Being patient with illness vs. seeking treatment
Fatwa No: 352327

  • Fatwa Date:13-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. When the epileptic woman asked the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, to supplicate for her so that she may recover, the Prophet suggested her to be patient. Does this hadith mean that it is better to be patient in our sickness and bear the pain without searching for the means to recover?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The scholars stated that if a person is able to bear the continuity of the disease and the affliction, while seeking the reward from Allah for that, then this is better than seeking treatment, because of the hadeeth which you referred to in the question.

The hadeeth reads:

The woman said, I suffer from epilepsy, and during it, my body gets exposed, so supplicate Allah for me.” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied, “If you wish, you endure it patiently and you will be rewarded with Paradise, or if you wish, I shall supplicate Allah to cure you?” She said, “I shall endure it.” Then she added, “But my body gets exposed, so supplicate Allah for me that I do not get exposed.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then supplicated for her. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The hadeeth indicates the virtue of having epilepsy, and that patience for the afflictions of this world leads to Paradise, and that it is better to bear the hardship than to take the concession if one knows that he is able to bear the hardship. The hadeeth is also evidence that it is permissible to refrain from seeking treatment.

It is important that you also refer to fatwa 86483.

Allah knows best.

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