Manage episode 312952111 series 3226945
"For You, Illness is Good Health": Said Nursi’s Advice in Time of Illness"
In a recent survey held in Europe, respondents showed a decreasing interest in “religion” but, surprisingly, a corresponding increasing interest in “spirituality.” Although this would appear to be an inconsistency, I believe that there is an explanation. However, through his spirituality, the believer is rooted in the Divine message and nourished by faithful practice and as a result has access to additional resources of God’s guidance and grace which can strengthen him to face the critical moment.
Illness and spirituality
One moment of crisis that afflicts everyone at some point in their lives, and afflicts most people more than once, and some for lengthy periods, is physical illness. Even those fortunate few who manage to pass a whole lifetime in unbroken good health must still face the multiple crises which arise from illness as they accompany and care for spouses, parents, children, friends, and relatives who have been struck with poor health. A person’s approach to this most common of human crises tells much about that person’s spirituality.
“Message for the Sick,” Nursi coins a startling paradox. “For you,” he tells the readers of the Risale-i Nur, “illness is good health, while for some of your peers good health is a sickness.”
First of all, it should be noted that Said Nursi is more concerned about what he calls “spiritual sickness” or “sickness of the spirit” than about physical illness; he is more interested in the causes of social ills than individual complaints.
He regards the identification of the weaknesses and incapacities of modern culture as one of the principal tasks of the community of his disciples, along with the presentation of Qur’anic teaching as a healing message for this world.
The sickness of the heart that Nursi sees as afflicting modern men and women is one caused by a lack of faith. It is the sense of ennui, a feeling of being without direction or hope, the incapacity to love and a conviction of the absurdity of life that afflicts those whose life is not informed by faith. Positivist materialism, belief in nothing beyond what one can see and touch, is thus a common spiritual sickness of our time.
Praying for health and illness
In one of his prayers included in the Risale-i Nur, Nursi makes such an appeal: “Forgive me my sins, O God, bear with me, and heal my ills ... Pardon all my sins, and grant me health from all sicknesses, and be pleased with me for all eternity!”
On the other hand, good health is not an absolute good. The believer can also find himself asking God to grant ills and their remedies, if that be God’s will.
“O God! Grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the family of Muhammad, to the number of ills and their remedies; bless him and them, and grant them unending peace.” ...
He goes on to note that the prayer inspires him to see the world as a huge hospital, full of sick people, who come before God as the compassionate Healer who answers the needs of all. His spirituality leads him to understand that since both health and illness come from God, true faith consists of accepting willingly and patiently whatever God sends and placing one’s trust in God who is the healer of bodies and souls.
In this program, we read twenty-five remedies which may offer true consolation and a beneficial cure for the sick and those struck by disaster, who form one tenth of mankind with the Arabic (Tahmidiye -with 6 ism-i Azam and a verse from the Qur'an ) prayers and Best Spiritual Songs