Health and Sickness Both Are from Allah!
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
To be human is to be healthy.
And it is also to be sick.
Both of these are simply different conditions or states of life in human beings -- two different sides of the same coin of life on earth you can say.
And both come from Allah. Make no mistake about that. Allah forgive me for being so blunt about it.
Even though Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, claims personal responsibility for his own sickness.
Out of respect I suppose. Good manners and proper protocol and etiquette. And that sort of thing.
Islamic diplomacy, is it?
Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, takes the responsibility for his illness upon himself rather than attribute it to Allah.
Wa Idhaa Maridtu...
"Every time I get sick."
Note the "I."
But then Hazrat Musa, Alaihis Salam, does not hesitate to give credit for his health to God.
"He then gives me health, and cures me, and makes me whole."
Note the pronoun "He." And its juxtaposition with "Health."
Allah that is.
That is who gives me health: God Almighty does.
See? It is "He," Allah, who gives you your health back once you make yourself ill.
The wonders of this Qur'an never cease. Do they?
Why not go right ahead and call them miracles then?
For, that is what each one of them is: a shining miracle. Directly from God. For everyone to behold – with their own naked eye.
Even for the least educated among us to see and to understand?
In any case, the point is, Muslims must do everything in their power to stay healthy.
That is Islam. Pure and simple: Good health – physical; mental; spiritual.
And that includes the following:
- Eating good, healthy food.
- Avoiding eating things injurious to health, including too much sugar and salt and fat.
- Shunning bad and dangerous habits such as smoking.
- Engaging in some kind of exercise and physical activity on a regular basis, even though, when carried out properly, Salaah or Namaz is a perfect minimum daily dose to keep your body and mind working fit.
- Seeking medication when illness does strike.
Did you know there is a Hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that says – simply:
Ta-daawow Ya Ibaadallah!
First, I do hope I got that Hadith right. Feel free to point out if you think I made a mistake.
Second, how do you paraphrase this Hadith?
Here are a couple of ways in which I would do it – perhaps:
"Go to the doctor, O you people!"
"Go, seek medication you all!"
What can I say? This was 1400 years ago.
It is things like this that helped me to make up my mind – finally – about Islam.
Just because I was born in the kind of family I was born in – may Allah bless my ancestors on both my father's and mother's side, Rahimahumullah, Wa Yaghfir Lahum – Allah did not make it easy for me to jump into Islam.
It was a most excruciating and painful struggle for me, every inch of the way, to come to the realization that Islam was the way to go.
Till, out of his mercy and grace and kindness, Allah finally brought me into Islam, bound and gagged.
Not because I knew too little, but maybe because quite the opposite was the case. But then, how long it takes some of us, all too many of us I should think, to realize that knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom and judgment.
And 'Ilm is not the same thing as 'Aql.
And none of these things equal or guarantee inner satisfaction and contentment. It is God and God alone who holds the key to any and all of these things.
As he does with regard to everything else.
And don't forget, another very important requirement for keeping good health is resting, when and as needed, once your body condition, either through a bout of illness or through sheer tiredness, sends out signals to that effect.
Wa Li-Badanika Alaika Haqqan!
"Your own body has claims and rights on you!"
Talk about "Human" Rights! Is there a Hadith Sharif like that?
Once again, it is things like this that make me Muslim. At least that is how I got dragged into Islam.
What is the probability that an uneducated man, with such complete and unquestioned sway over the lives and minds of people, in a world that was the way it was 1400 years ago, would make a statement like that that will retain its luster, validity and relevance to this day?
And that will in fact become even more pronounced and even more urgently applicable as the times change and as the world of Allah moves forward?
From our point of view, considering how the world works, would it not make more sense for him to say something like: "People, bring me this or that offering and that will fix you up?"
Instead of saying something like that, he sends people out to go find a doctor and get proper treatment and medication for whatever was ailing them!
Should the world not consider this as the beginning of the true era of science and rationality and medicine in this world?
So, these Ahaadeeth – plural for Hadith – had a profound impact on me. And they helped haul me into Islam.
And when I look at them, I say: I am staying in and with Islam. Thank God Almighty.
Or as many Muslims would say:
Al-Hamdu Lillahi Ala Ni'amatil Islam.
"Thank God Almighty for the blessings of Islam!"
But there was a time, when I was tempted to say:
"Great! This is absolutely amazing! Yes, count me in!
I am staying."
"At least until such time as someone finds me something better!"
But not anymore. Again, thank God Almighty. Not anymore!
Now, I just close my eyes, clench my fists and say:
"Thank you God!"
"Thank you for, finally, claiming me – and resting my soul."
A soul that was programmed by you, from Day One, not to find peace and rest and contentment and joy except in and through you!
Just as the Qur'an says:
A-laa Bi-Dhikrillahi Tatma-innul Quloob!
"Can't you all see that it is only God's name and thought and remembrance that will give your soul the rest, the peace, the contentment and the joy it needs?"
And then I returned to wade a bit deeper into the Qur’an. There is an earlier part of that same most beautiful Aayat, and every Aayat of the Qur’an is most beautiful, a part that I missed earlier.
As well as an earlier Aayat. I missed that one too.
And the scene that unfolds is most amazing and spellbinding.
No human speech can match or rival this – just as the Qur’an itself emphasizes over and over again.
The Qur’an says:
Qul – Tell them Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!).
Innallaha Yudillu Man Yashaa’ – God does indeed throw on the wrong track those he wishes.
But then at the same time, whoever shows any inclination to turn toward him, God Almighty guides those people to himself:
Wa Yahdi Ilaihi Man Anaab!
And who are these people who do turn to him? How can we tell?
The Qur’an answers:
Alladheena Tatma-innu Quloobuhum Bi-Dhikrillah!
“They are the ones whose hearts do find peace in Allah’s Dhikr: in talking about him; in thinking about him; in mentioning and chanting his name; in Working for Him; and in translating his memory into a practical life of love for God and service to humanity.”
Those then are the people whose hearts and minds and souls are at peace. They are the ones who tend to turn to God.
And they are also the ones who realize in their lives the reality and the fact that human hearts are indeed conditioned and preset to find true peace and joy and bliss nowhere else.
It is, it strikes me, a perfectly circular argument. But that is the argument God makes.
Circular or linear, God is the one who simply can make any argument he wants. It is you and I, it is our job, human beings that is, to make sense of all this and to figure out which is which.
For, God, just as he says in the Aayat I cited above, reserves the right to mislead whom he wants, even as he does guide those who show an inclination toward him.
Given that, it will be foolish not to err – if erring is what it is – on the side of winning. On the side of inclining and turning to God – in the hope he will indeed lead us to him.
And you win, I should think, by at least going through some kind of a motion of turning toward him. By making a genuine effort, as it were, to appear to be doing so.
What else can I say?!