Prayers and Healing

We, the physicians, have now come to accept a fact known to our patients for centuries: that healing is from God, and we are just an instrument of the Healer.

We give the same medication to two different patients with the same type of medical problem or perform similar operations on two patients otherwise at the same risk and one will survive and the other one doesn’t. It is more than simple luck.

As Socrates put it, “I dress the wound and God heals it.”? This was also acknowledged by Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) as he was quoted in the Qur’an saying: “…and when I am ill, it is He who cures me” (Qur’an 26:80). God Himself attests to it by saying “If God touches thee with an affliction, no one can remove it but He” (Qur’an 6:17).

Prayers and Healing

Healing from the Qur’an

The Qur’an is not a textbook of medicine, rather it contains rules of guidance that if followed will promote good health and healing. This is why the Qur’an calls itself a book of healing.

“O mankind, there has come unto you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the heart and for those who believe in guidance and mercy” (Qur’an 10:57).

“We have sent down in the Qur’an that which is healing and a mercy to those who believe” (Qur’an 17:82)

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Healing from the Qur’an is of Three Types:

a. Legislative effect: This includes faith (iman) in God as not only the Creator but the Sustainer and the Protector. This also includes the medical benefits of obligatory prayers, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage.

b. Health Guidelines: Health-promoting items from the Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) including the use of honey, olives, fruit, lean meat, avoiding excessive eating, and the prohibition of alcohol, pork, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and sex during menstruation.

c. The direct healing effect of the Qur’an: Recitation of the Qur’an by the ill or for the ill (ruqya) has shown to have a direct healing effect. This most likely uses the medical benefits of echo.

The echo of sound is such a powerful force that it has been used to blast off mountains. Now the miniaturized version of echo is used in medicine to break kidney stones (lithotripsy), gallstones, and even vegetations in the subendothelial bacterial endocarditis (SBE). Listening to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an has been shown in a study conducted by Dr. Ahmed E. Kadi and his associates to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and to cause smooth muscle relaxation in Muslim Arabs, non-Arab Muslims and even in non-Muslims.? It is postulated that the echo target of? Alif Lam Meem? (the first three words of Surat Al-Baqarah-the 2nd chapter of the Qur’an) is in the heart and that of Ya-seen (chapter 36) is in the pituitary gland of the brain. Thus the Prophet Mohammad always stressed reading the Qur’an (Qur’an-recitation) loudly and not silently by saying, “The comparison between a silent reader and a recitor is like a bottle of perfume when it is closed and when it is opened.”

To Be Continued

This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date, and highlighted now for its importance

About Shahid Athar
Shahid Athar, M.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Athar is also the Chairman of the Islamic Medical Association of North American and a member of the Islamic Academy of Sciences (IAS).