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The Manners of Visiting of the Sick

One of the things that helps in the quick recovery of a sick person or at least reduces his pain is a visit. It is in view of this that Islam encourages this kind of visit and legislated some etiquette for it:

A- Limiting the time of the visit. Prolonging the time may be painful to the sick who needs much time for resting, except if he is the one who requests it.

B- Limit your visit by hearing from the sick one or asking those close to him about his condition and the prescription of the doctors. Do not talk about yourself. Talking and asking about the condition of the sick will serve as a relief to him.

C- While visiting the sick, you should try and take something to him as a gift; it might be flowers or something that may be attractive to him and help him through his stay in the hospital.

One day Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a.s.) met some of his companions on the way; he asked them: "Where are you going?" They said: "We are going to visit a sick fellow." He asked them: "Does anyone of you hold an apple, quince, citron or perfume for the sick?" They answered: "None of us carry such things." Then he said: "Did you not know that the sick person feels at ease when something is brought to him." We ought to know that all the mentioned items in the narration are just an example, but we can take anything we feel is of great importance to the sick as a gift.

D- We should pray for the quick recovery and reward for the sick at the time of the visit. We should try and raise his spiritual being, reduce his pain and hope for him protection against anything that may disturb his health again. And, likewise, we should try and strengthen his patience by reciting some verses of the Holy Qur'an, and prophetic narrations and wise sayings.

E- To touch the forehead of the sick person that is suffering from a headache and fever, and put your hand in his hand will make him feel your concern and love. Because this shows that you are concerned with his health. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: "Among the perfections of the visit to a sick person is putting one's hand in the hand of the sick or on his forehead."

F- We must abide by the laws and regulations of the hospital which were enacted for the good of the sick persons. If we meet him sleeping we should not wake him up; we should just leave a message to those close to him hoping for his quick recovery. We can ask if there is any service needed so as to try our best to help.

Adapted from the book: "The Art of Social Relations" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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