DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on this Friday. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.
"And we will test you with bad and good as a trial..."
Dear Brothers and sisters
One of the greatest blessing that Allah (swt) has given to the human being is that He has blessed them with health and gifted it to them like a crown on their heads. However, from time to time He (swt) may test His slaves with illness to remind them of the blessing of good health and so that they appreciate it. Without illness, nobody would remember how much they need their creator and their Lord to help them through their difficulty. He (swt) says in surah Al-Anbiya,
“ And We will test you with bad and good as a trial. And to us, you will return. “
Islam teaches us that that protecting the life, body and mind of a person is from the essential aspects of this religion, and one of the objectives of the Shariah. Allah (swt) warns us,
“ And do not throw with your own hand to your destruction”.
A person being a cause of their own destruction happens due to 2 reasons:
1) Leaving what he has been commanded to do. Especially if leaving that thing is a direct cause of his destruction or a cause of harm to his body or mind.
2) Doing something that is a direct cause of your destruction and harmful to your body and mind. And there are many examples of this type of action.
As for treatment and cures, Islam combines between the treatment of the soul and body. It does not call for physical or spiritual treatment alone. Rather it is a combination of the two.
As for the physical treatment:
Islam has told us to seek and take medicine as a treatment for our illnesses. The messenger (saw) said:
“ O slaves of Allah take medicine. As Allah (swt) did not create an illness without creating a cure – or treatment – except for one illness. So they said “ O Messenger of Allah and what is it? “ He (saw) said: “ Old age “. [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
He (saw) also told us to protect ourselves from the causes of illness and to stay away from places in which there is a plague or epidemic. The messenger (saw) said
“ An ill person should not present with a healthy person” [ Bukhari]
Meaning an ill person should not be around healthy people who he may spread his illness to until he heals. He (saw) also said:
“ Flee from a leper as you would flee from a lion” [ Authentic hadith, Shuayb Arnaoot].
Meaning take the means of prevention to disease that Allah (swt) has created. All diseases come from the decree of Allah.
In the 9th year of Hijrah a delegation from the tribe of Thaqif came to Medinah to pledge allegiance to the messenger (saw) , and amongst them was a man who was afflicted with leprosy that wanted to pledge allegiance to the Messenger (saw). He (saw) forbade him from entering medinah ,
‘ So the Messenger (saw) sent a message to him that “We have accepted your pledge of alegience so go back”. [ Muslim ]
So this – my dear brothers and sisters – is how we can protect ourselves and prevent ourselves from catching a disease or illness, and likewise protect the community from a disease spreading amongst them. And it is the right of our community that we do this.
The companions of the Messenger (saw) would protect themselves from illnesses and the spread of disease They would distance themselves from places in which illness was spreading. And they did this whilst having full conviction and trust in Allah. When the leader of the believers Umar bin Al-Khataab (ra) travelled to Shaam and when they had almost arrived, they were met by Abu Ubayda Bin Al-Jarrah and he told them that a plague/epidemic had afflicted the people of the land. So Umar (ra) went before his people and said:
“ O Ibn Abbas, call the Muhajiroon to me. He said: So I called them to him: So Umar consulted them on entering the city or should he return back with the companions of the Messenger (saw)? They differed, and some of them said: Trust in Allah and enter, and some of them said: ‘Return back with the companions’. Then he (Umar) said: Call the Ansaar to me; he (ibn Abbas) said: Then I called them to him and they were all in agreement and said: We see it best that you return back with the companions of the Messenger (saw) and do not put them at risk of the plague. The Umar commanded a caller to announce” I am turning back in the morning. So everyone prepared to return back. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah said: Are you fleeing from the decree of Allah, Umar? He (Umar) said: Yes, we turn away from Allah's decree towards Allah's decree!
Then Abdur-Rahmaan bun Awf came, who had missed this whole discussion, and said:
“ I have some knowledge about this. I heard the messenger (saw) say, “ If you heard about a land [that has a plague] then do not enter it, and if you are in it then do not leave it trying to escape it”. Upon hearing this Umar praised Allah and set off. [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
This is the best evidence that the companions of the Prophet (saw) used to take precautions and use the material means that preserve their health and protect them from falling into an epidemic, with their belief that there is no calamity except with the permission of Allah, and there is no misfortune except with the will of Allah, and there is nobody and nothing that can prevent his will from happening. And, with their belief that what Allah willed has happened and what he did not will did not happen and there is no power nor might except with Allah the Almighty. Disease happens with the decree of Allah, and the medicine that cures that illness is also from the decree of Allah. And the believer uses the decree of Allah against the decree of Allah, meaning the medicine against the illness.
That is why it has become necessary for us to advise Muslims and remind them about the preference of preventing the causes of the spread of infection and adopting the different means to do this. The protection recommended by doctors and the medical guidelines directed by medical institutions to reduce the causes of spreading disease and infections.
This included: Reducing hugging, kissing and handshaking if possible, especially in places of large gatherings such as a masjid, and congregational and Friday prayers. Islamic law (fiqh) also states that that illness and the spread of epidemics are legitimate excuses for a person to miss the Friday prayer and the congregational prayers - especially those who are already ill with a disease that is contagious to prevent the spread to others. And you heard previously the hadith of the Messeneger (saw),
“ An ill person should not be present with a healthy person” [Bukhari].
And most importantly we ask Allah to protect everyone and their health.
As for the spiritual side:
Allah (swt) has honoured us with 3 fortifications taught to us by our Messenger (saw) . If you hold firm to them and perform them regularly and expect a positive outcome from Allah then by the will of Allah you will not be affected or afflicted by any ill;
- The remembrance of the morning and evening which is authentically narrated from our messenger (saw). These are a protection for you throughout the day and night.
- Remembering to say upon exiting the house:
" بسمِ اللهِ توكَّلْتُ على اللهِ لا حَوْلَ ولا قوَّةَ إلَّا باللهِ" , In the name of Allah , I have relied upon Allah, and there is no might nor power expect by Allah. “
The benefit of this is mentioned in a hadith ,
“ You be sufficed, and be guided and protected. “[Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibbaan]
- If you enter a building like your workplace of college or university, or a hospital etc, you say:
“ "أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ" I seek refuge with the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what he has created.
And as mentioned in a hadith,
“ Nothing will harm you by the will of Allah. “ [Muslim]
And in conclusion, there is a prophetic dua that He (saw) would make and repeat often which is,
“ O Allah I seek your protection with you from leprosy, and insanity and all bad illnesses. “ [Ibn Hibbaan]
So persist and maintain such dhikr and protective duas and with the permission of Allah Almighty. Returning to Allah is from our belief and He (swt) alone is capable of curing any illness and lifting any difficulty. And our Messenger (saw) taught us to turn back to Allah in all matters, and form them is with regards to our health.
So whoever takes the means to protect himself and relies upon Allah then he cannot blame himself in any way, as he has done everything he can and the result is with Allah. This is the meaning of what our messenger (saw) said :
“ Ask Allah for assistance and don’t be paralysed. If something afflicts you don’t say ‘if only I had done such and such a thing. But rather say ‘ this is the decree of Allah and whatever he willed he did. As indeed saying ‘if only’ opens the doors of Shaytan.” [Muslim]
We ask Allah for good health and to protect us and all the muslim .