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Q / A
Answering Common Misconceptions
 

46. A Cure for Every Illness!   

Question:

As-salamu `alaykum

One friend of mine told me about a prophecy, according to him, mentioned in the Qur'an, related to HIV/AIDS. He told me that the prophecy told that HIV/AIDS was an incurable disease. But I firmly told him that the Qur'an cannot say that, since I know a verse where it is mentioned that whatever disease Allah creates, He creates a cure for it.

 

Am I right? Is there a prophecy of HIV/AIDS in the Qur'an? Or is it in the Hadith?

 

According to my statement concerning that Allah created a cure for all diseases, is it not well known that there is no cure for viruses (that is, there are only vaccinations or the body has to build its own immunity)?

May Allah reward you.

Answer:

 First of all, what you mentioned that “whatever disease Allah creates he creates a cure for it” is absolutely correct. Yet, we came to know this basic fact not from the Qur’an, but from the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Amazingly, although the Prophet (SAWS) lived in one of the poorest and most ignorant nations, 14 centuries ago; he was guided by Allah (SWT) to teach Muslims and the whole world ever-since that "There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment." (Reported by Al-Bukhari). At that time, when treatment with magic and the like was widespread all over the world, such a statement by the Prophet (SAWS) was a wide leap forward in human knowledge. A leap that could only emanate from the ever-Knowing Allah. The Prophet’s guidance further inspired Muslims to search and discover effective medicines, when he said, in a more complete narration of the Hadith: "Allah has never created a disease but created its treatment, that is known by some people and unknown to others, except death." (Reported by At-Tabarani and Al-Bazzar). No wonder then that the early Muslim scientists, during the third and forth centuries of Islam have laid down the foundations of modern Pharmacology. Their research and writing were the main source for the much later European enlightenment. 

If a disease is thought to be incurable at one point of history, this does not mean that scientific research and accumulated experience would not, one day, find a treatment; HIV is one. There is no particular prophesy concerning HIV in the Qur’an. Yet, Allah has repeatedly warned any nation indulging in sodomy and sexual perversion from facing a fate akin to that of the people of Lot (Qur’n Surahs: 7, Al-A`raf: 80-81; 27, An-Naml: 54-55; 26,Ash-Shu`ara’: 165-166; 29, Al-`Ankabut: 28). The recent spread of HIV is one such fate.

A major cure factor for many diseases is the natural immunity that Allah (SWT) has created in our body systems. The healing of many virus-infected people is achieved through antibodies, that constitute a major source of the “treatment for every disease” referred to in the Hadith above. They constitute internal body-built rather than external medicaments. The same can be said for vaccines, being antibodies produced in the labs or derived from certain animals.

Yet, Muslims are requested to seek medication from experts, as in the following Hadith:

"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." (Reported by Abu Dawud)

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 (SAWS), a man fell ill. The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Summon the physician of the tribe so and so for him." The attendants said: "O Messenger of Allah! Do you really mean the physician?" The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Yes." (Reported by Ahmad)

- Once, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) visited a sick person. He said: "Call a physician for him." One of the attendants said: "Even you say this, Prophet of Allah?" The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied: "Yes." (Reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmidhi)

-Allah's Messenger (SAWS) sent a physician to Ubayy Ibn Ka`b. He cut the vein and then cauterised it. (Reported by Muslim)

Yet, as a precaution to lessen the probability of infection, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) warned Muslims against associating with the sick:

"A sick person should not be taken to one who is healthy." (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

Also, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) ordered Muslims to isolate those who have incurable diseases, so that people who have low immunity would not be infected:

“Flee from a leper as if you flee from a lion.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari) 

Quarantine, is a tool of preventive medicine not known to mankind until the last century; yet it was one of the practices of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), revealed to him by Allah, the Exalted and the Omni-potent, to prevent the spread of the plague.    

The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said:  

"The plague is a calamity that was sent to Bani Isra'il or upon those who were before you. So when you hear that it has broken out in a land, do not go to there, and when it has broken out in the land where you are, do not run out of it."  (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

"If you hear of its spread in a land, do not approach it, and if a plague should appear in a land where you are present, then do not leave that land in order to run away from it (i.e. plague)." (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 In this respect, a frequently asked question is whether Qur’an and ruqyhas (Supplications) can help in treatment. Yes they help, as Allah Almighty says, what means: "And We reveal of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil doers in naught save ruin." (English meaning of Al-`Isra’: 82) Islam teaches us many things that avail in the field of healing people. A person should bear in mind firstly that it is Allah Who has the power of healing all people. No one has this power except Him. In addition, the Prophet (SAWS) urged us to recite some supplications in case one falls victim to illness. He (SAWS) used to say every morning and night: “I seek refuge in the Perfect Words (The Glorious Qur’an ) of Allah from evil of what He has created.”

According to an authentic Hadith reported by Muslim, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “When a member of the Prophet's family got ill, he (SAWS) would blow over his body by reciting Al-Mu’awwidhatayn (the two protective Surahs, Al-Falaq and An-Nas) and would rub him with his hand.”

Also it was reported that the Prophet approved some of his companions who recited Surat Al-Fatihah (The Opening chapter of the Qur’an) as a Ruqyah (invocation) to cure a man stung by a scorpion.

We can use the Qur'an as a ruqya by reading it and blowing on ourselves or on those who are afflicted. The Prophet (SAWS) used to read Surahs al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq, and an-Nas into his cupped hands, blow into his hands, and then wipe over his body.

Here are some 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).

2) As’alu Allaha Al-`Aziim Rabba Al-‘Arshi Al-Aziiem an yashfiyani (I beseech Allah, the Great, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal me).

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

Furthermore, you may also repeat and meditate on some of the beautiful Names of Allah: i.e., ya Rahamaanu ya Rahiim; ya Shaafi, (O the most Merciful one, O the Healer and curer).”

 Useful Links:

Islam and Public Health

The Qur’an: A Healing for Every Illness

Du`a’ for Healing Sickness