Friday, July 6, 2012

Spiritual Illnesses vs physical illnesses -Dr. Rafiq Ahmed

A human has two aspects to his life: physical and spiritual. The physical aspect is related to the body and the spiritual aspect is related to the soul.


Both aspects are vulnerable to illnesses. Just as the body can suffer from physical ailments such as cancer, TB, fever, headache, etc., the soul can also suffer from spiritual illnesses, such as riyā (ostentation), takabbur (pride and arrogance), hasad (jealousy), lack of sabr (patience), lack of shukr (gratitude), love for fame and wealth, etc. Both aspects are very important for us because just as physical health is important in order to ensure an enjoyable life, similarly, spiritual health is also vital to secure a peaceful mind and a heart full of contentment. In fact, spiritual health is far more important because the everlasting success in the Hereafter depends solely upon it. However, the concern shown towards the two is very different.


When we are afflicted with a physical illness, we will have great concern. However, when it comes to spiritual illnesses, no concern whatsoever is shown. Whereas, in reality, more concern should be shown for our spiritual health for the following reasons:


1. To treat a physical illness is sunnah; whereas, to treat a spiritual illness is necessary.


2. If a person bears a physical illness with patience it is a means of expiation for his sins; whereas, spiritual illnesses lead to good deeds being washed away.


3. The detrimental consequences of a physical illness will come to an end upon death; whereas, the evil result of a spiritual illness will begin upon death for eternity.


4. If a person dies with a physical illness, he will be granted shāhādah; whereas, spiritual illnesses will jeopardise the Hereafter altogether.


Despite this, we do not see the necessary and required concern. This is in stark contrast to physical illnesses, when we will not even tolerate a slight headache or cold without resorting to medication!


Now that we have understood the severity of spiritual illnesses, let us exert every effort to keep ourselves spiritually healthy.

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