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1- Islam encompasses all forms of righteousness
2- The beauty of the Shariah is that it protects the rights of brotherhood and it etiquettes
3- Visiting the sick, its effects and virtues, its etiquettes and rulings
4- Some of the bad customs that prevent one from visiting the sick
O servants of Allah, Fear Allah; with fear of Allah the highest levels of Taqwa are attained and actions become purified. Remember him and thank him constantly; with his remembrance, the hearts find tranquility and with thanking him your blessing are preserved for you. Perform righteous deeds because the best of provisions are righteous deeds.
Gathering of brothers, good deeds in Islam encompass all forms of righteousness. Every righteous action touches upon every good manner – is an act of being obedience and an act pleasing to Allah.
When the Muslim speaks, it is a kind word, when he is tested he has immaculate patience, and when he disagrees he forgives gracefully.
Words and deeds that plant seeds of love, binding the ties of assistance, mercy, kindness, sincerity and fulfillment, joining in the times of good and supporting in the time of hardship, all of these are from the directives of Islam and the grace of good character.
The purity of the Deen and the beauty of the Shariah becomes clear, even clearer with good character and correct actions, which the Muslim practices with his brothers; both near and far.
Kind character, yet at the same time protected rights, which Islam has given importance to and encouraged and called to; drawing out its ways of application and clarifying its etiquettes.
Concerning this the messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “The rights of one Muslim on another are six” it was said: What are they O messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)? He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “When you meet him greet him, and when he invites you accept, and if he seeks your advice then give it. And when he sneezes and says al-hamdulillah then say yarhamak Allah, and when he is sick then visit him, and when he dies follow his funeral” (Bukhaarie & Muslim).
This is from among many other rights that the Sunnah of the messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has brought to us in words and action.
It was from the behavior of the Salaf, that if they missed anyone of their brothers they would ask about him, if he was gone they would supplicate for him and take care of his family for him in his absence and if he was present they would visit him and if he was sick they would visit him.
Al-A’ mash said: We used to sit together, if we missed a person for three days we would ask about him, and if he was sick we would visit him.
In visiting the sick O brothers, good character shines through, - as are your brothers rights fulfilled when he is in a time of incapacity and inability to join his brothers.
In visiting the sick there is joy for the heart and removal of loneliness, decrease of pain, and comfort for the sick and his family.
In the guidance of the prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) are great recommendations to fulfill this right, enjoin this type of character, and carry on these types of manners.
Narrated by Al-Imam Ahmad and Muslim from Thawbaan from the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) who said: “When the Muslim visits his sick brother he never ceases to be in a garden of paradise until he returns. It was said: what is its garden, he said: its fruits”. In the Hadith Qudsi Allah will say on the Day of Judgment: “O son of Adam I was sick and you did not visit Me. He will say: O Lord how can I visit You. You are the Lord of the worlds? He says: Did you not know that My servant so and so was sick yet you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you had visited him you would have found Me with him?” (Muslim).
“There is not a Muslim that visits another in the morning except that 70,000 angels ask forgiveness for him until the night, and if he visits him at night then 70,000 angels ask forgiveness for him until the morning, and he will have earned a garden in paradise” (At-Tirmidhi).
In the Muwatta of Imam Maalik and the Musnad of Ahmad, there is an authentic narration of a Hadith from Jaabir who said the Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Whoever visited a sick person does not cease to swim in mercy until he returns home, if he was to sit down he would be immersed in it ”.
In a Hadith of Abu Hurairah, the Messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “whoever visited a sick person then, a caller calls from the skies: You have done well and your walk was good also, and you have earned a place in paradise” (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).
From the etiquettes of visiting the sick is to stand at his head, placing your hand on his brow or on the place of pain, while saying: “No harm, by Allah’s will it is a purification for you” (Bukhaarie).
Your Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to do that. He also guided us to a supplication to seek refuge from the pain. Uthman ibn Abil-Aas Ath-thaqafi said: “I came to the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and I had a severe pain which made me incapacitated so the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said to me: Place your right hand on it and say Bismillah, I seek refuge in the might of Allah and his power from the evil of what I find and what pains me, seven times so I did that and I was cured”. (Muslim)
It is preferable for the one visiting to make many supplications for the sick person. In this regard a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbaas states that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Whoever visited a sick person who had not yet reached death and said seven times ‘I ask Allah the Great Lord of the Majestic throne to heal you’ except that Allah will cure him of that disease” (At-Tirmidhi).
On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Amru who said the messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “When a man goes to visit a sick person then he should say: O Allah heal your servant so that he harms for you an enemy, or walks for your sake to a funeral” and in another narration “a prayer” (Abu Dawud).
He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “O Allah Lord of Mankind, remove the harm, and cure him for you are the Curer, there is no cure except your cure, a cure which leaves no disease” (Bukhaarie).
Jibreel had visited the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) in his sickness and said: “In the name of Allah I read upon you, for everything that harms you, from every soul and envious eye, and Allah will heal you, In the name of Allah I read upon you” narrated by Muslim from the Hadith of Abu Masood.
From the etiquettes of visiting, that one should be aware of, is: that the visit should not be long, nor should one ask much of the sick person, nor speak too much, nor mention that which worries him or increases his pain, nor should he mention a friend he dislikes, or an enemy, nor should he speak of his family and children except with what is best, all of this to show kindness to him.
Lengthy visits are burdensome upon the sick, and prevent them from doing things they may need to take care of.
A man entered upon Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz in his sickness and asked him about the cause of his sickness so he informed him. The visitor said: So and so never recovered from this problem and eventually died from it. Umar then said to him: When you visit a sick person then do not mention to him the dead, and when you leave here never come back.
Sufiyan Ath-Thawri said: The stupidity of a visitor is worse for the sick than their sickness; they come at the wrong time and stay for a long time.
If the sick person likes numerous visits and this causes him no harm then there is no problem, it all this depends on the situation, he may like to sit with some of his close friends and relatives, and get bored with others. If the visitor feels that the sick will be healed, then he should encourage him to have patience and give him glad tidings. He should assist him in getting medical care and meeting his needs that are within his capacity. He should try to make him feel good - cheer him up and open the doors of hope for him.
Al-Hassan described sickness when he said: By Allah these are not the worst days of a Muslim, when his death is brought near, and he is reminded of his return to Allah which he had forgotten, and his sins are expiated. When he used to visit a sick person who had been healed he would say: O so and so, Allah has reminded you so remember it, and has given you respite so thank him.
These diseases and sicknesses are expiations for the sins, and admonitions for the believers, who leave all evil after being ill.
Al-Fudail said: Sicknesses were only made to teach the servants etiquette.
Not everyone who gets sick dies, and from this is the statement of Allah, which translates as: “And do they not see that they are test and afflicted in every year once or twice, then they neither repent nor take reminder” (At-Tauba: 126).
When the sick person feels worried about his situation, he should be reminded of Allah, and what is waiting for him and made to think good of his Lord. “For the one who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him”.
He should be reminded that, he whose last words are: ‘There is none worthy of worship but Allah’ then he enters paradise. He should be reminded that the doors of repentance are opened for him and time is gained for recitation of the Quran, remembrance of Allah, glorifying Him and seeking His Forgiveness. He should be reminded to write his will and testimony; it does not postpone the death date but protects the rights of others and pays off any debts.
When Umar was stabbed he was in pain, so Ibn Abbaas said to him out of encouragement: “O leader of the faithful, even if this has happened, then you have accompanied the messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), and were a good companion, and then he left you and he was pleased with you, the you accompanied Abu Bakr and were a good companion, and then he left you and he was pleased with you, then you accompanied their companions, and if you were to leave them you would do so and they would be pleased with you”.
“He said: as for what you mentioned of the companionship of the messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and his pleasure with that, than that is only a blessing from Allah which he has shown me, and as for accompanying Abu Bakr and his pleasure with that, than that is only a blessing from Allah which he has shown me, And as for what you see from me now and my pain, then it is only from you and your companions, I swear by Allah if I was to own the whole earth and all in it worth of gold, then I would spend it to escape the punishment of Allah before I stand in front of him”. Narrated by Bukhaarie from the Hadith of Al-Miswar ibn Makhramah.
In Bukhaarie from the Hadith of Al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad that A ‘shah complained so Ibn Abbaas came to her and said “O mother of the faithful, you are going to a treasure of truth, of the messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and Abu Bakr ” (Bukhaarie).
So fear Allah O Muslims and protect the rights of your brothers, fulfill your duties, act according to their etiquettes, fulfill their objectives, your reward will be great, and your situation will be good, goodness and love will abound.
Fear Allah O Muslims and know that visiting the sick is a recommended act, even if the person is in a coma, because The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and Abu Bakr visited Jaabir while he was in a coma see Siyar Alaam An-Nubalaa. This type of visit is a form of giving hope to the family of the sick, plus the possible answering of your supplication.
Yahya Ibn Khalid became sick, so Ismail Ibn Sabeeh Al-Kaatib used to visit him while he was comatose. He stood at his head and supplicated for him and then left, asking his caretakers about his food and drink and sleep, so when Yahya awoke he said: None visited me except Ismail Ibn Sabeeh.
What we should also mention here is that some people place burdens upon themselves by taking gifts to the sick. They might even bring things that are from the customs of other than the people of Islam - this is not from the etiquettes of visiting the sick, it is clear exaggeration, a burdening flattery, blind following, and it might influence those who have no means to maintain these customs to leave the legislated Islamic visit which Allah and his messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has ordered.
The need of the sick person for your supplication, good words, and soft comments cannot be over emphasized. Concerning charity for the poor or help to the needy, - this is another matter which should not be joined with visiting the sick or be a condition for it.