SUNNAH OF VISITING THE SICK
O Allah (The Exalted) bless our lord and master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as many times as there are grains of sand.
If you become ill, remember that without illness we would not recognize the blessing of good health. Even sickness could bring blessings that only later we will become aware of. It could bring forced period of reflection and review of your lifestyle and the way you conduct your affairs. Many go thought difficulty and times of trial to discover later that indeed that was a blessings in disguise.
Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Any sorrow, poverty, worry, trouble, injury and any sort of calamity that hurts a Muslim even if a thorn hurts him, Allah (The Exalted) forgives his sins for this trouble.” i
We should not be depressed but think that Allah (The Exalted) is forgiving my sins.
The Beloved of Allah (The Exalted) has said, “For some believers, Allah (The Exalted) sets such a high position (in the hereafter) that he cannot reach it by means of his actions (in this world). In such event, Allah (The Exalted) involves him in pain either through illness or loss of wealth or anguish on account of his children and then Allah (The Exalted) grants him the ability to be patient so that he becomes entitled to that high position in Paradise.” Subhanallah!
We should not utter words that go against the Shariah.
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that, “When a person has a lot of sins, and has no good deeds, Allah (The Exalted) puts him in difficulty to compensate for his sins.” ii
Manners of Visiting
The visitor should wear clean clothes with a fresh scent in order to make the patient feel better both spiritually and physically. At the same time, it is improper to wear fancy clothes that are more appropriate for parties and festivities. Likewise, wearing a strong perfume may annoy the sick.
Visitors should keep their conversation light and avoid gloomy subjects that might exacerbate the patient’s distress. Avoid conveying bad news, such as a failing business, a death or similar stressful events. Also, visitors should not inquire about the details of illness unless the visitor is a specialized physician. Similarly, visitors should not recommend to a patient any food or medicine that might have helped them or someone else. Such recommendations, or rather interference, may lead the ill person out of ignorance or desperation try it, causing further complication or even death.
Do not criticize or object to the treatment prescribed by the physicians in the presence of the ill person, for it will shake his trust in his doctor. If you are a specialized physician, you may want to discuss the case and its treatment privately with the doctor in charge.
Ask for permission
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would visit those people who were ill and would stand on one side of the door, give greetings (salaam) in a loud voice and thereafter ask for permission to enter.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has forbidden standing in front of the doorway. The prescribed method is to say our name so that the person in the house knows who it is and take permission. After gaining permission you should enter the house and say salaam.
Visiting the sick
There are great rewards in visiting the sick. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said that, “Whosoever visits a sick person in the morning then seventy thousand angels shall invoke mercy on the visitor until the evening. And whosoever visits a sick person in the evening then seventy thousand angels shall make supplication for mercy upon that visitor until the morning and he shall also have a garden in Paradise.” iii Subhanallah!
We should make an effort to visit those who are sick and give them comfort, however, remember not to stay for long and do not be a burden on the ill person nor the family. 2 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is reported to have said that, “The best form of visiting the sick is when one gets up and departs soon.” iv
Fruits of Paradise
Sauban (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying that, “When a Muslim pays a visit to his sick Muslim brother, he continues to gather the fruits of paradise until he returns.” v
Make supplication for good health
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would put his blessed hands on the forehead of the person who was ill and make a supplication for good health and advise the person to remember Allah (The Exalted) at all times.
Mercy onto all worlds
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) visited the non-Muslims too, as he was ‘Rehmatul Lil’Alameen’ meaning a Mercy unto all the worlds.
You may visit non-Muslims who fall ill, be they neighbours, relatives, co-workers, or business acquaintances. Imam Bukhari (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) visited his non-Muslim uncle Abu Talib on his death bed and urged him to embrace Islam.
We should try to revive this Sunnah. There are many people in hospitals that do not get visitors. Get a team of brothers and sisters and revive this Sunnah, it is a great opportunity for dawah (preaching). A person from our locality who was approx 80 years old was ill in hospital. He was visited by couple of brothers and through there visit Alhamdulillah become a Muslim. Three months later he passed away (Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji ‘oon From Allah (The Exalted) do we come and to him we shall return). 80 years of disbelief and all his passed sins wiped clean. Subhanallah!
Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that, “A Jewish boy used to serve the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) preparing his ablution and bringing him his shoes. The boy became ill, and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to visit him. He found him gravely ill with his father sitting by his side. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) invited the boy to Islam by asking him to say, “There is no God but Allah.” The boy looked at his father who kept silent. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) repeated his request and the boy again looked at his father who told him, “Obey Abu’l-Qasim.” The boy just before dying said, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that you are His Messenger.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “I thank Allah (The Exalted) for enabling me to save him.”” vi
Comfort the ill person
Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “When you enter to visit an invalid, express a hope that he will live long. That will not avert anything, but it will comfort him.” vii
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When visiting a patient one should try to console him.” (By taking a gift or saying ‘Insha’Allah you will get better before you know it’.) Do not say things like, “O you’re only young and this has happened to you” etc. but give them comforting words.
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) visited a sick person, he would sit at his head then say seven times: “I ask Allah (The Exalted), the Rabb of the Mighty Throne, to heal you.”” viii
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to visit some of his relatives and wipe them with his right hand, saying ‘O Allah (The Exalted), Rabb of mankind, remove the suffering. Heal for You are the Healer. There is no healing except for Your healing, the healing which leaves no trace of sickness.” ix 3 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
The Muslims conveyed this Sunnah of visiting the sick from one generation to another, and it remained a feature of their social life, a sign of their mutual ties, love, mercy and solidarity which would mend broken hearts, wipe the tears of the bereaved, lift the clouds of depression, relieve despair, establish ties of friendship, strengthen the ties of brotherhood, and encourage faithfulness and hope.
Recite the four Quls
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) states that, “When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was ill, he recited the last two chapters of the Qur’an (Surah Falaq & Surah Naas), and blew his breath over himself and rubbed his hands over his body. When he was afflicted with his fatal illness, she began reciting the last two chapters, blowing her breath over him (as he used to blow), and moving the hand of the Prophet over his body.” x
Supplication of an angel
Umme Salma (may Allah be pleased with her) has related the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that, “When you visit an ill person tell him to make supplication for you, for his supplication is like that of an angel.” xi (Meaning the supplication will be accepted sooner).
He who recites Ya Salamu (The source of peace) frequently will be free from calamities. By reciting this name 115 times to a sick person, Allah (The Exalted) will heal him.
There is a cure for every illness
Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Allah (The Exalted) has sent down both the diseases and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.” xii
Medical equipment and old age
Usamah bin Sharik (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) whether they should make use of medical treatment, He replied “Yes, servant of Allah (The Exalted), make use of medical treatment, for Allah (The Exalted) has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease (i.e. old age/death.”) xiii
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would advise the patient to employ the services of a skilful and proficient doctor. He also advised the sick to control their diet (i.e. not to eat those things that shall have an adverse effect on one’s health).
No cure in unlawful medication
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said that, “Allah (The Exalted) has not put a cure for us in Haraam things.” We should not use unlawful medication, as there is no cure in it. Some say that it is okay to use it for medical purpose, however, this is going against the teachings of Allah (The Exalted) and His beloved Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Allah (The Exalted) is the One who gives cure but laws have to be followed.
Supplication for pain
FOR PAIN: to place one’s hand on the place of pain and then with ‘Bismillah’ and Salawaat in the beginning and end recite the following supplication seven times: –
A ‘udhubi Ilahi Wa Qudratihi Min Sharima AjiduWa-U-Hadhir.
‘I seek protection in the might and power of Allah (The Exalted) from the evil of what I find and which I fear.”
One shall Insha’Allah be relieved of the pain.
Supplication for sores, wounds & infections
FOR SORES AND WOUNDS: If there is an infection on the body, wet the index finger with saliva from the mouth, place it on the ground and then rub it on the infection while reciting:
‘Bismillahi Turbata Ardina BireeQati Ba’dina Liyushfa Saqeemana Bi-Idhni Rabbina’ 4 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
“Allah’s name I begin with, I seek blessings. This is the soil of our land mixed with saliva of one of us so that it can cure our patient with the command and permission of our Rabb.” xiv
The finger should then be passed over the wound.
Forgiveness or die as a Martyr
Whoever in the state of illness reads the following forty times, should he recover, his sins shall be forgiven, and should he die, he shall be granted the reward of a martyr. Subhanallah!
‘Laa Ilaha Illa Anta Sub-hanaka Inni Kuntu Minadhalimeen’
There is no deity, be thou glorified, indeed I am amongst the wrongdoers.
If the above supplication is read then he shall be saved from the fire of hell.
Pain in eyes:
Recite: Allahumma Ma’ti’ni Bibasari Waj’alhul Waritha Minni Wa-Arini Fil Uduw-we Thari wansurni ‘Ala man Zalamani.
O Allah (The Exalted)! Preserve for me my sight and let me utilise it throughout my life and show me my vengeance in (my) enemy and help me against the one who has been cruel to me.
Pain in Ears:
Recite: Ka-un-lam Yasma’ha ka-unna Fi Udhunaihi Wagra, Nashsharhu Bi-Adhabin Aleem.
There was deafness in both his ears, announce to him a grievous penalty.
Dua for Depression:
Recite these verses: Laqad Jaa-Akum Rassoolum Min Anfusikum Azizun Alaihe Ma Annittum Harisun Alaikum Bil Mu’minina Raufur Raheem. Fa-in Tawallahu Faqul Hasbiyallah, La-illaha Illahu, Alaihe Tawakkaltu Wahuwa Rabbul ‘Arshil Adheem.
Now hath come unto you an Apostle from amongst yourselves; it grieves him that ye should perish: Ardently anxious is he over you: to the belivers is he most kind and merciful. But if they turn away, say: Allah sufficeth me. There is no God but He: On Him is my trust, He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme.
Depression and pain in chest:
Al-Ladheena Amanu Wa Tatmainu Quloobuhum Bi Dhikrillah ‘Ala Bi Dhikrillahi Tatma Innul Quloob.
Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfactions in the remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) do hearts find satisfaction.
Dua for throat infection:
Fa Laula Idha Balaghatil Hulqoom
Then why do ye not (intervene) when (the sould of dying man) reaches the throat.
Dua for back ache and kidney infection and gall stone:
Recite Surah Tariq Chapter 30, Surah No: 86 and Surah Alam Nashrah Surah No: 94.
Dua for Headaches:
Perform prostration to Allah (The Exalted). Benefit: the blood clots in the centre of the head and when you lower yourself to Allah (The Exalted) He no doubt will cure your aches.
For all types of sickness:
Recite Surah Fatiha for any sickness daily. 5 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Manners of visiting the sick
1. When visiting the sick one should first greet him and then enquire about his health.
2. One should not visit the sick for a long period (overstaying). xv
3. One should always encourage the sick person and be careful not to speak of things that may cause them to despair and lose hope. xvi
4. One should say the following when in the presence of the patient ‘Do not be afraid if Allah (The Exalted) wills this will be atonement for one’s sins.’ xvii
Supplication for the patient
Make the following supplication for the patient seven times:-
“As-alullahal ‘Adheema Rabbal ‘Arshil ‘Adheemi Aa-Yashfiaka”.
‘I ask Allah (The Exalted) the great, the Lord of the great throne, to give you ‘Shifa’ – cure. xviii
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said that, “Whenever a Muslim visits a Muslim patient and reads the above supplication seven times then the patient will definitely recover from his illness except such illness which shall result in death.” xix
5. If possible, one should take a gift for the patient flowers etc. and if need be, assist financially, since the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said that the best person is he who benefits mankind.
6. Even when visiting the sick, one’s intention should be correct. That is to ‘gain Allah’s (The Exalted) pleasure.’
7. One should not force the sick person to eat or drink. xx
8. Request that the patient make supplication as his supplication is accepted. xxi
9. A sick person’s supplication is like that of the angels. xxii
Supplication to save yourself
Whoever reads the following supplication upon seeing another afflicted with sickness or difficulty will be protected from it.
‘Al-hamudulillahil Ladhi A’Faani Mim-Mabtolaka Bihi Wafodolani A’la Katheerim Mimman Khalaka Tofdeela’
‘All praise is due to Allah (The Exalted) who has relieve me from that with which He afflicted you and gave me excellence over many of whom he created’. xxiii
The reciter will be saved from the calamity that he has seen.xxiv However, do not recite the supplication when you see the following three as they are a blessing from Allah (The Exalted).
1. A person suffering from common cold & fever
2. A person suffering from skin disease (eczema)
3. A person suffering from eye disease (conjunctivitis)
Read the supplication softly so that the person in difficulty may not hear it, on the other hand if the person in difficulty is engaged in sin then it should be read aloud so that he may learn a lesson. xxv
Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan and Following The Sunnah
Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan’s says, “There was once a rumour in Bareilly, (his home town) that a Plague had appeared. Co-incidentally, at that moment, my gums became extremely inflamed. It continued to such proportions that it became difficult for me to open my mouth. I also had a high fever, coupled with inflamed 6 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
glands. The doctor, who was called, looked at me closely for a few minutes. He exclaimed that I had the Plague. I could not speak at that moment, or else I could have told him that his diagnosis was incorrect and false.”
“I was certain that I did not have the Plague or any other major disease, simply because I had recited a supplication (stated above) as explained by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) who said that if one sees a serious and deadly illness, he should recite this supplication which would protect the person from such an illness. Whenever I saw a serious illness, I recited this supplication; therefore, I was protected against it, including the Plague.”
“Thereafter, with extreme respect, I proclaimed aloud, ‘O Allah! Prove that the words of your Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is true, and that the words of the doctor is false’. At that moment a voice on my right advised me to use the Miswak and black pepper. With a little difficulty, I performed brushing with the Miswak and kept the black pepper on my tongue as a tablet. Infinite, indeed, is the Mercy of Allah (The Exalted)! Within a few minutes, I had gained my strength and sent the doctor away by proving that his diagnosis was false and baseless.” xxvi
This was the belief of Shaykh Ahmad Raza on the sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
When entering other peoples’ homes, enter the way that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has taught us and bring his teachings into our lives, may Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to act upon this Sunnah.
Amulets (Taweez) and healing words
Protective or healing words are permitted by Sacred Law (Shariah) and are called for when there is need for them, provided three conditions are met:
1. That they consist of the word of Allah (The Exalted), His names, or His attributes.
Note: the hadith prohibiting amulets being interpreted as referring to the beads and so forth that were used in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.
2. That they be in Arabic
3. And that the user not believe the words have any effect in themselves, but are rather empowered to do so by Allah (The Exalted). xxvii
Amr ibn Shu’ayb (may Allah be pleased with him) related from his father and he from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to teach them for fearful situations the words, “I seek refuge in Allah’s perfect words from His wrath, the evil of His servants, the whispered insinuations of devils, and lest they come to me.” xxviii
‘Abd-Allah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) used to teach these words to those of his sons who had reached the age of reason, and used to write them and hang them upon those who had not. xxix
1. Medication is permissible when the intention is that the real cure is from Allah (The Exalted) alone.
2. To use the hair, bones or any part of a pig is haraam. Other animals’ parts can be used on the condition that it has been slaughtered in the Islamic way.
3. It is not permissible to use haraam substances in medication, such as glycol, glycerine etc.
4. It is not permissible to use alcohol in medication even when using it externally. xxx
vi Bukhari in Jana’iz
viii Adaab al-Mufrad
ix Bukhari & Muslim
xi Ibn Majah
xviii Tirmidhi & Abu Dawud
xix Abu Dawood
xxii Ibn Majah
xxiii Tirmidhi in Supplication & Mishkat
xxv Malfoozat-e-Ala Hadhrat, Part one, p. 4
xxvii Mansur ibn Ali Nasif
xxviii Imam Nawawi