Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Salaah of the sick and the handicapped

The Salaah of the sick and the handicapped

Laa yukallifullahu naf’san illaa vus’a’haa
On no soul does Allah rest a burden heavier than what it can bear.
(Holy Qur’an: Surath al Baq’rah:  286)
Huvajtha’baakum va maa ja’ala alai’ykum
fid deeni min harjin.
Allah has chosen you and
He has not placed on you any difficulty in religion.
(Surath al Haj: 78)

Years back, in a Saudi city, I saw an old man performing Salaah with his radio on.  It was an intriguing sight.  The other staff of the office where he was a care taker, explained to me that he could not speak.  He was performing Salaah following the Imam of the Haram Shareef as the Salaah was broadcast live from Makkathul Mukarramah!

Whether the mode was right or in doubt, I felt a catch in my heart.  From its depth rose a silent prayer.  May Allah kindly accept his Salaah and his love of Islam.  Aameen!

The majesty of Salaah in our life: it is our gateway to good fortune. We offer our prayer of gratitude and devotion to Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate.  Allah wants us to avail unlimited bounties from His Rahmath.  Allah makes Salaah easy and enjoyable to us.

So, when the Muslim man, woman or child falls ill or is in any way handicapped from performing Salaah in the usual mode, a Hadith recorded by Nisa’yi and addressed to such persons is to be adhered to: “You can still pray to Allah while in bed, lying on your back.”

The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. informed Companion Ibn Haseen: “Stand up and pray to Allah. If this is not possible for you, then sit down or lie on one side and do it.”   We are also told that we can pray to Allah while in bed, lying on our backs. 
If anyone has the slightest hesitation in this regard, it is best to recall:
Alaa bi zikrillahi thath’mayinnul quloob.
Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find the rest (they need)
(Holy Qur’an: Surath Ar Raad: 28)

The Command for Salaah in sickness actually works to our advantage.
The first casualty in sickness is one’s peace of mind and serenity of heart.  Fear takes over and the usual precautions and concern for cleanliness are neglected. The heart suffers most. Restlessness and anxiety place an undue stress on the patient. 

As much as we need medicine and/or surgery when we are sick, we need equally a restoration of peace of mind and serenity of heart.  This can only be had through prayer. 

Salaah reinforces our faith in the Rah’math of Allah. We dispense with all unfounded fears and apprehension; and our morale is bolstered.

However slightly we move our limbs in Salaah, we reactivate our system.  We keep the engine running and we look forward to a speedy and complete recovery by the grace of Allah.  We remain calm, clean and confident.  By the grace of Allah we recover perfect health very soon.

For the handicapped Muslims, it is a blessing to perform Salaah. It is not true that they bemoan their fate or become despondent. They have as great an urge, as keen a motivation, as anyone, to achieve success and triumph.

They are allowed to clean themselves through Thayammum which can be performed even on a stone or a tray of sand. They can thereafter pray and make Duaa’yaen to Allah all the time and get their wishes fulfilled.

Salaah reassures them, as the Holy Qur’an does: La thaqnathu min’r rah’mathillah!  Never lose faith in the Rahmath ofAllah. We are also informed that that every kind of suffering endured by us, brings us sawaab,  rewards from Allah. 

This assurance from Allah brings inspiration and solace to the sufferer that he/she is marked by Allah for special favors.  Life becomes easier, the future looks much brighter and the promise more uplifting that the person is not disadvantaged but actually on course and is headed for paradise.  All praise to Allah!