


and ayyub when he called out to his lord, "great harm has afflicted me and you are the most merciful of the merciful." (surat al-anbiya': 83)


it must be said that all medicines taken are means towards a cure. if allah wills, he will make the treatment a means for healing. it is allah who creates the medical means used in treatment—micro-organisms, animal and plant materials—used in the composition of medicines. in short, it is only allah who creates the cure. in the qur'an, allah draws our attention to this by what ibrahim (peace be upon him) says: "and when i am ill, it is he who heals me." (surat ash-shu'ara': 80)

however, members of a godless society immediately become rebellious when they fall ill. they behave in a way quite contrary to the reality of the decree when they say, "why has such a thing happened to me?" a person who thinks in this way, could never possibly put himself in allah's hands during an illness or regard it as a benefit.

however, believers think about the reason for their illness and regard it as a good opportunity to draw closer to allah. once more they come to understand what a great blessing health is and how helpless human beings are. even an ordinary sickness like the flu can put a person in bed. in this situation, no matter how powerful, respected or wealthy one is, we are helpless and must rest and take our medicine. under these circumstances, we recall how much we need allah and our sickness is the means for us to remember allah's name and draw close to him. and for the believer, every illness is a warning that the world is transient and death and the next world are close at hand.



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