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25 Nov 2012

Ibn Al-Qayyim: Superiority of the Prophetic Medicine Over All Other Medicine

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said in his excellent work, Zaad al-Ma'aad (3/97-98), after discussing the benefits of honey in relation to the man who was advised by the Messenger (alayhis salaam) to treat the ailment of his stomach with honey:

وليس طِبُّه صلى الله عليه وسلم كطِبِّ الأطباء، فإن طبَّ النبىّ صلى الله عليه وسلم متيقَّنٌ قطعىٌ إلهىٌ، صادرٌ عن الوحى، ومِشْكاةِ النبوة، وكمالِ العقل. وطبُّ غيرِه أكثرُه حَدْسٌ وظنون، وتجارِب، ولا يُنْكَرُ عدمُ انتفاع كثير من المرضى بطبِّ النبوة، فإنه إنما ينتفعُ به مَن تلقَّاه بالقبول، واعتقاد الشفاء به، وكمال التلقى له بالإيمان والإذعان، فهذا القرآنُ الذى هو شفاء لما فى الصدور إن لم يُتلقَّ هذا التلقى لم يحصل به شفاءُ الصُّدور مِن أدوائها، بل لا يزيدُ المنافقين إلا رجساً إلى رجسهم، ومرضاً إلى مرضهم، وأين يقعُ طبُّ الأبدان منه، فطِب النبوةِ لا يُناسب إلا الأبدانَ الطيبة، كما أنَّ شِفاء القرآن لا يُناسب إلا الأرواح الطيبة والقلوب الحية، فإعراضُ الناس عن طِبِّ النبوة كإعراضهم عن الاستشفاء بالقرآن الذى هو الشفاء النافع، وليس ذلك لقصور فى الدواء، ولكن لخُبثِ الطبيعة، وفساد المحل، وعدمِ قبوله، والله الموفق.
His medicine (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is not like the medicine of the physicians, for the medicine of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is certain, definitive, emanating from (divine) revelation, the lantern of prophethood, and perfection of reason. As for the medicine of others, most of it is conjecture, presumptions and experimentation. As for the absence of benefit to many of the ill from the Prophetic medicine, that is not to be shown rejection because only those benefit with it who wholeheartedly accept it, believe firmly in its ability to cure, and perfectly accept it through faith and submission. This Qur'an which is the cure for what is in the hearts, if it is not accepted with such acceptance, the healing of the hearts will not be attained by its treatments. Rather, it only increases the hypocrites in evil on top of their evil, and disease on top of their disease. And so where does the bodily medicine stand with respect to it. The Prophetic medicine is not suited except for wholesome bodies, just as the cure of the Qur'an is not suited except for good souls and lively hearts. The people turning away from the Prophetic medicine [in bodily matters] therefore is like them turning away from seeking cure from the Qur'an which is indeed the beneficial cure. And this is not because of any deficiency in the treatment, but due to the vileness of the bodily disposition and corruption of the diseased location and non-acceptance of (the healing capacity)... and Allaah is the one who grants success.
There are some great points to be extracted from this statement of Ibn al-Qayyim which relate to the nature of disease and cure, and the role of faith and anticipation in cure and healing and the speculative nature of other types of medicine and conditions required for cure and healing to be attained.

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