30. The Prophet’s Guidance Concerning Medicine, Treatments and Visiting the Sick256
* It was from the Prophet's (Peace be upon him) guidance to treat himself and he ordered those of his family and companions afflicted with illness to seek treatment.

* He (Peace be upon him) said: “Allah has not sent down any malady but that He sent down its cure.”257 And he (Peace be upon him) said, “O servants of Allah, seek treatment.”258

* He (Peace be upon him) had three types of treatment for an ailment: by natural medicines, by divine remedies and by a combination of both.

* He (Peace be upon him) prohibited treatment by intoxicants or anything impure.

* He (Peace be upon him) used to visit the sick among his companions. He visited a Jewish boy who used to serve him, and visited his uncle who was a polytheist. He invited both of them to Islam, and the Jewish boy accepted it but his uncle did not.
256 Zadul-Ma`ad (4/9)
257 Al-Bukhari.
258 Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

* He (Peace be upon him) would come close to a patient sit near his head and inquire about his condition.

* It was not of the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) guidance to assign a specific day or time for visiting the sick. On the contrary, he urged his people to visit the sick anytime of the day or night – at all times.

a. His Guidance in Using Natural Medications259
* He (Peace be upon him) said: “Fever (or high fever) is a hot breath of Hell, so cool it down with water.”260

* He (Peace be upon him) said: “When one of you gets a fever, sprinkle water on him for three nights before dawn.”
259 Zadul-Ma`ad (4/23)
260 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

* When he (Peace be upon him) had a fever, he would call for a waterskin, empty it on his head and bathe. When once fever was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and a man cursed it, he said: “Do not curse fever, for it removes sins the way fire removes impurities from iron."261

* A man came to him saying that his brother complained of diarrhoea. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) told him, “Give him honey to drink.”262 He (Peace be upon him) would mix it with water and take it on an empty stomach.

* Some people who had come to Madinah complained of dropsy, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) told them: "Why don't you go to the camels reserved for charity and drink some of their milk and urine. They did so and were cured.263
261 Ibn Majah.
262 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
263 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

* When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was wounded in the Battle of Uhud, [his daughter] Fatimah took a piece of straw, burned it until it was ash and pasted it to the wound to stop the blood. He (Peace be upon him) sent for [his companion] Ubayy bin Ka`b (May Allah be pleased with him), a doctor, who cut one of his veins and cauterized it. And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “There is cure in three things, a drink of honey, cupping and cauterizing by fire. But I forbid my people from cauterization.”264 And he (Peace be upon him) said, "I do not like to be cauterized."265

This indicates that cauterizing should only be a last resort when necessary because of the intense pain it causes when treating a lesser pain.

* He (Peace be upon him) had cupping done to him and paid the cupper his wage. He (Peace be upon him) said: “The best treatment is cupping.”266 He had it done on his head while in the state of ihraam due to headache and on his hip to relieve pain.
264 Al-Bukhari.
265 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
266 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

He (Peace be upon him) used to cup himself in three places: one between his shoulders (on his back) and two on the jugular veins. He was cupped three times between his shoulders after eating from the poisoned lamb. He (Peace be upon him) also recommended cupping to his companions.

* No one complained of headache but that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) told him: "Avail yourself of cupping." And no one complained of pain in his legs but that he told him: "Use henna."267

* Salma, Umm Raafi`, a servant of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), reported: “He never suffered a sore spot or the prick of a thorn but that he applied henna to it."268
267 Abu Dawud.
268 At-Tirmidhi.

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: “The treatment for sciatica is to drink the fat of a sheep's tail on an empty stomach - a part of it each day"269

* For the treatment of constipation, he (Peace be upon him) said, "Take sana270 and sannoot,271 for in them is a cure for every ailment except death."272

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: “Your best kohl is antimony. It clears the eyesight and helps hair to grow.”273

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: “Whoever takes seven 'ajwah dates in the morning will not be harmed that day by poison or magic.”274

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: "Do not compel your patients to eat and drink, for Allah is feeding them and giving them drink.”275
269 Ibn Majah.
270 A medicinal plant.
271 A kind of honey, and some have said cumin.
272 Ibn Majah.
273 Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.
274 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
275 At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

* He (Peace be upon him) prevented Suhayb (May Allah be pleased with him) from eating dry dates while he was suffering from an eye ailment and allowed him just a few. He prevented Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) from eating fresh dates for the same reason.

* He (Peace be upon him) said: “If a house fly should fall in someone's drink submerge it therein, for in one of its wings is an illness and in the other is its cure."276

* He (Peace be upon him) said: “Talbinah277 comforts the heart of a sick person and removes some of his depression.”278

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: “Take black seed, for in it is a cure for every ailment except death.”279

* And he (Peace be upon him) said: “Flee from the leper like you would flee from a lion.”280 He also said: “A sick person must not be brought in among healthy ones.”281
276 Al-Bukhari.
277 A soup made of barley flour and bran.
278 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
279 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
280 Al-Bukhari.
281 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

* Among the delegation of Thaqeef was a leper, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent word to him, saying, "You may return, for we have accepted your pledge.”282

b. His Guidance in Treatment with Recitation283
* The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to seek Allah’s protection from the jinn and from the evil eye of humans. He (Peace be upon him) also told people to use ruqyah284 on those affected by an evil eye. He (Peace be upon him) said, "The eye is true, and if there was anything faster than fate it would be the evil eye. When one of you is asked to, he should take a bath."285
282 Muslim.
283 Zadul-Ma`ad (4/149 and 4/171).
284 There are two types of ruqyah: 1) the lawful ruqyah used by the Prophet (Peace be upon him), meaning the permissible recitations confirmed by the Qur'an or authentic Sunnah, and 2) the unlawful ruqyah, which contains words of disbelief, mysterious incantations or anything else prohibited in Islam.
285 Muslim.

* He (Peace be upon him) once saw a girl whose face showed the effect of jinn. He (Peace be upon him) said: “Make ruqyah for her, for she has been afflicted by the gaze.”286

* He (Peace be upon him) said to one of his companions who had treated someone with a poisonous bite with Surah Al-Fatihah and cured him, "How did you know it is a ruqyah?”287

* A man came to him and said, "A scorpion bit me last night." The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, “If you had, upon nightfall, recited, 'A`uthu bikalimaatillaahi at-taammaati min sharri ma khalak" (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He created), it would not have harmed you."288
286 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
287 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
288 Muslim.

* When someone complained of an ailment or suffered from a sore or an injury, he put some saliva on his index finger, touched the ground with it, raised it and said: "In the name of Allah, the dust of our earth with the saliva of one of us will cure our patient with the permission of our Lord."289

* One of his companions complained of a pain, so he (Peace be upon him) told him: “Put your hand on the part of your body that is painful and repeat seven times: "A`udhu bi`izzatillaahi wa qudratihee min sharri ma ajidu wa uhaadhir." (I seek refuge in the honour and ability of Allah from the evil I find and fear).”290

* When he (Peace be upon him) visited a member of his family who was ill, he would wipe over the patient with his right hand and supplicate: "Allaahumma rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba'sa, washfi, antash-shaafi, la shifa'a illa shifa'uka, shifa'an la yughadiru saqaman." (O Allah, Lord of mankind, remove the ailment and cure. You are the curer; there is no cure but Your cure, a cure that leaves no illness.)"291 And when he visited a patient he would say: “La ba'sa, tahoorun in shaa' Allaah. (No harm, it is purification, Allah willing.)”292
289 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
290 Muslim.
291 Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
292 Al-Bukhari.