As-Salâmu 'Alaikum Wa Rahmatullâhi Wa Barakâtuh
Advise And Warnings For The Sick
By: Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibnul Qayyim, Shaykh ibn Baaz, and Shaykh 'Uthaymeen
Source: "Guidelines and Fataawa Related to Sickness and Medical Practice" pgs.264-270
Taken From: http://www.calgaryislam.com/
WARNINGS FOR THE PATIENT
My brother patient! Beware of and guard against the following issues:
Warning No. 1:
Some patients - may Allah guide them to the truth – look for anything they can use in treating their ailments. But, despite the fact that it is allowed to seek for cure, that has to be done within the guidelines of the Shar'iyyah because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said "Certainly Allah has created diseases and their cures, so take medication, but do not use the forbidden - haraam - as a cure." [Reported by at-Tabay, raanisee as-Saheehah no. 1633]
And among the errors into which some patients fall, may Allah guide them, whenever they learn of a person who treats patients, they rush to him without asking whether or not the person is of good character. As a result, some of them do not differentiate between o*ne and another, rather, they consider everybody equally, and here lies the calamity.
Here, I am referring to those who treat patients through exorcism - Ruqyaa - and some recitations - az-Zikr - for these are in two categories:
One: Those who recite the Qur'an o*n the patients and blow upon them some permitted incantations, and some times use some natural herbs, these are conducting something permissible.
Two: Others ask for some names, such as those of the patients' parents, or o*ne of them, then write them down o*n a sheet, after which they start asking several questions, also he may say "bring along your inch of such and such cloth, or such and such things", and so o*n. So beware of such people and avoid them lest they mislead you from your religion.
Let me quote this question and answer to you as provided by his excellency, Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baaz (may Allah have mercy o*n him).
There are some people who claim to be traditional medical doctors, but when I went to o*ne of them he said to me "write your name and that of your mother and contact us two days later". Whenever a person contacts them later, they tell him that: you are suffering from such and such disease, and its cure is such and such." And some of them say that they use the word of Allah in treating the patients.
What then is your view o*n this and what is the Islamic ruling on going to such persons?
Whosever does these kind of things, it is a proof that he is making use of the Jinn and that he is claiming the knowledge of the hidden (Gaib). So, it is forbidden for anybody to visit them even with the intention of mere enquiry because of the saying the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Whoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him about anything, his Salaat will not be accepted for forty days." [Narrated by Muslim]
And it has been reported through authentic sources that the Prophet prohibited visiting a sorcerer or a fortune-teller in several hadeeth, asking them or believing in their claims, saying: "Whoever visits a sorcerer and believes in what he claims, then he has disbelieved in that which was revealed upon Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) [Narrated by Ahmad and Al-Hakim]
And whosoever claims the knowledge of Gaib through the use of pebbles, rings or by drawing lines in the sand or via asking the patient about the names of his mother or relatives all of these are proofs that such a person is among the fortune-tellers and Sorcerers against whom the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) warned and prohibited consulting them or believing them.
Thus, the answer is to beware of them and avoid consulting them or seeking treatment from them, even though they may claim that they use the Qur'an, because it is part of the practice of those gone astray, to hide behind such claims and deceit. Thus, it is isn't lawful to believe them in whatever they claim, rather, it is a duty on anybody who knows of such persons to report them to the authorities in charge such as Judges, chiefs or the centres for Amr bil Ma'roof (Commanding what is good and forbidding what is wrong) in any town they may be, so that they can be punished according to the book of Allah, and so that Muslims will be saved from their evils mischief, and from the money they consume unjustly.
And in Allah we seek assistance and there is no might and no power save by Allah's permission.
(Shaikh Ibn Baaz - Ad-Daawah, pp 22-23)
Warning No. 2:
Some patients may Allah guide them right, whenever an ailment becomes terrible, they wish for death, so that they can be relieved from their suffering, and pains.
But this is prohibited completely, because he does not since those pains may be better for him, in fact they are indeed better for him, if he has the good intention and patiently perseveres seeking the reward from Allah.
As for a person wishing to die, this is prohibited, according to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he said, "None of you should long for death. If he is doing good, he might increase, and if he is doing bad, he may repent." [Reported by Bukhari]
Similarly, he said, "Let not anyone of you wish for death as a result of some calamity that befell him. But if he must, let him say; 0 Allah. 'Keep me alive so long as life is better for me, and take my soul whenever death is the best for me." [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]
And he said, "Let not anyone of you wish for death, nor pray for it before it comes to him. Certainly, whenever o*ne of you dies, his deeds stop, and definitely the life of a believer increases him in aught but good.” [Reported by Muslim]
Thus, from these hadeeth we derive great lessons, amongst them:
• That sickness is a reminder for the patient to review his deeds and blame his soul upon its shortcomings, if he is such or to give him the push to increase in his good deeds if he is cured by Allah's grace.
• That it is not allowed for a person to wish for death unconditionally, but o*nly when death is the best for him.
• That the period a person remains sick is a source of increase for him in terms of good deeds, if he sincerely intends and seeks Allah's reward.
TO WHICH OF THESE GROUPS DO YOU BELONG?
My brother patient, have a look at this fatwaa and its answer so that you decide where you belong among the following categories.
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saleh al-Uthaimeen was asked concerning a person who complains and laments whenever he is inflicted with a sickness. He answered
There are four situations with people, when calamities befall them:
The first is Anger and disgust. And this is of different categories:
1. With the heart, such as o*ne who is disgusted with his Lord because of what He decreed upon him. This is forbidden, and it may lead to apostasy, may Allah safeguard us. Allah says,
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ
وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ
And of the people is he who worships Allaah o*n an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns o*n his face (to the other direction), he has lost (this) world and the Hereafter... [Suratul Hajj: 11]
2. With the tongue, such as o*ne who curses himself or invites destruction upon himself, etc.
3. With the limbs, such as slapping o*ne's face or rearing o*nes clothes, or things like that. All these are forbidden and contrary to the patience recommended in such a situation.
The second situation is Patience, and according to the adage, "it is bitter at first, sweet in the end." Thus, the person sees this thing as a heavy burden, but bears it patiently, though he dislikes it, but his faith prevents him from disgust and anger. Thus, its occurence does not equal its lack of occurrence. Patience is compulsory, as Allah has said:
وَأَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلاَ تَنَازَعُواْ فَتَفْشَلُواْ وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ
وَاصْبِرُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
...Be patient, most certainly Allah is with those who persevere. [Surah Al-Anfal: 46]
The third situation is Acceptance. That is for him to submit to the calamities to such an extent that its occurrence equals its absence to him, he does not see it as a heavy burden. This attitude is preferred but is not compulsory, according to the strongest view (of the scholars). The difference between this and the previous stage is very clear, since occurrence of the calamity or lack of it is the same to this vis-a-vis his acceptance, whereas the former has difficulty in facing calamities, but he perseveres.
The fourth situation is Gratitude. This is the loftiest of these stages, and that is achieved through being grateful to Allah upon what has befallen him of calamities, because he knows that they cause forgiveness of sins and may lead to an increase in his good deeds. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "No calamity befalls a Muslim even if it is a thorn that pricks him, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that" [Reported by Bukhari]
(Al-Majmu'us-Thamen, vol. 2 pp. 161-162)
MY BROTHER PATIENT
Before I bid you farewell, I will love to remind you of something that is: that this sickness of yours no matter how serious it may be, is considered as a minor ailment in comparison to your other sickness.
Do you know what your other sickness is? It is the disease of the heart. But, I am not referring to a sickness in that muscle, (or lump of flesh) such as narrowness of its channels or increase in heartbeat rates. NO! No, I am not referring to that at all!!
ERRORS AND REMINDERS TO SOME PATIENTS
• Some patients miss several prayers and do not perform them except at their prescribed time in the following day, which is a terrible mistake. It is obligatory upon such patients to repray the prayers they missed as soon as they remembered them because of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Whoever forgot a prayer or missed it due to sleep, then its atonement is perform it as soon as he remembers it." [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim.]
• Some patients pray sitting down while they can stand. Some of them when suffering from headache pray sitting down throughout even though standing up will not harm them at all.
Others suffering from a sickness in the nose as a result of which the doctor forbade him from prostrating because it will lead to an increase in his sickness, but such a patient prays throughour from the sitting position.
But, we say to this and anybody in a similar situation that: whoever can stand but is unable to bow down or prosrrate, then he is not exempted from standing according to the majority of scholars, rather he should pray, standing, but making signs in place of bowing and sit down, making signs in place of prostrating.
• Some patients are prevented from applying water to certain particular limbs, but they forsake the use of water completely, resorting to Tayammum. This too is a mistake; what he should do is to use water in purification but avoid the particular limb, and then perform Tayammum in its place. Some others cannot perform ablution nor do they have somebody to assist them, but he allows the prayer time to come and go without praying. This also is a mistake. What he should do is to pray as he is before the time lapses, and this is known in the circle of scholars as 'Faaqidut Tahoorain'
- i.e. o*ne who has no means of performing either of the two forms of purification - and this (view) is in accordance with the saying of Allaah, Allaah does not burden a soul except with what it can cope.
• Some patients have an appointment for a medical surgery, which may take several hours and his recovery from anaesthesia may take another long period, as a result of which he misses prayer(s). We say to such a patient, it is permissible for him to combine prayers that can be combined at the time of o*ne of them, such as 'Asr with Zuhr and Magrib with Isha', thus praying and avoiding the problem of missing them.
• It is not permissible for a patient to place a pillow or any raised thing in order to prostrate upon it. He should either prostrate o*n the earth or indicate through a sign.
• Some patients adamantly insist o*n fasting even though it may become an obstacle towards their cure and full recovery. However, if the treatment is not affected by the fast, then (they may go ahead); otherwise, the patient has a lessening of the rule from Allaah to break the fast and repray at a later date.
• Some patients suffering from mental problems go to psychophysicists, and some of these physicians who have been affected by western ideologies prescribing treatment by music and that it relieves the chest and removes grief. All these - my brother - is a he and deceit; it has nothing to do with relief. Thus, it is compulsory upon you, my dear reader, not to listen to such babblings and useless talk, rather the benefit and cure lies in what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has guided us to, by following what which will please Allaah and avoiding what which will displease Him, and - my dear brother - you should recite the Qur'an and reflect over its meanings, for in it there is a way out of every difficulty and grief.
All praise be to Allaah and may His prayers and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those that follow him until the last day (Ameen).