By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
12 January 2022
Sickness Is The Moment Of Introspection And Reckoning
1. Hadiths enjoin on men to visit the sick.
2. The holy prophet pbuh visited both Muslims and non-Muslims when the fell sick.
3. The prophet pbuh visited a sick Jew woman who threw garbage on his path every day.
4. Sickness reminds man of his the frailty and vulnerability of his body.
Every Man Falls
The Quran preaches care and sympathy with the neighbours, the travelers, the sick and the needy. There are a number of hadiths which enjoin on Muslims to visit and take care of the sick persons even if the sickness is common. There are hadiths about the holy prophet pbuh visiting even his enemies when they were sick. The holy prophet pbuh visited both Muslims and non-Muslims when they fell sick and stressed the importance of visiting the sick. There is a famous incident during the life of the prophet pbuh when he visited a Jew woman who would regularly threw garbage on the path of the prophet pbuh. One day when she did not threw garbage on his path, the prophet pbuh inquired about the well being and was told that she had fallen sick. He visited the woman. Impressed by the prophet’s gesture, she became a Muslim.
There is a hadith in Sahih Bukhari about the significance of visiting the sick:
“Abu Musa Ash’ari narrated that the holy prophet pbuh said, “Feed the hungry and visit the sick whatever the sickness may be and free the bonded.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol 3 No. 374)
There is another hadith about the significance of visiting the sick:
“Hadhrat Ayesha r.a. narrated that when the holy prophet pbuh visited a sick or any sick person was brought before him, he would pray, “O God! Please the sickness of people and give them health, no one else can cure people. Only You can cure people. Cure them in such a way that no sickness remains.”(Sahih Bukhari, Vol 3, 634)
In Islam, sickness becomes a moment for reckoning and introspection. Diseases can be serious and commonplace. Therefore, when people are sick, they remember death. Sickness reminds the people of their frailty and vulnerability before the power of nature. They may recover and if the disease is not diagnosed or the disease is incurable according to the standards of the current medical science, the patient may die. Therefore, sickness becomes a moment of introspection of the people.
In Islam, sickness or disease becomes an occasion for removing of sins when the patient remembers death and asks for forgiveness of sins from God.
According to a hadith, when people get sick, their sins are washed away in the same way as leaves fall during the autumn. The fever during sickness becomes the reason for removing of sins.
Visiting the sick also has its own wisdom in it. The visitor also is reminded of the frailty of the human body and his vulnerability to diseases and to death. So the visitor not only provides solace to the patient and fulfils his duty towards the society, at the same time he learns lessons for the sickness of others. He learns that he should take care of his health and should not take his life for granted. He should remember that life is impermanent and the health can fall at any time. The Quran also reminds man of his weakness.
“Allah intends to make things easy on you. And man has been created weak.” (Al Nisa: 28)
Therefore, he should not hanker after the luxuries of life at the cost of his health. Modern life style has caused many lifestyle diseases. Stress, anxiety and spiritual hollowness are the results of modern lifestyle.
Sickness is also the result of man’s carelessness about the principles of health and hygiene. God says that all the hardships that befall men are the result of his own misdeeds. Therefore, sickness and disease are a reminder to men to get their acts right and follow the right daily routine. To remain healthy one should eat cautiously and sleep on time. Islam also preaches man to do exercises and walking to keep fit.
Therefore, sickness and diseases serve as a reminder to man about the value of his health and his duty towards the people in society. It also makes his responsibility to create awareness about diseases and rules about health and hygiene so that everyone in the society leads a healthy way of life.
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