NO NEED FOR RUQYAH CLINCS, SCHOLAR SAYS
By Zakiyah Ibrahim Fallata Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH – Some scholars and medical practitioners have come out against a demand to open Ruqyah clinics (therapy using the recitation of the Holy Qur’an) in government hospitals in the Kingdom.
Some proponents of the Ruqyah method of treating patients have urged the Ministry of Health to open such clinics, but many other Sheikhs have found the idea to be unacceptable.
According to Sabq, an electronic newspaper, Hasan Bin Abdullah Al-Shanbariey, a Ruqyah Sheikh from Makkah, urged the Ministry of Health to establish Qur’an clinics to provide therapy to patients after he found that most of the patients who visited him did not suffer from real organic sickness. Instead, he found his patients to be under a spell of witchcraft and some under the impact of Satanic power (ghost power).
Repeated telephonic attempts by Saudi Gazette to confirm from Ministry of Health officials the veracity of reports on Ruqyah clinics went unanswered.
However, Sheikh Jamman Abdullah Al-Zahrani, himself a Ruqyah Sheikh and a teacher in a Makkah School, said such a project would fail even before it was launched. “If the Ministry of Health agrees with this idea, many issues will arise: What are the criteria for choosing Ruqyah Sheikhs, how many Sheikhs are required in a hospital and will universities begin bachelor courses in this therapy?” said Jamman. Jamman said every Muslim who pronounces Shahada (There is no God but Allah and that Muhammad – peace be upon him – is His Messenger) and prays can act as a Ruqyah therapist.
“The point is that if people have a strong faith in Allah and a strong trust that the Almighty will cure them by reciting Qur’an on themselves, it would be better than visiting a Ruqyah Sheikh,” said Jamman.
However, many people resort to Ruqyah Sheikhs to treat them although they can read Qur’anic verses themselves, said Jamman.
The Holy Qur’an is the original remedy and other medications come in the second stage, he said.
“Allah said in the Qur’an that he has revealed the Book as a cure for people. He didn’t say medication for people which proves that the Qur’an surely heals people whereas drugs may or may not heal,” said Jamman.
He said most psychiatrics recommend patients to use Qur’an therapy on themselves since patients find medications do not have a positive effect on their spirits. Jamman recommended patients to resort to Qur’an therapy first and then use medical drugs to help them recover. “I met many strange people who asked for Qur’an therapy: A woman was not able to drink water at her house for almost ten years, an adult who lacked the ability to read from books because he saw only blank pages, and another adult who spent 20 years hallucinating that he was traveling around the world,” said Jamman.
Jamman stated such cases cannot be healed by medications or by visiting psychiatrics since they were under the influence of Satanic power. Such a patient should follow a therapeutic program in which a Ruqyah Sheikh, psychiatric specialists and family members should cooperate, Jamman added.
He asserted that having strong faith in Allah and a decent intention will help in healing patients.
Jamman said magicians also give patients some strange things, such as, an egg with magic words written on it and padlocks covered by leather.
Mohammad Al-Hamid, head of the psychological department in Bakhsh private hospital, said patients should first consult physicians to diagnose their illnesses since only they can decide whether the ailment was due to the influence of the devil or not.
“We are in the 21st century and we still have some simpleminded people who think that all diseases are due to the influence of the devil,” said Al-Hamid. Al-Hamid referred to the danger of resorting to so-called Ruqyah Sheikhs who prevent patients from seeing physicians. He said that he had several patients who visited him after visiting Ruqyah Sheikhs. The ailments of almost all of them were at an advanced stage.
“Eight years ago a woman patient working as a teacher was referred to me by a government committee. Her father asked the judge to give him the authority to receive her salary because she was not in a good mental state, and had been diagnosed by a Ruqyah Sheikh as being affected by the devil. The judge asked him to refer to us in order to prove that she was not in a good mental health. When I saw her, she was in a very bad condition and had even stopped washing herself. We diagnosed her illness as schizophrenia. She was treated in a hospital and recovered after three weeks. She could return to her school after a gap of 20 years,” Al-Hamid said.
RUQYAH (HEALING) DU’A FOR THE AFFLICTED
When saying an incantation for the ill person, one should say:
Bismillaahi arqiika min kulli shayin
yu’thiika min sharri kulli nafsin
aw `ayni h~aasidin
In the name of Allaah do I make incantation over you
from everything that harms you,
from the harm of every soul
or envious evil eye.
may Allaah cure you.
In the name of Allaah I make incantation over you.
[recorded in Muslim]
HOW TO PRAY FOR THE SICK
Hazrat Ayesha (RAA) relates that when anyone complained to the Holy Prophet (SAW) of painor suffered from a boil or an injury on his person, he (SAW) would touch the earth with his forefinger, and then raise it and say: ‘In the name of Allah, I seek blessing from dust of our earth which contains the saliva of some of us whereby our sick are healed by the command of Allah.’ Bukhari and Muslim
Hazrat Abu Abdullah Usman bin Abul ‘Aas (RAA) relates that he complained to the Holy Prophet (SAW) of a pain that afflicted his body. He (SAW) told him: ‘Place thy hand on the part of the body that aches and say three times Bismillah and then repeat seven times A’oozo Ma Ajido Wa Qudrat’-e-hi Min Sharre Ma Ajido Wa Uhaziro’ (I seek the protection of the Honour and Might of Allah from the evil that afflicts me and that I apprehend.) Muslim
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RAA) relates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: ‘If a person visits a patient who is not on te verge of death, and supplicates seven times: as alullahal ‘Azeema rabbal arshid azeem ain- ash fika (I beseech Allah the Glorious, Lord of the Glorious Throne, o bestow cure on thee). Allah will cure him of his sickness. Abu Daud and Tirmizo
THE CURE FOR MAGIC
Shaikh Mash-hoor Hasan Salmaan
Source: Al-Ma’thoor fee ‘Ilaaj Al-Marboot wal-Ma’yoon wal-Mas-hoor (pg. 1-7)
The source for the prescription of removing and abolishing magic is what has been authentically related from the Prophet SAWS in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (no. 5765) when he SAWS removed the magic that was placed on him by Lubaid Ibn A’ sam, a man from Banoo Zuraiq who was an ally to the Jews, while being amongst the Muslims as a hypocrite. The magic was put on his SAWS comb and the hairs on the comb – which is the hair that falls from the head or beard while combing – in a skin of pollen of a male date-palm tree under a well-stone – which is a rock that is placed at the top of a well and cannot be uprooted, and sometimes it is found in the bottom of a well – in the well of Dharwaan. So the Prophet SAWS proceeded to the well until he removed it. And he SAWS said: “This is the well which I was shown (in a dream). Its water looked like the infusion of henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils.”
Magic can also be cured by vomiting in the place where its harm is found, for that has an effect on one’s physical nature and it has an effect in agitating the body’s components and disturbing its substances. So if traces of the magic appear in an organ (i.e. such as the stomach), and the harmful substance can be vomited or ejected from that organ, then that would be very effective.
From the most effective cures for it, as stated by Ibn Al-Qayyim, is what exists from An-Nushra, which is a type of ruqyah (incantation). This type of remedy is given such a name since the sickness that is harming the afflicted person is caused to scatter. This means that the strength of this magic, which is from the effects of the evil and wicked souls, is uplifted and terminated by the divinely cures, such as dhikr (words of remembrance), du’aa (supplication) and qiraa’ah (recitation of the Qur’an). So if the heart is filled with Allaah and flowing with His Remembrance, and it is has a permanent place for the dhikr, du’aa and consciousness (of Allaah), which is not forsaken, then this is from the greatest of means that prevent magic from affecting the person. He (Ibn Al-Qayyim) said: “The most strongest effect that magic has is on weak hearts. This is why a majority of the people that are affected by it are women, children and people who are ignorant (of the Religion). This is since the wicked and evil souls are only active and effective against souls that readily accept them and which are inclined to what confirms to them.”
But the magic that was placed by Lubaid troubled and disturbed the Prophet SAWS, in spite of his great position, true consciousness of Allaah and strong heart. However, perhaps he SAWS can be separated from that in that what he (Ibn Al-Qayyim) mentioned referred to the majority case, while what happened to the Prophet SAWS was an exception to that. And Allaah knows best. This was stated by Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr.
Nushrah is of two types:
The First: Undoing magic with magic just like it. This is from the acts of the devils and the following statement of Al-Hasan (Al-Basree) refers to it: “No one undoes magic except for one who does magic (himself).” So the one who dos this type of Nushrah and the one he does it to both get closer to the devil by something that he loves. So his work on the one who is under the magic is of no use.
The Second: Nushrah by making incantation (ruqyah), ta’awaudhaat and the allowed supplications. This is all legislated in the Religion. From the reports that have been transmitted describing the legislated type of Nushrah is:
First: What has been reported by Ibn Abee Haatim and Abu Ash-Shaikh on the authority of Ibn Abee Sulaim, who said: “It has been conveyed to me that these verses are a cure for magic, by the permission of Allaah. They are to be recited in a bowl in which there is water, then that is to be poured over the head of the one afflicted with magic:”
“Then when they (i.e. the sorcerers) cast down, Musa said: ‘What you have brought is sorcery. Allaah will surely make it of no effect. Verily, Allaah does not set right the works of corrupt evildoers.” [Surah Yoonus: 81-82]
“Thus, the truth was confirmed, and all that they did (of magic) was made of no effect. So they were defeated there and returned disgraced. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. They said: ‘We believe in the Lord of the ‘Alameen (different worlds of jinn, mankind, etc.) – the Lord of Musa and Haroon.’ Pharoah said: ‘You have believed in Musa before I gave you permission. Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people, but you shall come to know.’ Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides, then I will crucify you all.’ They said: ‘Verily, we are returning to our Lord.'” [Surah Al-A’araaf: 118-125]
“And throw down what is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. What they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount of skill he may attain.” [Surah Taha: 69]
Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer mentioned this narration in his Tafseer (2/443) but did not follow it up with anything (i.e. he did not grade it’s authenticity)!
Muhammad Haamid Al-Fiqee, may Allaah have mercy on him, opposed him by saying: “Such a thing should not be acted upon, whether it is from the opinion of Laith Ibn Abee Sulaim or from the opinion of Ibn Al-Qayyim or anyone else. Rather only the Sunnah that has been established from Allaah’s Messenger SAWS must be acted upon. And nothing has been reported on him SAWS from what Ibn Abee Sualim or Ibn Al-Qayyim said, nor from what has been quoted from Wahb Ibn Munabbih. So it based on the ways of the Jews and not the guidance of the best of messengers SAWS. And from the door of this slackness has entered many innovations and then major shirk. So it is upon the Muslim that is sincere to himself to bite with his molar teeth onto the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger SAWS and the rightly guided Khaleefahs. And he must avoid the newly invented matters (i.e. innovations), no matter who it is coming from. For everyone can either have his saying accepted or rejected, except the Messenger of Allaah SAWS.”
Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, refuted him and clarified that nothing that goes against the Religion was mentioned in what was stated by Ibn Abee Sulaim, and that his words fall under the general principles. He said: “I say that Shaikh Haamid’s opposition to what was stated by the commentator relating from Ibn Abee Sulaim, Ibn Al-Qayyim and Wahb Ibn Munabbih is not proper, but rather a mistake on the part of the Shaikh Haamid. This is because curing oneself by means of the Noble Qur’aan, sidr (herbs) and its types from the allowed forms of cures is not from the area of innovations, but rather from the area of medicine and healing remedies. And the Prophet SAWS said: ‘O Servants (of Allaah)! Heal yourselves and do not heal yourselves with (things that are) Haraam (unlawful).’
And it is established in Sunan Abee Dawood, in the Book of Medicine, that the Prophet SAWS recited Qur’aan in a bowl of water and then poured it over a sick person.
So from this it is known that healing oneself with sidr (herbs) and reciting Qur’aan in water and then pouring it on a sick person do not have any prohibition with respect to the Religion. This is so long as the recitation of the Qur’aan is pure (i.e. void of incorrect pronunciation or deviations, etc) and the healing remedy is allowed (in the Religion, i.e. not alcohol). And Allaah grants success.”
And he (Ibn Baz) added to the narration of Laith in his treatise entitled “The Ruling on Magic and Sorcery” the following: “After reciting what (verses were) previously mentioned in water, some of it is to be drunk and the person should wash himself with the rest of it. By doing this, the sickness will come to an end.”
Second: What has been reported by Imaam Maalik in his Muwatta (2/951-952) (no. 12) on the authority of Sumaiyy, the servant of Abu Bakr from Al-Qa’ aqaa’ Ibn Hakeem that Ka’ab Al-Ahbaar said: “If it were not for certain words that I say, the Jews would have made me a donkey.” So it was said to him: “What are they?” He said: “I seek refuge in the Face of Allaah, the Most Great, of which there is nothing greater than it. And (I seek refuge) in the perfect words of Allaah, which no righteous nor wicked person can transgress. And (I seek refuge) in all of His best names, those which I know and those which I don’t know – from the evil of what He has created, brought into existence and produced.” [‘Aa’udhu bi-wajhillaahil-‘Adheem. Alladhee laisa shay’un a’adhama minhu. Wa bi-kalimaat-illaahit-Taammaat allatee laa yujawwizuhunnaa barrun wa laa faajir. Wa bi-asmaa’ihil-husnaa kullihaa, ma ‘alimtu minhaa wa ma lam a’ alam – min sharri ma khalaqa wa bara’a wa dhara’a.]
The meaning of “.the Jews would have made me a donkey” is due to their performing magic on him. Perhaps he means by it, and Allaah knows best, that they would have confused me and misled me away from my guidance (of Islaam) until I became like the donkey that doesn’t know and understand anything. This expression is used to refer to stupidity and little comprehension.
A similar supplication to this was mentioned by the great scholar Ibn Hajr (Al-Haitamee) in his previous treatise, and it is useful against the plotting of the jinn. We have listed its sources of reference and spoken on them there.
HOW TO DEAL WITH SIHR (MAGIC/WITCHCRAFT
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), p. 70
Question: What is the way to deal with sihr (magic/witchcraft)?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah.
Whoever is affected by sihr should not treat it with sihr, because evil cannot be removed by evil, and kufr cannot be removed by kufr. Evil is removed by good. Hence when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about al-nushrah (treating sihr with sihr), he said: “This is the work of the Shaytaan.” Nushrah means removing sihr from a person who has been affected by it by using more sihr. But if it is treated by means of the Qur’aan and permissible medicines or good ruqyahs, there is nothing wrong with that, but treating it with sihr is not permitted, as previously stated, because sihr means worshipping the shayaateen (devils). The saahir (magician, practitioner of witchcraft) does sihr or learns sihr only after worshipping and serving the shayaateen, and drawing close to them by means of the things that they like. After that, they teach him the means of sihr. But, praise be to Allaah, there is no reason why the person who has been affected by sihr should not be treated by means of reciting Qur’aan and the prayers for refuge with Allaah that are prescribed in sharee’ah, and permissible medicines, just as patients with all kinds of sicknesses are treated by doctors. The patient does not necessarily recover, because not every sick person does recover. A sick patient might be treated and then recover if his appointed time (of death) has not yet arrived, or he may not recover and may die from this sickness, even though he may be been seen by the most skilled physicians and knowledgeable doctors. When the appointed time of death comes, no medicine or treatment will be of any avail, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And Allaah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes [al-Munaafiqoon 63:11]
Medical treatment is of benefit when the appointed time has not yet come, and Allaah decrees that His slave should be healed. The same applies in the case of one who has been affected by sihr; Allaah may decree that he should recover, or He may not decree that, as a test and a trial, or for other reasons which are known to Allaah. Among those reasons may be the fact that the one who is treating him does not have the right treatment for this problem. It was narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For every disease there is a medicine, and if that medicine is applied to the disease, he will recover by Allaah’s Leave.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has not sent down any disease but He has also sent down the cure; the one who knows it knows it and the one who does not know it does not know it.
Among the treatments prescribed in sharee’ah is the treatment of sihr with recitation of the Qur’aan. The greatest soorah in the Qur’aan, which is al-Faatihah, should be recited over the person who has been affected by sihr. This should be repeated several times. If it is recited by a believing, righteous reader who knows that everything is subject to the will and decree of Allaah, that Allaah is in control of all things, that when He says to a thing ‘Be!’ it is, if the reciting is based on faith, taqwa and sincerity, and is repeated several times, then the sihr may be removed and the person may recover by Allaah’s Leave. Some of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) passed by some Bedouins whose shaykh, i.e., their leader, had been bitten. They had done everything they could but he had not gotten better. They said to one of the Sahaabah, “Is there any raaqi (one who performs ruqyah) among you?” They said, “Yes.” So one of them recited Soorat al-Faatihah over him, and he immediately got up full of energy as if nothing had happened; Allaah healed him of the ill-effects of that snakebite. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is nothing wrong with ruqyah so long as it does not involve shirk.” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed ruqyah and had it performed for him. There is a lot of good in ruqyah, and a great deal of benefit. Al-Faatihah, Aayat al-Kursiy, “Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad”, al-Mi’wadhatayn and other aayahs may be recited over the person who has been affected by sihr, as well as good du’aa’s narrated in the ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), such as the du’aa’ he said when he performed ruqyah for a sick person and said, “Allaahumma Rabb al-naas, adhhib il-ba’s, washfi anta al-Shaafi laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadir saqaman (O Allaah, Lord of mankind, remove the harm and heal him, for You are the Healer and there is no healing except Your healing, with a healing which does not leave any disease behind).” This may be repeated three times or more. And it was also narrated from him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that Jibreel (peace be upon him) performed ruqyah for him and said three times: “Bismillaah arqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, wa min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin haasid Allaah yashfeek, bismillaah arqeek (In the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you, from every thing that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allaah heal you, in the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you).” This is a great ruqyah which was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is prescribed to perform ruqyah for the one who has been bitten or stung, and the one who has been affected by sihr, and the one who is sick. There is nothing wrong with performing ruqyah for one who is sick or has been affected by sihr or bitten or stung, by reciting good du’aa’s, even if they were not transmitted from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so long as they do not contain anything that is haraam, because of the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is nothing wrong with ruqyah so long as it does not involve shirk.
Allaah may heal the sick person and the person affected by sihr, and others, without any ruqyah and without any action on the part of other people, because He is Able to do all things, and He is Wise in all that He does. Allaah says in His Holy Book: “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!”[Yaa-Seen 36:82]
To Him be praise and thanks for all that He wills and decrees, for He is wise in all that He does.
The sick person may not be healed if his appointed time has come and it is decreed that he should die from this disease. Among the things that may be used in ruqyah are the verses which speak of sihr, which may be recited into water. These are the verses about sihr in Soorat al-A’raaf, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We revealed to Moosa (saying): ‘Throw your stick,’ and behold! It swallowed up straight away all the falsehood which they showed.
Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.
So they were defeated there and returned disgraced [al-A’raaf 7:117-119]
And in Soorat Yoonus (interpretation of the meaning): “And Pharaoh said: ‘Bring me every well-versed sorcerer.’ And when the sorcerers came, Moosa said to them: ‘Cast down what you want to cast!’ Then when they had cast down, Moosa said: ‘What you have brought is sorcery, Allaah will surely make it of no effect. Verily, Allaah does not set right the work of Al#8209;Mufsidoon. And Allaah will establish and make apparent the truth by His Words, however much the Mujrimoon may hate (it).’ [Yoonus 10:79-82]
And in Soorat Ta-Ha (interpretation of the meaning): “They said: ‘O Moosa! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?’ Moosa said: ‘Nay, throw you (first)!’ Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast. So Moosa conceived fear in himself. We (Allaah) said: ‘Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.’ [Ta-Ha 20:65-69]
These aayahs are among the things by which Allaah causes the ruqyah against sihr to be beneficial. If the qaari’ (reader) recites these verses into water, and also reads Soorat al-Faatiha, Aayat al-Kursiy, “Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad”, and al-Mi’wadhatayn into the water, then pours it over the person who he thinks has been affected by sihr or is being prevented by magic from having intercourse with his wife, then he will be healed by Allaah’s Leave. If seven lotus leaves are ground up and added to the water as well, this is appropriate, as was mentioned by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Fath al-Majeed, quoting from some of the scholars in the chapter entitled Ma jaa’a fi’l-Nushrah. It is mustahabb to recite the three soorahs, namely Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul A’oodhu bi Rabb il Falaq and Qul A’oodhu bi Rabb il-Naas. The point is that these and similar treatments which are used to treat this problem of sihr, may also be used to treat the one who is prevented by magic from having intercourse with his wife. This has been tried a great deal and Allaah caused it to yield results. A person may be treated with al-Faatihah alone and be healed, or with Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad and al-Mi’wadhatayn on their own, and be healed. It is very important that the person performing this treatment and the person who is being treated should both have sincere faith and trust in Allaah; they should know that He is control of all things and that when He wills a thing it happens, and when He does not will a thing it does not happen. The matter is in His hand, whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen. When both the reader and the one who is read over have faith and are sincere towards Allaah, the sickness will disappear quickly by Allaah’s Leave, and both physical and spiritual medicine will be beneficial. We ask Allaah to help us all to please Him, for He is All-Hearing and is ever Near.
SEEKING CURE IN ISLAMIC LAW
By Shaykh Saud Ash-Shuraym (Imam of the Haram)
Makkah, 15, Safar 1426 (25, March 2005)
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared. Know that the most truthful speech is the word of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. The worst of all affairs are innovation and every innovation is error.
Dear brethren! Blessings of Allaah upon His servants come successively. He who denies them is ingrate and he who tries to enumerate it will never be able to do so. They are blessings that are constantly renewed. Allaah bestowed them upon His servants. He gives to this and denies that. He gives in abundant quantity to whoever He wishes and gives in measured quantity to whoever He wishes.
One of the greatest blessings that Allaah endows upon His servants is the blessing of well-being and health: the blessing of soundness of the body from all diseases and defects. This is because; the perfect health and freedom of the body from all diseases inwardly and outwardly is a manifestation of stable and happy life. It is also a manifestation of the desired worldly perfection. It is in this regard that health shared the perfection of authority with knowledge as manifested in the saying of Allaah, “He said: “Verily, Allaah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allaah grants His Kingdom to whom He wills. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”” (Al-Baqarah 2:247)
If not so, what then is the purpose of a life without health? Is there any enjoyment in food and drink if one is unwell? What is the benefit of fame and wealth in a state of ill-health? A poor but healthy person is happier than a wealthy but sick person. How can a man even perform his acts of worship in a perfect manner if he is tied down by a mortal disease? How fortunate and happy a healthy person is if he can show gratitude to Allaah and how unfortunate and ignoble he will be if he is ingrate!
By Allaah! Good health is one of the two things about which many people are deluded. The Messenger of Allaah said, “There are two blessings about which many people are deluded: good health and free time.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
It is an excellent statement that good health is a crown upon the head of the healthy that is only seen and longed for by the sick.
Fellow Muslims! It is a manifestation of our pure religion’s concern about health and physical soundness that it excellently encourages seeking remedy for diseases with medicines and making use of the means to resist illnesses. This confirms the wide horizon of the law of Islaam and that it is an everlasting law that leaves out no good without having encouraged it or no evil without having warned against it, thereby silencing that presumptuous group of people that aims at insulting the Sharee‘ah by saying, “What is the business of Sharee‘ah with medicine or curing?”
The fact is that: any unbiased person realizes and knows the justness of Islaam and its stand concerning seeking remedy for illnesses and its balanced view concerning that. Islaam neither exaggerates nor neglects the importance of medicine. Islaam does not allow people to be totally dependent on medicine at the expense of reliance on Allaah and being contended with His decisions and pre-decrees. Neither does it allow them to neglect the importance of medicine in its appropriate places. Also it does not give free rein to people to seek cure with what is unlawful.
Sometimes, we find in the Sharee‘ah that preference is totally given to reliance on Allaah over material healing because that is the habit of the sincere believers who put their trust in Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah explained this when he told his companions that seventy thousand shall enter Paradise without reckoning or punishment. When he was asked about them he said, “They are those who do not treat themselves with Ruqya, or do believe in bad or good omen (from birds etc.) or get themselves branded (cauterized). They rather put their trust (only) in their Lord.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Sometimes, we find the law of Islaam encouraging the use of medicine in situations different from the afore-mentioned. Usaamah ibn Shurayk narrated that he was with the Messenger of Allaah when some Bedouin Arabs came and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, shall we use medicine?” The Prophet answered, “O servants of Allaah! Seek healing with medicine.” (Ahmad and Aboo Daawood)
Dear brethren! Know that Islaam’s stand regarding the use of medicine is not restricted to cure only; it also encourages prevention in line with the adage that says, “Prevention is better than cure.” And among the established principles of Islaamic law is, “Averting the occurrence of something is better than removing it after its occurrence.” There are many texts from the Sunnah that corroborate this. For instance, the Messenger of Allaah said, “Do not put a patient with a healthy person.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Another hadeeth in this regard is what Jaabir narrated that there was a leper in a delegation of Banoo Thaqeef who came to pledge their allegiance to the Messenger of Allaah. The Prophet sent to the leper “Stay back; we have accepted your pledge.” (Muslim)
The Prophet also said, “Whoever takes seven ‘Ajwa dates in the morning will not be effected by magic or poison on that day.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Brethren in Islaam! It is of the perfection of Allaah’s favour upon His servants that He has made for every disease a cure, whatever the disease may be. It is only that this cure might be known or unknown. This is part of Allaah’s favour which He bestows on whoever He wills, and Allaah is the Owner of Bountiful Favour.
Imaam Ahmad narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Indeed, Allaah did not send down a disease without sending down its cure. Some may know it and some may be ignorant of it.”
In the past and present times, Allaah endowed some Muslims with the knowledge of medicine and healing. This shows the importance Islaam attaches to the health aspect of the life of this Ummah; and this Ummah has never been dependent upon others in this field. Aboo Ramthah said, “I came to al-Madeenah and I have never seen the Messenger of Allaah before. So he came out to us wearing two green garments. I told my son, ‘This, by Allaah, is the Messenger of Allaah.’ So my son started keeping far from the Messenger of Allaah out of a great respect for him. And I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I am a physician, my father was a physician and our household is that of physicians. By Allaah, no vein or bone of the body is hidden from us. Show me that which is on your shoulder. If it is a cyst I will remove it and then treat it.” (Ahmad)
The above texts are a consolation and moral encouragement for both the patient and the physician to search for ways of resisting diseases. If both the physician and the patient have encouragement, this will make them optimistic and hopeful. These are two qualities through which diseases can be prevailed upon.
The law of Islaam does not leave the Muslims wandering between surrendering to Allaah’s decree and fighting the occurrence of that decree. The disease and the remedy were both created by Allaah. As the disease comes down with the decree of Allaah, so do the means of healing and benefits of the medicine come down with the decree of Allaah. In both cases, man escapes from a decree of Allaah to another decree of Allaah.
Ahmad and others reported on the authority of Aboo Judhaamah who said, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! what is your view about the treatment we give ourselves, the medicine with which we cure ourselves and the precautions we take, does any of that prevent the occurrence of what Allaah has decreed?’ And he answered, ‘All of this is also part of the decree of Allaah.’”
Brethren in faith! We must all understand that there are three types of treatment of diseases:
One: The treatment that Islaam recommends. These are treatments concerning which there are particular texts like treatment with the verses of the Qur’aan, Zamzam water, honey, Ajwah dates, the black seed and others things. There are authentic evidences indicating that some of these things are regarded as remedy for particular diseases.
Two: The permitted treatment: this is a kind of medicine about which there is no particular recommendation or prohibition. This is the widest and the most popular kind of treatment. It has no limitation. This is what the Prophet referred to in this statement, “Some know it and some are ignorant of it.”
Three: Curing a disease with what is forbidden. The Messenger of Allaah prohibited curing with what Allaah has forbidden. Aboo Daawood reported that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Indeed, Allaah sent down disease and the cure. He made a cure for every disease. So seek medication but do not do so with what is forbidden.”
Al-Bukhaaree reported on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood that he said, “Allaah does not put your cure in what He has made forbidden to you.”
The unlawful cure is of two categories: (1) Something that Islaam explicitly forbids its use as a medication; like the Prophet’s prohibition of producing alcohol for medication saying, “It is not a cure. It is rather a disease.” (Muslim) Or according to a hadeeth reported by an-Nasaaee that a physician mentioned, in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah, a medication whose ingredients include a frog and the Prophet commanded him not to kill it.” (2) If the medication and drugs contain some impurities or things that Islaam forbids like preparations derived from parts of dead animals like cow lungs, mucous derived from the bowel of a pig or urines or milk of a domestic donkey, it is unlawful. It is also unlawful if the means of cure is forbidden in Islaam like healing with music and some sedative methods. This is because; the end which is the cure does not justify the unlawful means.
It is from here that Islaam gives utmost importance to this aspect. The scholars were greatly concerned about the issue of medication in many aspects that they made extensive research in it. This research includes the crime the physician may perpetrate during the cause of treatment and the effect of the treatment. It also includes permissions given to a sick person like eating during the days of Ramadaan and the like; and things that are indispensable during the cause of treatment like revealing private parts or touching them; and new medical cases that happen every now and then that need adaptation of fiqh [Islaamic jurisprudence] to answer them.
All the above underlines the importance of the role the scholars, the jurists and the Islaamic research organizations have to play in order to bring to light the correct Islaamic rules so that people will know the matters of their religion, and the lawful will not be mixed with unlawful. Allaah says, “See you not (O men) that Allaah has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent (i.e. Islaamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.) and hidden (i.e. One’s Faith in Allaah (of Islaamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise)? Yet of mankind is he who disputes about Allaah without knowledge or guidance or a Book giving light!” (Luqmaan 31:20)
Fellow Muslims! It is a confirmed fact among the scholars that among the approved means of seeking remedy for a disease is what is called ‘Islaamic ruqya’. It is done with the verses of the Qur’aan and authentic texts narrated from the Sunnah concerning seeking the cure.
Allaah says, “And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islaamic Monotheism and act on it).” (Al-Israa 17:82)
This verse indicates that the entire Qur’aan is healing. This does not mean that some soorahs are better in healing than others, according to the authentic reports in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim concerning soorahs al-Faatihah, al-Falaq, an-Naas and al-Ikhlaas.
However, there are some weak-minded individuals who are over-dependent on orthodox medicine and therefore look down upon Islaamic healing claiming that it is nothing more than mere illusion. At the same time they do not deny that the Qur’aan is the Book of Allaah. But they were too carried away by orthodox medicine and they are too inclined to physical theories that they disregard healing by the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
This stand is undoubtedly tantamount to lying against Allaah and His Messenger and violating the consensus of the Muslim leaders and their scholars. The verses that indicate that the Qur’aan is healing in many aspects and the hadeeths reported concerning healing with the verses of the Qur’aan, are many. We have mentioned some of them.
Also the erudite and renowned scholars have experienced amazing effects of using the texts of Qur’aan in treating some ailments. We will mention examples of this. Perhaps it will stop those who recklessly downgrade healing with the Qur’aan and hurl it under what they call traditional medicine. However, we are not unaware of malpractices that occur on the part of those who practice Islaamic ruqyah; but this is not the place to discuss it.
Ibn Hazm said, “We have seen someone who used the ruqyah to treat an acute and strongly emerging boil at the beginning of its appearance and the boil wilted and became dried up on the third day. We have had many experiences of this. There was also a woman who used ruqyah to treat one of a two boils that surfaced in a person’s body and did not treat the other. The one she treated dried up and the other grew. We also knew of someone who used ruqyah to treat a tumour known as scrofulosis. This tumour then wilted and dried up.”
Ibn al-Qayyim has this to tell us about his shaykh, Ibn Taymiyyah, “I heard him talking about a great happening that occurred to him in his illness that was astounding to human intellect. It is a war against evil spirits that appeared to him then while he was in weak situation. He said, ‘When the matter became unbearable, I told my relatives and those around me to read Verses of Tranquility. Then that situation was removed.’”
Ibn al-QAyyim also said about himself, “I also tried reading these verses when my heart was disturbed and I saw a wonderful impact in its calmness and tranquility.”
He also said about his Shaykh, “Whenever Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah had nose-bleeding, he wrote this verse: “And it was said: “O earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).” And the water was made to subside and the Decree (of Allaah) was fulfilled.” (Hood 11:44)
And I heard him say, “I have written it for a number of people and they all recovered from their illnesses.” He then said, “It should not be written with the blood of the patient who is suffering from nose-bleeding as some ignorant people do because blood is impurity. It is therefore unlawful to write the word of Allaah with it.”
Ibn al-Qayyim has this to say about himself, “I have spent some time in Makkah in which I was sick and I could not find a physician or any drug. I used to treat myself with Soorah al-Faatihah. I would take some Zamzam water and read Soorah al-Faatihah in it many times and then drink it. And I completely recovered. Then I started using this method in treating many other pains and I was greatly benefited by it.”
The above are Islaamic texts and sayings of the scholars of this religion. This is, therefore, the truth and there is nothing besides the truth but falsehood.
DU’AS TO RELIEVE DEPRESSION
By Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah
Taken from “Al-Kalim Al-Tayyib” edited by Shaykh al-Albaani, p. 72
In al-Saheehayn it was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when he felt distressed: “La ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem ul-Haleem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb il-‘arsh il-‘azeem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb is-samawaati wa Rabb il-ard wa Rabb il-‘arsh il-kareem (there is no god except Allaah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allaah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god except Allaah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne).”
And it was reported from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when something upset him: “Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoom, bi Rahmatika astagheeth (O Ever-Living One, O Everlasting One, by Your mercy I seek help).”
And it was reported that Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed? ‘Allaah, Allaah, Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an (Allaah, Allaah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him).’”
It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says: ‘Allaahumma innee ‘abduka wa ibn ‘abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘andak an taj’ala al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’ – but Allaah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.”
HEALING BELONGS TO ALLAH
By Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qaasim
Madinah, Rabee’uth-Thaanee 10, 1423 (June 21, 2002)
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! This world is an abode of trials in which no man is safe from an illness that disrupts his life or weakens him. Afflictions are however a blessing; for our Lord showers mercy through trials and tries some with blessings. Bitterness of this world for the believer is the real sweetness of the Hereafter for him. Many a blessing given to a man has been a source of his illness and many a deprived person has been healed through his depravity.
Allaah says, “It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)
Affliction is a sign of Allah’s love and the way to Paradise. The Prophet said, “Great reward goes with great affliction and when Allaah loves a people, He tries them. Whoever shows contentedness among them will earn the pleasure of Allaah and whoever becomes angry earns the anger of Allaah.” (At-Tirmidhee)
Good health is one of the greatest blessings of Allaah. The Prophet said, “There are two blessings of which many people get deceived: good health and free time.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
Good health is one of the things that man will be called to account for on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allaah said, “The first thing that man will be asked of on the Day of Resurrection is, ‘Had I not given you health in your body and quenched your thirst with cold water?’ ” (At-Tirmidhee)
One of the most severe tests is to deprive a man of his health. The best individuals among men have been afflicted with diseases. Ibn Mas’ood entered upon the Messenger of Allaah, while he was suffering from an illness and he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, you are seriously suffering from an illness”. The Prophet said, “Yes, I am suffering from an illness as two men among you would do.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). Prophet Ayyoob was also overwhelmed with disease for years.
Brethren in Faith! Suffering illness exalts one’s degree and erases one’s sins. The Messenger of Allaah said, “No Muslim is afflicted with a disease or other affliction except that his sins are removed from him as leaves fall of a tree.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). The sick person will have the reward of what he used to do when he was healthy, written for him in his sickness even if he does not do them. It is during the illness that a believer increases in eemaan, dependence on Allaah and having good opinion of Him. It is also the healing for heart diseases like arrogance, haughtiness, heedlessness and self-deception. The guided Muslim learns lessons from trial of his time, for all afflictions that is not in one’s religion is well-being.
The sign of Allaah in the creation of man has been known to a lot of doctors. Allaah says, “And (there are signs) also in your own selves. Will you not then see?” (Adh-Dhaariyaat 51:21)
The greatness of Allaah’s creature has astounded the wise men. Allaah says, “Verily, We have created man in the best form.” (At-Teen 95:4)
It is the marvelousness of this creation that calls non-Muslims to Islaam and increases the eemaan of the believer. Let the doctor then take his job as an act of worship by reflecting on the blessings of Allaah. Let him be a propagator of this religion by what manifests to him of the greatness and perfection of Allaah’s creation.
O doctor, be conscious of Allah in all that you say and do. For your word is taken as far as diseases are concerned and your opinion is followed. The sick person is afflicted by Allaah for a wisdom by which He wants to exalt him and purify him. Do not therefore disdain him because of his illness. If a doctor behaves arrogantly with his knowledge, Allaah will relegate him. It is wise for him to say about things of which he has no knowledge, “I do not know”. For there are some diseases the cure of which Allaah has removed its knowledge. Be gentle with the patient and do not feel inconvenienced with his complaints or rudeness. Give the patient good tiding that he will soon be alright, for Allaah loves optimism.
The Muslim doctor should be sincere in his work; for it is by sincerity that ones work is blessed . He should endeavor to know the new things in his profession for the service Islaam and Muslims without neglecting any of all that the Sharee’ah teaches. He should believe in the existence of magic and its effect. He should not deny the existence of jinn and their mixing with man. He should believe in the existence of evil eye and that if anything could overtake the pre-decree, the evil eye would have done so.
The Muslim doctor is entrusted with the secrets of the patients. Let him protect that and not reveal it and let him treat them with compassion and kindness.
Fellow Muslims! No one cures but Allaah and no one removes afflictions but Allaah. The medicine and the doctor are only means by which Allaah facilitates the healing. Therefore, make use of the means and use only lawful medications. Do not have total reliance on the doctor for none is capable of causing you any harm or benefit except Allaah. Put your trust in Allaah and submit your affairs to Him, for He is the One Who brings benefit and causes harm. Know that if the whole nation are to be gathered in order to benefit or harm you, they can not do any benefit or harm to you except only by which Allaah has decreed for you. The most useful medicine is however total reliance on Allaah, taking refuge with Him and having good opinion of Him.
Seeking medication with the Qur’aan and invocations narrated in the Sunnah are the best healing for disease, so is sincere and humble supplication with certainty of faith. Doing a lot of alms giving is also one of the best medications. There are in this world some certain and divine medications that emanated from the Prophet: Pressed dates of Al-Madeenah. It prevents the effects of poison and magic spell. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever eats every morning seven ‘ajwah dates, no poison or magic spell will harm such a person.” (Muslim)
Water is also a medication for fever. The Prophet said, “Fever is of the fragrance of the Fire, so douse it with water.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). Also, nothing like honey in meaning has been created for us. Cupping is also one of the best methods of healing. The Messenger of Allaah said, “The best of what you treat yourselves with, is cupping”. (Bukhaaree and Muslim)
The black seed is also a cure from all diseases. The prophet said, “Make use of the black seed for in it is a cure for all diseases.”
There are however some diseases that cannot be cured except with the Qur’aan and the Prophetic invocations. They are used for, untying a magic spell and expulsion of evil spirits.
Muslims also possess blessed water that is the noblest of all waters and the highest in esteem. It is Zamzam water that springs from the blessed land in the sacred House of Allaah. It is a kind of food and cure. These are the curing prophetic medications from which those who accept them and believe in their curing effects benefit.
Brethren in Faith! A lot of Istighfaar (seeking for forgiveness) removes diseases and reduces their effects. Allaah says, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain and add strength to your strength. So do not turn away as criminals.” (Hood 11:52)
Sins close doors of knowledge. Islaam has forbidden being in seclusion with a strange woman for the purpose of medical examinations and the like. Muslims should therefore follow the injunction Islaam in everywhere. Mingling of male and female workers in medical institutions weakens knowledge and removes the blessing of medication. It is also one of the causes of keeping one away from Allaah and from healing. The Messenger of Allaah said, “I have not left after me for men a trial that is greater than women”. Conversely, obeying Allaah opens doors of knowledge, spiritual upliftment and perfection of deeds. The patients as well as medical personnel should move closer to Allaah for removal of the afflictions; for when the trials becomes severe, none removes them but Allaah. Keeping away from Allaah and disobeying Him in times of bliss are among the causes of misery.
Fellow Muslims! Of the firmness and completeness of faith is to persevere and be contented with what has been decreed. Be contented, dear patient with what Allaah has portioned out for you. Have patience of the willing noble servant of Allaah, for the end of patience is good. Allaah says, “And if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for the patient ones.” (An-Nahl 16:126)
Whoever perseveres and is contented, Allaah will keep for him what is greater. Remember also that, what Allaah afflicted you with is only to purify and elevate you and that, what Allaah endows you with of favors are manifolds of what He takes from you. Showing anguish does not cure the illness but aggravates it. If you are afflicted with disease, praise Allaah that you were not afflicted with more than that. Supplicate to your Lord in seclusion and do not forget the remembrance of Allaah as a way of thanking Him for His abundant gifts. No situation is uglier than when man repents to Allaah in affliction and then becomes a sinner during time of bliss.
When you start recovering from your illness, know the estimation of Allaah’s blessing on you, hold on to good relationship with your Lord and be always conscious of Him in times of bliss; He will know you in your times of hardship.
Make a sincere repentance to Allaah and learn lessons from vicissitudes of time. Beware of satanic ways like having bad opinion of Allaah, getting annoyed and showing anguish, for Allaah is always All-Compassionate with His slaves and He is the One that removes calamities and hears the agony of the sorrowful. He says, “If Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He and if He touches you with good, then He is able to do all things.” (Al-An’aam 6:17)
Fellow Muslims! One of the best ways by which man treats his illness is to search his heart, to reform it and to strengthen his soul by relying on Allaah, seeking refuge with him, humbling himself before Him, giving alms, invoking Allaah, returning to Him in repentance, doing good to people, aiding the wronged and relieving the distressed. Ibn al-Qayyim said, “May Allaah have mercy on these medications. Many nations have tried it regardless of their religions and beliefs and found it to be very effective in healing what the doctors could not heal. And we and others have also tried these things on many occasions and found that they achieved what physical medications could not achieve”.
THE PHENOMENON OF GRIEF AND DEPRESSION
By Imam Sa’ud Ash-Shuraim
O people! I advise you all and myself to fear Allaah and be pious because that is the source of might, honour and security in this life, and the way to salvation on the Day of Resurrection, as Allaah says that which translates as: “And there is none of you except he will come to it. [i.e., Hell] This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed. Then We will save those who feared Allaah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.” (Maryam: 71-72).
Slaves of Allaah! If one takes a just and unbiased look at the current condition of mankind in general and the Muslims in particular, in an era where technology is at its most advanced and civilization is at its most developed in economic, medical, military and informational terms, they will find that all this worldly knowledge, information and development is inherently deficient and inept because it cannot produce a single human being who realises the reason for his creation.
There is no doubt that this is a fact, otherwise, how can one explain the spread of ignorance and illiteracy in the era of knowledge and technology? Why is there so much poverty at a time of abundant resources? Why is unemployment overwhelming in an era of mass production and manufacturing? Why do some international researchers who specialise in community affairs call this era an era of grief and depression after they called the previous one an era of anxiety?
We do not need many evidences to prove that we are suffering from the spread of this phenomenon, the phenomenon of grief and depression.
Slaves of Allaah! This is the destructive problem of our time and it is the most widespread amongst all the psychological diseases in the world. It is continually on the increase. An accurate International survey affirms that ten percent of the world’s population suffers from it, including the Muslim countries, which means that hundreds of millions of people are living through this bitter reality. Moreover, there is proof that this phenomenon is starting at a younger age as time goes by and that it affects twice as many females as males. This has resulted from the fact that women are not practicing their natural role in the community due to them shouldering responsibilities which they were forced to, leading them to leave the role of raising their children to maids and day care centres.
The number of suicides resulting from grief and depression has exceeded eight hundred thousand annually, and this is beside the fact that eighty percent of those who suffer from it do not see doctors in order to report or solve the problem.
This is not a new phenomenon and its causes are not mysterious, rather it is the natural and expected result when people become obsessed by gathering and collecting worldly belongings and when people’s concerns become purely materialistic. Therefore, this problem differs from one country or community to another and is dependent on the weakness of people’s belief in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, The Last Day and the divine decree. This is in addition to people’s behaviour and the degree of security, justice and love between the people.
This phenomenon has interested scholars of various disciplines, medical doctors, writers and journalists who have studied and addressed this problem. In many cases the articles written have been of little benefit, and as much as people have addressed this problem, no one seems to have approached it correctly. The only correct and acceptable way of curing and solving this problem is if its diagnosis is founded on scientific treatment which is based on authentic laboratory tests and reports conducted by trustworthy specialists who apply the principles of Islaam to all their tests and stay away from the purely materialistic bias which fails to attach any value to the spiritual side of the problem.
Grief is a something natural that humans feel due to their common problems, it is when it increases and overwhelms a person that it becomes what is known as depression. This is a condition that is considered to be at the highest level of grief and results in a person becoming controlled and dominated by their inner misery, the result of which is despair and loss of happiness. It is usually accompanied with headaches, bone problems, ulcers and other symptoms; it also makes a person lose their taste of joy and happiness. The results of depression include laziness, loss of energy and hatred of life which makes some people feel that suicide is the only solution. Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “four things destroy the body: anxiety, grief, hunger and sleeping late.”
Applying medical treatment with a religious foundation, extracted from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam is vital because it is the most perfect and safest form of treatment, especially when one compares this to the hundreds of medications and tranquilizers which have flooded the market and which the human body becomes addicted to, thereby descending into a worse and more serious condition than depression.
Some medical reports state that swimming and frequently doing house work is a solution for depression, but it is ludicrous to imagine that depressed people will always remain in swimming pools or be constantly doing housework. On the other hand, it is accepted that a person can easily be remembering Allaah, glorifying him and seeking His forgiveness at all times, whether he is standing, sitting or lying down. This is how Allaah described the people of understanding when He says that which translates as: “[Those] Who remember Allaah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying]: ‘Our Lord! You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire'”. (Aal `Imraan: 190-191). Therefore, we can see the importance of spiritual treatment to these problems, although there is no doubt that medication is also necessary, but the point is that we must not ignore the spiritual treatments that exist for these problems.
One may well ask: we realise that these problems exist, but what are the reasons behind them and what is the solution? The answer is that in some cases, there are purely medical reasons behind depression which cannot be ignored, the most common being the frequent consumption of medication, drugs and alcohol. This leads to a person becoming addicted to them and subsequently feeling that their life is pointless without them. This results in a chemical imbalance within the brain which causes depression. Another reason why depression takes place is due to heredity, when one inherits them through their genes. We shall concentrate on the some of the reasons why depression exists which have been specifically addressed by Islaam and dispraised and warned against it in many verses of the Qur’aan and in various Ahaadeeth.
In many Qur’aanic verses and Ahaadeeth it is mentioned that the heart which is heedless of the remembrance of Allaah, which is reflected by the heedlessness of the tongue is an indication of grief and misery for the person who is afflicted by this. Allaah says that which translates as: “And whoever turns away from My remembrance – Indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (Taa Haa: 124). Also, it is also mentioned in the Sunnah that sins lead to depression, as stated in the book of Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, that the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, “If a slave’s sins increase and he does not have enough good deeds which would wipe these out, then Allaah will afflict him with grief and sorrow in order to wipe them out”.
Being anxious and concerned about the future and the lack of belief in divine decree and pre-destination is another cause of this problem. Some people worry about what the future holds for them and fear being incapable of dealing with problems, disasters and calamities, if and when they arrive. One finds that such people are in such a frenzy at times of tribulation that if they could find refuge in a cave or other remote and concealed place, they would rush like mad to get to it.
Bad dreams caused by Satan, who instils sorrow in a person, also play an important role the cause of depression. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam informed us that Satan comes to people as they sleep and makes them see things which results in them feeling grief and sorrow. This is why we see many people who suffer from depression not being able to sleep properly.
Other reasons that lead to depression are debts which a person cannot repay, cowardliness at the time of fear and stinginess whilst aggressively collecting wealth.
The Proof that debts cause grief and anxiety lies in the Hadeeth where the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam went into the mosque one day and found Abu Umaamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, and said: “O Abu Umaamah! Why do I see you sitting in the mosque when it is not prayer time?” Abu Umaamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, replied: “It is due to Anxiety and grief, which resulted from debts that I owe.” So the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “Shall I teach words which will take away your grief and by which Allaah will help you repay your debts, if you were to say them?” Abu Umaamah, may Allaah be pleased with him replied: “Yes! O Messenger of Allaah.” Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “Every morning and every evening say, O Allah! I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardliness, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.” After this, Abu Umaamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, commented that: “I did this and Allaah relieved my sorrow and anxiety and helped me repay my debts.”
These were some reasons behind depression, and through these one can clearly see the connection between depression and straying away from the guidance and the path of Allaah, committing that which Islaam has prohibited, and being attached to worldly matters. Allaah says that which translates as: “So whoever Allaah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islaam; and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allaah place defilement upon those who do not believe.” (Al-An’aam: 125).
O people! In order to address this topic in a comprehensive manner we must briefly point out some of the best ways of curing this problem, based on the Islamic texts in addition to the testimony of eminent and specialised medical doctors:
· The first and most important is the obligation of the Muslim nation of performing Jihaad for the sake of Allaah, propagating it and inviting people to perform it, and warning against being inclined towards this life and its pleasures. This is the way to a prosperous and tranquil heart, and a means of getting rid of grief and misery. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “When people become stingy, deal with `Eenah (a form of Ribaa), follow their cattle and become satisfied with agriculture (i.e., become attached to agriculture and commerce) then Allaah will afflict them with humiliation until they return to their religion”. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam also said, “Perform Jihaad because it is one of the gates that lead to Paradise, and a way through which Allaah relieves people from anxiety and grief”.
· The correct understanding and belief in divine decree and pre- destiny is another way to treat this problem. When a person believes that there was no way that he could have escaped whatever befell him and that all matters are in the Hands of Allaah, including ones provisions and death, and that no one will die until he consumes all his decreed provision and until he lives for the whole amount of time that was given to him, then he will definitely rely on Allaah completely without any worry or grief and will face all his problems with strength and resolution. Also, if people acknowledge that whatever Allaah has decreed resulted from His perfect wisdom, then they will be content with whatever He decrees. One who is discontent will become an easy victim for grief, disease and following base desires. Al- Hasan, may Allaah have mercy upon him, was asked how he attained his good manners, he replied: “From being content with the decree of Allaah”. Abu Haatim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, reported that some of the Salaf said regarding being content: “There is no rank higher or mightier than being content. It is the peak of loving Allaah”. This is exactly why Prophet Zakiryaa, peace be upon him, supplicated to Allaah to grant this to his son, as Allaah says that which translates as: “…And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You].”(Maryam: 6). Contentment can only be established when the slave has firmly in his mind the conviction that whatever Allaah decrees results from His wisdom. Allaah provides and deprives for a wise reason, and this is the only thing that will make a person feel at ease during times of hardships. This also applies during times of prosperity, as Allaah informs us in the Qur’aan about Prophet Sulaymaan, peace be upon him, with that which translates as: “…’This is from the favour of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for the [benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is free of need and Generous.’ (An-Naml:40). This is also evident in the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam when his son Ibraaheem died: “The eyes cry tears, and the heart becomes sad, but we will not say that which will bring the wrath of our Lord. If it was not a true promise, and that we will meet in an appointed time, and that the last will eventually follow (die) after the first, then we would have cried hard for your death (O Ibraaheem). Indeed we are saddened by your departure” (Al-Bayhaqi & Ibn Maajah). By saying this, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam meant that had he not known that there was a wisdom from Allaah behind taking his son, he would have extremely been saddened.
· Extra prostration and glorification of Allaah and worship in general takes away grief. Allaah says that which translates as: “…And We already know that your breast is constrained by what they say. So exalt [Allaah] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him]. And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e., death].” (Al-Hijr: 97-99). Whenever the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam felt grief or worry, he would rush to prayer. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “Whoever continuously asks forgiveness from Allaah, then Allaah will make a way out for him from all his worries, and will provide him from means he never would have expected”.
· The dish of Talbeenah is another relief from grief and anxiety, as narrated by `Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, that the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “Talbeenah relieves a person’s heart from anxiety and some of its grief” (Bukhaari & Muslim). Talbeenah is a natural medicine which is prepared by boiling wheat or barley with either honey or milk, or both of them.
· The final cure is that which the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam advised us with when he said: “Allaah will relieve any slave who is afflicted with grief and anxiety from his anxiety and replace his grief with happiness if he says: ‘O Allaah! I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my chest, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety. O Allaah! Teach me from it that which I am ignorant of and remind me with it that which I was made to forget; I ask You by Your mercy, for You are the Most Merciful, to grant me its recitation during the hours of night and day in the form which pleases You'” . The people asked: “O Prophet of Allaah! Should we learn (i.e., memorize) these words’. He sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam replied: “Yes! Everyone who hears this should memorise it”.
What I have mentioned are some helpful ways of curing the sickness of depression.