Is epilepsy caused by the Devil, or is it a medical problem?
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Allah Controls Everything
As Muslims we believe that all matters are in the hands of Allah. Illnesses, cures, life, death, and everything else, are all His actions. He has, however, created conventional means that bring these effects about, in the way we perceive reality.
Evidence from the Hadith
There is evidence in various narrations from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that the jinn can possess people, and otherwise, cause various illnesses. For example, a child once had a mental illness and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) addressed a jinn that was possessing him, ”Leave, O enemy of Allah. I am the Messenger of Allah.” Upon doing so, the child got better. [Ahmad]
This is something indicated in the Qur’an too. Please refer to this lesson for more on this matter.
Ultimately, epilepsy could be caused by rebellious jinns, who are all classed as devils, or it could just be a neurological condition brought about by physical matters. Perhaps the two are related. Allah knows best. It is also not necessary that the modern medically defined condition is the exact issue the hadiths discuss.
A believer takes physical means for healing from illness, and he fortifies himself with worship, slavehood to Allah, the supplications from the Qur’an and the Sunna, and trust in Allah. This is the application of the Prophet’s way, and the best protection (Allah bless him and give him peace).
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.