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Are Diseases Contagious?

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked how one reconciles hadith and science on contagion.

I have a teacher who is an alim from the Deobandi school of thought. My understanding of disease was that Allah created germs and that many germs are the reason for the spread of disease as they can be passed on when in proximity of a sick person, by the will of Allah.

But my teacher said that this is incorrect and that the hadith “There is no contagion [of disease]” means that illness or sickness is only inherently from Allah, and that germs or genetics have zero part in it. Likewise he was of the opinion that it is not Islamic to take baseless precautions against disease, as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, ate with a leper out of the same bowl, and that no explicit Islamic commandment exists to warn the believers of something harmful about diseases being passed on. (The ahadith about dipping the fly, visiting the sick, and eating fallen food off the floor – which I believe and follow, but don’t see it in-conflict with my current understanding of Allah controlling who gets sick or not – lending strength to his argument).

The only exception he said would be against leprosy, citing the hadith “flee from the leper,” but even that according to him, quoting Ibn Hajar, was so that someone with weak faith would not lose faith if he were to get infected.

He has not studied biology so I’m not able to explain how genes are inherited. Hence I cannot adequately frame my question with regards to diseases being passed down through genes, but he applies the hadith “there is no contagion [of disease]” to these as well and says the doctor saying “because it runs in your family” is something they have to say, and not necessarily the truth of the matter).

I believe that the Qur’an and Sunna cannot be in conflict with science, so I hope you will be able to explain this to me fully. Is there another school of thought on the matter? How do we explain this hadith in light of the scientific evidence of inherited diseases and infectious diseases?

Jazak Allah khayr.

The sunna of Allah in the world is that matters are normatively correlated to their respective causes. Accordingly, the basis would be that accepting the causation of contagious illnesses or genetic disorders is not at all in conflict with our tenets of faith (‘aqida).

Realities: Tawhid and Moral Responsibility

The believer is always looking at the world with two eyes: the eye of divine oneness (tawhid), and the eye of moral responsibility (taklif). The result of the former is the recognition that Allah alone is the sole doer, and none besides; at every moment, He is the only Creator and Sustainer. As for the latter eye, it is the appreciation of the “causal” relationships between things of this world, and responding to them in an appropriate manner.

The tradition (hadith) in question is reported on the authority of our Master Abu Huraira (may Allah be well-pleased with him) in which he said the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There is no contagion [of disease]. There is no bad omen. There is no reincarnation as a bird. There is no worm in the stomach.” (Bukhari

Imam Turibishti explained the interpretation of this tradition by speaking about the hadith corpus as an organic whole. He noted that the Lawgiver does not intend to negate realities understood medicinally, in this case, but to negate the independent nature of such realities. What this does is that it allows us to affirm the divine creative act for every single thing. Hence, it is true to say that germs and other microscopic organisms don’t intrinsically, nor necessarily, make another person sick.

Taking the Means 

Yet, at the same time, other traditions explain to us how to take the means to avoid difficulties from matters which have a correlation and relationship to harm. For instance, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructed to avoid the leper, and when a leper sought to pledge allegiance to him physically, he had him return his hand to himself.

Having said that, there were other scholars who held fast to what is explicitly stated in this and other traditions. Given what we now know about the nature of the world, germs and the like, it would seem that a such a position is, practically, somewhat untenable to hold.

The upshot, then, is to appreciate the reality of Allah’s creating, the total dependence of creation upon their Creator, and the fact that there is a sunna in the cosmos whereby one thing leads to the other, by Allah’s creating the former, the latter and the relationship between them. (Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh al-Mishkat al-Masabih)

Please also see Concepts of Health and Disease within an Islamic Framework, by Shaykh Jamir Meah and Does Modern Science Confirm the Hadith that Says There is an Antidote in the Wing of a Fly?

And Allah Most High knows best

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Can Medicines Containing Alcohol Be Taken to Prevent Disease?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Would taking alcohol containing homeopathic medications as a general tonic to keep diseases at bay this be permissible?

I have several stones in both my kidneys. Every few years one of them will travel done my ureter and pass out. I took homeopathic treatment to help the stone pass which it did. Can I continue with the treatment given that I am not in any pain at present?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. I pray you are well.

We can generally categorise medicinal substances as those used to treat a current disease and those used to prevent disease (prophylaxis).

A basic example in conventional medicine is antibiotics. A person suffering from a tooth and gum infection may be given antibiotics to get rid of the infection, while after certain dental surgeries the patient may be given antibiotics to prevent infection occurring, even if they don’t have an infection.

In the case of medicines that contain alcohol that are used to treat a current disease, allopathic or otherwise, then the rulings and conditions discussed in our previous answer apply. You may review that answer here.

Medicines containing alcohol used to prevent disease

The ruling on taking preventative medicines which contain alcohol (including vitamin and mineral supplements), irrespective of whether they are allopathic or natural, depends on the individual situation. The two most common scenarios are:

1. In cases where a person takes the medicine to prevent a specific condition that one has suffered from previously, and if one does not take it, then the disease condition will definitely return. In such cases, the preventative medicine takes on the same ruling as medicine used to cure a current disease. The summary of which, is that it is permissible to take with the following conditions:

1. That the alcohol has been admixed

2. That there is no pure alternative that will be just as effective

3. That one has been informed of this by an upright physician, or that one knows through their own experience.

(For the Hanafi conditions please refer to the previous answer)

2. In cases where the person takes the preventive medicine for general wellbeing without actually using it to prevent a specific disease, or no reliable physician (of any medical background) or personal experience has shown that it prevents the specific disease, then in these cases the medicine containing alcohol would not be permitted to take.

This is because a general legal principle is that dispensations (changing something that is usually prohibited to permissible) cannot be taken with the presence of doubt. Here, there is doubt about the medicines preventive effect and use, and therefore the dispensation is not given. [Idah al Qawa’id al Fiqhiyyah]

[The above scenarios were questions I put to my teachers quite a few years ago, and this is the summary of their answers]

Homeopathic prophylaxis

A final point to consider is whether homeopathic prophylaxis is actually effective. While some studies have been carried out on homeopathic remedies as preventative measures, and certain homeopaths have reported promising results in their use, homeopathic prophylaxis is an area which requires much more rigorous critical study and testing.

On a personal note, neither I, or my teachers, use homeopathy as a preventative medicine and therefore I am unable to comment whether it is effective or not.

However, in a few scenarios it has been tried and tested widely, such as certain remedies given straight after surgery, and in these cases, they are very effective and useful. Otherwise, we wait until the disease picture emerges and then prescribe. This also seems much more sensible and cautious, as the same remedy is not always indicated at every occurrence of even same complaint.

Additionally, and very important to know, is that continual and long term intake of even a homeopathic remedy can result in what is termed ‘proving’ a remedy, in which a patient will start experiencing symptoms of the actual remedy, which include not only an aggravation of current symptoms but also the production of a whole host of other unwanted symptoms, which although pass eventually, can be very uncomfortable. This is why it is important to consult a qualified and reliable homeopath.

Your personal situation

In your personal case, you would have to consult with your homeopath and ascertain the basis for taking the medicine (or if you know by your own experience). If it is established that if you stop taking the medicine as a preventative, your condition will reoccur, and there is no alternative, then it will be fine to take it.

If, however, this is not the case, then you should not take it, until it reoccurs.

As a final note, any recurring condition indicates a susceptibility on the constitutional level, and therefore requires constitutional treatment, which should resolve the issue long term and thereby eliminating the need to take any preventive medicines or tonics. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the best and May Allah grant you complete health.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Can Holistic Medicines Practically Help Someone In The Religion? by Shaykh Jamir Meah

In his last article, Shaykh Jamir Meah discussed the concepts of health and disease within an Islamic framework. He also looked at the law of vibration. In the final article of this series, Shaykh Jamir looks at how holistic treatment and its principles practically benefits the believer and can help in their relationship with Allah Most High.

As we’ve mentioned previously, true health occurs when the whole person is functioning harmoniously on all levels, and is able to fulfil his or herself socially and spiritually. The goal of every true physician should be to guide each patient to this point as much as is possible through medicine.

How can holistic medicines help someone in their religion?

Holistic therapies such as homeopathy and traditional Chinese acupuncture reach the dynamic level of the human being, the level of pure energy, the Vital Force or Qi in Chinese Medicine. The Vital Force or Qi is where the real disturbance is, and when healing takes place on this level, the curative effect ripples throughout the whole organism, from centre outwards.

Given the above, it is natural to ask, how can holistic medicines practically help someone in the religion?

There is a strong connection between medicine and religious practice, and both are obviously invaluable in our lives. Just as we need this world in order to succeed in the next, we need medicine to grant us the ability to have mental and physical health to be able to fulfil our religious objectives.

This is why Imam al Shafi’i (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘Indeed, knowledge is of two types: knowledge of the religion and knowledge of the world. The knowledge of religion is to achieve understanding (fiqh) and the knowledge of the world is medicine.’ [Adab al Shafi’i].

Holistic medicine can greatly assist someone in the religion and in spirituality, or even someone who may not be particularly spiritual, but seeking more profound or alternative meanings in an overwhelmingly materialistic world.

A basic example from a real life case

Mr Ahmad comes for treatment for multiple sclerosis. During the consultation we find that since childhood he has always had a fear of poverty. During his twenties, he developed a tendency to buy useless items and hoard them. He has a fear of the dark and is terrified of death. He describes himself as religious though very materialistic. He finds it a struggle to progress in the religion in the way he feels he should. He finds faults with others very easily, has a very suspicious nature, and admits that he backbites people all the time. At the same time, he never desires to be alone and needs company. He feels an inner restlessness but doesn’t know why. This has caused many difficulties his personal and work.

After the 5 weeks of treatment, the patient reports in the first month an inner sense of calm as opposed to his restlessness. Over the course of treatment, the improvement steadily continues and Mr. Ahmad doesn’t feel the fear of poverty so intensely, though it is still there and can be quite crippling. The MS is still there but not as intense. At the eight month follow up he declares that he has started to get rid of some of his hoarded goods, and genuinely feels much more energetic and positive. Others have also noticed a change in his character, describing him as more affable and cynical.

Just over a year later, he states that he no longer senses a fear of poverty, and any thoughts of darkness and death are few and far between, and almost negligible. This has made a big difference in his whole outlook to life, work and his relationships, and most importantly his religious aspirations. He states that whereas reading the Qu’ran previously felt like a chore, he now was eager to read it daily, and he has started feeling some of the old zeal for the religion slowly coming back. His MS has disappeared completely.

These types of cases are very common. What happened is that the treatment affected the patient’s deepest being, and this in turn created an awareness within him of his diseased state. By becoming inwardly aware that his fears, delusions, and reactions, were disproportionate to real life, he was able to subconsciously let go, so that he no longer feared poverty, and was no longer terrified of the dark and of death, which was no doubt in this case a fear of losing material wealth, after all what is death but a step into the unknown, the dark, and a parting from the worldly possessions?

The treatment had an effect on all levels of his being, healing the physical manifestation of the inner disease (MS in this case), and changed his whole perception and dealings with everything and everyone around him.

One may view the role of such treatment as a ‘clearing out,’ ‘getting rid of unwanted baggage’ and ‘putting things in order.’ This is usually very difficult for people to do on their own. You can tell a person to get over an abnormal fear, to snap out of depression, or find ways to deal with chronic anxiety, but more often than not, they simply can’t. They just don’t have the will power or creativity to move forward, and so they remain stuck.

Because correct treatment reaches the higher planes of a person, it instigates the person to rouse up from the rut they find themselves in and see the reality of their situation. The person’s perceptions and reactions change, and they find themselves with a new inner strength and self-confidence, which enables them to think and decide with new found clarity, far-sightedness and purpose. When his takes place, the person starts to make the necessary changes in life they need in order to move towards their goal, productively and creatively.

In summary, it frees up the person to be open to, as Samuel Hahnemann said, ‘the higher purpose of our existence’.

Hering’s Law

Hering’s Law, named after Constantine Hering, the physician who observed and formulated the law, refers to the direction in which the symptoms of the patient will disappear during a cure under natural treatment. It is indispensable in practice. The Law states that real cure takes place:

From within outwards.
From above downwards.
From a more important organ to a less important one.
In the reverse order of their coming.

There’s a lot that can be said in regards this Law and how it aligns one’s natural vibration (discussed previously), however what is worth deducing from it for our benefit here is that it is applicable in the cure of us as individual believers and as an Ummah.

Allah Most High tells us in the oft quoted verse, ‘God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves’ [13:11]. In order for change to occur, it has to start within. As individuals and as a nation, we have to look at the ills that we have as a community and work towards improving and finding solutions to those issues. When we change as individuals, as communities, and as an ummah, then this will have an effect on everything around us. Inner order leads to outward order, healing is from within outwards.

Likewise, a just leader who takes himself into account and sets a good example, instils goodness into his subjects and guides them to goodness in both worlds, and in this way, whole nations are healed and guided. Like a father and mother guiding their children, from above downwards, the more senior figures set the standard in their own lives and through their own behaviour, and this has a rippling effect on those under their care. Such were the leaderships and guidance of the Prophets, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and the pious leaders of our communities.

Why can families, communities and nations grow so strong when pulling together in the same direction? Because everyone’s vibration is in tandem. And when this harmony occurs, ‘The similitude of believers, in their love, mercy, and compassion for each other, are like one body.’ [Muslim]

Allah is the Healer

Finally, we should end this series with the reminder that while discussing the many benefits and wonders of natural holistic medicine, it is ultimately Allah alone that heals, and not through any power of the medicine, nor any ability of the physician.

Just like fire does not have the intrinsic power to burn, nor the knife the inherent ability to cut, it is our belief that no substance has healing properties in of themselves, but rather, it is Allah who creates the relationship between the medicine and the healing effect through his Will and Power.

O Lord of the people! Remove the difficulty and bring about healing as You are the Healer. There is no healing but Your Healing, a healing that will leave no ailment.’ [Sahih al Bukhari]

[cwa id=’cta’]

Concepts of Health and Disease within an Islamic Framework, by Shaykh Jamir Meah

In Shaykh Jamir Meah’s first article in this series, he discussed the importance of holistic healing for believers in the treatment of chronic disease. In this article, he specifically looks at the concept of health and disease, and how this understanding relates to our own religious states and practice.

 

The Concepts of Oneness, Duality, and Plurality

One of the first thing that attracted me to homeopathy was that every single homeopath that I had ever read about, or met, believes in a Creator. The reason for this is that homeopathy demands the practitioner to observe not only the world around one, but also the inner world within one. The only conclusion any sincere seeker can come to, is that the universe, with its intricate order and balance, can only exist through a single Creator.

God created man, and from him, He created his pair, and from this pair, multiples were created. Allah tell us that, ‘All things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect,’ and the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.’ [al Bukhari]. Disease and cure are a pair, and it is the task of medicine to search the vast creation of Allah to look for the remedy to each disease in each person.

Traditional therapies hold that there is only ever one disease in the body at one given time. It is not possible to have two diseases in one body. Despite plurality of symptoms manifesting in the one body, whether on the psychological or physical level, these are merely manifestations of the one root disease, or central disturbance.

 

The Concept of Health

Ask a physician to explain the concept of health, and you’ll probably get an answer like, ‘feeling well in both mind and body’, or ‘being free from illness or injury,’ etc. which are all fine and true. However, it falls short of the concept of real health.

Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, gave a magnificent description of health, when he wrote, ‘In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation … so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.’ [Aphorism 9, The Organon].

This vital force that Hahnemann speaks of, the dynamis that animates the material body, is another name for the Qi, the energy force in Chinese Medicine. They are one and the same thing.

Another equally sound explanation of health is given by professor G. Vithoulkas, when he says, ‘Health is freedom from pain in the physical body, having attained a state of well-being; freedom from passion on the emotional level, having as a result a dynamic state of serenity and calm; and freedom from selfishness in the mental sphere, having as a result total unification with Truth‘. [The Science of Homeopathy]

We can see then that the two (homeopathic) definitions of health, though differing in words, carry the same meaning. The body is an instrument to help one fulfil their ‘higher purpose’ in life, which is of course explained by Allah Most High in his words, ‘I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.’ [51:56].

Before we move onto the concept of disease, it would be useful to briefly understand something about the Universal Law of Frequency and Vibration.

 

The Universal Law of Frequency and Vibration

Science, through the field of Quantum Physics, is showing us that everything in our universe is energy.

Everything has its own vibrational frequency, whether animate or inanimate, governed by The Law of Vibration. A chair may look solid and still, but in reality, there are millions of subatomic particles in motion, all moving with energy. Everything that appears solid is the frequency of the vibration of the energy that makes it up.

Everything, even our thoughts, feelings, and sounds have their own vibrational frequency. These vibrations set up resonance with whatever possesses identical frequency. This gives the phrases such as ‘good vibes’ or ‘negative vibes’ some basis. In other words, your thoughts are inseparably connected to the rest of the universe.

The Mantra preceding meditation for Hindus and many Buddhists is the word, ‘Om’. This word is believed by these religions to be representative of the ‘universal sound’, referring to an ultimate reality, or truth.

For Muslims, we have a much clearer, unambiguous and direct understanding of the focus of our thoughts and meditations, which is only Allah, Exalted is He. Allah tells us, ‘The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory!’ [17:44].

Everything in the universe is in remembrance and glorification of the Creator, whether it be from the kingdoms of plant, animal, or mineral, or the naturals elements of water, air, earth and fire. Everything praises Him, and it is only men who do not perceive this, and who chooses to praise Allah or be heedless of Him.

This praise of everything in the Universe for the Creator can be viewed in the context of the Law of Vibration. Given the above verse, it would not be far-fetched to say the universal ‘sound’ or ‘vibration’ of the created universe is one of remembrance of Allah.

In many chronic cases of disease (though obviously not all cases, especially when there is a clear reason for emotional or physical pathology), there is an inner turmoil within the human heart and psyche, which is usually a precursor to emotional and physical sickness, as we discussed in our first article.

From whence does this inner turmoil begin? Quite often, it occurs when the will of a person is not fully aligned to the Divine Will. For many people, inner conflict occurs because their desires, hopes, and thoughts are in contrast to the Divine Commandment and Decree, either desiring that which is not permitted, neglecting that which is commanded, or being discontent with Allah’s Decree.

In this conflicted state, there is usually inner restlessness and agitation in the heart, for it looks for inner peace and repose in that which Allah has not placed peace and repose in, namely created things. Two inconsistent attitudes cannot exist in one person without conflict, because ‘God has not assigned to any man two hearts within his breast’ [33:4]

Looked at in another way, man is a part of creation, not separate to it (were we not created from earth?). If man’s will is ill-directed will and he is in state of heedlessness (ghafla), then man’s frequency of vibration is out of sync with the natural vibration of the universe, which as we mentioned is in constant praise of Allah. When this occurs, man is in a state of agitation.

When a person aligns his will to the Will of God, and relinquishes the desires and opinions of his ego, fulfilling His commands, and keeping away from His prohibitions, and remembering and thanking Him, the inner turmoil disappears and one finds contentment and peace, even if the world around them is in turmoil. ‘Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.’ [13:28].

The goal then, is to return to a pure state, the fitrah, where the heart is attached and submits to, and is in praise of Allah Most High. This gives real meaning to the idea of ‘being as one with the universe’. In this pure state, man can truly take his place as God’s khalifah (viceroy) on earth.

This is one of the reasons why spiritual training is so important and why it works. In the course of training, the true spiritual guide is redirecting the disciple’s will to the Will of the Divine.

If inner conflict and restlessness is neglected for a long period of time and left unresolved, like a toxin, it spreads in the heart, the mind and the body, and disease occurs.

 

The Concept of Disease

Once we have understood the concept of true health, it’s easy to understand disease. In contrast to health, we may define disease as simply ‘bondage.’ Physical pain creates the bondage of the body, lower desires and passions leads to the bondage of the emotions, and the selfishness of the ego creates the bondage of the spirit. All of which prevents one from moving forward and fulfilling the ‘higher purpose’ of one’s existence.

In disease, one’s vibration is out of sync with the pure or natural order, as we have mentioned. This internal discord could have occurred during the person’s own life, or passed down through generations.

When inner disorder persists, it manifests in outward disorder. Inner chaos can lead to outward chaos. This can affect individuals, or whole societies. In a compensated state, inner chaos can make a person fastidious and leads to OCD and waswasa, as they try to control their outward environment in order to allay the inner disorder, which they are unable to control. Clinical experience shows that behind all of these states, there is almost always some underlying fear buried deep down, whether connected to worldly matters or religious matters, and these need to surface and be resolved.

Like a guitar that needs to be finely tuned, a person’s vibration, and in turn, their will, needs to be tweaked, altered and re-aligned. This is the job of two disciplines: 1) that of certain natural medicines, which align the individual’s vibration to the harmonious vibration of the natural universe, and 2) spiritual training at the hands of a genuine spiritual guide, which guides and enhances the individual’s will to submit to the Will of God.

For lasting physical, emotional, and spiritual health through the various stages of man’s life, to combine both natural therapy and spiritual guidance is ideal.

So far, we have been discussing the theoretical relationship between natural medicine and Islam. In our next, and final article, we will be looking at how the principles of natural medicine can be of practical benefit to people, as well as discussing the Law of Cure.

 

I Repeatedly Watch Pornography and Now Have an Incurable Disease. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I used to watch pornography, repent, and do it again. I made dua for Allah to help me, and I ended up having an incurable condition in my private parts. I fear that Allah is angry with me, and that I will never be cured. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Recovery

Please refer to this invaluable website: Purify Your Gaze. You are not alone, and this program will help connect you to others on your road to recovery.

Mercy

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Allah created a hundred mercies, and He placed one mercy among his creation, they show mercy to one another by it, and there are ninety-nine mercies with Allah.” [Tirmidhi]

For as long as you are alive, the doors of repentance are open for you. Allah knows how much you are suffering, and He is there for you. Please bear with this tribulation with patience.

Treatment

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Bukhari]

Please see a doctor, psychologist and nutritionist and seek out a holistic program to help in your recovery. When Allah afflicts you with a condition, see it as a means of expiation, and a way for you to draw closer to Him.

Please nourish yourself spiritually with regular prayer, fasting, charity, dhikr, Quranic recitation.

I pray that Allah grants you healing, patience, and success in this life and the next.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

"Sunni and Shia Hatred: A Disease We Must Fight"

Sunni and Shia Hatred with Imam Zaid Shakir


This SeekersHub Study Circle will give you a deeper understanding of the centrality of love and mercy within Islam. Loneliness and isolation, Imam Zaid Shakir argues, have no place in an ummah of compassion and mercy. He also addresses Sunni-Shia aggression and hatred, which he describes as a disease we must fight.

Imam Zaid Shakir shia
Ambassadors of Goodness

Students will be empowered to be ambassadors of goodness through learning about the love of Allah, His Messenger ﷺ, the duties of brotherhood and sisterhood, and the signs of a healthy community in a world suffering from hatred and division, spreading love and respect is needed with the utmost urgency.

Setup Your Own SeekersHub Study Circle

Can’t attend these gatherings in person? We encourage you to set up SeekersHub Study Circle in your own community. It’s easy! Just email us or find more details online.

Our Condition Today: the Disease and the Remedy – Habib Ali al-Jifri

Reposted, with thanks via Habib Ali’s website here.
The Root Diseases of the Ummah, their effects and their remedies according to Prophetic Teachings
We live in a time of struggle. Things happen fast and one event quickly follows another. This leads to an imbalance, impairs people’s judgement and clouds their vision. People are in dire need of some quiet time in which to stop and reflect. They may then attain a moment of truthfulness and Allah will in turn bless him with some insight.
Away from the noise and the disputes, someone who reflects will find that the calamities of the Arab world can be attributed to three diseases.
1. Sectarianism (For example: Sunni versus Shia, Christian versus Muslim)
The roots of this disease lie in what our the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called: “The disease of nations.” He said: “The disease of previous nations has crept up upon you: envy and hatred. Truly, hatred is a razor: it shaves away not a person’s hair, but their religion.”
The remedy lies in spreading peace and love, as mentioned at the end of the same hadith: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not inform you of something which enables you to attain this? Spread peace among yourselves.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Abu Ya’la)
2. Racism (Arab versus Persian, Kurd versus Turk, white versus black)
The roots of this disease lie in what the Prophet ﷺ called: “The rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance.” A dispute took place between some of the Emigrants (Muhajirun) and the Helpers (Ansar) and each side called for support from their respective group. Another dispute took place between members the Aws and the Khazraj, the two tribes which made up the Helpers and each side called for support from their respective tribe. The Prophet said ﷺ: “Is this the rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance while I am amongst you? Leave this, for it is repulsive!” (Bukhari)
Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I once traded insults with a man. I insulted him by mentioning his mother, who was not an Arab. He complained about this to the Messenger of Allah. He said ﷺ: ‘O Abu Dharr, you are someone who still possesses some of the qualities of the Age of Ignorance!’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Imam Ibn Hajr and Imam al-Nawawi mention that the man who Abu Dharr insulted was the Companion Bilal bin Rabah. His mother’s name was Hamamah and she was Nubian.
The remedy is in making God-consciousness (taqwa) the criterion in judging a person’s merit. The Prophet ﷺ said: “An Arab only has merit over a non-Arab through taqwa.” (Grading: sahih. Found in Ahmad and others)
3. The relentless pursuit of worldly things (i.e. wealth, power, dominance over others)
The roots of this lie in what our Master ﷺ called feebleness (wahn). He said: “Allah will surely cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahib. Found in Abu Dawud)
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “This material world is sweet and lush and Allah is placing you in it to see how you act. So beware of the material world.” (Muslim)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear that you will commit polytheism after I have gone. I fear rather that you will compete over it [the material world].” (Bukhari)
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear poverty for you. I fear rather that the material world will be opened up to you as it was opened up to those before you and that you compete over it as they competed over it and it destroys you as it destroyed them.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ warned us about what these sicknesses will lead to:
1. Tribulations
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Rush to perform good works before tribulations come like part of a dark night. A man will be a believer in the morning and become a disbeliever by the evening or he will be a believer in the evening and will become a disbeliever by the morning. He will sell his religion for some small worldly gain.” (Muslim)
2. Widespread killing
The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, the world will not end before people experience a time in which the killer will not know why he killed and the person killed will not know why he was killed.” Someone asked: “How will that be?” He said: “There will be killing: both the killer and the person killed will end up in the Fire.” (Muslim)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Just before the last hour there will be killing. You will not be killing polytheists but rather you will be killing each other, to the point where a man will kill his neighbour, his brother, his uncle or his cousin.” The companions asked: “Will we still possess our intellects at that time?” He said: “The intellects of the people of that time will be removed. All that will remain will be the dregs of society. Most of them will believe that they are fighting for a cause but in reality have no cause [to fight for].” (Grading: sahih, in Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Abi-Shayba)
3. Conspiring of Others against Muslims
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Other nations will soon summon one another to attack you just as people invite others to share their dish.” Someone asked: “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied: “No, you will be numerous at that time, but you will be like particles of waste that are seen upon a torrent. Allah will remove fear of you from the hearts of your enemy and cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness, O Messenger of Allah?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahih, in Abu Dawud)
Analysis
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed us that the roots of these calamities lie in diseases in the souls of individuals. The severe consequences of these diseases are like branches which spring forth from these roots. May Allah cure the Ummah of these diseases.
Allah Himself alludes to this in the Qur’an in Surat al-Shams. Firstly, He swears by things which have an effect upon our cosmos: the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the heavens and the earth, then He swears by the human soul as if to say that this too is one of the forces that has an influence in our lives. In the response to these oaths ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are made dependent upon how man deals with his own soul. Allah says: Truly he who purifies it, succeeds, and he who corrupts it, fails.
The Quranic remedy and solution to these calamities is purification of the soul. What we need today is the courage to confront this reality. We must not allow our lower selves which command us to commit evil to make light of this reality. We must not let ourselves flee from confronting it under the pretext of being too preoccupied with solving the seemingly greater problems of the ummah.
May Allah implant taqwa in our souls and purify them; He is the best able to purify them and He is the soul’s Guardian and Master, the Possessor of Majesty and Generosity.

Classifying the Hadith on Rectifying Faith Through Poverty and Affluence, Sickness and Good Health, and Prevention from Extra Worship

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is this hadith qudsi correctly attributed attributed to imam tabarani? Has he classed is authentic?

“Allah said, “Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.”

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

The narration you mention has been cited with different wordings.

1. The wording you mention was related from Anas ibn Malik (Allah be well pleased with him) by Ibn `Asakir in his Tarikh, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab al-Awliya’, Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya, Bayhaqi in Asma wa’l Sifat, Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna, and others.

This narration is weak due to the weakness of some its narrators, namely Hasan ibn Yahya al-Khushani and Sadaqat al-Dimashqi. [Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal; Ibn Hajar, Taqrib al-Tahdhib]

2. It was also related by `Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) by Khatib in his Tarikh. The chain of this narration, however, is not free from blemish.

3. There is a similar narration relating to poverty and richness, without mentioning health, sickness, or worship, related from Ibn `Abbas by Tabarani in his Mu`ajam al-Kabir, with some additions. In the Majma` al-Zawa’id, al-Haytami says that there are people unknown to him within the chain. In addition to this, some of the narrators are weak and abandoned (matruk), such as `Ubayd ibn Kathir. [Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizan]

To conclude, the narration you inquired about is present in the works dedicated to gathering the prophetic narrations. However, the chains of each are not free from defects of varying degrees, which would require a deeper analysis by a specialist in the field.

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani