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 Selma Cook

The vast beauty of Islam incorporates every aspect of life. Even that of health, and how to perceive and treat illness Most of the economies of the world are based on the manufacture of weapons of war and the production of chemical drugs. We can safely say that these economies depend on the illness and death of the masses. Where does that leave us?

Along with this, is another fact that Islamic knowledge is presented to the masses in a very superficial manner. The treasure of knowledge that was passed down in the early days of Islam is kept far away from the people and only a few have access to it. How many of the world's Muslims speak, read and understand Arabic, which is the language of the Qu'raan and the language of Islam? Only 15% of the Muslims are native Arabic speakers and then how many of this 15% are illiterate? And how many of this 15% are chasing after the English language, believing it to be the means to prosperity and success? And as they chase after foreign languages, they neglect the in depth knowledge and understanding of their heritage; namely Arabic.

All praise be to Allah that He, in His Infinite Mercy preserves the Qur'aan and the knowledge of Islam, regardless of how the disbelievers may detest it. Incorporated in this glorious knowledge is the understanding of how to perceive and treat illness.

First of all, as Muslims we know that Allah, the Almighty has knowledge of everything. He knows what will happen before it happens and He knows what would have happened should other choices have been made. He is al Aleem, the Knower of all things. We receive comfort knowing that Allah is the sole Maintainer, Protector and Source of Help and Relief. In Sura al Ahzab, Allah says
"And put your trust in Allah, and Sufficient is Allah as a Wakil (trustee or disposer of affairs)." (33:2) The basic thing that a Muslim should do is to trust in Allah, throughout everything in life.

So, when the Muslim gets sick what should he do? In the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), they used to use Ruqya. The Prophet (pbuh) told the Muslims that black cumin seed is a cure for all things, except old age. He (pbuh) also told us that Allah put a cure for every illness on this earth, except old age, and that honey was a cure for all things. He (pbuh) also practiced Hijamah (cupping).

Ruqya is seeking a cure for any illness by reciting Qur'aan and making Du'a to Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) told us about many ruqya that we can use. The angel Jibreel (peace be upon him) made Ruqya for the Prophet (pbuh), in the form of du'a and also told him about the recitation of Sura al Falaq and Sura an Nas, as well as Sura al Fatiha. The angel Jibreel make Ruqya for the Prophet (pbuh) saying, "Bismillah arqeeq min kulli shayin yu'theek, min sharri kulli nas aw ain haasid. Allahu yashfeeq bismillahi arqeeq." This du'a is a ruqya for everything that is harmful and the potential harm that can be perpetrated by envious, evil people.

We have been ordered by the Prophet (pbuh) that "when you ask, ask Allah and if you need help, seek help from Allah." (Sahih Hadith). So it also means that if we are ill the first thing we should do is to ask Allah, the Almighty.

The Prophet (pbuh) said that "Du'a is the weapon of the Muslim…" The promise of Allah is true, and He promises to help those who turn to Him. The condition for this help is that we are obedient to Him and trust in Him with certainty of faith.

The Prophet (pbuh) said that if we feel pain in any part of the body, we should rest our right hand on that part and say Bismillah (three times) and then say (seven times)
A'othoo billahi wa qadratihi min sharri ma agido wa ohathiro. (I take refuge in Allah and within His omnipotence from the evil that I find and that which I am wary of).

Another important aspect of this subject is that the Prophet (pbuh) also said that there are 70,000 believers who will enter Jannah (paradise) without any reckoning. They are those who do not ask for Ruqya, do not use cauterization, are not pessimistic and only depend on Allah.

It is significant to note that to be included among this 70,000, the Muslim should make Ruqya for himself/herself and not ask others. In fact the Prophet (pbuh) told his companions not to ask anyone for anything but at the same time, one can mention a complaint, for example, 'I have a headache.' Then the ill person, after having prayed to Allah for help and trusted in Him, might receive a response from someone who might say, "I'll make a ruqya for you." In this case, it is permissible because the ill person did not ask. In fact Muslims should respond to the words of ill or troubled people like this.

What about taking medicine? There are differences of opinion between the early scholars and the opinion of Imam Ahmad, Hanbali and Ibn Taymiyyah was that taking medicine is permissible (Mu'bah) but leaving it, is better.

Another point is that it is not haram (unlawful) to ask for Ruqya, but in that case you wouldn't be included among the 70,000. There are levels of piety and faith and it is up to us obey Allah, love and fear Him, depend on Him and only seek His help if we want to draw closer to Him in this life and the next and obtain His pleasure.

Why isn't this precious knowledge widely available and encouraged? If the Muslims increased their obedience to Allah and their faith and practice of Islam and started to follow the Sunnah of eating and sleeping and organizing one's time and so on, the health of the Ummah (the followers of the Prophet) would be much better. And should illness occur, the Muslims would turn to Allah, the Disposer of all Affairs and turn to natural cures and Ruqya. Where would that leave the multi million dollar drug companies? Are we being cheated out of our right to Islamic knowledge? Allah is so Merciful and in His wisdom, He will continue to disseminate the knowledge of Islam at an appointed time, to those who sincerely seek it and are worthy of it. The knowledge and Power of Allah will prevail and the plans of monopolizing and oppression will fall short of their objectives. The people who are drugged out and blissfully destroying themselves in superficial materialism can and will be reached through the Mercy of Allah, as He Chooses.