Sickness and illnesses are very much an integral part of an average human being’s lifespan. This is true even more so in the modern globalized world where diseases spread thick and fast. So, what does the Islamic term ‘Shifa’ mean and what are the duas for Shifa?
As Muslims, we need to look at everything from the Islamic viewpoint. In Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet (PBUH) said that no tiredness, ailment, grief, sorrow, pain or distress will befall a believer without Allah expiating some of his sins for it, even if it’s something as minor as the prick of a thorn.
As we are well aware from the Quran and Sunnah, this life is a test for all of mankind. Allah created this world as a trial and allowed us to do both right and wrong things. As with everything else, a Muslim must follow certain etiquette when he falls ill. Amongst the most highly sought duas are duas for Shifa from fever.
Allah has given us uncountable blessings in this world. We can never thank Him enough for all he has given us. But Allah also says in Surah al-Baqarah that He will certainly test us with aspects of fright, hunger, loss of belongings, lives and fruits. For the steadfast are glad tidings, who remain patient when afflicted by calamity, affirming that we ultimately belong to Allah and return to Him.
Therefore, we must know that illness is in Allah’s hands. It will only inflict us with His permission, and without that, it wouldn’t be possible. We must be aware of it being a test, and we need to know how to react in such situations.
A Muslim’s initial reaction after falling sick
We humans are prone to exaggerated responses to many things, and falling ill is no different. People become frustrated often, straight away saying “why me, God,” and uttering other similar expressions of discontentment. This is not the correct thing to do in Islam.
The Prophet (PBUH) said that the believer’s paths are strange, as there is benefit in every situation for him, which is an advantage only a believer possesses. (Sahih Muslim) If he has a reason to be happy, he thanks Allah, hence he benefits from it. Meanwhile, if he faces hardship and shows submission and patience in the matter, there is also benefit in that for him.
If you wish to learn duas to be recited before sleeping and after waking up, click here.
When an injury or illness afflicts a believer, he is welcome to look at conventional cures. However, he must also focus on Allah’s guidance and instructions. This can be in the form of duas for Shifa, adhkhaar (remembrance) of Allah, extra prayers, etc.
Duas for Shifa (healing)
- Put your hand at the location of the pain. Say: “Bismillah (three times) A’udhoo billahee wa qudratihee minsharrimaa ajidu wa uhadhiroo (seven times)” (Seeking refuge with Allah and His Power from the evil that one discovers and is afraid of).
- Duas for the sickness: (For another person) Adh-hib al ba’s Rabb an-naas, washfi anta alShaafi, laa shifaa’a illaa shifaa-’uka shifaa-’an laa yughaadir saqaman (Calling on Allah our Lord to grant the person health and cure Him, as Allah is a Great Healer. There is no healing, however with Allah’s healing Power, health is attained and sickness is eliminated).
- RabbunAllahu al-ladhee fis-samaa-ee taqaddasa-smuka amruka fis-samaa-ee wal-ardhee kamaa rahmatuka fis-samaa-ee faj’al rahmataka fil-ardhee, aghfir lanaa hoobanaa wa khathayaanaa anta Rabb-ut-tayyibbeena anzil rahmatan min rahmatika wa shifa’an min shifa’ika ‘ala hadhal-waja’i fayabraa. (Affirming that Allah in the heavens is our Lord, Whose name is holy. His command reigns supreme in both the heavens and the earth. Requesting Allah to make his Mercy on the earth like His Mercy in the heaven and forgive our bad deeds and faults. Lastly, calling on Allah, Who is the Lord of good men, for mercy, and cure for healing the pain).
- (For another person) Seven times: As-aluAllahu al-’adheema rabbal-’arshil ‘adheemee an yashfeeka illa ‘aafaahu Allahu min dhaalik al-maradh. (Calling on Allah, the Mighty Lord of the mighty throne to heal the person).
- A popular dua to be safe from all diseases: Allah humma innee au’dhoo bika minal barasi wal junooni wal juzaami wa min sayyi’ il asqaam.
- One of the major issues of 2020 is the coronavirus. Click here to learn more about precautions and duas for COVID-19.
Quranic surahs for Shifa
- Surah al-Fatiha: Bismillah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Raheem. Alhamdu lillahi rabbil ‘aalameen. Ar-Rahman-ir-Raheem. Maalik youm-id-deen. Iyyaka na’budoo wa iyyaka nasta’een. Ihdinas siraat al-mustaqeem, siraat al-ladheena an-’amta ‘alayhim, ghair-il-maghdoobi ‘alayhim wa-lad-dawl-leen.
(After saying the Bismillah, praising Allah the Lord of the worlds and the Master of the Last Day. Affirming that we worship Him and seek help from Him. Asking Him to guide us to the right way, which is the way of those who gained His favor, not of the ones who have incurred His displeasure or of those who have strayed). Surah al-Fatiha is one of the best forms of duas for Shifa.
- Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas – As recorded in Sahih Muslim, when someone in the household would become unwell, the Prophet (PBUH) would blow over that person by reciting Mu’awwidhatan (Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas). When the Prophet (PBUH) was afflicted with the ailment that took his life, Aisha (RA) would blow over him and rub his body with his hand due to his hand’s superior healing ability.
As recorded in Jami` at-Tirmidhi, the Prophet (PBUH) said that when Allah wishes good for His servant, He hastens his penalty on earth. On the other hand, when He wishes bad for His servant, He withholds his sins from him until he stands before Allah on the Day of Recompense.
Therefore, we must not complain and behave poorly if we are ever (Allah Forbid) afflicted by sickness and illness. We must recite the duas for Shifa as prescribed in the Sunnah. We must try to use this time as an opportunity to get closer to Allah. Simultaneously, remember all the blessings He has granted us. Above all, be patient and understand that ultimately, there is some good that will come out of it.
Sickness is a fact of human life, and all humans fall sick from time to time. Allah has created humans to be vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other things. Hence, people should not be discouraged after falling sick or start to bemoan their fortune. They should accept it as Allah’s will and handle it in the way Allah and the Prophet (PBUH) tell us to.
Some people also get terminally unwell, may Allah protect everyone from all kinds of illnesses. However, this is never a reason to start thinking negatively or to say things that one might later regret. We must always ensure that we keep in mind the fact that Allah does everything for a reason. Perhaps he wants to test a person in this life and grant them innumerable rewards in the Hereafter.
The Prophet (PBUH) clearly specified that if a believer suffers any pain, distress, etc., Allah will forgive some of his sins as a result. We must also keep that in mind. With that said, we can also utilize remedies for illnesses to try and ward them off. They can be in the form of medicine, which is widespread worldwide and can help with many types of sicknesses (by Allah’s will).
However, the first thing we should always do when we feel unwell or if we observe someone else being sick or ill is to recite the duas for shifa. Any cure that works for a person is by Allah’s leave, and shifa is one of the cures. Just like medicine works for some people and doesn’t for others, Allah might grant a person’s request for shifa and save them from the sickness they are dealing with. For healing, reciting duas for shifa should be among the foremost priorities.