Solace in Sickness

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Influenza, pneumonia, TB, bronchitis… There are thousands of diseases in existence, and every disease brings some form of discomfort, inconvenience and pain to a person. Hence, no person wishes or desires to be afflicted by disease. In the hadeeth as well, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us to seek protection from illnesses and diseases.

Nevertheless, if Allah Ta‘ala has decreed sickness for a person, then together with making du‘aa for shifaa (cure), one should immediately hold firmly onto sabr while hoping for and anticipating the immense rewards that are promised in the ahaadeeth for those who patiently tolerate sickness without complaint. Some of these ahaadeeth are:

- Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When any exhaustion and fatigue, or any chronic pain and illness, or any worry, sadness, discomfort or grief afflicts a person, even to the extent of a thorn that pricks him, then Allah Ta‘ala forgives some of his sins on account of it. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5641)

- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned regarding fever, “It removes the sins of a person, just as the furnace removes impurities from iron.” (Saheeh Muslim #2575)

- Hazrat Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “On the Day of Qiyaamah, when those who suffered difficulties in the world will be given their reward, then (on account of the reward being so immense,) those who enjoyed good health in the world will wish that their skin had been torn apart with scissors while they were in the Dunya.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2402)

- Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When you meet the one who is sick then request him to make du‘aa for you, as his du‘aa is like the du‘aa of the angels (i.e. on account of the sickness, his sins have been forgiven, hence he resembles the angels in being free of sins, due to which his du‘aa will gain quick acceptance).” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #1441)

From these ahaadeeth, we can well understand that sickness is, in reality, a mercy from Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, those undergoing sickness should patiently endure the difficulty, anticipating the immense rewards that Allah Ta‘ala has in store for them.

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