There are many more aspects to health than simply being ill or suffering from a disease.

What is health? When we talk about the human organism existing in a state of health, we must first of all understand several interrelated questions.

What is a human being? How did it come into existence? How is it sustained in existence? And what is the purpose of human life? Without understanding the answers to these questions (or at least the questions themselves), we can never have a full and satisfactory knowledge of the real type of health we should be seeking.  For without any criteria for what constitutes the proper functioning of a human being, how can we say that it even matters whether we are ill or well?  Just because something feels 'good' does not necessarily mean it is of ultimate benefit to us.  And conversely, simply because at the moment we seem to have pain, we cannot dismiss this experience as ' bad,' unless we understand how and what the result of these momentary sensations will be.

Thus, we ought not necessarily consider illness our enemy; rather, we may see it as an event, a mechanism of the body, that is serving to cleanse purify, and balance us on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual planes. Considered from this perspective, a bout of flu, a cold, diarrhoea, even some kinds of agonising pain are friends, enabling our bodies to purge unwanted and potentially harmful toxic by-products of metabolism.  To endeavour to halt or impede the various eliminative functions of the body is to interfere with natural working of the human being.  Behind every natural action of the human body is an inherent wisdom, a mechanism that allows the body to heal itself.  In fact, no herb, food, or any other substance or procedure can do anything on its own to heal; it con only aid and assist the body in its own self-healing role.

Shaykh Hakim Moinuddin Chishti: 1991:The Book of Sufi Healing: Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont

Published Date: 07 Oct 2014