1) Trials come in the form of ease and hardship.
2) Calamities are from the decree of Allah.
3) Hardships expiate sins.
4) The joy of the Salaf (righteous ancestors) with sickness and trails.
5) The sickness of Prophet Ayyub.
6) The kinds of medications people use as treatment.
Praise be to Allah, the Originator, the Restorer Who effects all He wants. He created people based on His knowledge and decided their destiny. He determined the hour of their death, which they can never postpone. He determined mankind’s fate fifty years before creating heaven and earth. Allah’s throne flows on water. He knows what has happened and what will happen. All takes place in accordance with His will. It is Allah’s will that comes to pass, not the will of humans. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will never occur. Only He knows when Judgment Day will be. He causes the rain to fall and knows what is inside the womb, yet people do not know what will happen tomorrow, nor do they know where they will die. I testify that there is no god but Allah, Who has no partners and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the chosen and the closest one. He is the best of His creatures. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his household, companions, and those who have steadfastly followed their example.
O People, I advise you and myself to fear Allah for this will guard you against misfortunes and offer you solace in times of hardships and sorrow. Remember that being tested is a divine decree. It is part of Allah’s wisdom and justice and is manifestly shown in poverty and wealth, sickness and health, fear and security, shortage and abundance, in all that we desire and hate; Allah says which translates as: …And We have tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they may turn (to Allah’s obedience) (Al-A’raf: 168) …We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned. (Al-Anbiya: 35). Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), said: You are tested with deficiency and prosperity, sickness and health, poverty and wealth, what is lawful and unlawful, obedience and disobedience, guidance and going astray.
O Allah’s servants, a prudent man surely realizes that all things have been determined and that Allah, exalted is He, has decided them all, be they big or small; Allah says which translates as: “There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered” (Al An'am: 38). The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), said: “When Allah first created the pen, He ordered it, Write. It asked, what should I write? Allah answered: Write down the destiny of all things until Judgment Day” (Abu Dawood).
Destiny is undoubtedly previously determined. There is no way people can bring about what is not predestined. If man is to face a hardship, he should have patience and be content so that he would be fully rewarded for doing so. Many a time people have been stricken with unimaginable distress, such as no one would be able to ease, but which was alleviated by Allah, in one second.
Al-Hassan was asked: Where does this behavior come from, Abu Sa'id? He answered: From the lack of content with Allah’s will. He was asked: Where does the lack of content with Allah’s will come from? He answered: From the lack of knowledge of Allah. When Sa'id bin Jubair was brought to Al-Hajjaj in order to be killed, a man cried. Sa'id Asked him: Why do you cry? The man answered: Because of what has befallen you. Sa'id said: do not cry then, for this is predestined. Then he recited Allah’s saying which translates as: “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah” (Al-Hadeed: 22). If what befalls man pleases him, it is a definite blessing. If it displeases him, it is also a blessing, as it atones for his sins and he is rewarded for it. Moreover, it comprises wisdom and a mercy that only Allah knows of; as Allah says which translates as: “Jihad (Islamic holy war) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it and it may be that you disliked a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know” (Al-Baqarah: 216). The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), said: “Strange is the situation of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it” (Muslim).
O People, all humanity unanimously agree that health is a blessing, which we enjoy, and which only the sick can appreciate, Good health is a blessing that so many people bask in. Nonetheless, disease and sickness are widespread everywhere. Never was there a time or a place that was free from disease No people are immune against disease or misfortune and life is never free from it.
Though sickness and disease constitute a sad burden that man has to bear, and offers a bitter battle that he has to fight. Allah, glorified is He, has injected numerous benefits and wisdom in these apparently negative situations, which some people are aware of, while others are not. In his book Sheaf ` Al-`Alil (Curing the Ailed), Ibn Al-Qayim, may Allah bless his soul, states that he counted the benefits and aspects of wisdom to be found in disease and concluded that they were more than a hundred in number. He also pointed: The heart and the soul benefiting from disease and pain is something that only living creatures can sense. The good health of hearts and souls depend on the pain and trouble that the individual has suffered.
Infliction of disease can be a blessing and an act of mercy from Allah in order to atone for one’s sins and to raise one in rank. Fever asked the permission of the prophet, (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), to strike. He said: Who is it? It answered: It is fever. The prophet permitted it to strike people of Qibaa` and so they bitterly suffered fever. They came to the prophet complaining. He told them: It is up to you. I can pray to Allah to drive it away if you want me to, and if you wish, it can atone for your sins. They asked: Would it do that, Allah’s Messenger? He answered: It would. They said, then leave it (Ahmad and Al Hakim).
The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), also said: “No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, but that his sins will be annulled as the leave of a tree fall down” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). A man said to the Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam): Why do we have to be stricken with disease? The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, It is atonement for your sins, Ubai bin Ka`b asked Even if it is not serious? The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, even if it is a thorn. (Ahmad). The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), visited a man suffering from fever, He said, I have good news for you, Allah, exalted be He says: This is my fire which I inflict on the believer in this life to replace his share of torture in Hellfire in the Hereafter (Ahmad and Ibn Majah).
That way, we come to realize the positive results of disease. We understand that sickness is bitter, yet its consequences are immeasurably beneficial. Why then should one insult a disease that befalls him and hurl curses on it, wishing it never struck him? What good would that do him? The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), visited Umm Sa`ib and said: “Umm Sa`ib. why is it that you are shivering? She said: “It is fever and may it not be blessed by Allah”, whereupon he (the Holy prophet) (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Don’t curse fever for it expiates the sin of the posterity of Adam just as furnace removes the alloy of iron” (Muslim).
A man of the righteous predecessors once had a disease in his foot, however, he never groaned with pain. Instead, he smiled. He was asked how is it you do not groan with pain when you have been inflicted with this ailment? He answered: Its sweet reward makes me forget its bitter pain. Nonetheless, this does not mean that sickness should be sought. On the contrary, the steadfast believer should not wish for misfortunes, nor should he pray to be inflicted with ailments. The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: Pray for forgiveness and health, for, next to Faith, none has been granted a better blessing than good health (An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah). Mutraf said: Praising Allah for good health is better than having patience when stricken with sickness.
Therefore, we should remember that sickness is not desired for its own sake, but because it leads one to have patience, contentment, to praise Allah for everything and to be handsomely rewarded for it. Shaikh Ibn Taimiyah, may Allah bless his soul, states: ‘Misfortunes that befall a believer without his free will, such as: falling sick, losing someone dear to him, or thieves stealing his money, lead him to be rewarded for having patience. He is not rewarded for the misfortune itself, which instead atones for his sins. Reward is actually for voluntary deeds and their consequences’.
It therefore appears that both the Muslim and the disbeliever; people of benevolence and people of depravity are equally stricken with sickness. Only the result is different. Only a perfect imbecile would not be able to tell the difference. Ibn Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, says: ‘You see that the disbeliever has a perfect health, yet a sick heart. On the other hand, you also see that a believer has a whole heart, yet a sick body. I swear by Allah if your hearts are sick and your bodies are healthy, you would mean to Allah as little as dung beetles do’.
Salman Al- Farsi, may Allah be pleased with him, went to visit a sick man and told him, ‘I have good news for you, The disease that befalls a believer is the atonement for his sins, while the disease that befalls the disbeliever is like an animal whose owners restrict it then lets it go. It neither knows why it was restricted not why it was let go’.
O Servants of Allah, Islam urges Muslims to have patience when stricken with calamities and explain the wisdom and benefits to be found in sickness. However, this does not meant it glorifies pain and honors misfortunes. Islam only seeks to praise people in distress and those who were stricken with ailments for their steadfast faith and for their courage. Allah says which translates as: “Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him? And Allah is Ever All- Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing” (An-Nisa: 147).
Urwah bin Az-Zubair suffered from cancer in his foot, so it was amputated at the knee, during which he was silent and never groaned with pain. On the same night, one of his children fell from the roof and died. Urwah said: Praise be to You, Allah. I had seven children. You took one and left six. I had four limbs. You took one and left three. It is true You have taken, but You did give me before. It is true You struck me with disease but You have cured me. May Allah have mercy on `Urwah and forgive him. He believed the disease that he was afflicted with was less serious than that of others and the calamity he was stricken with was far less grave than that of others. In this way his disease and his calamity was easy for him to tolerate.
A staunch believer wisely praises Allah for two things: firstly, sparing him a worse calamity that could have taken place. Secondly, preserving what could have been taken away from him, namely his perfect health and Allah’s grace on him. He appreciates the blessings he is granted, before grieving over the blessings he has lost.
O Allah’s servants, when sickness grows grave, and when nights of ailment linger, only patience can guard one against anxiety in moments of doubt. Only patience offers guidance that keeps one from losing faith in times of distress. Thereupon, a believer is no longer alarmed at the sight of a dark cloud looming in the horizon, even if it were followed by another and yet a third. Nonetheless, man by nature ignores the truth. He is astounded by the difficulties he encounters. Thereupon, he suffers anxiety, becomes inpatient, pines bitterly and sinks deep in a sea of torment, forgetting Allah’s words which translates as: “Man is created of haste, I will show you My Ayat (torments, proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). So ask Me not to hasten (them)” (Al-Anbiya: 37).
Listen to the story of the Ayyub (Job’s) sickness, peace be upon him, as narrated by our Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), He said: Allah’s Prophet, Job, suffered from this disease for eighteen years. He was abandoned by all people except two of his friends, who were close to him and who used to visit him regularly. One of them once told the other; Job has surely committed a sin worse than any other sin ever committed. His friend asked: Why is that? He answered: For eighteen years, Allah has never had mercy on him and cured him. When the second of the two men went to visit Job, he immediately repeated to him what his friend had told him. Job said, I do not know about that. However, Allah knows that I passed by two men who were fighting, during which they mentioned Allah. I went home, and prayed that they be forgiven because I hated that Allah should be mentioned except in a venerable context. Job used to go out to answer the call of nature. When he finished, his wife used to help him go home. One day, he was gone from long. Allah inspired Job saying which translates as: “(Allah said to him): “Strike the ground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink” (Sad: 42). When his wife got worried about him, she went to look for him and found him. He approached her after Allah had cured him and he looked better than he ever did. When she saw him, she asked, may Allah bless you; have you seen Allah’s Prophet who is inflicted with disease? I swear by Allah, I have never have seen this before! You resemble him when he was in good health. Job answered her I am he. He owned two threshers, one of wheat and the other of barley. Allah sent two clouds. When one of them was right above that of the wheat, it poured gold in it until it overflowed. The other poured corn on the barley until it overflowed, too (Ibn Habahan and Al-Hakem and corrected by Az-Zahabey).
So, learn a lesson from Job and his patience. The famous saying “Job was an example of enduring patience” is therefore true. For eighteen years, he deeply suffered from disease, only to be rewarded handsomely. Pain is often disguised atonement that Allah, out of His infinite wisdom, grants the staunch believers to free them from the grip of worldly pleasures with which they may be distracted. They would therefore be disenchanted with them. Hence, every cloud has a positive aspect and many a time does a misfortune turn out to be a blessing in disguise. O Allah, we pray for forgiveness and constant good health.
Infinite praise be to Allah as would please and satisfy Him. I testified that there is no god but Allah, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is his Servant and Messenger, may Allah’s may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his household, companions and those who follow in their footsteps till Judgment Day.
O Servants of Allah, there are a number of things that patients ought to know. To all the invalids, I break the good news that they shall be rewarded for the supererogatory acts of worship which they regularly performed when in perfect health, but which they were unable to perform when incapacitated by illness. The Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), said: “If a servant (of Allah) falls sick or goes on a journey, he (continues to be) rewarded for the good deeds that he used to do when he was healthy or at home” (Al-Bukhari).
I should draw your attention to the fact that people who suffer from psychological disturbances sometimes resort to music and singing, which is forbidden by Allah and His Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) for therapy. The remedy for Muslims’ diseases never lies in what Allah has forbidden. It is generally held that the remedy is of three kinds: legitimate remedies such as: Qur’anic protective words against the malevolent evil eye, using honey, water from the well of Zamzam, and the like. Permitted remedies, which Allah has not forbidden, and unlawful remedies which Muslims are forbidden to seek.
Patients should know that they must not neglect performing prayers when ill. They should perform the five daily prayers on time, if they are able to. If not, Allah gives them the permission to pray the noon and the afternoon prayers together, and the sunset and the evening prayers together. Similarly, they are to perform the ablution before prayer. If there are unable to, they are to perform Tayammum (dry ablution) (i.e. take clean sand or earth and wipe therewith their faces and hands). If they are unable to, they are to pray in the condition they are in, so as not to miss prayer, as Allah says which translates as: “So keep your duty to Allah and fear, Him as much as you can; … (At-Taghabun: 16) and: …We burden not any person, but that which he can bear…. (Al-An‘am: 152).
Patients also need to know that groaning with pain is of two kinds: groaning to complain, which is not recommended, and groaning to ease one’s pain which is permitted. This was stated by Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah be pleased with him. Allah knows best. Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad.