Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Man is born into the present world. Here he spends his mornings and evenings. His life journey continues here through various experiences. Through these experiences, consciously or unconsciously, man develops the mentality that the present world is the real world. In contrast, he feels that the world of the Hereafter is an unreal world. Because of the apparent difference between the two worlds, man’s thinking process functions at the level of the present world. There is practically no place for the Hereafter in his thinking and planning.

This is the biggest problem for human beings. Looking at the broad picture, it would be correct if Hereafter-oriented thinking is fostered in a person, not worldly thinking. In order to save man from going astray in this matter, nature has arranged that the present world be made ‘a world of toil and trial’ (90:4). These problems act as speed breakers for human beings. These problems exist so that man does not consider the present world as the real world, but builds his life in terms of the Hereafter.

It is narrated in a Hadith that whenever a person fell ill, the Prophet Muhammad used to say to him: ‘Do not worry. This ailment will, God willing, become a means of purification for you.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari) This does not mean that when a person becomes ill, he mysteriously becomes a purified human being. The fact is that if a person does not experience any illness or accident, and remains completely healthy, does not experience any harm in life, then the result is that consciously or unconsciously inside him, feelings of pride are created. His heart is emptied of feelings of humility. He even becomes an insensitive person. But when a sensitive person is afflicted with disease or loss, he discovers his weakness. Feelings of compassion are created in him.

He experiences the reality of being a servant of God. In this way, the disease draws him away from other things and brings him closer to God. He turns to God. He begins to remember God. Prayers and supplications begin to flow from his heart. Sickness becomes a means of nearness to God for him. Thus, for a serious person, illness becomes a matter of blessing in disguise.

The fact is that all human affairs are based on man’s capacity of thinking. Man should never suffer from the psychology of complaining or despair when he is ill or in trouble. Rather, whenever an unpleasant situation arises, he should consider it with an unbiased mind. He should try to discover the positive aspects in such negative events. If he does so, he will have the support of the laws of nature. He will discover the positive in the negative, and thus he will be able to save himself from disappointment. It is a fact that frustration is an unnatural frame of mind.

Illness is a seemingly undesirable thing for a human being. But if a person possesses a God-oriented mind, then physical illness will become a source of spiritual health. The real importance in this world is mental awareness. Only an awakened mind is able to learn from events, and the greatest thing that awakens the mind is only one in this world: a difficult situation.

Illness is a seemingly undesirable thing for a human being. But if a person possesses a God-oriented mind, then physical illness will become a source of spiritual health.

This fact of life has been described in the Quran as follows:

We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. Give good news to those who endure with fortitude. Those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return,’ are the ones who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord: it is they who are on the right path! (2:155-157)

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QURANIC VERSES90:42:155-157
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