Importance of visiting the sick
Visiting the sick is called ‘iyaadah in Arabic (from a root word meaning return) because people come back time after time.
You can obtain some more detailed information in this PDF document.
Ruling on visiting the sick
Some of the scholars are of the view that it is a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah). Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) favoured the view that it is a communal obligation (fard kifaayah), as stated in al-Ikhtiyaaraat (p. 85) and this is the correct view. It is proven in al-Saheehaayn that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are five duties that the Muslim owes to his brother Muslim,” one of which is visiting the sick. According to another version: “The rights of one Muslim over another are…” Al-Bukhaari said: Chapter on the obligation of visiting the sick, and he narrated the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Feed the hungry, visit the sick and free the captives.”
The correct view is that it is a communal obligation, and the Muslims are obliged to visit their sick.
The virtue of visiting the sick
There are many ahaadeeth which speak of its virtue, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“When the Muslim visits his (sick) Muslim brother, he is harvesting the fruits of Paradise until he returns.” Narrated by Muslim, 2568.
The reward attained by the one who visits the sick is likened to the harvest reaped by one who gathers fruit.
According to al-Tirmidhi (2008), the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever visits a sick person or visits a brother in Islam, a caller cries out to him: ‘May you be happy, may your walking be blessed, and may you occupy a dignified position in Paradise’.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Imam Ahmad narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person is plunging into mercy until he sits down, and when he sits down he is submerged in it.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2504.
Al-Tirmidhi (969) narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Muslim who visits a (sick) Muslim early in the morning but seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Visiting the sick does not involve only those whom you know, rather it is prescribed for those whom you know and those whom you do not know. This was stated by al-Nawawi in Sharh Muslim.
Definition of the sick person whom it is obligatory to visit
It is the sick person whose sickness is preventing him from seeing people. If he is sick but he is still going out and seeing people, then it is not obligatory to visit him.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/171
Making du’aa’ for the sick person
Du’aa’ should be made for the sick person in the manner narrated in the Sunnah: “La ba’s, tuhoor in sha Allaah (No worry, it is a purification, if Allah wills).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
Du’aa’ for healing should be said three times. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) visited Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas and said: “O Allaah, heal Sa’d,” three times. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5659) and Muslim (1628).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to place his right hand on the sick person and say: “Adhhib al-ba’s Rabb an-naas, wa’shfi anta al-Shaafi, laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadir saqaman(Take away the pain, O Lord of mankind, and grant healing, for You are the Healer, and there is no healing but Your healing that leaves no trace of sickness).” Narrated by Muslim, 2191.
It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood (3106) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person who is not yet dying, and says seven times in his presence: ‘As’alu Allaaha rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem an yashfiyaka (I ask Allaah, Lord of the mighty Throne, to heal you), Allaah will heal him of that sickness.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
The visitor should ask him how he is and how he is feeling, etc. That is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as narrated by al-Tirmidhi (983) and classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
It is also narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that ‘Aa’ishah did that when she visited Abu Bakr and Bilaal (may Allaah be pleased with them both).
Reassuring him and giving him hope of a long life
A hadeeth concerning that was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2087) but it is a weak hadeeth: “When you enter upon a sick person and reassure him that he is going to live, that does not change anything, but it lifts his spirits.” It was classed as da’eef (weak) by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Tirmidhi.
But it is supported in meaning by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “La ba’s, tuhoor in sha Allaah (No worry, it is a purification, if Allah wills).” So we should try to cheer him up and give him glad tidings of healing in sha Allaah, for that will comfort the sick person.
See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/171-176.
Prayers for the sick:
It was narrated from Abu Sa eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described Soorat al-Faatihah as a ruqyah and a cure, and he approved of the companion who recited it as a ruqyah for the one who had been stung by a scorpion. Al-Bukhaari (2156) and Muslim (2201).
Transliteration of the Verses of Surah Al-Fatihah
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
- Alhamdu lillahi rabbil-‘aalameena
- Alrrahmani alrraheemi
- Maliki yawmi alddeeni
- Iyyaka na’budu waiyyaka nasta’eenu
- Ihdina alssirata almustaqeema
- Sirata allazheena an’amta ‘alayhim ghayri almaghdoobi ‘alayhim walaalddalleena
- In the name of Allah (God), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
- All the praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds (universe).
- The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
- Lord of the Day of Judgment.
- You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help.
- Guide us to the Straight Path.
- The path of those You have blessed, not (the path) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray
Ibn al-Qayyim said about reciting Soorat al-Faatihah:
“There was a time when I fell sick in Makkah, and I could not find a doctor or any medicine, so I treated myself by reciting it. I would take some Zamzam water and recite Alfatihah over it several times, then drink it. I recovered fully by these means, then I began to do that whenever I felt a lot of pain, and I benefited greatly from it.” From Zaad al-Ma aad (4/164).
Hisnul Muslim When visiting the sick
لا بَأْسَ طَهُوْر ٌ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهَ
139, When the Prophet (saw) would enter upon a sick person, he would say:
‘Never mind, may it (the sickness) be a purification, if Allah wills.’
أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ العَظِيْمَ، رَبَّ العَرْشِ العَظِيْمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيْكَ.
140, ‘Any Muslim servant who visits a sick person whose prescribed moment of death has not arrived and supplicates seven times:
‘I ask Allah The Supreme, Lord of the magnificent throne to cure you’.
…he (the sick person) will be cured.’
“You are the Healer”
It was narrated from Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when any of us fell sick, the Messenger of Allah (peaceand blessings of Allah be upon him) would wipe him with his right hand then say:
أَذْهِبِ الْبَاسَ رَبَّ النَّاسِ ، وَاشْفِ أَنْتَ الشَّافِي ، لا شَافِيَ إِلا أَنْتَ ، شِفَاءً لا يُغَادِرُ سَقَمًا
“Adhhib il-ba’s, Rabbi l-naas washfi anta al-Shaafi laa shifaa ailla shifaa uka shifaa an laa yughaadir saqaman. (Remove the harm, O Lord of humankind and heal him, for You are the Healer and there is no healing except Your healing, with a healing which does not leave any disease behind).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5675) and Muslim (2191).
Reciting Al Mu’awidhaat (Surat Al-Samad, Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Naas)
It was narrated that Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “If one of his family fell sick, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would blow over him and recite al-Mu’awwidhaat. When he PBUH fell sick with his final illness, I started to blow over him and wipe him with his own hand, because it was more blessed than my hand.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5735) and Muslim (2192).
Bismillah and dua’
It was narrated from Uthmaan ibn Abi l- Aas al-Thaqafi that he complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about some pain that he had felt in his body since he became Muslim. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: “Put your hand on the part of your body that hurts and say:
ضَعْ يَدَكَ عَلَى الَّذِي تَأَلَّمَ مِنْ جَسَدِكَ وَقُلْ بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ . ثَلاَثًا . وَقُلْ سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ وَقُدْرَتِهِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا أَجِدُ وَأُحَاذِرُ
‘Bismillaah’ (in the name of Allah) three times, then say seven times: ‘I seek refuge in Allah and His Power from the evil of what I find and I fear.'” Narrated by Muslim (2202).
“In the Name of Allah I perform ruqyah”
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that Jibreel came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “O Muhammad, are you sick?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “In the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you.” Narrated by Muslim (2186).
“Allah Who is in heaven”
It was narrated that Abul-Darda (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever among you suffers some sickness, or his brother suffers some sickness, let him say: ‘Our Lord Allah Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your will is done in heaven and on earth; as Your mercy is in heaven, bestow it upon the earth. Forgive us our sins. You are the Lord of the good. Send down Your mercy and healing upon this pain’; and he will be healed.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (3892)
Hisnul Muslim Supplication of the sick who have renounced all hope of life
اللَّهمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالرَّفِيْقِ الأَعْلَى
142, ‘O Allah, forgive me, have mercy upon me and unite me with the higher companions.’
Refer to the Quran, chapter 4, verse: 69
جعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عند موته يدخل يديه في الماء فيمسح بهما وجهه ويقول: لا إِلَهََ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، إِنَّ لِلمَوْتِ لَسَكَرَات.ٍ
143, Aishah related that the Prophet (saw) (during his illness in which he passed away) would dip his hands in water and then he would wipe his face and say:
‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, death does indeed contain agony.’
لا إِلَهََ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُُ أَكْبَرُ، لا إِلَهََ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيْكَ لَهُ، لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ، لا إِلَهََ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِال
144, ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Allah is the greatest.None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone.None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner.None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise. None has the right to be worshipped except Allah and there is no might and no power except with Allah.’
Excerpts from the Fortress of the Muslim