Prayers for Healing

Written by | Prayer, Science, Spirituality

Prophet Abraham (as) bears witness in the Holy Qur’an:

“And when I fall ill, it is He (Allah) Who restores me to health.”(1)

Indeed, we find everyday instances of people receiving excel- lent medical care yet still not getting better, or people recovering after receiving minimal or even sub-standard care. Some- times timeliness in the provision of medical help becomes a factor, and sometimes correct diagnosis is the key to a cure. Doctors never guarantee a cure because there are always unknown, unusual, or unexpected factors that can derail the recovery process. The Holy Qur’an states that healing occurs only “by the command of Allah”(2) and enjoins believers to place their trust and reliance on Him alone when it comes to matters of health while utilizing the means for healing provided by Him. We find that the Holy Qur’an itself refers to honey as “a drink of varying hues. Therein is a cure for men. Surely, in that is a Sign for a people who reflect.”(3) The admonition to ‘reflect’ is a clear indication that we are required to use our God-given intelligence to find means to cure various diseases.

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad

In his sermon of December 19, 2008, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Khalifatul Masih the Fifth, drew the attention of Ahmadi doctors and physicians around the world to first and foremost remember this principle that God alone is The Healer, and along with treatment, they should pray for their patients in order to secure God’s pleasure. This firm faith in God exhibited by Ahmadi doctors will grant them the ability to heal the sick, and their faith in God will increase, which in turn will cause them to increase in spirituality. On the other hand, people afflicted with illnesses should also not think that visiting a certain doctor or a certain hospital will become the cause of their cure, but it is only God’s Grace and Mercy that will provide them complete health. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that the letters he receives from around the world requesting prayers for their loved ones undergoing medical problems are a testimony to the fact that Ahmadis have firm faith in the healing power of prayers and rely solely on God for complete healing. Those who believe that cure comes from certain doctors are treading the boundaries of concealed Shirk. (4 )

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) then narrated an incident from the life of Hazrat Nooruddin (ra), Khalifatul Masih the First, who was an expert physician relates:

“My nephew died of diarrhea and my sister complained to me that had I been there the child would have survived. I told her that she would have another son who will die in front of me. Shortly after that she became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful boy. When he fell ill with diarrhea, she remembered what I had told her. She requested me to pray. I told her that Allah will grant her another son in his stead and that she should let this one go. Thus that child died, and she had another boy who is still alive and is working. Such is divine pride.”

A similar incident occurred with Dr. Mir Mohammad Ismail. His sister-in-law lost a daughter and complained she would have survived if Hazrat Nooruddin (ra) had been there. She said it so many times that he was compelled to say that she will have a boy who will die despite being treated by Hazrat Nooruddin (ra). That is exactly what transpired, causing his sister-in-law to realize that true healing comes only from God, and the doctor only plays the role of a medium of providing treatment, which can only be beneficial if God so wills, and that is the reason why prayers are required at every step of the way.(5)

Prayers for Healing in the Qur’an

We find the instance of Prophet Job (as) in the Holy Qur’an where “he cried unto his Lord, saying, ‘Satan has afflicted me with toil and torment.’”(6) Allah responded, “Strike and urge thy riding beast with thy foot. Here is cool water to wash with and a drink.”(7) Here we are told that Prophet Job (as) suffered from a skin disease and was directed by God to bathe in a particular fountain of cool water.(8) This interpretation is borne out by the fact that the best relief for the pain of eczema is to cool it down with water. (9) According to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa), water is also the best remedy for fever. (10 )

The Holy Quran refers to sin as a disease.(11) If one argues that even plants and animals get sick, even though they do not commit any sin, it is important to remember that while plants and animals do get sick, however, they do not have the capacity to heal themselves without human intervention. Also, mental illness and the capacity to cure it is exclusive to human beings. Thus, a great deal of responsibility comes with being human.  Ill thoughts and actions can create a chain reaction and stresses that can lead to physical ailments within the body. Therefore, all the prayers in the Holy Qur’an that are recommended for protecting oneself against sinfulness are also deeply relevant to one’s spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Prayers for Healing from the Traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) (12)

  1. Hazrat Ayesha (ra) narrates that whenever a family member fell ill, the Holy Prophet (sa) would read this prayer upon them: ‘Remove the ailment, O Lord of mankind! Heal them, for You are the Healer. None other than You can grant recovery.  Grant such recovery as would leave no disease behind.’(13 )
  2. Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) narrates that the angel Gabriel (ra) came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and inquired if he was sick. When the Holy Prophet (sa) replied“yes,”angel Gabriel (ra) blew this prayer upon him: ‘With the name of Allah I blow upon you and Allah will relieve you of every deadly disease. And will protect you from the evil of every soul and every eye that is jealous. Allah will grant you health. With the name of Allah, I blow upon you.(14 )
  3. Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) would teach him this prayer for various aches and fever: ‘With the name of Allah who is immensely Great. We seek refuge from the evil of every raging blood vessel, and come under the protection of Allah who is the most High, and also seek His refuge against the heat of the fire.(15 )
  4. When Hazrat Usman bin Abi al Aas (ra) complained of body aches to the Holy Prophet (sa), he taught him to recite ‘Bismillah’ three times that ‘I pray with the name of Allah,’ then recite the following seven times: ‘I seek Almighty God, His dignity  and His Power against every evil that I encounter and that I fear.’(16 )
  5. Hazrat Abu Darda (ra) narrates that a man came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and told him that his father had a stone in his bladder due to which he could not urinate. The Holy Prophet (sa) taught him this prayer: Our Lord is Allah who is in heavens. Your name is Holy, and Your will is exercised in the heavens and the earth. Just as your mercy is in the heavens, pray grant us mercy on earth too, and forgive our sins and transgressions. You are the Lord of the righteous. Thus, let healing descend with Your special healing power and treat this disease (affliction) with Your special mercy.(17 )
  6. Hazrat Usman Bin Hunaif (ra) narrates that a blind man came tot he Holy Prophet (sa) and requested prayer for his sight to return. He replied, “If you want I can pray, or you can be patient. In my opinion that would be better for you.” When the blind man insisted on prayer, the Holy Prophet instructed him to say this prayer after performing ablution in the best manner: O Allah! I beseech You, and in the name of Your Holy Prophet, I turn to You. And O Mohammad (sa), in your name I beg my Lord to fulfill this need of mine. O Allah, accept from Your beloved Prophet (sa) this plea and intercession on my behalf.(18 )
  7. Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) used to say this prayer: O Allah! I seek Your refuge against incapacity and laziness. And seek Your protection against cowardice, miserliness, old age, hard-heartedness, ignorance, poverty, disgrace, and helplessness. I also seek Your refuge from destitution, disbelief, disobedience, enmity, hypocrisy, fame, and ostentation. I seek Your protection against deafness, loss of speech, insanity, leprosy, albinism, and all terrible diseases.(19 )

Upon being asked as to what were the best prayers to protect against deadly diseases that are hidden inside a human being, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh) replied that whether a disease is hidden or manifest, there is this prayer that works in all cases:

“O my Lord, only You are the Bestower of healing; there is no healing other than Yours. Hence, cure our sick, heal them quickly and completely with such healing after which there is no trace of disease left.”(20 )

Additionally, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh) advised to remember the prayer of Prophet Abraham (as) mentioned above that says:

“My Lord is so Gracious and Merciful that even though I get sick due to my own faults and mistakes, it is due to my God’s intervention the I get better.”(21 )

The final prayer, which is general in nature and is also known as Ism-e-Azam (the prayer that must be accepted) recommended by him is, “O Lord, everything serves You. O Lord, protect me, help me and have mercy on me.”(22) This prayer was taught to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), the Promised Messiah, by God in a revelation, and He named it Ism-e-Azam; this prayer, therefore, has the ability to attract to itself Allah’s blessings. Ism-e-Azam is that prayer which is weightier than all other prayers and averts hardship.(23 )

{This article appears in the Fall 2018 issue.}


1.         The Holy Quran (26:81)

2.         The Holy Quran (3:50), (5:111)

3.         The Holy Quran (16:70)

4.         Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Friday Sermon, December 19, 2008

5.         Ibid

6.         The Holy Quran (38:42)

7.         The Holy Quran (38:43)

8.         The Holy Quran, Detailed English Commentary by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra)


10.       Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Friday Sermon of 12/19/2008

11.       The Holy Quran (2:11), (47:30), (33:13), (10:58), (8:50), (33:33), (9:125), (24:51), (5:53), (22:54), (47:21), (33:61), (74:32)

12.       Hafiz MuzafferAhmad, Khazinat-ad-Dua (Urdu), pages 146-149, Nusrat Art Press, 2014

13.       Bukhari, Kitab al Tibb, Baab Mas-hal-raqi

14.       Muslim, Kitab al Salaam, Baab al Tibb wal Mardh

15.       Ibn-e-Majah, Kitab al Tibb, Baab Ma Ya’oozo bihil hamee

16.       Ibn-e-Majah, Kitab al Tibb, Baab Ma’oozo bihin Nabi

17.       Abu Daud, Kitab al Tibb, Baab Kaif alraqi

18.       Tirmadhi, Kitab al Da’waat, Baab 119

19.       Mustadrak Haakim, Volume 1, Page 712

20.       Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Majlis-e-Irfan, Alfazl June 8, 2000

21.       The Holy Quran (26:81)

22.       Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra), Friday Sermon of 3/22/1935, Khutbaat-e-Mahmood. Year 1935. Page 215

23.       Ibid

Last modified: January 2019

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