Spiritual Remedies
from The Medicine of the Prophet ﷺ, by <Al-Suyuti> pp. 172-176

some keyords:

absorbed in prayer
benefits of prayer
best doctor
digest food
hardness of heart
pain in eyes
pain in stomach pleasure of prayer
prayer increases strength
principles, three
protection against fever
psychological aspect of worship
comfort in prayer

Abu Huraira said, the Prophet ﷺ ( may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him ) , saw me while I was trying to sleep, and I was writhing about with a pain in my stomach. He said,

"Is your stomach giving you pain?"
and I answered, 'Yes, 0 Messenger of Allah.' And then he said,
"Get up and pray, for truly there is healing in the prayer."
This has been transmitted by Ibn Maja.

Please note that the words that the Prophet used ﷺ, were in Persian, meaning, 'Do you have a pain in your stomach?' The Persian word 'shikam' is the same as the Arabic word 'batan', and 'dard' is the same as 'waja'.

As regards the above hadith, the wise say that there are two things to be learnt from it. The first is that the Prophet ﷺ, could speak Persian, and the second is that the prayer cures pain in the heart, in the stomach, and in the bowels.

In the same way, we can deduce three principles:
Firstly, there is the divine command to worship Allah.
Secondly, there is a psychological aspect to this - that is, that the one who is suffering will forget about his pain while he is praying, so that the intensity of the pain will diminish, until finally his energy will overcome the pain and remove it altogether.
And thirdly, it shows us that the best doctor is the one who uses every kind of tactic in order to strengthen the faculties. At one point he will increase strength through food, and at another, by provoking joy and grief, or even hope and fear. And prayer is the best of them all. If a person is engaged in worship, then he will experience apprehension, fear, hope, uncertainty and love. And when his attention turns to the next life, it will strengthen his faculties, delight his heart, and, by these very means, drive out disease.

It has been related from some source that a child of 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, once had an abscess. No one dared to make the incision that was needed. So his family let him go to do the prayer - and then they were able to make the incision, for he was so absorbed in the prayer that he did not pay them any attention!

Abu Ayyub used to tell his family to keep quiet in the house when he was there - but when he was doing the prayer, he used to permit conversation, saying, "I cannot hear you talking while I am doing the prayer." Once a wall of the mosque fell down while he was doing the prayer, and it did not even distract him.

Doing the prayer is something natural, as it benefits both the mind and the body - for it includes standing, bowing, and prostrating, as well as being still, tranquillity, piety, worship, submission, abasement of the self, and other elements. Thanks to all this, the joints of the body are moved and relaxed, as well as most of the organs - and especially the stomach and the bowels. How powerful the effect of all these things is in helping to move the two impurities (urine and faeces) along, and to speed up the departure of food from the stomach.

Al-Muwaffaq 'Abdal-Latif said in his book called Kitab al-Arbaʿin: "I once saw a group of idle, common, people who were nevertheless all enjoying good health, so I made enquiries as to why this was so, and learned that they often prayed, and that they did the prayer at night especially - so finally I said to myself, 'How very beneficial prostrating is for those who suffer from colds and catarrh'.

Indeed prostrating is most effective in clearing the nasal passages when they are blocked, and how beneficial prostrating is in helping to expel the two impurities by speeding up the passage of food from the stomach and the bowels, and in moving waste matter along with it, until it is expelled - for in some stomachs there is food piled up on food, and one meal falls upon the one that was eaten before it. Furthermore, doing the prayer often gives pleasure to the one who is doing it, as well as expelling bad thoughts and putting out the fire of anger. Doing the prayer makes one humble before Allah and tolerant of others. Doing the prayer softens the heart, and it makes forgiveness treasured and revenge abhorrent to a person.

It often happens that while doing the prayer, a correct opinion surfaces, and the way to conduct one's affairs properly, or a well considered answer become apparent. Often a worshipper remembers during the prayer what he had forgotten earlier. Doing the prayer makes a person reflect on his beginning and on his end, and on how he stands in this world, and in the next. It will remind him of his own reckoning, especially if he stands in prayer for a long time, and especially during the night - when eyes are lowered, and voices are hushed, and the influence of the lower world is weakened, and the thirst of the flocks has been quenched, and the influence of the world of the spirits is greater, and gloomy thoughts are transformed into joyful ones. This is what the Prophet meant ﷺ, when he said, "O Bilal, let us take rest in prayer!" And again, when he said, "I find my comfort in doing the prayer, because it is from this that a person is given pleasure, and the pleasure that comes from it brings comfort - and because doing the prayer contains all that is excellent in both this world and the next."

We have already quoted the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ,

"Digest your food with the Name of Allah and with conversation about Him."
This is one of the reasons why the tarawih prayer is customary.

So it is, from the prayer that the best of this world and of the next is derived. It is from the prayer that strength, which flows from the blessed vision of Allah, the Creator, springs - and that is why doing the prayer drives out everything to do with sickness and illness from the body, and reveals a person's true nature to him, so that he strives to perfect what is already good, and to abandon whatever is bad.

Sahil ibn Sa'd has related this: "The Prophet ﷺ, spat into the eye of 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was suffering from ophthalmia, and asked for Allah's blessing on him - and 'Ali was cured."
Al-Bukhari and Muslim have transmitted this hadith.

Indeed this section falls short in describing the virtues of prayer. And Allah knows best.

It is said that a man complained to the Prophet ﷺ, about having pain in his eyes, and the Prophet replied,

"Rest your gaze on the Holy Book."

It is said that a certain man complained to the Prophet ﷺ, about the hardness of his own heart, and the Prophet replied,

"Stroke the head of an orphan, and give him something to eat."
The same complaint was once made to Abu Daw'ud, who said, "Visit the sick, go to funerals, and visit tombs."

Al-Maruzi said, "It has been related by Ahmad, 'I once had a fever and a man wrote the following talisman as a protection against fever for me: "In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate (Qur'an: 1.1) - by the Name of Allah - by Allah Himself - and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah -'O fire, be coolness and peace on Ibrahim' - and they wanted to trap him, but We made them the greater losers (Qur'an: 21.69-70) - O Lord of Jibril, Mikail and Rafail, cure whoever possesses this writing by Your might and by Your power and by Your strength - O Lord of the creation - Amin - So be it."'"

'Uthman ibn Abi al-ʿAsi said, "A man complained to the Prophet ﷺ, of a pain that he had felt in his body ever since he had embraced Islam, and the Prophet said to him in reply,

'Put your right hand on the place where the pain is, and say, seven times, "I seek refuge in the power of Allah and in His might from the evil that I find and feel."'
Muslim has transmitted this hadith.

Khalid ibn al-Walid said, "O Messenger of Allah, I cannot sleep at night because of my insomnia," and the Prophet ﷺ, replied,

"When you go to your bed to sleep, then say, 'O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and whatever they cover, and Lord of the seven earths and whatever they contain, and Lord of the shayatin and whomever they mislead, be my Protector against all the evils of Your creation if any one of them oppresses me or overwhelms me. Whoever is protected by You is made powerful, and blessed is Your Name. There is no god other than You, and there is no god except You."'
At-Tirmidhi has transmitted this hadith.

Please note that the word 'insomnia' means an inability to sleep.

It is said that Dhalid complained to the Prophet ﷺ, of nightmares, and the Prophet replied,

"Shall I teach you some words which Jibril taught me? : 'I seek refuge in the face of Allah, the Generous and in the perfect words of Allah - more than which no man can do, whether he is good or bad - and I seek protection from the evil which corms down from the heavens and displays itself there, and from the evil which is on the earth, and from the evil of temptations in the day and in the night, and from the evil of misfortunes in the day and in the night and from. everything except whatever brings a blessing with it, O Merciful One!"'
This has been transmitted by at-Tabari.

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latest update: Wed, 7 Jan 2009


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