Kinds of Diseases – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Kinds of Diseases

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Kinds of Diseases

There are two types of diseases that attack the heart, one doubt and error, and the second lust and desire, both are mentioned in the Quran, Allah Says about the disease of doubt:

‏‏في قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللهُ مَرَضاً

“In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah Has Increased their disease. (2:10)

In addition, He Said

‏‏وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللهُ بِهَذَا مَثَلاً‏‏

And that those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) and the disbelievers may say: ‘What Allah Intends by this (curious) example (74:31)

Allah Says concerning those who refuse to make Qura’n and Sunnah the basis of their judgments;

‏وَإذَا دُعُواْ إلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ مُّعْرِضُونَ وَإن يَكُن لَّهُمُ الْحَقُّ يَأْتُواْ إلَيْهِ مُذْعِنِينَ أَفِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ أَمِ ارْتَابُواْ أَمْ يَخَافُونَ أَن يَحِيفَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَرَسُولُهُ بَلْ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ‏

“And when they are called to Allah (i.e. His Words, the Quran) and His Messenger, to judge between them, a party of them refuses (to come) and turns away. However, if the truth is on their side, they come to him willingly with submission. Is there a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt or fear lest Allah and His Messenger ~ should wrong them in judgment. Nay, it is they themselves who are the Zalimoon (polytheists, hypocrites and wrongdoers). (24:48-50)

This is the disease of doubt and error. In addition, Allah says about desire and lust, adultery in this case:

‏يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِىِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلاَ تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الذي في قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ‏‏

“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire…” (33:32)

Physical diseases that attack the body

Allah Says:

‏‏لَيْسَ عَلَى الأَعْمَى حَرَجٌ وَلاَ عَلَى الأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وََلاَ عَلَى الْمَرِيضِ حَرَجٌ‏‏

“There is no restriction on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the sick. (48:17)

These verses refer to ailments that might attack a person while performing the Hajj, while fasting or making ablution. They contain a tremendous secret and wisdom, indicating the greatness and divine wisdom of the Quran and its sufficiency for those who have sound understanding and comprehension.

The science of medicine consists of three basic rules preserving good health, avoiding what might cause harm (i.e. establishing immunity) and ridding the body of harmful substances. Allah has mentioned these three basic principles in connection with the performance of Hajj, Fasting and ablution mentioned above,

‏‏فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضاً أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‏‏

“But if any of you is ill or on a journey; the same number (should be made up) for other days.” (2:184)

Allah Has Allowed the sick to break their Fast because of their illness. Allah Has Permitted the travelers to break their fast in order to protect and preserve their health and strength while traveling. Traveling uses tremendous physical effort that requires nourishment to sustain the body’s energy. This is why the traveler is given an exemption from fasting so his body can be supplied with the required nourishment.

Further, Allah Said:

‏فَمَن كَانَ مِنْكُم مَّرِيضاً أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُك

And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Sawm (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity – feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep). (2:196)

Allah Has Allowed the sick and those suffering from lice or sensitive scalp, to shave their head, which is normally prohibited while wearing Ihram. Shaving the head and exposing the scalp in these cases removes the harmful substances and thus allows the sick person to get rid of whatever caused his illness and to recover from the condition that was aggravated because of the hair. This is an example of ridding the body of harmful substances, which had a higher priority (thus the exemption) than the general rule, no shaving of the head while in the state of Ihram. There are ten things that might cause harm to the body when congested, unless the body eliminates them;

1. Blood when it is irritated

2. Sperm when it is excessive

3. Urine

4. Excrement

5. Air

6. Vomit

7. The need to sneeze

8. Sleep

9. Hunger

10. Thirst

When any of these ten things are not properly dealt with or satisfied, as in the case of sleep, they will cause a particular type of illness. When Allah Permitted shaving the head to remove harmful substances on the scalp, His statement inspired His slaves to use the same practice in removing harmful substances caused by other ailments.

As for observing a certain precautionary measure (i.e. diet, or other type of abstention), Allah said:

‏وَإن كُنْتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوْا صَعِيداً طَيِّباً‏‏

And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayamrnum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and bands (Tayamrnum). (4:43)

Allah Has Allowed the sick person to use clean earth instead of water to perform ablution for his prayer; this spares his body from the repercussions of using water while ill. This Ayah sets the precedent for every type of precautionary or preventive measure (diet, etc.) that protects the body from harmful substances that one consumes or his body produces.

Allah, all praise is due to Him, Has Emphasized the three basic rules of science of medicine that we mentioned above.

We will now give several instances and examples that prove Prophetic medicine is superior and more comprehensive than any other method.

Providing proper remedies for ailments of the heart (referring to spiritual or emotional ailments) only occurs at the hands of Prophets and Messengers of Allah. The heart becomes well when it acquires knowledge of its Lord and Creator and in His Names, Attributes, Actions and Commandments. The heart in addition becomes well when it prefers acquiring Allah’s Pleasure and prefers what He likes, all the while avoiding His prohibitions and what might lead to His displeasure. There is no life, health, or well being for the heart except by this method, which only the Messengers can provide. It is wrong to think that one can ever attain the heads well being through any other way than through the guidance of the Messengers of Allah. These errors result from confusing the heart’s true well being with satisfying and strengthening its lower animal lusts and desires. By this way, the heart will be far from acquiring its true wellbeing, strength and even its very existence will be in danger. Those who do not distinguish between these two paths should grieve for their hearts life and health, or in fact for the lack of it. Let such people grieve because of their lacking the light of true guidance and because they are completely submerged in an ocean of darkness.

Remedies for physical illnesses are divided into two categories

One depends on instinct, which all species have. There is no need for the doctor to cure this type of illness, which entails responding to hunger, thirst, cold and fatigue.

The second requires deep thought and analysis and entails subduing and resisting the ailment, and moderating the patient’s condition (temperament), which can result from fever, heat, coldness, dryness, or a combination of these symptoms. These ailments have two types of causes: physical and one that relates to temperament. These ailments are the result of a physical cause or are due to changes that affect the mood and the temper (of the body). The difference between the two types is that the ailments of the temperament occur after the physical causes are eliminated. Their effects remain and alter the temperament. The ailments that are caused by physical elements have their causes with them. In these cases of physical disease we should look at the cause first, the ailment second and the cure third.

Further, deep thought and careful analysis are required concerning repelling and removing the ailments that affect the various organs and cause some alterations in the organs whether in the shape, cavity, vessel, roughness, touch, number, bone, and so forth.

When these organs, which collectively constitute the body, are working properly, they are described as being connected. Otherwise, they are described as having lost their proper connectivity.

These ailments that affect and alter the organs are included in the general ailments that affect the body.

As we have stated, these same ailments negatively affect the mood and temperament. The changes that accompany such ailments come in eight types, four simple types and four compound types. The simple types include coldness, hotness, wetness and dryness. The compound types include being hot and wet, hot and dry, cold and wet or cold and dry. The causes of these ailments are either physical or due to changes in the mood or temperament as we have stated.

There are three states that the body can be; in normal, abnormal and in the middle (between normal and abnormal). When the state of the body is normal, the body is healthy. The second state occurs when the body is ill, while the third is in the middle, as one extreme does not become the opposite extreme except after passing through a middle stage.

There are few reasons for the abnormal state the body passes through, for the body consists of coldness, hotness, wetness and dryness. In addition, there are external reasons for the abnormal state, which could find the body susceptible and affect it.

The potential harm inflicted on the body could result from bad temperament, that was not moderated, an ailment that attacks an organ, or a general weakness in the overall power of the body, or even the soul, which sustains such power, The ailment could be caused by an increase in what should not be increased, or a decrease in what should not be decreased. In addition, a break in the connection could be the cause, where the connection is essential, or due to a connection between that which should not be connected. The ailment could In addition occur due to an extension of what should not be extended or an alteration and change in the shape or place of some of the body organs.

The doctor is able to distinguish between what might harm the body when connected and what should be connected. The doctor distinguishes between what might cause harm if increased and what might cause harm if decreased. The doctor helps bring about good health or what preserves good health, and helps fend off the ailment with its antidote (opposite) or by using a corrective diet. You will see that all these guidelines are met by the guidance and advice of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam by Allah’s Will, Power and Support.