How Allaah Ta’ala Regards Disability
The Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’
Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albaani
Abbas Abu Yahya
The Shaykh was asked:
‘A woman went to the hospital and the doctors aborted her four month old fetus, with the argument that the woman had German Measles or measles and if we did not abort it, it would have come out deformed or mentally disabled; what is your opinion?
The Shaykh Answered:
‘I am asked a lot regarding the likes of this situation, and we hold the opinion that you should not respond to these doctors, since their silent expression says: <<we do not think it but as a conjecture, and we have no firm convincing belief (therein).’>> [Al-Jathiyah: 32]
We have been informed from more than one source that some women had been informed by some doctors the like of this information [of aborting fetuses], but they did not consent to aborting and to miscarrying, and the new-born was delivered naturally, so this confirms that it is nothing but as conjecture.
Also, every command is in the Hand of Allaah –Tabarak wa Ta’ala- He has the command and He creates everything, so it is not befitting that some doctors participate in the likes of these matters, of which the reality is hidden from all people. Perhaps some people research into some hidden matters more so than others, so it is not allowed to look into the unknown future for all the people, and no-one knows the unseen except Allaah –Tabarak wa Ta’ala.
So a woman … perhaps gives birth to a fetus that is deformed or similar to a deformed child, or like it is said nowadays, that it is disabled etc. . . . so, in respect to us being Muslims believing in Allaah –Azza wa Jal- and that He is al-Hakeem (The All-Wise) and al-Aleem (The All-Knowing) there is no fault in His creation. So this variance which we generally see between human beings whether it is in skin colour or in height or shortness in stature or in being males or females, or in health and safety, or regarding diseases and illness etc. then all of this is what al-Azeez (The All-Mighty), al-Aleem (The All-Knowing) has pre-destined. Because the Lord –Azza wa Jal- wants to show His slaves that what they regard as good and ugly, then all of that according to Allaah –Azza wa Jal- is good. The way we look at the creation of Allaah – Azza wa Jal- is not the way the Creator Himself –Tabarak wa Ta’ala- views things, because <<there is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-knowing and All-Seeing.>> [Shura:11]
At this opportunity it is necessary for me to mention a hadeeth, which I regard as very great concerning this topic and an answer to this question.
The Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saw a man from his Companions, walking wearing a long garment and it was trailing below his ankles, so the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said to him: ‘O so and so, raise your garment since it is closer to piety and better to remain cleaner.’
The man said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah I am bow-legged.’
The shaykh continues:
‘So this person lengthened his garment so that he could cover up this deficiency as he had presumed, and he apologized for this reason for having lengthened his garment so the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said to him: ‘O so and so – [the shaykh said: ‘and here is the main point’ ] – ‘All of Allaah’s creation is good. All of Allaah’s creation is good.’ [Saheeh: ‘Silsilah Saheehah’ 1441]
So this is why, what we see with our human physical eyes, has to be judged immediately that this is a deficient sight. We see, as is mentioned in an old Arabic proverb: ‘Not past his rabbit like nose’ (tip of his nose). They used to say of old, ‘so and so does not see past his rabbit like nose’ (does not look further than the tip of his nose). As for looking far ahead then no! In addition to this no matter how far a human being can see, no matter how very far, it is still a deficient sight.
This Companion from the Companions of the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saw himself as defective due to being bow-legged and the disability which was in his calves, so he covered it up by lengthening his garment. Because if he raised his garment slightly then some of the disability would have become exposed, so the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- brought his attention to this. That what you see as a deficiency is not a deficiency because Allaah is the One Who created you like that, and this is not from your own doing. Just like Allaah –Azza wa Jal- said: <<This is the creation of Allaah. So show Me that which those (whom you worship), besides Him have created. >> [Luqman: 11]
Therefore this child, this fetus, if it is born naturally and it was disabled or was afflicted with an illness which the doctors previously had presumed, then this is the Will of Allaah which is the Destiny that Allaah made so that it can be a lesson for healthy people. As it has been said: ‘Health is a crown placed upon the head of healthy people which none can see except a person who is ill.’
There is also a very great, noble prophetic instruction, which is: ‘Do not look at those above you but look at those below you, since it is more befitting that you do not belittle the blessings of Allaah upon you.’ [Saheeh Lighayrihi: ‘Saheeh Targheeb wa Tarheeb 2233]
So perhaps there is a person who has a beautiful form, however there are people who look at themselves and view themselves as ugly and they might say that this person really is beautiful. So this is the variance in the creation and in beauty and it is the predestination of Allaah al-Azeez (The All-Mighty), al-Aleem (The All-Knowing) al-Hakeem (The All-Wise).
So when Allaah created beauty He also created its opposite, as we have said that it is created for an Infinite Wisdom, we can express this with what has been said a very long time ago: ‘Opposites clarify each other.’
If it was not for ugliness, beauty would not be known. If it was not for illness, health would not be known. If it was not for males there would not be females. If it was not for females there would not be males. So all this creation that we see, that Allaah created the people upon, it is from the Wisdom of Allaah –Azza wa Jal- this is why it is not befitting to conform to the opinions of doctors concerning matters which have not yet entered the sphere of life, and when it comes into the sphere of life then comes the saying of the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-: ‘O slaves of Allaah seek treatment, since indeed Allaah did not send down a disease except that He sent down the cure.’
This is the hadeeth of Usamah bin Shareek –RadhiAllaahu anhu-, it was also narrated by another noble Companion and he is none other than Abdullaah bin Mas’ood –RadhiAllaahu anhu- with an extra wording, he said: ‘Seek cure O slaves of Allaah since indeed Allaah did not send down a disease except that He sent down the cure, whoever knew it, knew it and whoever was ignorant of it, was ignorant of it.’ [Saheeh: ‘Silsilah Saheehah’ 451]
Therefore, there is nothing to hinder seeking cure later on, however there is a condition which needs to be taken into consideration, which is, that this seeking cure is due to a matter which the new-born is exposed to, i.e. that it is not allowed to change the creation of Allaah –Azza wa Jal, because Allaah –Azza wa Jal- mentions about the accursed Shaytan in the Noble Qur’aan, that the Shaytaan challenged the will of the Lord of the worlds –Azza wa Jal- in respect to Adam and his offspring saying: << I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah.>> [Nisa’:119]
So it is not allowed to change the creation of Allaah –Azza wa Jal- and this has examples, very many examples.
[Taken from the cassette collection ‘Silsilah al-Huda wa Noor’ No.634]