In the previous article, we established that medicinal treatment is not obligatory (waajib). In this article we will document the view that it is permissible (mubaah). As we mentioned previously, some scholars hold it to be permissible and others hold it to be desirable (mustahabb) and this difference occurs amongst past and contemporary scholars. We will be documenting the view that it is desirable (mustahabb) in the next part in this series.
These are some questions answered by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan representing this view.
A fatwa titled, "The relationship between true reliance (upon Allaah) and not going to the doctors":
Question: O esteemed Shaykh, may Allaah grant you success, some elderly men and women when they become ill do not agree to go to the doctors, so what is your opinion regarding this - is this from complete reliance (upon Allaah) and does the hadeeth, "those who do not use cauterization, but rely upon their Lord" apply to them?
Answer: Yes. Going to the doctors is permissible (mubaah), so when a believer abandons this, then he has abandoned a matter that is permissible, it is not obligatory (waajib). Medical treatment is not obligatory. In fact, it is not recommended (mustahabb) either in the view of the Hanbalees, rather, it is permissible (mubaah). He can take it or he can leave it. And when he leaves it, relying upon Allaah and expecting reward, then this indicates strength of faith (eemaan).
[in the background someone asking about recitation, qiraa'ah as treatment - referring to ruqyah]
Shaykh: ... You can recite, he wishes for recitation, then recite. Allaah is near and responds. When he is true in faith and in reliance, then recitation is the most beneficial treatment.
Question: May Allaah be benevolent to you, he says, "Is the one who abandons medicinal treatment sinful?"
Answer: medicinal treatment is permissible (mubaah), and the mubaah is that which contains neither reward (for doing it) nor punishment (for abandoning it). The one who abandons it is not punished, and the one does it is not rewarded. Rather it is equal in both regards. Treatment is permissible, a person can benefit, it is permissible, and if he abandons it, he is not sinful.
And a fatwa titled, "Reconciling between the hadeeth of the seventy-thousand who enter Paradise without reckoning and punishment, and the command to use medicinal treatment":
Question: How [do we] reconcile between the hadeeth of the seventy-thousand who will enter Paradise without reckoning and punishment, and the hadeeth, "O people, use medicinal treatment, but do not use medicinal treatment through that which is unlawful?
Answer: medicinal treatment (ad-dawaa) is permissible (mubaah), medicinal treatment is permissible (mubaah). However, abandoning it from the angle of reliance upon Allaah, this is better. Abandoning it from the angle of reliance upon Allaah, this is better. Medicinal treatment is [one of the] means (sabab) and reliance upon Allaah is the greatest of means (asbaab). So when he abandons one of the means for another means that is superior to it, this is good. So this one abandoned the medicinal treatment, which is permissible, it is a permissible means, for a means that is stronger and more excellent than it, which is reliance upon Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted... so there is no contradiction between the two hadeeths, because this person abandoned a permissible means for a means that is stronger and more beneficial, which is reliance upon Allaah the Sublime and Exalted.
The view of those who hold medicinal treatment to be merely permissible (mubaah) includes the understanding that reliance upon Allaah (at-tawakkul) is an independent sabab (means) that is more superior to the other means (asbaab), and thus can be resorted to alone. Further, as any specific medicinal treatment does not necessarily guarantee a cure or healing, reliance upon Allaah is said to be a much stronger and more excellent means.
In the next article we will look at the view that medicinal treatment is desirable (mustahabb).