Prophet’s Guidance on treating Epilepsy – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Prophet’s Guidance on treating Epilepsy

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ مَن تُدْخِلِ النَّارَ فَقَدْ أَخْزَيْتَهُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

Prophet’s Guidance on treating Epilepsy and spiritual possession

أخرجا فى ((الصحيحين)) من حديث عطاء بن أبى رباح، قال: قال ابنُ عباسٍ: ألاَ أُرِيكَ امْرَأَةً مِن أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ؟ قلتُ: بَلَى. قَالَ: هَذِهِ المَرْأَةُ السَّوْدَاءُ، أَتَت النبىَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فقَالَتْ: إنِّى أُصْرَعُ، وَإنِّى أَتَكَشَّفُ؛ فَادْعُ الله لى، فقَالَ: ((إنْ شِئْتِ صَبَرْتِ ولَكِ الجنَّةُ؛ وإنْ شِئْتِ دعوتُ اللهَ لكِ أن يُعافِيَكِ))، فقالت: أصبرُ. قالتْ: فإنى أتكشَّفُ، فَادعُ الله أن لا أتكشَّف، فدعا لها.

In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Ata bin Rabab said, “Abdullah Ibn Abbas Radi Allaho Anh said to me, Should I tell you about a woman from among the people of Jannah (Paradise)? I said yes. He said, ‘That black woman, who came to Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam and asked, I suffer epileptic fits during which I inadvertently take off my clothes. So invoke Allah on my behalf” He said, “If you wish, be patient and you will acquire Jannah (Paradise); and if you wish, I will supplicate to Allah to cure you”.

She said, “Rather, I shall observe patience”. She then said, “I keep taking off my clothes during these fits, so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not do so. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam supplicated (to Allah) on her behalf”.

Epilepsy is two kinds, one that results from evil forces (spells) and the second type is physical that results from bad mixtures (chemical and material imbalance). The doctors often talk about the second type and explain its causes and how to cure it.

As for the epilepsy that results from evil forces, the best doctors and the wise ones among them affirm that it exists. They confirm that curing this type of disease occurs by the support of the righteous, exalted souls so that they neutralize the effect of the evil and render its efforts harmless. When Hippocrates explained the cures for epilepsy he stated that, “These cures are effective in treating the epilepsy that results from chemical and material causes. As for the epilepsy that results from negative forces, these remedies (that he explained and detailed) do not cure it”.

As for the most ignorant, unknowing and immoral doctors, and those who consider heresy a virtue, they deny the type that occurs by negative forces and deny that it has any effect on the body. They have only ignorance to support them, because the medical authorities cannot actually disprove the epilepsy that is caused by these evil forces. Fact and experience assert and prove the existence of this type of epilepsy. That is why when the doctors explain the reason behind epilepsy as being natural or physical; their statement is true regarding some types of epilepsy but not all of them.

The doctors of old used to call epilepsy “The divine disease”, stating that it is caused by negative forces. On the other hand, Galinus and other doctors misinterpreted the term “divine ailment”, saying, “They called it divine because it attacks the head and thus causes harm to the apparent divine organ in which the brain resides”. This explanation; however resulted from their ignorance of the soul and its effects.

As for the heretical doctors, they only confirm the kind of epilepsy that results from physical causes. Whoever has a sound mind and good knowledge of the soul and its effect, will laugh at the ignorance shown by these doctors and at their weak minds.

Curing the type of Epilepsy caused by negative forces has two parts; a part that involves the person afflicted with Epilepsy and a part that involves those who treat them.

The part that the person afflicted with epilepsy plays in his treatment involves strengthening his heart and being sincere in repentance to the Creator from the evil forces and seeking sincere refuge with Him both by heart and tongue. This s a type of warfare that the person afflicted with epilepsy engages in against evil. To defeat the enemy, warfare requires the warrior to acquire beneficial, suitable weapons and to have a strong arm. When one of these two elements does not exist; the effort will not be very effective. The situation becomes more difficult when the person is missing both essential requirements, in this case, the heart will be lacking Tauheed (Oneness of Allah), Tawakkul (trusting in Allah), Taqwa (righteousness), and Tawajjhu (awareness of Allah’s Presence), plus the person does not have sufficient material armament.

The second part of epilepsy treatment involves the person who is treating the ailment and who is required to have the same necessary weapons mentioned above. When these weapons are ready, one sometimes merely needs to say (to the evil spirit) “Get out of him”, or, in the Name of Allah, or, ‘There is neither power nor strength except with Allah”.

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to say in such cases:

والنبىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقولُ: “اخْرُجْ عَدُوَّ اللهِ، أنا رَسُولُ اللهِ”.

“O enemy of Allah ! Depart ! I am the Messenger of Allah”.

I once witnessed our Shaikh Ibn Taymiyyah, the renowned Imam of Islam) send someone to speak to an evil spirit that had possessed a person, saying, “The Shaikh says this to you, get out of this body, for you are not allowed therein”. The person afflicted with epilepsy (possession) then woke up from his seizure. Sometimes, our Shaikh would even speak to the evil spirit directly, or would use physical punishment to repel the rebellious evil spirit. When the patient would wake up, he would not feel any pain, as we have ourselves witnessed on numerous occasions. The Shaikh would sometimes read the following Ayah, verse, in the ear of the person afflicted with epilepsy (possession),

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثاً وَأَنَّكُمْ إلَيْنَا لاَ تُرْجَعُونَ

“Did not think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us” ?

The Shaikh once told me that he read this Ayah, verse, in the ear of the person afflicted with epilepsy and that the evil spirit that possessed him answered by saying, “Indeed, extending her voice (mocking the Quran), So the Shaikh said. “So I took a stick and beat the sick person on his neck with it until my hands became tired. Those present did not doubt that the patient would die from this severe beating.

While beating the patient, the she-devil said “I love this person”. I said, “But he does not love you”. She said, “I want to accompany him to perform Hajj. I told her, “He does not want to go to Hajj with you”. She said, “I will leave him in your honor”. I said, “No but as obedience to Allah and His Messenger. She said, “Then, I will leave him alone”. The patient then woke up and started looking around, saying, “What brought me to the presence of the Shaikh”? They asked him, What about the beating you took? He said, “Why would the Sheikh beat me while I have not done anything wrong”? He had no idea that he had been beaten.”

Further, the Sheikh used to recite Ayatul Kursi [2:255] and would order those who suffer from and those who cure epilepsy (possession) to recite it along with the last two chapters of the Quran [113 and 114}.

In general, no one can deny the type of epilepsy that is caused by negative forces except those who have little knowledge and comprehension. We should state that the majority of those afflicted by the touch of evil spirits are themselves in error due to weak Faith, hearts and tongues that don’t remember Allah, they fail to seek refuge with Him and they fail to use Prophetic guidance, (supplications and remedies). The evil spirits find the people that are vulnerable and take advantage of them.

If the truth was uncovered, we would discover that the majority of mankind is under the influence of negative forces which guides the people according to their evil wishes. The people are unable to set themselves free from this control or even oppose it. Most people suffer from this common type of possession (epilepsy), from which the afflicted person cannot wake up. And unless the veil that obstructs their sight is removed, they will not realize that it is they who are actually afflicted by epilepsy. We seek Allah Alone for His help.

Curing (epilepsy) possession that results from the touch of evil requires the cooperation of a sound mind and sincere faith in what has been sent down to our beloved Prophet. Then one would act as if both Heaven and Hell are right in front of his eyes and heart. They would remember that the people of this earthly life suffer calamities and trials that come down on their homes just as the rain does, all the while being unaware of what is going on around them.

The epilepsy that evil causes is truly severe, but since it touches so many people and is so common, the people are no longer surprised by it. Since they are so many; it is strange to see someone who is not touched by it.

When Allah Wills that a certain slave should acquire what is good for him, that slave will wake up from these fits of epilepsy and will realize that the children of this life are suffering from epilepsy. He will discover that some of them have surrendered to insanity and that some of them might briefly recover from a bout to fall back into another bout soon after. Some of them would be awake from a bout and would act like sane people, but when he falls into another bout, he would act confused, [This is the state of those who do not have the correct Faith.]

The epilepsy that results from physical causes

This type of epilepsy alters the constitution and is accompanied by spasms that prevent the limbs from functioning normally or from normal movements. The physical or constitution related epilepsy occurs due to the accumulation of thick, viscous substances near the brain that partially obstruct the cerebral cavities. In this case, the area of the brain responsible for the senses and the various movements are impeded and accordingly, the organs (including limbs) of the body suffer from the same condition. There are other causes for this type of epilepsy, such as the accumulation of thick flatulence that impedes the soul in some manner, or a viscous vapor accumulates in an organ of the body and ascends to the brain, or from an acute ailment. The brain suffers from spasms due to fighting the harmful substances that are affecting the brain, and accordingly, the various organs of the body suffer from spasms. The person will not be able to stand up straight for very long, he or she will fall down and foam accumulates in and around the mouth.

This type of epilepsy causes intense pain during seizures. It is a chronic illness that is hard to cure and that remains for many years, especially if the person afflicted by it is more than twenty five years old, who repeatedly falls into epileptic fits. Hippocrates said that epilepsy remains with such people until they die.

As for the woman mentioned in the Hadith who suffered from epilepsy and who used to take off her clothes because of epileptic fits, she might have been suffering from the physical type of epilepsy. That is why Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam promised her Paradise if she observes patience, or otherwise, our beloved Prophet would have asked Allah to cure her without guaranteeing her that she will be cured. She chose Paradise, but the Prophet asked Allah on her behalf not to take off her clothes during these fits.

The Hadith indicates that it is allowed for Muslims to forgo the use of a remedy. Furthermore, the Hadith indicates that the cure of the soul is exclusively tied to invoking Allah and turning to Him sincerely and that this type of medicine has such profound effects on the human body that no regular medicine prepared by any doctor could ever compare to it. We have tried this medicine on numerous occasions [and witnessed its success].

The best medical authorities confirm the fact the psyche has an effective role in curing disease. The medical profession suffers from some ignorant, heretic doctors who do not do service to their profession.

As we have stated, it appears that the woman mentioned in the Hadith suffered from the epilepsy that is caused by a physical condition (chemical imbalances). Yet, she might have been suffering from the type that is caused by evil negative forces. We stated that the Messenger of Allah gave her the choice to observe patience and then acquire Paradise or that he would invoke Allah to cure her. She chose the first option but asked to be relieved from discarding her clothes because of the epileptic fits.