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Al-Shafi, the Healer


Al Shafi

Translated from the book, “Because You are Allah” by Ali ibn Jabir Al-Feefi

Have pains exhausted you? Has illness made you see life in a darkened hue?

Do you hate returning to doctors? And are tired of walking in the hallways of hospitals, and the names of clinics, dates of visits and faces of sick people become blurry in your mind?

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Then how would you like me to cleanse your soul from its weight and fatigue?

It is the name of Allah, Al-Shafi (The Healer)! 

Allow for yourself, though exhausted, to catch your breath for a moment to read about this merciful name.  This name after which you experience its shade will understand how much you are in need of it, and how far you were from it! 

There is no illness after today

Al-Shafi is one of His names that we praise Him for.  We praise Him for naming Himself with this name, and that He described Himself with the description of healing although He alone is the one who heals the bodies of His servants.  

Illness in the life of a person is an event that happens recurringly, with varying pains, many forms, and is hardly avoided by anyone at any time.  We transition from one pain to the next; from headaches to fatigue, from fever to aches in our joints and bodies etc.  And even if a person is healthy in themselves, they see their brother in pain, or their mother in tears or their beloved ill.  

This life is a real of illness, pain, and sighs.  Due to that, Allah named Himself Al-Shafi, that your pains prostrate in the temple of His Mercy, and that your suffering reverses itself at the doorstep of His Ability.  

Allah decreed that the light of life in our bodies dims every once in a while through illness, that we acknowledge our weakness and that we have no strength and no power.  

Allah decreed illness so that a person remembers something similar to this illness, and that is death! Just as illness is the end of liveliness, death is the end of life! 

Your reality is death, and everything in you and around you resembles death.  Your sleep is death, your illness is death, your transitioning from one stage of life to another is death! For your youth is the death of your childhood, and your old age is the death of your youth, so much of you has died already, and hence you resemble death more than you resemble life.  We still however delude ourselves into thinking we are eternal and so illness screams at our bodies, informing them that they will come to an end! 

Because He is Al-Shafi

He heals you with a cause…
He heals you with the smallest cause…

He heals you with the most unique cause…
He heals you with something not considered a cause…

He heals you with no cause…

He heals with herbs, He heals with simple or compounded medicines, He heals with nutrition, He heals with water…

And from the most amazing things that I read was a child who was stricken with tuberculosis at a time when it meant certain death.  After doctors confirmed his bleak future they permitted his parents to take him back to the countryside where he would be able to live out what remained of his days in his natural environment.  While the boy was walking with cookies in his hand he met a man who with piercing eyes asked him, “My son, do you want to live?” The boy responded that he did to which the man said, “How can you live when you are eating food that is dead? Eat foods that have life, meat and vegetables and everything that God created naturally and still has the traces of dust and life on them! 

The child, Gayelord Hauser,  took that man’s advice and began to only eat natural foods only and with time was able to return to the doctors to find them shocked that he had been healed completely.  The child would tell his story throughout the United States and become one of the pioneers of the natural food movement.  

Yes, the doctors declared him to be terminally ill, but the King of Kings did not decree that!  The doctors expected for his life to end in the countryside but Allah did not intend that! 

You don’t know!

Who is the one who placed secrets of healing in plants and herbs and other things that can be accessed by the poorest people on earth? It is Allah, Al-Shafi

It may be that you are afflicted with disease, and you don’t know and you eat food that causes you an ailment while you are unaware, and you eat food that has your cure and you are still unaware, and so you become ill and healed while being unaware of both! 

Allah may place His healing in water, and we all know “the water of zamzam is for whatever you drink it for.” And the prophet said that it is nourishing healing food.  And how many an ill person had healed by continuously drinking this blessed water by the permission of Allah. 

And other than that Allah has placed healing in cow milk, the black seed, honey, the night prayer, charity, istighfar, tawbah, du’a and much more.  He also heals with nothing!

The Light Returns

In the hospital of Al-Malik Abdul Aziz in Tabuk  a man entered into the office of religious affairs with the traces of worry and panic evident on his face.  When we asked him what was wrong he stated that his son is on the top floor having been in an accident and is now blind! 

I remember the panic that I felt when I heard that, what then about the shock of the parent?

He said with hope, “I want one of you to come with me and recite ruqya on my son, asking Allah to heal him.” 

My friend got up immediately and went with him.  After an hour he returned and informed me that he had performed ruqya on him and then spoke with the father, advising him to be patient, and told him of the hadith, “heal your sick with charity” (Tabarani).  The father than extracted from his pocket five hundred riyal and said to him, “Give this in charity with the intention of healing my son.” 

After two days the man returned and requested my friend to accompany him.  My friend returned a short while after saying “la ilaha illa Allah!” I have good news, the boy can now see some of the light in the room!” He then told me that his father gave him one thousand riyals to give in charity.  After two more days my friend was taken by the boy’s father to his room again, and I did not believe when my friend told me that the boy could now see as well as before! 

Who is the one who returned his sight? Who is the one healed him? His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is.” (Yaseen v. 82) 

Glory be to the One who said to his sight, ‘return!” and it returned. 

Return to Him

He doesn’t want anything other than you returning to Him.  That you seek out the path that leads to Him. Return to Him with contentment. Return to Him with prostration.  Return to Him with repentance.  Return to Him seeking forgiveness.  Return to Him with charity.  Return to Him with confession. 

Knock on His door and then wait for healing.  

There is no hospital in the world that will heal you if Allah does not will it.  

There is no doctor in the world that can diagnose your illness, except if Allah wills that. 

A wealthy man travels with his family to Egypt for a kidney transplant.  His family had agreed with a young girl to give their father a kidney in return for one hundred thousand riyals.  In the morning all of them were in the hospital and the man desired to meet the girl who would be donating a kidney to save his life.  He asked her what caused her to to donate her kidney to an old man like him to which she stated, 

“I’m in need.  My family is poor and my siblings are in college, and I have to do something to help them!”

It was as if she slapped him! She awoke him from a deep sleep that made him forget his illness.  He asked himself, “Is it comprehensible that a person would give up a part of themselves just so that they can eat, just so that they can live! 

He immediately summoned his family and informed them that they would be returning back to Saudi Arabia because he had canceled his plans for the kidney transplant! He also informed them that the amount that was agreed on would be given as a charity to the girl, and that they not decrease it by a single riyal! 

And after resistance from his family, and anger from some of them they submitted to the will of their father.  After his return to Saudi Arabia and to his hospital for dialysis and to the doctors shock and surprise his kidney was now fully functional

Inscribe this verse in your heart

Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it” (Fatir v. 2) 

Underline this  

The father of the prophets, Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), taught every believer a lesson to not seek help from other than the Living, the one who does not die;

“And when I am sick, He is the One who heals me.” 

He alone and no one else. Underline this. You will not need other than Him if He wills to heal you, and no one will benefit you otherwise if He doesn’t. 

And Ayub 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), who is exhausted by years of illness that scattered his family and his wealth, and when the most optimistic of people has lost hope in him ever healing though he was patient and expectant of Allah’s reward.  His body is ravaged by disease and he at last with a head and heart that is turned towards his Lord says,

“I have been touched by harm, and You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.”

And the doors of the heavens are opened with mercy..

And the command descends from above the seventh heaven for this burdened soul…

In a moment the healing begins, and the years of toil are reversed..

Why would you seek other than Him?

It is as if through the illness Allah is reminding you, “return to me, just as I am the One who created you from nothing, I am the One who can remove this illness from your body.”


If you are pleased with Him He will please you. 

Illness is from the most severe tests of contentment and so if your responses to it are content then in sha Allah your results will be praiseworthy in sha Allah. 

Some may ask: how can I be content with illness when it comes with pain that is naturally hated? How can I be pleased with something that I hate?

Ibn Al-Qayyim responds to this by saying, “There is no contradiction in that, for the person is content from the aspect of journeying to what He loves, and hates it from the aspect of it being painful to them, like a bitter medicine that they know has healing for them, so there is the combination of being pleased with it, and hating it” 

Make this your constant companion, “I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my religion and Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as my prophet.” Make your heart pulse with contentment, make it taste its sweetness, and reflect on your body, and you will see the pulse of healing beat through it in sha Allah.  

Make your illness the beginning of a new covenant through which you will get to know your Lord through His Name, Al-Shafi. 

The destruction of sins

This isn’t the first time you’ve ever been sick.  You’ve been sick before right? Many times even.  Who is the One who healed you? Wasn’t it Allah? Why then feel like this sickness in particular is too much for Him? Feeling that way about the AlMighty is a disease of the heart, so dispel the disease that has taken root in your heart first, and then look to Al-Shafi to heal you.  

All of those ill in the hospitals are waiting for healing from Al-Shafi.  There is not a sigh that you exhale except that He hears it, no pain except that He is aware of it…

Build in your heart a hospital named ‘Prostration Place’, make an appointment with prostration and record the doctor’s name in your heart, “Al-Shafi” 

Oh Allah You are Al-Shafi, prescribe Your Healing on every burdened soul,  every battered body, and every exhausted heart.  

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ammar Al Shukry is the author of the Poetry Collection: "What the Pen Wrote." Ammar AlShukry is Content Director of FaithEssentials, a complete learning hub for the everyday Muslim. FaithEssentials can be found at

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