On Healing
Remarks by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Extract from introductory remarks by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri to a Seminar on Homoeopathic Medicine given at Dar al-Hikma. The two-day Seminar was held at the end of an intensive one-month course on homoeopathy sponsored by the Zahra Trust which was taught by Dr. Muhammad Qasim, a leading homoeopath from New Delhi, India. The Seminar was attended by medical practitioners from all over the United States.

From: Nuradeen Magazine

From the Nuradeen Magazine Vol. 1, No. 5 -- September/October 1981

The body has six states: health and malady, sleep and wakefulness, life and death. Similarly, the self: conviction is its health and doubt its malady, vigilance is its wakefulness and indifference its slumber, self-knowledge is its life and self-ignorance its death.

Sayyidina Ali

Throughout the history of mankind, there have been occasions and periods when the tested and known methods of cure were unified and reached their final fruition. Many periods of history could be cited from Ariavedic times to Roman times alone. In Andalusia, there were Muslim medical practices which took from all of these, from the Greek, and from the Far East. It included what now has been formally acknowledged as Acupuncture. It included the use of herbs, oils, dietaries, physiotherapies and so on.

Our inner practices acknowledge the unification of the cosmos and the One God; our preoccupation is worship. Our unifying factor is the acknowledgement that there is oneness in this universe and that the individual is not separate from that oneness. We do not say there is one God -- we say there is only One, therefore there is only Unity, there is only this vibrating totality in which a man is manifest in this [mal and most perfect form, the form of a human being.

We do not separate. We only separate in order to discriminate outwardly so as to bring about that unification. If we say 'this is outer', it is only as an indicator. The outer has come about because of the inner. If my inwardness is not well, my outwardness eventually will be ill. If my heart is in turmoil it is bound to affect me outwardly whether it is through the form of an ulcer, or mental agitation or any other form. They are, as you all know, inseparable. Separation is only for the convenience of illustration and if we do not see the cause, the effect will remain, as you all know. So much of medicine nowadays is only concerned about the effects. A lot of the drugs are sedative, designed to kill or reduce pain. The body is doing its business: it is giving us an alarm in the form of pain, or in the form of an agitation which we nowadays try to suppress by drugs because we want shortcuts, because we have no time, because the date for paying the debt is coming or the bank manager is on one's back, so we must have a painkiller. We are sincere and serious people and we believe that most of humanity is also that if only it is given a chance, therefore our interest and attention should go for the cause. If the cause is not put right, the effect will continue -- if you suppress the effect, it will manifest itself in a different manner. It will emerge through another channel and you will have yet another side ailment. The body is doing its best to point it out. It is an indicator to show that something is not-in line with Tawhid, with unification.

We furthermore believe that man has come about and into this world in order to evolve fully towards that inner knowledge of unity. Therefore, from that point of view, it is a hospital. We consider the entire world as a hospital and the human race as its patients. The object of man's existence is to inwardly recognize his glory and to recognize his position in this cosmos, which is that of the highest being, which is that of a divine being. If he does not move towards his inner divinity, he will sink lower in the evolutionary stage. We observe that the animals are subject to these laws: they eat, reproduce, sleep but they are not worried. Man, who is supposed to be the highest, does these things and yet he is worried. Therefore something is wrong in that man. It is because he has not surrendered into that unity.

We also have to treat the person inwardly, but we consider that the fields of psychology, psychoanalysis and all these many other practices have become almost tyrannical because the majority of them are all about money. If it is about money, the more often he comes the better, but they also have to be a bit more open, so then they reduce the number of visits because they can then increase the number of clients. Medicine has always been a line of service, as has teaching. True teaching has always been free.

From our point of view it is a matter of the heart. We say if the heart is pure, then inner knowledge and inner awakening come about. We renounce materialism as it is engulfing the world, because it is carrying the world to its doom. There is nothing wrong with matter itself. What is wrong is the greed that manifests itself so universally in the way we are living nowadays. Therefore we must try to have a stronger orientation towards our purification.

Purification cannot occur unless there is service, so our people want to serve, help, and be of use in this world at this time. One of the major ways of being of service is through outer healing, i.e. physical healing. I am sure every one of you knows people who would like to serve and give, but they can not find the environment in which they can serve and give correctly, benefit from it and reap the fruits of that giving. Basically, the giver is the taker. Man is brought about in order to recognize his inner freedom and the way and the path towards that is service. It is for this reason again that we hope to have an arena of service. We want to learn as many techniques as we can and to eventually see their unification, in order to serve as best as we can. We know because of our Tawhid that if the approach is to unify man, to unify his inwardness with his outwardness with his Creator, then you will know all the areas of overlap -- so we are basically multi-disciplinarians. We believe in using whatever is usable because it all comes from the same source.

I come from a town in the east where children were born in the house (I was born in the house) and the old people die in the house. The house was a mini-cosmos where creation and growth took place, where maintenance and destruction, were all to be found -- the one with the other. In these old cities I remember the Hakim once came, he was an old fellow. He went to the kitchen and said, 'The cure must be here.' I do not know what he picked up -- rice or something -- and he said, 'Chew this.' This knowledge was also inward knowledge it was not bookish, encyclopedic knowledge. We need book knowledge and technology as such, but that is not the whole story. It is all to do with heart. We believe the real cure, or the knowledge of it, comes from a pure heart. The hakims, the doctors, in the east took ghuzl (bath) every morning. While they were taking the shower, they put in their mind that their intention that day was that God would enable them to serve their like, mankind, and that they would be in the hand of God to serve. It was not superstitious, it was all to do with your intentions, because your actions are as good as your intentions. There are no two ways about it, what is inward will come outward: the vessel will ooze what is in it. So they used to purify themselves and whenever they saw the patient they said it is a gift from God that they have this ability to let go of themselves.

Nowadays we have people going to doctors and hakims who one way or the other are themselves monuments of anxieties and worries -- how can such a person help others? That is why they have become more and more dependent on wonder drugs, where there is no interchange or exchange between the curer and the cured. One of the greatest doctors in London, who uses homoeopathy and acupuncture, says penicillin is like taking a sledge hammer to kill a fly that landed on a Ming vase. He says that you, the human being, are a Ming vase and as such this is overkill. It must stem from the right intention, otherwise it will not work. If our intention is to show off to others whatever our medical knowledge is or our revived holistic understanding or whatever you like to call it, then it will not work. Then we are worshippers of that image of the successful, new practitioner. That is not what it is about.

The one who treats is treating himself, it is an alchemical process. If it comes from a pure heart, the person who does it is himself transformed and that is why the real hakims and the real doctors are themselves examples of health, well-being, joyfulness, cheerfulness and happiness.

There is only one spirit. It says in the Qur`an, 'We created you from one self.' There is only oneness and that is what unifies mankind. Otherwise it is meaningless. We are all essentially one. Every one of us has fear, worry, love, hate. The degree of it is different and the shape of it is different, so in order to taste that oneness we have to let go. Medicine is one way of letting go, of serving, of forgetting the so-called 'me' by putting you in the shoe of the other fellow, who was sent as a gift by God for you to have an opportunity to give. In every spiritual path you find this truth -- the more you give, the more you receive. Man is the inheritor of God on this earth. He is the representative of Reality. There is only one Reality. Not two, not he and God, only God. The illusion of the separate 'me' is a sickness. And service is its cure.

[Added January 27, 2004]