Seek out the Best Physician (Ibn-ul-Qayyim)

The Profession and Responsibilities of Anyone Who Carries Out Medical Treatment

Guidance for choosing the best physician

Maalik mentions in his Muwatta’, from Zayd ibn Aslam: A man, in the time of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu‘alaihiwasallam, was wounded, and the blood became congested. The man summoned two men from Banoo Anmaar, who examined him. He declared then that the Messenger of Allaah asked these two:

أيكما أطبّ ؟

“Which of you is the more skilled as a physician?”

To which they asked: ‘Is there then some value in medicine, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He replied:

أنزل الدواء الذي أنزل الأدواء

“The One Who sent down illness also sent down medicine.”[1]

This hadeeth shows that it is necessary, concerning every science and craft, to seek the help of the person most skilful in it; the most skilful person will be the one most likely to find the best solution. Thus the person seeking to obtain a legal pronouncement (fatwaa) has the obligation to seek assistance concerning what has been revealed about it from the most learned of all the learned people, for the most learned is closer to the correct answer than the less learned. Likewise, if anyone is not sure of the true direction of the qiblah, he will follow the most learned person he can find, for this is the way Allaah created His servants. Thus too, one who travels by land or sea will find tranquillity for his soul and confidence only in the most skilful and best informed of any two guides, and to this one he will betake himself and on him he will rely. In this the sharee‘ah, human nature and reason are all agreed.

The saying of the Prophet sallallaahu‘alaihiwasallam: “The One Who sent down illness sent down medicine”, is a phrase of his that occurs, in very similar forms in many hadeeth. These include the following: narrative of ‘Amr ibn Deenaar from Hilaal ibn Yasaaf, who said: The Messenger of Allaah arrived to visit a sick person, and he said:

“Send for a physician.”

Someone asked: ‘Do you indeed mean that, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He replied:

“Yes, for Allaah the Glorious One never sent down illness without sending down medicine for it.”[2]

And in the two books of Saheeh from hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah (marfoo‘):

“Allaah sent down no illness without sending down healing for it.”

We have already mentioned this hadeeth, and others.




[1] Kitaabul-`Ayn (12):Baab (5): Ta`aalujul-Mareed. The verifier Dr.Fu.aad `Abdul-Baaqee said: ‘ Mursal with all narrators (i.e. there is a break in the chain at the level of the Companion). However its witnesses are many, authentic, and confirmed – such as the hadeeth  of al-Bukhaaree [no.5678] from Aboo Hurairah: from the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه و سلم that he said: “Allaah has not sent down a disease except that He has sent down a cure for it”…; and the hadeeth of Muslim [no.2204] from Jaabir, marfoo`an: “For every disease there is a remedy. So if the remedy encounters the ailment, then he is cured, by the permission of Allaah- the Mighty and Majestic”.’

[2] Reported by Ibnus-Sunnee, and by Aboo Nu`aym in ‘atTibb’, and  it is ‘da`eef’, because of its being ‘mursal’, since Hilaal ibn Yasaaf was a Taabi’ee.


[From AtTibb-un-Nabawee by Ibn-ul-Qayyim, translated by P. Johnstone, pp101-106, with additional takhreej of the ahadeeth]

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