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How Can I Cope With Having a Sick Child?

08 January, 2017
Q Salam Alaikum, I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter mashallah who is reaching 2 inshallah - she was born with a very rare and severe condition which affects 1 in 200,000. I have been told by specialist that she will not live longer than 5 years and develop problems, but once again as I said to them it's all medical predication and I have faith in Allah to ease any hardship. My main question is what hadiths and verses from the Quran mention about the reward of caring for your disabled child? I have heard that they are the key to being blessed with Jannah, but found no concrete proof. Lastly, are disabled children or children who die young also going to be the same as the souls of Jannah in terms of same age, be married, and etc.? Your detailed answer will be a reassurance to fall back on for some of the days that I feel emotional. Barakullah feek

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum Dear Sister,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

May Allah the All-Merciful bless you with strength of Iman and Sabr (faith and patience)!

We should consider every sad thing (or every happy event, for that matter) that happens to us to be a test from Allah Almighty; because there is Divine wisdom behind everything that happens to us, whether it is called misfortune or good fortune. 

Allah says in His book:

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{(He is) The One Who created death and life, so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is All-Mighty, the All-Forgiving.} (Al-Mulk, 67:2)

It is Allah who decides the small minority of babies who are born with deficiencies. But remember that passing away as a child guarantees them Paradise.

In Paradise, everyone is fully rewarded to their satisfaction and they will be as perfect as one can be. As for the parents, Allah will surely reward them; this hadith explains:

Once while I was with the Prophet and Saad, Ubai bin Kaab, and Muadh were also sitting with him; there came to him a messenger from one of his daughters, telling him that her child was on the verge of death. The Prophet told the messenger to tell her, “It is for Allah what He takes, and it is for Allah what He gives, and everything has its fixed time (limit). So (she should) be patient and look for Allah’s reward”. (Al-Bukhari)

When Allah deprives a person of a certain physical ability, or cause an illness, He, Almighty, will compensate him/her for it, by bestowing upon him/her some other gift in a greater measure. Or He will more than compensate him/her in the hereafter.

Most assuredly, He will reward us all in the hereafter for all the hardships, pains, and diseases we suffer, as promised by the Prophet (peace be upon him-PBUH), who said:

Indeed, amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease of living, he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him. (Muslim)

And Allah says: 

{Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient—those who, when afflicted with calamity say, “Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.” It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.} (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

As for disabled children, it is the duty not only of the parents or close relatives, but also of the whole society to provide (or at least facilitate) the utmost care for them.

For, according to the teachings of Islam, those persons are the channels of Divine Mercy and blessings that Allah showers on us. Indeed, they are the weak, for whose sake we are given sustenance and all kinds of capabilities. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

You are given sustenance and victory for the virtue of those who are weak amongst you. (Abu Dawud)

Hence, out of our own religious motive, and from a humanitarian point of view at large, we must do everything we can to protect and nurse the disabled and the diseased among us.

We qualify ourselves to deserve Allah Almighty’s immense blessings in the hereafter by our acts of virtue, which is evidenced in the words and deeds of kindness and solicitude we render to the weak among us, whether they are in our own family or not.

Allah the All-Wise commands us to show mercy to everything in this world. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. Show mercy to those on earth so that He Who is in the heavens (i.e. Allah) will bestow mercy on you. (Abu Dawud)

It is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said the following dua (supplication) when family members were sick:

Allahumma Rabban-nas, adh-hibil-ba’s, washfi, Antash-Shafee, la shifa’a, illa shifa’uk, shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman. (O Allah, Lord of mankind! Remove this disease and cure him/her. You are the Great Curer; there is no cure except the cure through You that leaves behind no disease.) (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (PBUH) has also instructed his ailing companions to:

Place your hand where you feel pain and say ‘Bismillah‘ three times, and then repeat seven times A’oudho bi’izzatil-lahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa ‘uhadhir. (I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that afflicts me and that which I apprehend.) (Muslim)

The efficacy of Surah Fatiha (the opening chapter) and the muawwithat (Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas) in curing illnesses is well known, as attested by the Prophet himself:

Whenever Allah’s Apostle became sick, he would recite Muawwidhat and then blow his breath over his body. When he became seriously ill, I used to recite (these two Suras) and rub his hands over his body hoping for its blessings. (Al-Bukhari)

Whatever the medical opinion is of the condition of your child, you should daily recite the ‘Ruqyah Shar-iyyah’, which consists of verses from the Quran and prayers taught by the Prophet (PBUH). 

InshaAllah, this, as well as other prayers and acts of virtue that you do, will help cure your child.

May Allah Almighty bring about a complete and perfect cure for the illness and infirmity of your daughter and make her the cooling of your eyes and a great blessing to all those who are associated with her in life!

I hope this helps answer your question.

Walaikum Asalam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Ruqyah: How and When?

What is Beautiful Patience?

What is Beautiful Patience? (Part 2)

Why Does Allah Allow Suffering And Evil in The World?

How To Be of The Patience