A Thing Called Iyaadah or Iyaadat:
For Those Who Care, That Is Islam 101

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A Thing Called Iyaadah or Iyaadat:
For Those Who Care, That Is Islam 101

Dr. Pasha

Iyaadah or Iyaadat. With 'Ain. Not with Hamza or Alif.

A most important word, and a most important Concept, in Islam. 

Concept means a general or abstract or complex idea. For people to understand a Concept clearly, a Concept needs definitions: clear definitions.

And for people to understand how a Concept works in real life, a Concept must be Operationalized. That means, we should tell people in practical terms what they need to do to see, touch, feel, smell, taste or hear and realize that Concept in their daily lives.

In the real world, as it were.

Let me, therefore, Define and Operationalize the Concept of Iyaadah as clearly and as systematically, and as practically, as I can.

In simple Islamic LanguageIyaadat means Visiting the Sick with a view to Show Concern and Care, and to Inquire after their health, and to see how they are doing, and to find out if there was anything you could do to help. 

I will, inshallah, provide some details below.

Before anything else, let us get this straight: Yes, that is right! In Islam, it is compulsory for Muslims to Visit the Sick -- to Go and See those members of their community who are ailing, who are ill.

And to Inquire after their Health and about their Condition.

And to Show Genuine, Sincere and Heartfelt Care and Concern about what they are going through.

And to then most sincerely and seriously Ask If There was Anything They Could Do to help.

And then, and get this, to keep on doing it, on a more or less regular basis, till such time as an All-Clear signal is given out.

In Islam, it is called Iyaadat. And it is a requirement of all Muslims. 

And it is for all Muslims. And this is important to know. And it is not just limited to your relatives. And friends. But also for total strangers, so long as they are Muslims.

That is right. 

That is what Islam mandates. If a Muslim in your community falls sick, go visit him; inquire about his health and his condition; show your concern for him; and ask if there was anything you could do for him.

Such as get his medication from the doctors; such as get something from a store; such as get him some food or something to drink.

And keep doing this till that person fully recovers.

We have been talking about the Hadith: How Every Muslim Owes Every Other Muslim Five Fundamental Duties

And Iyaadat or Iyaadah is one of them.

And then we looked at another Hadith that says that those Fundamental Duties that Muslims Owe Each Other Are Actually Six in Number.

And Iyaadat or Iyaadah is one of them.

Both these Hadith are recorded and documented in both Bukhari and Muslim. But just to make sure, people should check them out and see what their actual source is.

Muttafaqun Alaihi (Literally: Agreed Upon) is the expression that scholars of yore -- real scholars of Hadith, Allah bless them -- devised to express the fact that a particular Hadith is recorded by BOTH Bukhari and Muslim.

And that means, from all practical considerations, that particular Hadith is as strong and dependable as it could possibly get.

And now, there is a third Hadith as well, which says that it is actually Seven Things that Muslims must do in relation to other Muslims! I think this Hadith too is from both Bukhari and Muslim.

I mean: Muttafaq Alaihi! Again, people need to check just to make sure.

And what do you think is at the top of the list of those Seven Muslim DutiesIyaadat! 

That is right! The Hadith Sharif asks Muslims to do Seven Things and Iyaadah is right there at the top of the list of those Seven Things.

So now, we have three Hadith saying Iyaadat is a Fundamental Requirement from Every Muslim in relation to Every Other Muslim.

In the First and Second Hadith, the words used are Haqqul Muslimi Alal Muslimi: Rights of One Muslim on Other Muslims.

In the Third Hadith, the words of the Hadith are: "Amarana" -- Amarana Rasulullahi, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallama.

Meaning Allah's Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, "Commanded" us; "Ordered" us; "Asked" us.

So, no matter what words are used, there is no escaping the conclusion that this was something Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did not want Muslims to take lightly.

Iyaadat -- Visiting the Sick -- and some other things that are listed in the three Hadith.

That means, in Islam, "before" all kinds of Heavy Lifting begins, there are some Baby Steps Claimants to Islam must learn to take.

And that means all those who lay claim to the title of Muslim -- a title that came to them directly from God Almighty.

So says the Qur'an in Aayat Karimah:

Huwa Sammaakum Al-Muslimeen!

Paraphrase:

"It was he -- God that is -- who gave you the name Muslim."

Wow, Allahu Akbar, Subhanallah! What a statement! 

And what a place for the Muslim people to be in! Carrying a title and a name that was given to them directly by the Creator himself.

That is why Muslims are called Muslims -- Allah's own title for them -- and not Mohammadans, a name that Europeans tried to pin on them for a long time.

In reality, it is not a question of "Before" or "After," but as an integral part of Islam's Most Amazing Divine Fabric that came down from Allah to show human beings how to live their lives on earth.

And those Seven Things listed in the Hadith are as follows, and I am paraphrasing the Hadith Sharif here very broadly:

"The first thing Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam
asked us to do was," said Baraa' Ibn 'Aazib, Radiyallahu Anhu:

1. Iyaadat Al-Mareedi: To Visit the Sick.

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