Compiled by Marlene Macke, St Marys, ON, Canada
The Name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. – Baha’u’llah
Health and healing are universal elements of all religions
Zoroastrianism: Love endows the sick body of man with firmness and health.
Hinduism: Enricher, Healer of disease, be a good friend to us.
Buddhism: To keep the body in good health is a duty – otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
Judaism: O Lord, my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me.
Christianity: The prayer of faith shall heal the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.
Islam: The Lord of the worlds created me – and when I am sick, He heals me.
Sikism: God is Creator of all, the remover of sickness, the giver of health.
Baha’i: All true healing comes from God. (Paris Talks, p. 19)
Ill health an unavoidable condition
Although ill health is one of the unavoidable conditions of man, truly it is hard to bear. The bounty of good health is the greatest of all gifts. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 151
The Physical Cause of Disease
The outer, physical causal factor in disease … is a disturbance to the balance, the proportionate equilibrium of all those elements of which the human body is composed. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 152
The Spiritual Cause of Disease
If humankind … lived according to a natural, inborn equilibrium, without following wherever their passions led, it is undeniable that diseases would no longer take the ascendant, nor diversify with such intensity. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 152
Two Means of Healing
There are two ways of healing sickness, material means and spiritual means. The first is by treatment of physicians; the second consisteth in prayers offered by the spiritual ones to God and in turning to Him. Both means would be used and practised. Illnesses which occur by reason of physical causes should be treated by doctors with medical remedies; those which are due to spiritual causes disappear through spiritual means. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 151
Disease is of two kinds, material and spiritual. For instance, a cut on the hand – if you pray for the cut to be healed, and do not stop its bleeding, you will not do much good; this needs a material remedy. Sometimes, if the nervous system is paralysed through fear, a spiritual remedy is necessary … It often happens that sorrow makes one ill. That illness can be cured by spiritual means. – Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 65
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY
In all circumstances they should conduct themselves with moderation; if the meal be only one course this is more pleasing in the sightof God; however, according to their means, they should seek to have this single dish be of good quality. – Baha’u’llah, from the Kitab-i-Badi, cited in Health and Healing, p. 2
What will be the food of the future? Fruit and grains. The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten … our natural diet is that which grows out of the ground. The people will gradually develop up to the condition of this natural food. – Ten Days in the Light of Akka, pp. 8-9
Thou hast written regarding the four canine teeth in man, saying that these teeth … are for the purpose of eating meat. Know thou that these four teeth are not created for meat-eating, although one can eat meat with them. All the teeth of man are made for eating fruit, cereals and vegetables. These four teeth, however, are designed for breaking hard shells, such as those of almonds. But eating meat is not forbidden or unlawful, nay, the point is this, that it is possible for man to live without eating meat and still be strong. Meat is nourishing and containeth the elements of herbs, seeds and fruits; therefore sometimes it is essential for the sick and for the rehabilitation of health. There is no objection in the Law of God to the eating of meat if it is required. So if thy constitution is rather weak and thou findest meat useful, thou mayest eat it. – Abdu’l-Baha, cited in Health and Healing, p. 8
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Experience hath shown how greatly the renouncing of smoking, of intoxicating drink, and of opium, conduceth to health and vigour, to the expansion and keenness of the mind and to bodily strength. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 150
In a large measure happiness keeps our health while depression of spirit begets disease… – Abdu’l-Baha, cited in Abdu’l-Baha: 239 Days in America, p. 1
Verily the most necessary thing is contentment under all circumstances; by this one is preserved from morbid conditions and from lassitude. Yield not to grief and sorrow; they cause the greatest misery. – Baha’u’llah, cited in Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 108
We should all visit the sick. When they are in sorrow or suffering it is a real help and benefit to have a friend come. Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill. – Promulgation of Universal Peace, 1982 ed., p. 204.
Matters relating to man’s spirit have a great effect on his bodily condition. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 150
Jealousy consumeth the body and anger doth burn the liver: avoid these two as you would a lion. – Baha’u’llah, cited in Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 108
WHEN THERE IS ILLNESS
Consult a Doctor
Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent physicians… – Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 60
Whatever the competent physician or surgeon prescribe for a patient must be accepted and complied with. – Baha’u’llah, cited in Health and Healing, p. 1
Do not neglect medical treatment when it is necessary, but leave it off when health has been restored. Treat disease through diet by preference, refraining from use of drugs, and if you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to a compounded medicament. – Baha’u’llah, cited in Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 106
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfied your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. – Psalm 103:1-5
Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. – James 5: 14-15
When thou wishest to treat nervous pains turn thy whole being to the realm on high with thine heart detached from aught else besides Him and thy soul enraptured by the love of God. Then seek confirmation of the Holy Spirit from the Abha Kingdom, while touching the affected part with utmost love, tenderness and attraction to God. When all these things are combined, be assured that healing will take place. – Abdu’l-Baha, cited in Health and Healing, p. 6
As you know, Baha’u’llah has ordained that in case of illness we should always consult the most competent physicians. And this is exactly what the Guardian strongly advises you to do. For prayer alone is not sufficient. To render it more effective we have to make use of all the physical and material advantages which God has given us. Healing through purely spiritual forces is undoubtedly as inadequate as that which materialist physicians and thinkers vainly seek to obtain by resorting entirely to mechanical devices and methods. The best result can be obtained by combining the two processes: spiritual and physical. – Shoghi Effendi, cited in The Throne of the Inner Temple, p. 76
Benefit from Ill-Health
Often physical sickness draws man nearer to his Maker, suffers his heart to be made empty from all worldly desires until it becomes tender and sympathetic towards all sufferers and compassionate to all creatures. – Abdu’l-Baha, cited in Star of the West, Vol 8, p. 231
Visit the Ill
We should all visit the sick. When they are in sorrow and suffering, it is a real help and benefit to have a friend come. Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill. In the East it is the custom to call upon the patient often and meet him individually. The people in the East show the utmost kindness and compassion to the sick and suffering. This has greater effect than the remedy itself. You must always have this thought of love and affection when you visit the ailing and afflicted. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, 1982 ed., p. 204.
Particular Guidance to Healers
Whensoever thou dost attend a patient, turn thy face toward the Lord of the heavenly Kingdom, ask the Holy Spirit to come to thine aid, then heal thou the sickness. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 181
Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise. – Paris Talks, p. 177
O thou distinguished physician! … Praise be to God that thou hast two powers: one to undertake physical healing and the other spiritual healing. Matters related to man’s spirit have a great effect on his bodily condition. For instance, thou shouldst impart gladness to thy patient, give him comfort and joy, and bring him to ecstasy and exultation. How often hath it occurred that this hath caused early recovery. Therefore, treat thou the sick with both powers. Spiritual feelings have a surprising effect on healing nervous ailments. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 151
Healing in the Future
When highly-skilled physicians shall fully examine this matter, thoroughly and perseveringly, it will be clearly seen that the incursion of disease is due to a disturbance in the relative amounts of the body’s component substances, and that treatment consisteth in adjusting these relative amounts, and that this can be apprehended and made possible by means of foods. It is certain that in this wonderful new age the development of medical science will lead to the doctors’ healing their patients with foods. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 154
When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, aliments, fragrant fruits, and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature. – Some Answered Questions, p. 259
In matters of diet, as in medicine, the Universal House of Justice feels that the believers should be aware that a huge body of scientific knowledge has been accumulated as a guide to our habits and practices. But it must be clearly understood that no specific school of nutrition or medicine has been associated with the Baha’i teachings. What we have are certain guidelines, indications and principles which will be carefully studied by experts and will, in the years ahead, undoubtedly prove to be invaluable sources of guidance and inspiration in the development of these medical sciences. Moreover, in this connection the Guardian’s secretary has stated on his behalf that “It is premature to try and elaborate on the few general references to health and medicine made in our Holy Scriptures.” The believers must guard against seizing upon any particular text which may appeal to them and which they may only partially or even incorrectly understand. – Universal House of Justice, 11 July 1978, cited in Health and Healing, p. 50
Glory be to Thee, O Lord my God! I beg of Thee by Thy Name through which He Who is Thy Beauty hath been stablished upon the throne of Thy Cause, and by Thy Name through which Thou changest all things, and gatherest together all things, and callest to account all things, and rewardest all things, and preservest all things, and sustainest all things – I beg of Thee to guard this handmaiden who hath fled for refuge to Thee, and hath sought the shelter of Him in Whom Thou Thyself art manifest, and hath put her whole trust and confidence in Thee.
She is sick, O my God, and hath entered beneath the shadow of the Tree of Thy healing; afflicted, and hath fled to the City of Thy protection; diseased, and hath sought the Fountainhead of Thy favours; sorely vexed, and hath hasted to attain the Wellspring of Thy tranquillity; burdened with sin, and hath set her face toward the court of Thy forgiveness.
Attire her, by Thy sovereignty and Thy loving-kindness, O my God and my Beloved, with the raiment of Thy balm and Thy healing, and make her quaff of the cup of Thy mercy and Thy favours. Protect her, moreover, from every affliction and ailment, from all pain and sickness, and from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee. Thou, in truth, art immensely exalted above all else except Thyself. Thou art, verily, the Healer, the All-Sufficing, the Preserver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. – Baha’u’llah