In Islam, there is a relation between human named Hablum Minannas. This relation should be nurtured for humans is undeniably a social creature who can’t live without supporting by each other. As a good example of Hablum Minannas is visiting the sick.
However, some etiquettes should be done and obeyed while visiting a patient so our relationship will become closer. Here are some of the etiquette while visiting the sick in Islam:
1. Pray for them
One of a prime manner while visiting a relative or a friend is to send them prayers (Du’a) for their recovery, so they can get well and return to their daily activities sooner.
Ibn Abdul Aziz narrated:
“Thabit and I once visited Anas Ibn Malik, then Thabit said; “O Abu Hamza, I am suffering from an illness.” Then Anas said; “Shall I treat you with the charm of The Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him?” Thabit said: “Yes.” Anas recited: “Allahuma rabbi-nas adhhabal ba’sa, ashfi wa entashafi, la shifa’ illa shifa’uka shifa’ la yughadiru saqama.” (Oh Allah! The sustainer of mankind! Remove the illness, heal the disease. You are the One Who heals. There is no healing except Your healing. Grant us a healing that leaves no illness.) (Hadith Al-Bukhari no 5301)
2. Proper clothing
Islam never forbid someone to visit their relatives or colleagues who is not their mahram. However, we should still pay attention to our aurat (proper clothes covering), whether we are someone who visits or is visited. Such as our Prophet has manifested:
Umm al-Ala narrated:
“The Prophet visited me while I was sick. He said: “Be glad, Umm al-Ala for Allah removes the sins of a Muslim for his illness as fire removes the dross of gold and silver. [Abu Dawud, 2688)
3. Reassuring them
While visiting the sick, t is a given we should show support for them. By reassuring them and lifting their spirit to think positively, to pray and believe they will get better soon.
Ibn Abbas once narrated: The prophet and I once visited a sick Bedouin, Ibn Abbas continued: And whenever he visited a sick person, he would tell him: “It’s okay, not to worry.” Ibn Abbas said; and then I asked; “Not to worry?! Never, rather if it is a raging fever suffered by an old man that will send him to the grave.” The Prophet said: “If it is what you think, then so be it.” (Hadeeth Al-Bukhari, 5224)
4. Showing empathy
While visiting the sick, remember to show that we do care for them. Ask them about the development and process of their medication, perhaps, any other things to show that we do understand and care for them.
Sinni narrated, The Prophet:
تَمَامِ الْعِيَادَةِ أَنْ تَضَعَ يَدَكَ عَلَى الْمَرِيْضِ، فَتَقُوْلُ: كَيْفَ أَصْبَحْتَ؟ أَوْ كَيْفَ أَمْسَيْتَ؟
Amongst all the virtues of visitation is you put one of your hand on the patient’s body and ask them: “How are you doing this morning? Or how are you doing today?”
5. Listen to their wishes
The Prophet (ﷺ) has manifested this act once. In the book of Sunan Ibn Majah narrated that The Prophet once visited a man and he asked him, “Do you desire something? Do you want bread?” and the man answered “Yes.” The prophet then brought bread for him.
6. Give them hope
Some people tend to lose hope easier while they are suffering from an illness and wish for death to come sooner. However, it is advised for us to inspire them to never lose hope, or worse wishing for death. Such as how The Prophet has manifested while visiting his uncle,
“O, Uncle! Do not wish for death. If you do good and your life has prolonged, your good deeds will multiply after your former good deeds, then that is better for you. If you are not good and your death is delayed, you may seek Allah’s forgiveness. That is better for you. So do not wish for death.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Al Hakim)
7. Give them advice
While visiting, it is a given to hear the worries of the sick. However, we should remind them that the pain they are feeling now is a form of purification for their sins in the past.
“We are Allah’s and only to Him, we shall return. O Allah, recompense us for this calamity that befall us for the better.” (Hadith Muslim)
8. Bring them gifts
Not only for a simple visit, we should bring them gifts to lift their spirit and to ease their worrying heart. As for how The Prophet said wherever we are, we should remember to give to tighten the bond of between us.
Abu Hurairah narrated:
Giving gifts to each other is a declaration of your love for each other.” (Hadith Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrod, 594.)
Those were the 8 etiquettes while visiting the sick in Islam and its verses, visiting a sick relative is not only helping us to maintain and tighten our bond but also developing our sympathy and empathy towards each other. Wishing to all of us to be able to manifest these into our lives. Aamiin.