The Qur’aan – A Cure for the Sicknesses of the Heart and Body

 

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد

 

Allaah, The Most High, sent down the Qur’aan as a guidance for mankind, in order to take them out of darkness into light, and to guide them to the correct way. It is likewise a mercy for mankind and a cure for their sicknesses – both inwardly and outwardly.

With regard to it being a healing and a cure, Allaah, The Glorified, and Most High, said:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

((O mankind, there has to come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts, and guidance and mercy for the believers.)) (Younus: 57)

 

He, The Most High, said:

 

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

((And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy for the believers. And it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.)) (Al-Israa: 82)

 

He, The Most High, said likewise:

 

قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ

((Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure.”)) (Fussilat: 44)

 

The Unique Nature of Prophetic Medicine and an Understanding of the Qur’aan being a Cure

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “His medicine (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is not like the medicine of the doctors, for indeed the medicine of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is assuredly categorically divine, it emanates from revelation and the lamp of Prophethood and the perfection of intelligence.  Whilst the medicine that is other than his, then the majority of it is conjecture and probable assumptions and experiences.”[1]

He, The Most High said:

 

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

((And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy for the believers.)) (Al-Israa: 82)

 

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “Meaning that it removes that which is in the hearts by way of sicknesses, from doubt and hypocrisy and shirk and deviance and divergence. So the Qur’aan is a cure from all of that, and it is likewise a mercy in which Eemaan is procured as well as wisdom and the pursuit of good and the longing for it, and this is not to be except for the one who believes in it and accepts it as truth and follows it. It will be a cure in his right and a mercy. As for the disbeliever who wrongs himself with that, then his listening to the Qur’aan does not increase him except in distance and belie and disbelief, and the blight is on the part of the disbeliever – not from the Qur’aan.”[2]

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “From that which is known is that some forms of speech have distinctive particularities and advantages established through experience. So what then is the assumption with regard to the Speech of The Lord of the creation whose virtue over every other speech is like the virtue of Allaah over His creation, that which is a complete cure and a beneficial safeguard and a guiding light and a universal mercy which – had it been revealed upon a mountain, it would have been cleft asunder from its Exaltedness and its Majesty. He, The Most High, said:

 

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

((And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy for the believers.)) (Al-Israa: 82)”[3]

 

The Types of Healing in the Qur’aan

 

Imaam ash-Shawkaani (rahimahullaah) said: “The people of knowledge have differed concerning the meaning of its being a cure into that of two statements:

The First: Is that it is a cure for the hearts  by eliminating ignorance from it, and the removal of doubt, and uncovering the veil from the affairs which are signifying of Allaah.

 

The Second: Is that it is a cure from the apparent sicknesses by way of remedial recitation (by which means cure from Allaah is sought) and the pronouncement in which one seeks refuge and protection (with Allaah) and the like of that, and there is nothing to prevent ascribing the cure upon both meanings from the aspect of a generality in a wider sense, or from the aspect of collective ascription upon both of its meanings.”[4]

 

The Qur’aan is a Cure for the Hearts and Bodies

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “The aggregation of the sicknesses of the heart; are the sicknesses of doubts and desires, and the Qur’aan is a cure for both types.”[5]

 

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “So the healing which the Qur’aan comprises of is universal – for the cure of the hearts, and for the cure of the bodies from their pains and their sicknesses.”[6]

 

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said regarding His saying, The Most High:

 

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

((And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy for the believers. And it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.))

 

“The healing here is comprehensive of the healing from the sicknesses of the hearts and the sicknesses of the bodies.”[7]

 

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Commentary on the Qur’aan Being a Cure for That Which is in the Chests

 

The people of knowledge have stated that the Qur’aan has a profound effect upon the hearts, as well as the fact that it is a healing and a cure for that which is in the hearts by way of sicknesses, for example, Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullaah) said: “Recital of the Qur’aan does to the sicknesses of the heart that which honey does to the ailments of the bodies.”[8]

This issue was discussed in detail by Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) when he stated:[9]

“The Qur’aan is a cure for that which is in the chests,[10] and for the one in whose heart there are the sicknesses of doubts and desires, then in it are clear proofs that separate truth from falsehood, thus it eliminates the sicknesses of the doubt which is the cause of corruption to knowledge, conception and perception – such that one sees things upon that which they are upon.[11]

Likewise within it is wisdom and fine admonition through inspiration and causing fright and stories that contain consequential lesson – that which necessitates rectitude of the heart.[12]

So it inspires the heart to long for that which benefits it and to dislike that which harms it, and so the heart remains lovingly affectionate to the right way, hateful of misleading error, after it had been an adherent of misleading error and hateful of the right way.[13]

So the Qur’aan is an eliminator of the sicknesses that oblige corrupt intents,[14] so that it rectifies the heart, hence its intents too become rectified and it returns back to its natural disposition which it had intrinsically been upon, just as the body returns to the natural state.[15]

The heart nurtures itself from Eemaan and the Qur’aan with that which purifies it and supports it[16] just as the body nurtures itself with that which progressively develops and forms it, for indeed the purity of the heart is like unto the progressive development of the body.”[17]

 

A Description of those that Find Healing from the Qur’aan – and a Mention of How the Believers are to Approach it

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “It is known that when the souls gain strength and the soul and natural disposition become strong, they mutually cooperate upon repelling the ailment and overcoming it. How can it be rejected for the one whose natural disposition and soul are strengthened and it becomes pleased over its nearness to its Originator and of its amiability with Him, and its love for Him and its living in comfort in remembrance of Him and expending of all of its faculties for Him and uniting them upon it and its seeking aid from Him and its reliance upon Him – that turns out to be from the greatest remedies.

It becomes imperative for it that this potency of strength repels the pain in totality, and this is something that is not rejected except by the most ignorant of people and the most coarse of them in veiled hindrance of perception, as well as the crudest of them in soul and the most distant of them from Allaah and from the realities of humanity.”[18]

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) explained the method of seeking remedy, and it is: “That you relocate your heart from the homeland of the dunya (life of this world), and you settle it in the homeland of the Hereafter. Then with it – in its entirety you hear and receive the meanings of the Qur’aan and their elucidation and have reflection upon them, and understand what is meant by it and for what reason it was revealed, and that you take your share and portion from every verse from its verses – and then you bring it down upon the ailment of your heart. For this method is succinct, simple and easy, that leads to the Rafeeq al-A’laa (highest companionship).”[19]

 

Imaam al-Aajuri (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever reflects upon His speech, he will come to know The Lord – The Mighty and Majestic, and he will know of the vastness of His Dominion and His Power, and he will know of the greatness of His Gracious Favour upon the believers, and he will know of what is upon him from the obligation of worship of Him.

Thus he obliges himself to the obligation, and is cautious of that which His Lord – The Generous One, cautioned him of, and he desires that which He encouraged him to be desirous of, and he whose attribute is the like of this when reciting the Qur’aan and when listening to it from other than himself, then the Qur’aan will be a cure for him. So he will be enriched – devoid of wealth, and will have honour – devoid of kinsfolk, and will find affability with that which other than him would otherwise find lonesome estrangement in.”[20]

 

The Factors Which Lead to an Individual Not Being Procured Any Healing

 

Al-Khattaabi (rahimahullaah) said: “The realization of cure may vary on the part of some of those who utilize Prophetic medicine, and that is due to an impediment sustained by the utilizer from weakness in belief of cure by way of it and receiving it with acceptance, and the most distinct of examples in that regard is the Qur’aan which is a cure for that which is in the chests, and in spite of that; there may not be procured a cure of one’s chest for some people – due to his deficiency in belief and in receiving it with acceptance.

Rather it does not increase the hypocrite except in polluted doubt to his polluted doubt and sickness to his sickness. Therefore the Prophetic medicine is not suitable except to good bodies, just as the remedy of the Qur’aan is not suitable except to good hearts, and Allaah Knows best.”[21]

 

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “So other than the believer will not see the remedy from the Qur’aan at all, nor will he benefit from the Qur’aan, rather:

 

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

((When Our Verses [of the Qur’aan] are recited to him he says: “Tales of the ancients!”)) (Al-Mutaffifeen: 13)

 

This is because he does not benefit from it, and:

 

 أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

((“Tales of the ancients!”))

 

Is like our saying: bygones of the early ones, because he does not benefit. So every time a person is stronger in Eemaan with Allaah, the Qur’aan then will be more beneficial for him in healing the sickness of the heart, and in giving light to the heart and in joyful expansion of the chest, and in tranquility of the heart, try it – you will find (it).”[22]

 

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim’s Analysis of Why Some People Have Turned Away From This Form of Remedy and Some of its Consequences

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed many of the treatments benefit through conviction of belief and fine acceptance and a completeness of taking (to it), and the people have witnessed wonders in that regard, and this is because the natural disposition intensifies in its acceptance of it, and the soul is delighted by it, so the strength is invigorated, and the mandate of the natural disposition grows stronger and it emits an inborn fervency – thus it assists in repelling the harmful element.

Conversely, there may be many beneficial remedies for that ailment, yet its performance is cut short due to the poor belief of the sick person in regard to it, and a lack of taking to it with acceptance on the part of the natural disposition, hence it does not bring about any effect over it.

I regard this to be the greatest of remedies and cures, and the most beneficial for the hearts and bodies, and for the means of subsistence and the afterlife, and the life of this world and the Hereafter, and it is the Qur’aan which is a cure from every sickness. How it benefits not the hearts that do not believe that it contains a healing and benefit, rather it does not increase them except in sickness to their sickness, and there is nothing for the healing of the hearts by way of remedy at all that is of more benefit than the Qur’aan. Since its healing of them is perfect and complete which does not leave within them an ailment – except that it heals it and safeguards its health over it unrestrictedly, and affords it protection with complete protection from every harmful and detrimental element.

Yet despite this; the turning away of most of the hearts from it, and their lack of firmly convinced belief – in which there should be no doubt in it that it is as such, and a lack of utilizing it, and the relinquishment away from it to that of the remedies that the sons of their stock have embarked upon have brought about obstruction between that and being afforded cure by way of it. So the customary practices have gained ascendancy, and the avoidance (from it) has intensified, and the ailments and chronic diseases have gained a stronghold upon the hearts. While the patients and the doctors are reared upon remedying the sons of their stock along with that which their elders had laid down for them and those that they venerate and entertain good opinion of, hence the calamity magnifies and the sickness takes root, and the maladies and ailments have become set – defying their efforts to remedy them. Every time they seek to remedy them with those modern treatments; their affair increases in gravity – and they gain strength.”[23]

He said likewise: “So Prophetic medicine does not suit except good bodies, just as the healing by way of the Qur’aan does not suit except good souls and hearts that are alive. So the turning away of the people from Prophetic medicine is like their turning away from seeking cure from the Qur’aan which is a beneficially effective cure, and that is not due to a deficiency in the remedy, but rather due to impurity in temperament and perversion of locale and a lack of acceptance of it – and Allaah is The One Who grants ability.”[24]

 

In Conclusion

 

As has been established, the Qur’aan has a profound effect in healing the sicknesses of the heart and body, the comprehensiveness of its healing is summarized in the words of Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) who stated:

“So Allaah, The Glorified, has never revealed a cure from the heavens that is more universal or more beneficial or greater or more valiant in the eradication of sickness than the Qur’aan.”[25]

 

_________________________________

[1] Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.35

[2] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Adheem vol 4 p.389

[3] Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.177

[4] Fath al-Qadeer vol 3 p.253

[5] Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.70

[6] Abridged from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan p.465

[7] Fataawa Noor ‘alaa ad-Darb (no.386)

[8] At-Tabsirah p.71

[9] As is found in Majmu’ Fataawa vol 10 p.95-96

[10] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “So the Qur’aan is a complete cure from all of the diseases pertaining to the heart and body, as well as the disorders of the world and the Hereafter, and it is not that every individual is worthy for or is granted ability to be cured by way of it, and so if the one who is sick does well in the (course of) treatment  with it, and places it upon his ailment with truthfulness and Eemaan and complete acceptance and definitive belief, together with the fulfillment of its conditions, the ailment can never resist it. How can the ailments resist the Speech of the Lord of the earth and the heavens which is such that – had it been revealed upon the mountains – it would have cleft them asunder, or (revealed) upon the earth – it would have sundered it. So there is no sickness from the sicknesses of the hearts and the bodies except that in the Qur’aan is a means to the guiding direction of its remedy and its cause, as well as the protection from it – for whosoever Allaah has bestowed an understanding into His Book.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.352)

[11] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “In it are clear proofs and decisive evidences which make the truth evidently clear from falsehood, and so the sicknesses of the corrupting doubt are eliminated for that of knowledge and visualization and perception – in such a manner that one sees things in a way in which they are upon.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.70)

[12] Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “However much you seek from the doctors to eliminate from you that which is in your heart, you will not then find the like of the Qur’aan.” (Sharh al-Kaafiyah ash-Shaafiyah vol 1 p.198)

[13] The peak of hating the truth and the true path is when an individual seeks to eradicate it through killing its proponents due to that which they call to, yet such hostile adversaries have been known to have changed upon hearing the Qur’aan, Al-Khattaabi (rahimahullaah) said: “So how many an enemy of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) from the men of the Arabs and their murderers set out intending to assassinate and kill him, so they heard the verses of the Qur’aan, and so they did not take long once it came to fall into their hearing – that they changed from their initial concept, and so betook themselves to conciliation with him, and entered into his religion, and their animosity turned allied friendship; and their infidelity turned true faith.” (Bayaan I’jaaz al-Qur’aan p.89)

[14] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “The Qur’aan is a cure for that which is in the chests, a repeller of that which Satan casts into it by way of whisperings and desires and corrupt intents.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.157)

[15] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “So the Qur’aan is an eliminator of the sicknesses that channel corrupt intents, thus it rectifies the heart – and so its intents in turn are rectified, and it returns back to its natural disposition upon which it had intrinsically been upon. So its voluntary actions that draw acquisition are rectified, just as the body returns back to its sound health and its fitness to the natural state, and so it becomes such that it does not accept but the truth.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.72-73)

[16] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “So the pure heart, due to the completeness of its life and its light and its liberation from filths and impurities – it does not tire and so have enough of the Qur’aan, and it does not become nurtured except by way of its realities, and it is not remedied except by way of its remedies. In contrast to the heart which Allaah, The Most High, has not purified, for it nurtures itself from the sustenance that suits it – in accordance to that which is in it from impurity. For indeed, the impure heart is like the sickly ailing body, the sustenance which would otherwise suit the sound healthy one is not suited to it.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.94)

[17] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “So the heart nurtures itself from Eemaan and the Qur’aan with that which purifies it and strengthens it, and aids it and delights it, and pleases it and invigorates it and firmly establishes its dominion, just as the body nurtures itself with that which develops it and strengthens it, and each one from the heart and the body are in need of cultivation, so it can develop and increase until it is complete and is rectified. So just as the body is in need to be purified with the sustenance that is advantageous to it, and as being a protection against that which is harmful to it, then it does not develop except by giving it that which benefits it and prevents that which harms it. Likewise then is the heart, it does not become purified or developed nor is its beneficial welfare complete except with that, and there is no way for it to arrive at that except by way of the Qur’aan.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.73)

[18] Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.12

[19] Madaarij as-Saalikeen vol 2 p.30

[20] Akhlaaq Hamalah al-Qur’aan p.36

[21] Fath ul Baari vol 10 p.210

[22] Sharh al-Kaafiyah ash-Shaafiyah vol 1 p.198

[23] Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.101

[24] Zaad al-Ma’aad vol 4 p.36

[25] Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi p.8

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