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ETIQUETTE OF VISITING THE SICK

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'Ali bin Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
 
I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu_alaihi_wa_sallam.png) saying, "When a Muslim visits a sick Muslim at dawn, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till dusk. If he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till the morning; and he will have (his share of) reaped fruits in Jannah."

[At- Tirmidhi].
 
 
 
Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
 
The Prophet (sallallahu_alaihi_wa_sallam.png) said, "He who visits his brother in Faith, will remain engaged in picking the fresh fruits from the garden of Jannah till he returns."

[Muslim].

 

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One Etiquette when Sitting by a Sick Person

 

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) taught the Ummah that at the time of visiting the sick one should shorten one’s stay. The reason for this is so that one does not become the means of bringing discomfort and inconvenience to the sick. Hence from this mubaarak teaching of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) we understand that we should be considerate about the condition of people and their feelings when interacting with them.

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال من السنة تخفيف الجلوس وقلة الصخب  (مرقاة-باب عيادة المريض)

 

It is reported that Hadhrat ibn Abbaas (Radhiallahu Anhu) said: “It is from the Sunnah to shorten one’s visit (by the sick) and to avoid making noise.”

It is reported that once a group of people went to visit Hadhrat Sarri Saqti (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) in his final illness. They prolonged their stay by him. Hadhrat Sarri Saqti (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) was at that time suffering from stomach pains. They then intended to leave and asked Hadhrat Sarri Saqti (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) to make duaa for them. Hadhrat Sarri Saqti (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) made duaa: “O Allah, teach them the etiquettes of visiting the sick.” (Mirqaat)

On one occasion, a person went to visit a sick patient and remained by him for a long time. The sick person then said: “We have been greatly inconvenienced by the large number of people coming to visit us.” The visitor asked: “Should I get up and close the door for you so that they don’t come in?” The sick person replied: “Yes, but close it from outside.” (I.e. you also remain outside as you are also causing inconvenience).   (Mirqaat)

Ihyaauddeen.co.za

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ETIQUETTE OF VISITING THE SICK

 

One of the many beauties of Islam is that it is a way of life that corresponds with a human being's natural disposotion in every aspect of life.  Amongst these things that a human naturally feels is mercy and compassion for the sick.  Hence, Islam has placed a great deal of emphasis on bringing these qualities into our lives.  The Holy Prophet :pbuh: stated in one hadith:

 

“Show compassion to those on earth, the One in the heavens will show mercy upon you.”

 

Visiting the sick is from amongst those responsibilities and duties that a Muslim must fulfil.  Imam Bukhari has transmitted a hadith in his Sahih from Sayyidina Abu Huraira rah27X23.gif that our beloved Prophet :pbuh:  said:

 

“The rights of one Muslim over another Muslim are six.”  Someone asked, “What are they?”  The Holy Prophet replied, “When you meet him you greet him with salaam (peace), when he invites you, you accept his invitation, when he consults you in a matter, you give him sincere advice.  When he sneezes and praises Allah, you ask Allah to have mercy on him.  When he is sick, you visit him and when he passes away you accompany him i.e. you join in his janazah (funeral).”

 

These actions create love of bonding within the Muslims.  Furthermore, the Muslims in essence are like one body as mentioned in an authentic narration of Rasulullah :pbuh: .  If one part of the body hurts the entire body hurts. Our consolation will not take away the sickness from our Muslim brother or sister, but it may lift his spirits and make him happy.

Just as our Master Rasulaullah :mash::pbuh:  has guided us on how to conduct ourselves in every sphere of our lives, he has also guided us regarding the method of visiting the sick.

 

While fulfilling this revered act, the vistor should keep some things in mind so as to discharge his obligation in a successful manner.  The visitor should call before hand to find out if it would be appropriate to visit at a specific time or to find out when it would be best to visit.  The visit should be brief so that the ill person does not become burdened by the presence of the visitor.  Sheikh Abdul Fatah Ghudda the renowned scholar of Syria writes in his book, ‘Islamic Manners’:

 

“The length of the visit should not be longer than the time between the two sermons of Friday.  In this respect, it was said that the visit should be long enough to convey salaams and wishes, to ask the sick how they are doing, to pray for their recovery and to leave immediately after bidding them farewell.”

 

Also, one should try to avoid asking the details of the illness or discomfort the sick by talking about the illness.  He should pray for the sick, for verily the rewards for such an act are great.  Imam Bukhari and Muslim have transmitted a hadith from our beloved Mother Hadhrat Aisharaha24X25.gif(radhiallahu anha) who said:

 

“If someone fell sick, the Prophet :pbuh: would pass his beloved hand over the sick person saying the following prayer: ‘O Allah! Lord of mankind, take away the suffering, bring about recovery, only your cure takes away illnesses’.”

 

An effort should be made to inform the pious as to the state of the person sick.  This is because the du’as of the pious never go in vain.  The whole experience of visiting the sick is full of reflection if carried out according to the sunnah.  Furthermore, only through illness can we truly appreciate good health from Allah.  Sickness is a means of cleansing from Allah as well as a test from Allah.  We pray to Allah to cure the sick amongst us and give us the ability to practice this sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad :pbuh: .

 

Inter-Islam

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Virtues of visiting the sick

Every community has people who fall ill.

In Islam, we are encouraged to visit such people and not to neglect them.

The extent of the importance of this can be gauged from the five authentic Hadiths below:

  • Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whomsoever visits a sick person or visits his brother for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, a caller calls out, ‘You have done good, your footsteps are blessed and you have prepared an abode in Jannah”

(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2008, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1443 and Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 2961 with slight variation in the words)

Imam Tirmidhi has graded the Hadith sound (hasan).

 

  • Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“When a Muslim visits a sick Muslim at dawn, seventy thousand angels make du’a of forgiveness for him till dusk. If he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand Angels make du’a of forgiveness for him till the morning, and he will be granted a garden in Jannah”

(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 969, Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3091. Declared authentic by Imam Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 2958, Imam Hakim and ‘Allamah Dhahabi, Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 341/2  and pg. 349)

 

  • Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

‘Whoever makes a proper wudu, and sets out to visit his sick Muslim brother with the expectation of reward, will be distanced seventy years [journey] away from Jahannam.’

This Hadith is recorded by Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) with a slightly weak chain, which may be tolerated in Hadiths that discuss virtues of deeds, like this one.

It is further supported by a good chain in Tabarani.

This Hadith can therefore be quoted and may even be declared as sound (hasan). 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has not commented on it in Hidayatur Ruwat.

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3090, Al-Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 9437, Targhib, Hadith: 5091, Hidayatur Ruwat, Hadith: 1497, Fathul Ilah, Hadith: 1552 and Mirqat, Hadith: 1552)

 

  • Sayyiduna Jabir and Sayyiduna Ka’b (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) report that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

When one sets out to visit the sick, he enters into Allah’s mercy. When he sits beside the sick person, he is totally immersed in mercy.

(Muwatta Imam Malik, Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 304 and pg. 460 and Sahih Ibn Hibban)

Also see Targhib, Hadith: 5096, 5097 and Majma’uz zawaid, vol.2 pg.297.

 

  • One who visits the sick will find Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

‘Allah Ta’ala will say to man [on the day of Qiyamah]: O my slave, I was sick and you refused to visit me.

Man will exclaim: O Allah, how could that be possible whereas You are the Lord of the Worlds?

Allah Ta’ala will reply: A certain slave of mine was sick, had you visited him, you would have found Me by him.’

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 6501)

 

Lets take advantage of these great rewards, by habitually visiting the ill.

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