When Your Child Gets Sick

when-children-get-sick.jpg

My kids are all sick, and that's no fun for a mommy! I guess it could get worse if I get sick too, but I'm not going to worry about that, even as I feel the scratchiness start in my throat.

I used to feel helpless when I didn’t know how to deal with the tough trial of my kids being sick. In the past, I would put my trust in doctors and medication. I felt that I did not know how to handle sickness with sabr, and when my children were young, I felt that I couldn’t take a chance with their well-being one bit.

I soon came to realize that my pediatrician was not much help for my kids' minor illnesses, because she seemed to write out prescriptions for 'every little thing' and 'just in case'. I do not know if she did this more for my peace of mind or my child's condition! When my pediatrician started prescribing more and more antibiotics for my kids’ mere colds, flu, and ear infections, I thank God that I’d read enough to know that this was not okay!

I decided that the next time my kids got sick, I’d put my trust in good medication from my own research. I would make sure I was stocked up on the latest and most effective pain and fever reducer, cough mixture, cold and flu syrup etc. etc. Our medicine cabinet was armed and ready for any sickly kid who came my way!

Soon I realized that these medications were only helping my kids to find temporary relief and wasn’t really curing them, but suppressing their symptoms for a while. Somehow, it also seemed that my kids' illness lasted a lot longer as I kept giving them one medicine after another - but don't take my word for it, like I said, this was from my experience.

When I realized what was happening from taking these medications, I made a pledge to use it up and once done, I would not buy it anymore. Instead, I was going to find herbal and homemade alternatives to help my kids get better when they got sick. I asked many of my friends and family for their best remedies, and started trying each recipe as needed. I also read about more remedies online and from books about alternative ways to cure my kids' ailments - again I was armed and ready!

I was pleased with many of the natural remedies as it was definitely the best method so far. However it was more tedious for me to make and the relief of my children's symptoms were not immediate but more long-term. However, my kids’ sickness did seem to last over a shorter span of time and helped them build a stronger immunity which prevented them from getting sick so often. Even so, I still felt as if something was missing!

Alhumdulillah, my revelation came when a few of my kids were sick one day. There I was preparing and trying some new herbal remedy that would "cure" them of their nasties and find a "solution" to my kids' discomfort (notice how the words cure and solution in quotes right?). Well, along comes my husband who notices my frantic research and our kids' uncomfortable state of being, and he simply asks us,

"Have any of you made dua for ease from your sickness? Have you asked Allah SWT to cure you?"

I stopped dead in my tracks and my heart skipped a beat as realization dawned on me. What was I doing??? I was struck by how arrogant I was behaving as a mom! Who was I to think that I was the one to find a "cure" for my children's illness. Astaghfirullah I had forgotten the Best of Healers - Allah the Most High!

As believers, we shouldn't place our trust alone in the remedy or medicine thinking it will cure us, because only Allah SWT is the One who Cures. If He Wills, we are cured, and if He Wills we are not cured. If we do not believe that only Allah gives the cure, we can fall into shirk (associating partners with Him) by misplacing our trust in medicine and doctors. After the realization of the One who Cures, then we can turn to doctors, medicine, and remedies, knowing they can help us by the Will of Allah. Allah SWT says: 

"And When Allah wills that you are inflicted with harm there is no one to remove it but Him". (Sura al-An’aam: 17).

The Prophet (SAW) would say: 

"And cure us for You are the Curer, there is no cure but Your cure". (Bukhari and Muslim).

It is important that we realize that there is a balance of making dua, using physicians, taking remedies and having trust in Allah SWT. Every illness has a cure but it is up to us to research and find the cure. Taking proper care of our health is considered by the Prophet (SAW) to be the right of the body. Aishah (RA) narrates that whenever Allah's Apostle paid a visit to a patient, or a patient was brought to him, he used to invoke Allah by saying,

"Take away the disease, O the Lord of the people! Cure him as You are the One Who cures there is no cure but Yours, a cure that leaves no disease." (Bukhari 5.579)

Alhumdulilah, I understand so much better what I need to do when sickness strikes my family. My method is first to make dua to Allah asking Him for a cure, then turning to my remedies or a doctor when necessary. It has given me a sense of relief and more sabr knowing this now, and a deeper understanding of Allah's infinite Mercy and Guidance. InshAllah, I hope my story will help you too.