Visiting the Sick
ONE could keep marvelling at just how comprehensive the teachings of Deen are. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has taught us the finer details of many such actions which apparently may seem trivial. However, there are oceans of wisdom in these teachings. The true benefits of these aspects can only be realized when one will translate these teachings into practice.
Among these splendid lessons is the etiquettes of visiting a sick person. Having greatly emphasised and encouraged the visiting of the sick, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also, by way of word and practice, demonstrated how this should be done.
The virtues of this great action are indeed tremendous. The fact that it is a Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is sufficient as a virtue. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would not only visit his companions and family members when they were sick. He also once visited a young Jewish lad who had fallen ill and had also visited the leader of the munafiqeen, Abdullah bin Ubay. Nevertheless var-ious Ahadith explain the virtues of visiting the sick. It is reported that the one who visits a sick person in the evening, seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the morning. And if he visits him in the morning, seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the evening (Tirmizi).
In another narration it is reported that on the day of Qiyama Allah Ta'ala will ask a person: "I fell ill and you did not visit Me?" "But how can I visit You, O my Rabb, when you are the Sustainer of the worlds,"the person will respond. Allah Ta'ala will then say: "Did you not know that so and so, who is my servant, was ill? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?(Sahih Bukhari) Besides this, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has enumerated among the rights of a Muslim that he should be visited when he falls ill.
While visiting the sick earns much reward, the proper Aadaab (etiquettes) must also be observed. Hereunder are some aadaab which are mentioned in and deduced from various Ahadith:
* Visit the sick only for the pleasure of Allah, to earn the rewards mentioned and to console the person.
* Do not lenghten the visit. It has been stressed in the Ahadith that the visit should be short. If the sick person himself desires that the visitor should remain longer, there is no harm in it.
* Commence the visit by asking about the health of the person. Talk light hearted things and cheer the person up.It is also narrated that one should mention to him that he will Insha Allah recover and have a long life. Do not speak of such things which will make him despondent or grieve him further. One should mention the incidents of the pious people regarding how they reacted during illness.
* Mention to the person that illnesses cause the forgiveness of one's sins.
* Do not cry or express grief in the prescence of the patient.
* It is preferable to place one's hand on the forehead of the sick person and make dua for him. Learn the duas that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) made for the sick and recite the same. There is great blessings in these duas.
* Besides making dua for him, one should also request dua for oneself from the sick person.
* Encourage the patient to engage in Salaah, Zikr, Durood, etc. (It should be noted that the sick person is never absolved of his Salaah. If he cannot perform his Salaah standing, he should do so while sitting. If this also is not possible, then he should do so in a reclining position. If it is not possible to perform Wudu, Tayamum should be performed. The relevant Masail should be learnt from the Ulama or from authentic literature).
* If the person is in hospital, abide by the times and rules of the hospital.
* If the doctors have recomended that the patient should not be spoken to, do not insist on speaking to him.
* If the patient is being visited at home, ensure that the visit is at an appropriate time.