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Seeking Cure from Allaah Through The Giving of Sadaqah (Charity)

Abu Umamah narrated that Messenger of Allaah said:

"And treat your sick by giving Sadaqah (charity)."

[Al-Bayhaqi, 3/282; Abi Da'wud in 'Kitab al-Marasil', 210 and others - classed as hasan by al-Albani in 'Saheeh al-Jaami, 3358 and hasan li-ghayrihi in Saheeh at-Targheeb, 744, graded as ghareeb by Abu Nuaym in Hilyah, 2/123; mursal by Muhammad al-Ghazzi in Itqan ma Yahsan, 1/230]

Despite the isnad of this hadeeth being declared very weak by the majority of the muhaditheen, the meaning is correct and corroborated from other narrations. It is also reflected in the understanding and practise of the Salaf. 1. Ubadah bin Saamit narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allaah say:

There is no person who is afflicted with a wound on his body, and he gives charity due to that, then Allaah expiates from him the like of what he gave in charity. [Musnad Ahmad 5/316 & 329 - classed as saheeh by alMundhiri, Suyooti, al-Haythami; and Ahmad Shakir in umdah al-Tafseer, 1/688 and al-Albani in 'Silsilah as-Saheehah, 2273]

2. Hudayfah bin Yaman

narrated that the Prophet


"A fitnah that a man faces in regard to his family and wealth and his son (i.e. children) and his neighbour is expiated by prayer and fasting and sadaqah and enjoining good and forbidding evil." [Saheeh al-Bukhari, 502
and others]

3. Hatim ibn al-Jarrah said he heard Ali bin al-Hussayn ibn Shaqeeq who heard Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak questioned by a man about a sore knee he was suffering from for seven years. He tried various treatments and had asked doctors but to no avail; so Ibn al-Mubarak said to him:

"Go and dig a well in a place where people need water, I hope that water will spring up there and by that you stop bleeding. The man did that and Allaah cured him." [Siyar A'laam an-Nabula', 8/407]

4. Al-Bayhaqi quoted a story of his Shaykh al-Haakim Abu Abdullaah


"He was afflicted with ulcers on his face, and he had tried a number of treatments but they did not go away, and it remained like that for nearly a year. He then asked the teacher, Imam Abu Uthmaan as-Sabooni to make Dua for him in one of his gatherings on Friday, so he made Dua and many of the people with him said Ameen.

When it came to the next Friday, a woman came to the gathering and left a brief message saying that she had gone back home and exerted herself in making Dua for al-Haakim Abu Abdullaah that night, and that in her sleep and it was as if he was saying to her: tell she had seen the Messenger of Allaah Abu Abdullaah to distribute water amongst the Muslims. I came with that message to al-Haakim, and he ordered that a watering place be built at the door of his home, when they had finished building it, he ordered for water to be poured into it and ice placed into that water, and then the people began drinking from that water. Not a week had passed by, except that it was obvious that his health had been restored, and the ulcers had ceased. His face had become better than it was before, and he lived like that for a number of years." [Saheeh Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 964 - graded as saheeh Maqtu']

5. Abu Tahir as-Silafi said in 'Muajam as-Safr':

: (

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"I heard Abu Hasan Ali bin Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ali the scribe of al-Minzi in Damascus saying: I heard Abu Bakr al-Khabazi (d. 449A.H.) in Nisaboor saying: I became sick with a very dangerous illness, and a righteous neighbour of mine saw me and said: Utilise the saying of the Messenger of Allaah : Treat your sick by giving Sadaqah (charity). It was summer time, and I bought many watermelons, and a group of poor people and children got together and ate them, then they raised their hands to Allaah Azza wa Jal and they made Dua for me to be cured. I swear by Allaah I had not reached the morning except that I regained complete health from Allaah -Tabaraka wa Taala." [Siyar A'laam an-Nabula', 18/44]

6. Al-Barzali said in his Fatawa, 5/612: "Ibn Rushd was asked about the saying of the Messenger of Allaah : Treat your sick by giving Sadaqah (charity). Is it authentic or not? And what does it mean? And if a person becomes sick and treats his illness with all types of medicines and they did not benefit him, then what is the way of giving Sadaqah as a medicine? He answered:

"I do not remember this text (narration) in any of the authentic collections of narrations, however, if it is authentic, then the meaning is an encouragement to visit the sick, because it is from the obligatory rights from the Sunnah that it is upon a Muslim that he visit a Muslim if he becomes sick. As for the saying The Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he encourages him to say the shahadah at the time of death, and he visits him when he is sick, and advises him when he is absent or if he has to testify. As for visiting him then this is a good deed, and every good deed is Sadaqah, since it has a connection with the sick person and visiting him brings happiness to him, and just like making Dua. There is no doubt that there is hope that the Dua will be answered and he will be cured. Therefore, it does benefit him as a type of medicine, due to the saying of the Messenger : He who sent down the illness also sent down the treatment. Al-Barzali said: some of our shuyookh from al-Qayrawan understood this to have an evident meaning, namely that if a person gives Sadaqah on behalf of the sick, and that he requests the person whom he gave Sadaqah to, to make Dua for the sick then it is hoped that he will be cured, due to the saying of the Messenger : The supplication of one of you for his brother in his absence is answered. And Allah knows best and Tawfeeq is from Him."

7. Many from the salaf saw the giving of charity as a means for their expiation, even if they were unjust. Ibraheem an-Nakha'i said:

"It is seen that (the giving of) sadaqah pays for (and repels) the oppression of men." [Shu'ab al-Iman, 3/283]

8. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah


"Indeed Sadaqah has a great effect in repelling different types of trials and tribulations, even if the charity was given by an evil person or an oppressive person, even (if it was given) by a non-Muslim! Indeed Allaah, The Most High, repels different types of trials and tribulations due to giving Sadaqah. This is a matter which is well-known to the scholars and the general folk and the people on the earth can relate to it as they have experienced it." [Al-Wabil as-Sayyib, 1/49]

9. Allaah Says in Al-Qur'an:

"Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds" [Hud: 114]

As part of a lengthy Hadeeth, the Prophet


"And sadaqah extinguishes (minor) sins as water extinguishes fire..." [At-Tirmidhi, 2616 classed saheeh]

In relation to seeking healing through charity, we also understand that the evil deeds and the sins, which are removed by sadaqah can also impact positively on one's health due to their removal. Ibn al-Qayyim said in his 'Ad-Daa' wad-Dawaa': "It is essential to know that sins and acts of disobedience are very harmful (and) their harmful effect upon the heart is akin to the harmful effects of poison upon the body - though the effects vary in their levels and intensities. Thus, is there any evil or harm in this world or in the Hereafter, except that it is due to sins and disobedience? 10. He also said: "There are types of medicines which can treat illnesses which the minds of the senior doctors cannot comprehend, and that which their sciences, experiences and measurements cannot reach. These are the medicines of the heart and soul, and the strength of the heart, its dependence upon Allaah and trust upon Him and seeking refuge in Him. Prostrating and feeling in dire need of Allaah and humbling oneself for Allaah. Likewise giving sadaqah (charity), making Dua, repentance and seeking forgiveness, being good to the creation, aiding the distressed and liberating them from grief and unhappiness... We have indeed experienced these matters a great deal and as others have, and we have seen what ordinary medicine can and cannot do." [Zaad al-Ma'ad, 4/11]

Adapted and revised from the compilation and translation of Abbas Abu Yahya

May Allaah make us amongst those who give regular charity, even if it is a small amount.