April 01, 2006

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Khutbah from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)
31 March 2006 / 1 Rabiulawal 1427


Blessed Friday congregation,

Come; let us be better human beings in this world. Make this day better than yesterday and prepare for tomorrow so that it will be better than today. We do not know when Allah (swt) will call us to return to him. Hence, remain conscious of Allah (swt) till the end of our lives.

Nowadays we often hear about the outbreak of a very dangerous disease. This virus has spread widely to a number of countries. This virus continues to spread and can cause death if it is not treated. This virus is known as Avian Flu or Bird Flu.

As Muslims, we perceive this virus as a test from Allah (swt) on our faith and patience. Allah (swt) says in the holy book, Al-Qur'an,

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and foods, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient ones). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: 'Truly! To Allah (swt) we belong and truly, to him we shall return.'”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:155-6)

In facing this test, it does not mean that we leave everything to Allah (swt) or fate. According to the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (saw), first we have to make an effort and then leave the outcome to Allah (swt) (tawakkal).

This concept was taught by our Prophet, when a man asked him whether to tie his camel to a pole or just to leave the camel and hope it wouldn’t stray away. The Prophet (saw) replied briefly:

“Tie it first, then leave it to Allah (swt) to take care of it (tawakkal).”
(Narrated by Imam Tarmizi.)


Blessed Friday congregation,

Have you ever heard a saying that there’s a medicine/cure for all diseases? Yes, the Prophet (saw) actually once said:

“Allah (swt) never sends down a disease to mankind without sending down a cure for it."
(Narrated by Imam Bukhari.)

From this hadith, we can understand that for every sickness there is a cure for it. We should believe in this, but in actual fact that there are still some diseases with no cure. Does this fact have any contradiction with the hadith?

What we can understand from this hadith is that it is possible the cure has not been found yet. We can also understand that this hadith encourages mankind to take prevention from diseases, meaning that prevention is a type of cure.

Hence, prevention is better than cure. Prevention is the form of effective antidote for several diseases. An example is that by taking care of our eating habits (diet), reducing the sugar and salt intakes, one can be protected against high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.

One who does not take the necessary steps of prevention, he or she is exposing himself or herself to danger and the destructive curse. As the Prophet (saw) had explained:

“A believer should not humiliate himself. A companion asked, 'How can one humiliate himself?' The Prophet (saw) replied, 'By exposing oneself to the curse that is beyond one’s capacity to cope with.'"

Therefore, before the danger comes to us, we must take precautions to safeguard the public and ourselves.

What are the necessary precautions that one can take to guard against the outbreak of Bird/Avian Flu?

The first step is cleanliness. Cleanliness is part of our Iman.

Because of this, a Muslim does not only clean the soul but also the physical self. This is shown in our daily prayers, we are asked to take ablution 5 times a day. It is also sunnah to wash the hands up to the wrist whenever ablution is taken. We are also encouraged in taking care of our cleanliness by being careful about what we eat. We should eat food that is halal and tayyib (nutritious). We are also encouraged to take care of our environment.

Therefore, taking care of our hygiene is the first important step to protect oneself from the Avian/Bird Flu.

The second step is to protect our health. It is our duty to take good care of our body. As the Prophet Muhammad (saw) had explained,

“Definitely your body have the rights over you.”
(Narrated by Imam Tarmizi.)

To take care of our body, we have to do good things that will ensure good health. An example is to exercise at least 3 times a week. We ought to have a balanced diet. We should not destroy our health by smoking or consuming things that are haraam, such as drugs or alcohol.

The last step, which is very important, is by strengthening our faith and our iman.

As Muslims, having faith in Allah (swt), we believe that all that is good and bad comes from Allah (swt), and that it is we who have to ask Allah (swt) to protect us, our family and the public from the outbreak of Avian/Bird Flu. We should seek help from Allah (swt) that this outbreak of disease should go away from us.

Dua is a weapon for a believer. Have faith in our dua, and seek help from Allah (swt). Remember, the Prophet (saw) once said:

Dua can protect against the test that had been sent down and also those which have not been sent down. When the test was being sent down, the test and dua will clash against each other until the Day of Judgement.”
(Narrated by Hakim.)


My beloved brothers,

Muslims are the ones who are always aware of what happens around them. With the attribute of the blessing and showering of love to each and every creation of Allah (swt), we can play a role in preventing this outbreak.

We as Muslims should play a major role in preventing this outbreak.

All good things should begin from us Muslims by holding strongly to the religion of Allah (swt) – Islam. With the help of Allah (swt), we will be able to be the role model and bring blessings to mankind.


Glossary:
As-Sabirun: The patient ones, those who are patient.
Dua: Personal prayer, supplication.
Halal: Lawful, permitted. For more information, see Wiki: Halal - Dietary Usage and Wiki: Islamic Dietary Laws for more information.
Haraam: Forbidden; the antonym or opposite of Halal.
Iman: Faith in Allah (swt).
Rasulullah: The Prophet of God; i.e., Muhammad (saw).
(saw): These letters are abbreviations for the words "Salla Allahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam," which means, "may the blessing and the peace of Allah be upon him." When the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, a Muslim is to respect him and invoke this statement of peace upon him.
Sunnah: In this context, sunnah means a recommended practice, something that should be done but is not obligatory.
(swt): These letters are abbreviations for the words of "Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." When the name of Almighty Allah is pronounced, a Muslim is to show his respect to Him by reciting this. The meaning of this statement is that Allah is purified of having partners or a son.
Tawakkal: "To leave everything up to." For example, "tawakkal alallah," which means to leave everything up to Allah (swt).
Tayyab: Nutritious.

2 comments:

apples4me said...

Just dropping by and Alhamdulillah, thank you for sharing!

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DrMaxtor said...

Excellent post.