Concepts, Islamic Culture, Side Feature

Q&A: The Ruling on Seeking Medical Treatment

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh

Honourable Ameer, pardon me if the question adds a burden to you because of your dedicated time and effort to bring the good to this Ummah in crisis. But it is a matter that I could not solve, i.e. is seeking medical treatment an obligation or is it recommended, or is it something else? Please benefit me (with the answer), may Allah bless you and bring the good by your hands.

From: Abu Hanifa Foualha

Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahamtullah Wa Barakatuh

You will find the answer to your question in The Islamic Verdict on Cloning Booklet, I will quote what it mentions about the ruling on seeking medical treatment, [p. 41- 43 English version] (pages 30-32 (word document (Arabic version)):

[…In order to extract the shari‘i verdict, we need to get a clear understanding of the evidence about seeking medical treatment. Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurayrah who said: ‘The Prophet of Allah (saw) said:

«مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ دَاءً إِلَّا أَنْزَلَ لَهُ شِفَاءً»

“Allah has not created a disease unless it has a cure.” Muslim narrated from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Prophet (saw) said,

«لِكُلِّ دَاءٍ دَوَاءٌ، فَإِذَا أُصِيبَ دَوَاءُ الدَّاءِ بَرَأَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ»

“For every disease, there is a cure. When the cure of the disease is reached to, he (the sick) will be cured by Allah’s will.”

In the book of Musnad of Ahmad, it is narrated from ibn Mas‘ud,

«إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يُنْزِلْ دَاءً إِلَّا أَنْزَلَ لَهُ شِفَاءً، عَلِمَهُ مَنْ عَلِمَهُ وَجَهِلَهُ مَنْ جَهِلَهُ»

“Allah has not created a disease unless it has a cure; some will know it (the cure) and others will not.”

These three ahadith indicate that Allah has given the illness and the cure for it, and He informed us that for every illness there is a cure.If the cure is reached to,then the illness will be cured by the will of Allah; some people will know this and some people will not. These ahadith say that for each illness there is a cure, and thus encourage the seeking of treatment which will lead to curing the illness by the will of Allah. The disease is from Him,the medicine is from Him, and the cure is also from Him, and not from the medicine. Allah has put in the medicine the ability to cure the disease. This direction from the Legislator is an indication and not an obligation.

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas said that the Prophet of Allah (saw) said;

«إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَيْثُ خَلَقَ الدَّاءَ خَلَقَ الدَّوَاءَ فَتَدَاوَوْا»

“Allah almighty has created the illness and the cure, so seek to cure yourselves.” Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah narrated from Usama ibn Sharik that he was with the Prophet of Allah (saw) when some people came from the desert and asked him:“Should we seek treatment from illness?”He (saw) said,

«نَعَمْ، يَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ تَدَاوَوْا، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَضَعْ دَاءً إِلَّا وَضَعَ لَهُ شِفَاءً…»

“Yes, O servants of Allah, seek treatment, Allah did not put out an illness except that he put a cure for it.” In the first Hadith,the Prophet (saw) commanded people to seek treatment, and in the second hadith he (saw) directed the people from the desert to seek treatment since Allah has given the illness and the cure. The address in the two ahadith came in the form of a command, and the command indicates a request. Such a request does not mean an obligation except when it is decisive. To be decisive, a command will need another indication to give it that meaning. There is no such indication in the two ahadith to tell us that the command is an obligation. In the first three ahadith, only information and direction are given, which indicate that the command for treatment is not an obligation. In addition, there are other ahadith which indicate that it is allowed not to seek treatment; this indicates that the command to seek treatment in the two ahadith does not denote an obligation. Imam Muslim narrated on the authority of ‘Imran ibn Husayn that the Prophet (saw) said;

«يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ، قَالُوا: مَنْ هُمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ: هُمْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ، وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُونَ، وَلَا يَكْتَوُونَ، وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ»

“Seventy thousand from my Ummah will enter Paradise without accounting.” They asked, “Who are they?” He said; “They are those who do not use ruqya(incantation), tatayur (omens), iktiwa‘ (cauterisation), and they depend on their Lord.” Imam Bukhari narrated that ibn Abbas said, ‘This black woman came to the Prophet and said “I am an epileptic and when it happens to me, I get uncovered, ask Allah to cure me.” He (saw) said,

«إِنْ شِئْتِ صَبَرْتِ وَلَكِ الْجَنَّةُ، وَإِنْ شِئْتِ دَعَوْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُعَافِيَكِ»

“If you want to be patient (with this illness), you will get Paradise and, if you wish, I can ask Allah to treat you.” She said “I will be patient.” Then she said, “I get uncovered; ask Allah for me not to be uncovered.” He (saw) asked Allah for her.’ These two ahadith indicate that it is allowed not to seek treatment. In the first hadith, he (saw) said that among the people who will enter Paradise without accounting are those who do not do Istirqa‘, or iktiwa‘, which means they do not seek treatment, and leave the matter to their Lord and depend totally on him. Istirqa’ and iktiwa’ are forms of treatment. The Prophet encouraged treatment with Istirqa‘,and the angel Jibril made Istirqa‘ to him. He (saw) also said;

«الشِّفَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثَةٍ: فِي شَرْطَةِ مِحْجَمٍ، أَوْ شَرْبَةِ عَسَلٍ، أَوْ كَيَّةٍ بِنَارٍ، وَأَنْهَى أُمَّتِي عَنْ الْكَيِّ»

“Cure is in three things; cupping, a drink of honey, and ironing by fire; and I forbid my Ummah to use ironing.”

Al-Bukhari narrated it through Ibn Abbas. And in the second hadith, the Messenger (saw) gave the black woman the choice between patience for the epilepsy that she has, and she will have Paradise (in return), or that he prays to Allah (swt) for her to cure her from her epilepsy, which indicates the permissibility of leaving medication. Thus, these two hadiths show that there is no obligation for seeking medication contained in the hadith of his response to the Bedouin, and in the hadith before it about the obligation, and due to the strong urging of the Messenger (saw) to seek medication, the command to seek medication contained in the hadiths is therefore recommended.] End Quote.

Your Brother
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

23 Shawwal 1442 AH – 4/6/2021 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page.