Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Importance of Visiting the Sick.

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went to visit a sick bedouin. Whenever the Prophet went to a patient, he used to say to him, "Don't worry, if Allah will, it will be expiation (for your sins):"... 
Reported in Riyad as-Salihin in The Book of Visiting the Sick, the Hadith being from Sahih Al Bukhari Book 7, Hadith 907.

In this benevolent prophetic saying, there is an expression of sympathy, a most noble show of compassion, as well as a most favourable type of treatment. Such attitude on the part of the visitor will relieve the patient’s anxieties, refresh his spirit and animate his heart. Subsequently, it will help change his natural disposition and aid his nature to overcome the effects, and sometimes lessen, or even alleviate his symptoms and defeat the cause. This is in effect, the purpose behind calling a doctor.

Visiting the sick is one of the 7 things enjoined upon those who believe.

It was narrated by Al-Bara' bin 'Azib (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered us to do seven (things) and forbade us from seven. He ordered us to visit the patients, to follow the funeral procession, to reply to the sneezer (i.e., say to him, 'Yarhamuka-l-lah (May Allah bestow His Mercy upon you), if he says 'Al-hamdulillah' (Praise be to Allah), to help others to fulfill their oaths, to help the oppressed, to greet (whomever one should meet), and to accept the invitation (to a wedding banquet). He forbade us to wear golden rings, to use silver utensils, to use Mayathir (cushions of silk stuffed with cotton and placed under the rider on the saddle), the Qasiyya (linen clothes containing silk brought from an Egyptian town), the Istibraq (thick silk) and the Dibaj (another kind of silk).
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 104

The beloved Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) showed great love and compassion when he visited sick persons, particularly his companions (radhi Allahu anhum). He would gently ask about their point of discomfort, their condition and present feelings. He cheered them up, placed his blessed band over their foreheads and sometimes placed it in the middle of their chests, and prayed for them. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also prescribed the correct medicine for them, and in one case it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would take an ablution and wash the patient’s face or body with the water of that ablution or sprinkle the water upon them. This is the utter kindness, the noblest treatment and the correct mannerism to demonstrate with those that are sick.

Sympathic-therapy sometimes does wonders for curing an illness or at least, lessening its effects. Often, this kind of support helps the human spirit, builds up a patient’s will and empowers the psycho-physiological process in his mind to defeat the disease.

Visiting the sick offers four kinds of benefits;
  • Mental benefits for the patient that helps reconstruct their state of mind and natural bodily healing processes and livens their spirits.
  • Benefits for the visitor in the form of blessings and forgiveness from Allah Almighty and the reward for following the Sunnah of Rasool'Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
  • Conciliatory benefits for the nursing family and the strengthening of ties and good manners.
  • Constructive benefits for the Muslim community in that local groups take care to support each other.

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