Sunday, December 28, 2008

Visiting the sick

Visiting the sick

THE Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said there were five rights of a Muslim towards his brother in faith, out of which one is that, if one were to fall sick, it is incumbent upon the others to enquire about his welfare and to alleviate his sufferings. (Bukhari and Muslim)

This is part of a long Hadith. We find such exemplary teachings in Islam to enquire about the welfare of the sick and to take lead to alleviate their sufferings.

The Hadith teaches us to take care of our near and dear ones and share their sufferings. If someone happens to fall sick or suffer from some ailment, we are enjoined not only to enquire about his suffering but also to alleviate it. This is out of our deep sense of service to humanity at large.

The sick, neurotic and deranged persons deserve our highest sympathies. Naturally, it becomes the foremost duty of a Muslim to look after them, and to care and nurse them with due kindness and compassion.

One's superior stance and happy position should at no moment make him too good and too wise, out of his sense of false pride, to become indifferent and discourteous to the sick and infirm, nor should he run away with the notion that he will never fall sick, or that he will never be in such a predicament that he would need others' help at any moment in his life.

To show compassion to the sick and to nurse them is an act of piety that pleases Allah and His Messenger. It also creates salubrious effect among individuals in society. It develops cordial relations among them and strengthens their bonds of friendship and brotherhood.

And this mutual cooperation and amity acts as a cementing force to fortify the arch pillar of the structure of Islamic society, thereby bringing stability to the community and the nation at large.

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