The Problem of Sickness

This is translated from a work of Dr Mahmud Esad Coşan.

Allah (swt) gave us endlessly favours and blessings that we can’t even count. Thanks to them we live happily; without them we would have perished instantly. And even if we spend all our lives for praising Allah just for one single blessing, we wouldn’t be able to thank Allah properly.

Our health is the most important favour and one of the greatest blessings of Allah on us. This body of ours is a great and superb creature. There are many organs inside and outside of our body – billions of cells and tissues, extremely well-ordered systems and mechanisms, continuous and orderly functions and progresses, biological phenomena and activities that repeat themselves continually in perfect order, our mysterious and marvellous brain, tireless heart, fine nervous system, circulatory systems, physics laboratory lungs, chemical factory liver, kidneys that contain millions of filters, bone structure that is an engineering marvel, layers of assorted muscles that cover all these, skin, eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, sweet speaking tongue, organs to produce new generations, endless mind, limitless and countless senses, wonderful system of reflection, discovery, inventions, arts….

How come all these go like clockwork and their harmony doesn’t become depraved, nothing goes wrong; and how come we stay healthy for many years without having a breakdown? How come an extensiveness, vastness, deepness, abundance, intricacy, complexity, interdependence, partnerships and togetherness of this magnitude lasts for life in a perfect manner? Because of these difficult conditions, misfortune, breakdowns, and sickness should be ordinary happenings and expected to happen any moment. But it’s not so!

Health is a very amazing state, an extraordinary miracle! We personally have nothing at all; there is absolutely someone who is guarding and taking care of us. Every single moment we exist and live with the help of the Almighty and Absolutely-Wise Allah – every single moment we are repaired and re-created, until such time as He wishes….

But there is also death beside life, and sickness beside health. There IS! Because it is necessary and full of wisdom! Sickness is the messenger of death, and the reminder and denouncer of the Hereafter! What would have happened to the world if death never existed? Death is a discharge, a salvation; a new and different birth; the end of the longing and meeting again the Beloved….

Health is a blessing, sickness is an examination. It is necessary to praise Allah for the blessings, and to show endurance during examinations.

Many people don’t know but sickness is a blessing according to Islam for the faithful servant, for a patient and well-behaved Muslim who doesn’t flare up or rebel, and for those adept and graceful servants who know that sickness comes from Allah, and who don’t oppose the destiny or complain.

There are many rewards and recompenses for the sick, their sufferings are compensated with spiritual honour and gifts. Our Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.) said:

The sick person’s sleep is considered as worship and his moaning as litany of praise to Allah. He is rewarded as though he is performing his usual prayers when he was healthy although he is unable to do so now. His supplications are accepted, his sins are forgiven, all his mistakes and wrong-doings recorded in his book are deleted, and he is told `Very well, start your new life with an absolutely clean book!’

Sickness wakes people up from heedlessness, guides them to give up their sins, makes them think about the Hereafter, leads them to pious foundations; makes them more thankful to Allah, and teaches them the necessity of taking better care of their health and making better use of their life – something they didn’t realize before, teaches them to understand other sick and pained people better, to feel sorry for them and to help them; and rises their ranks and degrees higher in the Hereafter.

I wish you all good health, truth, happiness, and peace in religion, in this world and the Hereafter; quick recovery for my sick and pained brethren from Almighty Allah, and wish them to have brave endurance and bountiful rewards.

May Allah bless my loyal, faithful, compassionate, self-sacrificing brethren in the medical profession who dedicated their lives to the ideal of seeking remedy for the pain of those in suffering, and give them high material and spiritual ranks and degrees, great earthly and spiritual rewards, and increase their numbers, and make them victorious and superior over the oppressors and the unjust.


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