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Reason for Sickness

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askmufti.co.za

Q: How is sickness viewed in Islam? Is it a punishment for sins or a forgiveness? For example, my husband has epilepsy and bit his tongue quite a few times. He says maybe he gossiped or used foul language and that is why he bit his tongue. So is this sickness a punishment? He’s had epilepsy for quite a number of years. When I ask the learned people they say it is a forgiveness. What does this mean? Isn’t it also a punishment to guide you to the straight path or make you closer to Allah? Please clarify this for me.

A: The exact reason Allah Ta’aala alone knows, but we should have a positive attitude.

Possibilities:

1. Sickness is a means of forgiveness for sins committed. Through the virtue of the sickness, it is hoped that when the person meets Allah, he will be clear of sins.
2. It is a means of receiving a greater and higher status in the hereafter.
3. It is mentioned in Hadeeth: Everything is beneficial for a Mu’min. When goodness reaches him he makes Shukr (expresses gratitude unto Allah). When grief reaches  him  he  adopts  Sabr  (patience).  Both  these  qualities  are
commendable.
Thus he will be rewarded for his patience.
4) It is a means to draw closer to Allah, to be more aware of His bounties bestowed, to appreciate.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

This answer was collected from AskMufti.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Siraj Desai of Darul-Uloom Abubakr, South Africa.

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