Allah Ta`ala once favoured the Bani Israeel with sustenance from Jannat. But ever the ungrateful nation they proved to be, over and over again, they told Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) that they were tired of this food (from Jannat) and that they desired basic and simple earthly food, like herbs, lentils, garlic, onions and cucumbers! Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) was astonished at their ungrateful attitude and exclaimed: “DO YOU WISH TO EXCHANGE THAT WHICH IS INFERIOR FOR THAT WHICH IS SUPERIOR?”
Muslims today are fast imitating the nations of yore. We quickly and readily abandon and exchange the Sunnah for other ways.
A grave practice which is fast gaining momentum amongst the Muslim Community is that of advocating all sorts of Athkaar (plural for Thikr) and amals (practices) when someone is sick or has passed away. People will promote the practices of some pious personality which he may have found beneficial, but they don’t even consider looking at the Qur`aan and Ahaadith for remedies first.
We do not say that all such practices (specifically if they are sourced from reliable personalities) are impermissible. What we do say is that there is much more benefit and reward to be gained by practicing on what our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) advised. The Ahaadith Shareef are replete with prescriptions and remedies for the ill. Just to quote a few:
· Hadhrat Aisha (radhiallahu anha) reports: “During Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) fatal illness, he used to recite the Mu’auwidhat (Surat An-Nas and Surat Al- Falaq) and then blow his breath over his body. When his illness was aggravated, I used to recite those two Suras and blow my breath over him and make him rub his body with his own hand for its blessings.” (Ma`mar asked Az-Zuhri: “How did Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) blow?” Az-Zuhri said: “He used to blow on his hands and then passed them over his face).” [Bukhari Shareef]
· Abdul Malik ibn ‘Umayr (rahimahullah) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Surah Fatihah is a cure for every illness.”
[Darimi and Shu’abul Imaan]
· Hadhrat Sa`ad (radhiallahu anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Hadhrat Yunus alaihi salaam) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
So indeed, no Muslim supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him.” [Tirmidhi Shareef]
· There are various duas taught by Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) which may be recited for the sick:
· لاَ بَأْسَ طَهُورٌ إِنْ شَاءَ الله
· أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيْكَ
· رَبَّنَا اللَّهُ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاءِ تَقَدَّسَ اسْمُكَ أَمْرُكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ كَمَا رَحْمَتُكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ فَاجْعَلْ رَحْمَتَكَ فِي الأَرْضِ اغْفِرْ لَنَا حُوبَنَا وَخَطَايَانَا أَنْتَ رَبُّ الطَّيِّبِينَ أَنْزِلْ رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَحْمَتِكَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ شِفَائِكَ عَلَى هَذَا الْوَجَعِ فَيَبْرَأُ
· أَذْهِبِ الْبَأْسَ رَبَّ النَّاسِ وَاشْفِ أَنْتَ الشَّافِي لَا شِفَاءَ إِلَّا شِفَاؤُكَ شِفَاءٌ لَا يُغَادِرُ سَقَمَاً
· أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ وَقُدْرَتِهِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا أَجِدُ وَأُحَاذِرُ
· رَبِّي أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
In the Qur`aan Majeed, Allah Ta`ala declares in various Surahs (Fussilaat, Isra Yunus, etc.) that the Qur`aan is a healing (cure) and mercy for mankind. Recitation of Surah Yaaseen has great benefits. In fact, general Tilaawat of the Qur`aan is incomparable and far superior to any other form of Thikr, because the Qur`aan Majeed is THE greatest Thikr. However, this must be practiced on individually and without any show or publicity.
Nowadays, instead of encouraging people to practice on the prescriptions of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for the sick or to encourage them to make Tilaawat, they’d rather turn to some practice of some person. To this we say what Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) said to the Bani Israeel when they asked for onions: “DO YOU WISH TO EXCHANGE THAT WHICH IS INFERIOR FOR THAT WHICH IS SUPERIOR?”
Then again, we are not saying that the practices of a pious personality is impermissible or taboo. It can be practiced upon if one wishes to, however, in keeping with the crave for innovations, people adopt impermissible methods when practicing on these amals. If something is to be recited many times, then it is ‘shared’ on social media. Nowadays there are even ‘websites’ where people can log in and mention their names with the number of times they recited the thikr. Not only does this reek of takabbur (pride and showing off), it is definitely not the way intended by any pious personality. The amal should be carried out individually and not shared. Strange how if someone practices on an amal to become wealthy or pay debts, he/she will endeavour to recite the entire multitude of Athkaar individually. But when it has to be recited for some sick or deceased person, it is shared!
Mostly these bid`ah practices are initiated by close family or close friends. If this person is sincere and truly loved or cared for the afflicted, he/she would quietly complete the entire amal alone and in secrecy. After all, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) did tell us that the dua made for a fellow Muslim in secret (without the other person knowing of it) is readily accepted by Allah Ta`ala. On the contrary, when something is executed publicly where everyone knows who recited how many and when, what sincerity or effect will this deed have?
By innovating in the Deen, we invite the Wrath and Anger of Allah Ta`ala. Instead of attracting His Mercy for the sick person or deceased, we are inviting Allah Ta`ala’s Anger. How sad!
In conclusion, we reiterate, instead of opting for the practice of a pious personality (regardless of his status), we should make the Qur`aan and Sunnah our first port of call. During the era of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum), Tabieen and Tab’ Tabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim), people also got sick and passed away. What did the personalities of these great eras do during such occasions? Practicing on the Sunnah of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) ensures guaranteed 100% Divine Mercy, which will most certainly benefit the sick and deceased. Not only that, it will benefit the reciter as well. On the other hand, Bid`ah is deviation which leads only to darkness. Is this what we want for our ailing and deceased brethren?
May Allah Ta`ala guide us to recognise the True Path to salvation, and may He save us from the evil of the nafs and Shaitaan.