Words of the Week X

The health of the heart/soul in Hadiths


Imam Baqir (a) said: “There is no knowledge like seeking health, but there is no health like the health of the soul/the heart.” (Tuhaf-ul-Uqul 286)

In Islam, medicine is very much encouraged, because it helps us gain good health. However the health of the soul is much more important than health of the body. Therefore  we need to have two types of doctors: doctors who help us to maintain health in our body and doctors who help us to maintain health in our soul.

Prophet Muhammad (s) himself was a doctor of the soul who went around offering help. In Nahj-al-Balaghah, Sermon 108, Imam Ali (a) says:

“The Prophet (s) was like a roaming physican who has readied his ointments and heated his instruments, using them wherever needed for curing hearts blind and ears deaf to the truth and tongues which were not able to speak the truth. He (s) went around with his equipment and medicine to the places of negligence and perplexity.”

With physical illness there are some types of problems which make us go to the doctor but, unfortunately, with spiritual illness there is either no pain at all or there is pain which is not physical in nature but rather is psychological, mental and spiritual. We do not understand that this pain is coming from a problem of the heart. We think it is caused by other people and so on and so we search for the solution in the wrong place.

Thus the spiritual doctor is responsible for going and offering help. They must travel around offering spiritual help.