Natural and Spiritual Medicine

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Abu Huraira reported that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Treating an illness with what Allah has made lawful will cure it, and treating it with what Allah has forbidden will not cure it.” God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم treated illnesses with three types of medicine: (1) natural medicine, (2) spiritual medicine, and (3) a combination of natural and spiritual medicine. We start in this chapter and in the following ones to describe the natural medicine which he used and prescribed to others, and we shall proceed to outline the spiritual medicine, then the combination of both medicines will follow. As for the last two types, and God willing, we shall attempt to merely outline them, for the eminent purpose and mission of God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم was to call people and to guide them to their Lord, and to invite them to seek His paradise. He also was sent to teach them about the Creator and Sustainer of the universes; to help them recognize their Lord; to teach them how to comply with what pleases Him, and to abstain from what displeases Him.

As the seal of God’s messengers and prophets, upon all of whom be peace, he also recited to people the divine revelations concerning the earlier prophets and messengers of God Almighty, their mission and plight with their people. Furthermore, he taught the believers, in addition to enlightening their perception with knowledge concerning the inception of the worlds: the creation of the human being; their primordial covenant with their Lord; and the Divine Vow to bring the entire creation for a day of judgment. He also described the causes behind people’s suffering, and the road to their cure and true happiness. Hence, the seal of God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم brought people a message from their Lord with clear signs for those who ponder and heed them and for those who do not.

The medicine of the body (tibb-ul-abdan) which God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم described, came to complement the laws of Shari’a and to explain the remedies described in the holy Qur’an. The duty of God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم also was geared to furthering people’s understanding of cause and effect, as well as explaining divine omnipotence and God’s infinite knowledge of His creation. The natural medical knowledge God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم imparted to the believers was mostly intended for others to help increase their faith, to provide physical comfort and to cure their physical illnesses when needed. In fact, when it is possible to avoid the use of medicines by preserving a healthy body and mind through preventive medicine, one can concentrate his efforts and concerns on treating and nourishing the needs of his heart and soul. This will help him prevent more ominous diseases from destroying the real purpose behind human life, for mere possession of a healthy body without concern for a healthy heart and soul is of no benefit compared to one’s ultimate being and eternal comfort in the hereafter. In fact, the repercussion of such heedlessness may appear minimal and ephemeral today, though its consequences are more serious tomorrow. On the other hand, the benefits of properly curing one’s heart and soul of impurities today bring about eternal comfort and joy in the hereafter, and indeed Allah is the guardian of success.

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