Fever, a blessing in disguise
by Shahid Khan
FEVER wipes out one’s sins and rids his body from dead substances and germs. It is a blessing in disguise.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When a believer gets sick or feverish, it is like metal when put on fire, the bad is gone and the good remains.” (Al-Bayhaqi)
He (peace be upon him) also describes the intensity of fever by saying: “Fever is coal from hell, get rid of it by using cold water.” (Ibn Majah)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the cursing of fever by saying: “Do not curse a fever because it abolishes sins like fire abolishes dirt from iron.” (Ibn Majah)
The cure the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us for fever 1400 years ago is still practiced as one of the best ways to reduce fever.
A bacterial or viral infection usually raises the temperature of a person. Antibiotics are useless with viral infections, such as the influenza and the common cold, although the patient might sweat and have a very high fever. Putting cold pads on a patient’s forehead is used by doctors in several hospitals though medicines like aspirin and paracetamol are abundant.
Using water to reduce fever is not limited to using cold pads. Drinking a lot of fluids is also helpful. This is also understood from the wordings of the Prophetic narration: “cool it with water.” Water is either what the patient drinks, what is given intravenously or what the patient puts on his face or body to cool the fever.
Another scientific miracle can be found in the Prophet’s statement, “the bad is gone and the good remains.” To understand this, let’s look at what fever really is.
Fever occurs when the body temperature rises above normal (37 C). There is an area in the brain which is a temperature regulator.
When a germ enters the body, it starts secreting toxins. Toxins affect the temperature regulator causing its temperature to rise. The substances that cause this rise in temperature are called pyrogens. Pyrogens are caused not only by germs but also by the ruined tissues in the body after being affected with germs.
When the temperature rises in the temperature regulator, the rest of the body has to comply. It increases its temperature in response. Soon, the whole body feels feverish and the patient’s temperature rises.
When the inflammation worsens, the germs increase and consequently ruin the tissues. The germs and the pyrogens will find the body’s defense system ready to attack and eat the by-products of the germs and rid the body of them. While doing this, it releases to the body fluids a substance called leukocyte pyrogens or endogenous.
Therefore, the fever remains while the body is cleansing itself from the by-products, confirming again the Prophetic narration.