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Monday, 3 February 2014

Shifa from Qur'anic Verses: The Placebo Effect

There's a narrated story of a doctor who treated his patients who suffered from major diseases. The doctor advised his patients (together with the prescribed medicines to be taken on time) some verses of the Qur'an for their treatment.

The patients never did ask the doctor further when he handed them some black seeds (nigella sativa) to be taken in small amount after meal, but followed his advise diligently. Months passed and so one of the patient (who is a diabetic patient) came to the clinic for his scheduled appointment. With much awe, the patient expressing his gratitude to the doctor , thanking him for prescribing the medicine to lower his sugar levels. Masha'Allah, he skipped the major operation to amputate his feet.

Little did the patient know that the doctor never did give him any medicine,.. but just bunch of placebo, together with the black seeds. So, what did cures him? Lets ponder on this... In Shaa Allah.

Allah has never created a disease but created its treatment, that is known by some people and unknown to others, except death. (At-Tabarani).

"Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful." (Abu Dawud)

"And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss." -Surah Al-Isra' (17:82).

Does that mean Allah do not encourage us to visit the physicians? 

Again, this was an outstanding progressive piece of advice 14 centuries ago that could only come from the divine guidance of Allah. The reaction of the surprised early Muslims is depicted by the following narrations:

At the time of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam , a man fell ill. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, "Summon the physician of the tribe so and so for him." (Ahmad)

Once Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam visited a sick person. He said, "Call a physician for him." One of the attendants said, "Even you say this, Prophet of Allah?" Prophet Muhammad replied, "Yes." (Al-Bukhari)

Yet, as a precaution to lessen the probability of infection, Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam warned Muslims against associating with the sick:

"A sick person should not be taken to one who is healthy." (Al-Bukhari) [2]We shouldn't rely on the beliefs that it is the prescribed medicines that has healed us, rather the Shifa was given to us from Allah. A question to ask ourselves, are we committing shirk by doing this? Relying on others besides Allah? When we believe and have faith in Allah's Words in the Qur'an, In Shaa Allah, Allah will grant us Shifa. But, if we merely reciting Qur'an, not learning its meaning (tadabbur), not applying it in our daily life, then, what's the use of it?

Here are more supplications one can recite for seeking healing, as mentioned in the Sunnah:

1) Allahumma rabba an-nas, adh-hib il-ba'sa, ishfi anta ash-shafi, la shifa'a illa shifa'uk, shifa'an la yughadiru saqaman. (O Allah, O Lord of mankind, remove the affliction and send down cure and healing, for no one can cure but You; so cure in such a way that no trace of illness is left.) (Muslim)

2) As'alu Allaha Al-`Azhim, Rabba Al-`Arshi Al-Azhim, an yashfiyak. (I beseech Allah, the Great, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal you). (At-Tirmidhi)

3) A`udhu bi `izzati Allahi wa qudratihi mimma ajidu wa uhadhir. (I seek refuge and protection in the august might and power of Allah from the pain and illness I am suffering from and I am afraid of). (Ibn Majah)

Qur'anic Verses for Shifa

"Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people" - Surah At-Tawbah (9:14)

"O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, - a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers." - Surah Yunus (10:57)

"Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you)." There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think." - Surah An-Nahl (16:69)

"And We send down from the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss."- Surah Al-Isra' (17:82)

"And when I am ill, it is He who cures me"- Surah Ash-Shuaraa (26:80) *Du'a Nabi Ibrahim alaihi salam.

"And if We had made it a non-Arabic Qur'an, they would have said, "Why are its verses not explained in detail [in our language]? Is it a foreign [recitation] and an Arab [messenger]?" Say, "It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure." And those who do not believe - in their ears is deafness, and it is upon them blindness. Those are being called from a distant place."- Surah Fussilat (41:44). 

Verily, the Qur'an is sent to us as a healing and mercy, except for death.Allah knows best and I know nothing.

REFERENCES1) Ayat ash-Shifa (Six Quranic Verses of Healing), Accessed on 3rd February 2014.   
2) A cure of every illness. Accessed on 3rd February 2014.Image Credit: 

3) Islamic Duas and Supplications, Accessed on 3rd February 2014.

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