Virtues of Charity

In 1408, the newspaper Al-Muslimun (issue number 181 dated Dhul-Hijjah 8, 1408) related the following story. It is a real life story whose hero is a Syrian doctor who was afflicted with cancer and who remedied it with charity.

Doctor ‘Isa Marzuqi related that he was afflicted with cancer, a fact that is attested by the most eminent of doctors in Damascus; the amazing thing is that he was cured through charity.

After many of his colleagues lost hope of his cure, Doctor ‘Isa returned to the hospital he worked for to assume his duties. Doctor ‘Isa was due to get married and the woman he wanted to marry refused to break off the marriage because of the sickness, and instead decided to wait patiently until he dies. However he didn't die and he was cured.

Doctor ‘Isa provided authenticated certificates from many eminent doctors that he had cancer in his left armpit, they also attested to the fact that later on, no traces of that cancer remained. In fact, the first doctor who diagnosed him said that at first, he expected him to die only after a few days. Doctor ‘Isa later said that he applied the words of Allah's Messenger (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) "Remedy your sick ones with charity." With that statement he still had hope, and so when he found out about a house whose breadwinner had died many years before, he decided to give them all the wealth he had, even though it was only a small amount. He sent the money to the poor family through a friend of his, asking him to tell them that the money was from a man afflicted with a death threatening sickness and that he was seeking a cure by giving charity, hoping for help from Allah.

The story ended with his cure, which perplexed many of the most skilled doctors in Syria. He later said that he chose that cure because he wanted to follow the way of Allah's Messenger (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). Doctor ‘Isa also said, however, that he did not leave treatment through normal medical methods, he believed in the Qadr of Allah (Divine Preordainment) but that belief does not mean that one should turn away from doctors, nor does it mean that one should not take the appropriate, tangible steps that are needed to achieve a desired goal.


This story reminds us of a very important principle that Muslims in modern times have forgotten about, and that is the narration mentioned in the story about charity curing sickness. In recent times you will find Muslims attempting going through every treatment possible to cure themselves of ailments, a lot even delving into forbidden methods such as amulets, instead of following the sunnah of giving charity. This does not mean we forsake normal medical treatment, rather we should find a balance of both.