Illness or a breakdown in one’s health could be as a result of one of the following:
- Failure to sufficiently service the body. This could take the form of deficiency, which may ordinarily require an immediate and fast replacement of what is lost in order to recover.
- The degeneration of the state of deficiency to a sufficiently low level that makes the body very vulnerable to attack from foreign bodies having become weak or less resistant.
- The inability of an ordinarily healthy body mechanism to withstand exposure to a strong attack from or by some foreign bodies.
What essentially influences one’s response or ability to go through a treatment process and get the best out of it depends upon one’s conscious concept of ill-health. In other words, most of us can at times fall sick. But because our understanding of ill-health in general varies, it can make us meekly, courageously or desperately respond to ill-health and that of those close to us. There can even be different forms and levels of meek, courageous or desperate responding. For a conscious and knowledgeable Muslim the Islamic concept of ill-health includes accepting all of the above and responding; informed by the following:
Narrated Abu Hurairah (r.a): The prophet (S.A.W) said, “No disease Allah created, but that He created its treatment.” Bukhari Collection
As a Muslim is not exempted from the experience of ill-health (not resulting from carelessness) he should therefore confront it with the optimism of overcoming it through deliberate exerted efforts to find the correct treatment for it (which is available but has to be sought). Ill-health can be a trial, a test of one’s faith, requiring the struggle to overcome it patiently and in an organised manner. It is also a source of spiritual blessing – the wiping of sins, if one believes and struggles hard.
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (S.A.W) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” Bukhari Collection
The orientation of hopelessness does not belong to the culture of Islam even when it has to do with a negative reality like ill-health. A Muslim has no basis for such.