Thursday, 9 February 2012

Reflections on illness

As I thought about our friend Intan who has been very ill, and was in a unconscious for 2 days (and is still very ill due to TB so do du'a), I was very touched  by my observations, and things struck me.
Sometimes people think "why am I ill?", "why did it happen to such a nice person?", "why did God do this?"
and so on.
I was thinking about this Hadith Qudsi: "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, will say on the Day of Rising, 'Son of Adam, I was ill and you did not visit Me.' The man will say, 'O Lord, how could I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?' He will say, 'Do you not know that My slave so-and-so was ill and you did not visit him? Do you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him? " (Muslim)

Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Visit the sick, feed the hungry and set captives free." [al-Bukhari]

This shows the importance of visiting the sick in Islam and by people being sick, Allah Most High allows different benefits:
1) it reminds the sick person of the brother/sisterhood of Islam and that people care for him/her. This is important since it touches the heart of the sick, gives them hope and motivation to fight against the illness (this is proven in modern medicine and is important to recovery), and gives them hope in Allah Most High and Islam. For many people illness makes them have lots of waswasa (doubts) and bad thoughts about Islam and weakens their trust in Allah Most High and in their worship and Iman. Thus people should visit the sick and give them hope in their Islam and remind them of patience and other Islamic virtues.
2) reminds the visitor of illness and death, and of the afterlife, and how short this world is
3) it makes both the sick and the visitor appreciate the times of health more and make them more grateful for those times
4) it weakens attachment to dunya, and attaches the person more to Islam
5) it is a mercy for the sick
6) the du'as of the sick are answered
7) improves the character of the sick by making him/her more humble and patient 
8) allows people to see true compassion, unity and humanity of people as they try to help the sick
9) draws the sick person closer to Allah Most High
10) encourages the people to help others

11) distinguishes between true and false friends, since the false friends will not do much to help the sick, and are often reluctant to help
12) increases love amongst Muslims
13) draws a person to Islam and to practice it
14) it distinguishes real Muslims from fake ones, since the real Muslims show that they have true tawakkul and faith in Islam. Like gold is tested by fire

Furthermore the Qur'an says "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. "(Surah Ankabut, v 2-3)

It was definitely heart warming to see many Muslims striving to help Intan by visiting her, asking many people to do du'a for her, organising a Surah Yasin circle and Salat al Haaja (prayer of need), raising donations for her parents who bought their flight visits to visit her. It shows that humanity still exists amongst the current materialistic and selfish trends of society. It also is a practical example of the Islamic family, and of unity, and how people can do so much when they are sincere and moved by good causes. Even people who hardly know her, wanted to help and showed that they cared, even when they're from other universities or in another country.

 May Allah Most High reward all those who played their part in this Divine Plan, and may He heal Intan and give her and her family His mercy and grant them patience, Ameen.

Many people die because people don't visit them when they're ill, so they get more depressed and lose hope. So if we have friends or family that are ill, we should visit them insha'Allah. The human body is remarkable, it can even fight and win against cancer if it has strong will power, so lets not forget Allah Most High, who gives lessons to teach us.

The Prophet said: "Anyone for whom Allah intends good, He makes him suffer from some affliction". (Bukhari)

I want to part with two beautiful stories:

 "Sheikh Abd al-Rahman told us that when Husni al-Baghghal caught tuberculosis (TB), before the era of antibiotics, he was put in quarantine, which his student defied by visiting him. His teacher told him he was risking his life, and in reply, seeing that the sheikh had a candy in his mouth, Abd al-Rahman asked if he could see it for a moment. The sheikh gave it to him, and the young man popped it into his own mouth, telling him that according to tenets of faith ( ilm al-tawhid), causes do not bring about effects by themselves, but only by Allah s will...Sheikh Abd al-Rahman survived. "

And by Sheikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi from the book "Subtle blessings":

“When I was a young boy, there was a shadow play being put on beside our house, so I went to see it. When I went the next morning to see the teacher at the Qur’anic school, who was a friend of Allah, he uttered the following lines of poetry when he saw me:

“You who behold shadow images in wonderment,
You yourself are the shadow if only you could perceive it!”

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