It is narrated that ‘Ata bin Rabah said, “Ibn Abbas said to me, ‘Should I tell you about a woman from among the people of Paradise?’ I said, ‘Yes’ He said, ‘That black woman, who came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said, ‘I suffer epileptic fits during which I inadvertently take off my clothes. So invoke Allah on my behalf’ He said, If you wish, be patient and you will acquire Paradise; and if you wish, I will supplicate to Allah to cure you’ She said, ‘Rather, I will observe patience.’ She then said, ‘I keep taking off my clothes during these fits, so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not do so. The Prophet (PBUH) supplicated (to Allah) on her behalf.”
Kinds of Epilepsy:
Epilepsy is of two kinds, one that results from negative forces and the second type is physical, which results from bad mixtures (chemical and material imbalance). Doctors often talk about the second type and explain its causes and how to cure it. As for epilepsy that results from negative forces, the best doctors and the wise ones among them affirm that it exists. In addition confirm that curing this type of disease occurs with the support of righteous, exalted souls so that they neutralize the effect of the evil and render its efforts harmless. When Hippocrates explained the cures for epilepsy, he stated “These cures are effective in treating epilepsy that results from chemical and material causes. As for epilepsy that results from negative forces, these remedies (that he explained and detailed) do not cure it” As for the most ignorant, unknowing, and immoral doctors, and those who consider heresy a virtue, they deny the type that occurs by negative forces and denies that it has any effect on the body.
They have only ignorance to support them because the medical authorities cannot actually disprove epilepsy that is caused by these negative forces. Fact and experience assert and prove the existence of this type of epilepsy. That is why when the doctors explain the reason behind epilepsy as being natural or physical, their statement is true regarding some types of epilepsy but not all of them. The doctors of old used to call epilepsy, The divine disease’, stating that it is caused by negative forces. On the other hand, doctors misinterpreted the term divine ailment, saying, “They called it divine because it attacks the head and thus causes harm to the apparent divine organ where the brain resides.”
This explanation, however, resulted from their ignorance of the soul and its effects. As for the heretical doctors, they only confirm the kind of epilepsy that results from physical causes. Whoever has a sound mind and good knowledge of the soul and its effect will laugh at the ignorance shown by these doctors and at their weak minds.
Curing/Treatment of Epilepsy:
Curing the type of epilepsy caused by negative forces have two parts, a part that involves the person afflicted with epilepsy and a part that involves those who treat them. The part that the person afflicted with epilepsy plays in his treatment involves strengthening his heart being sincere in repentance to the Creator from the negative forces and seeking sincere refuge with Him both by heart and tongue. This is a type of warfare that which the person afflicted with epilepsy engages against evil. To defeat the enemy, warfare requires the warrior to acquire beneficial, suitable weapons and to have a strong arm. When one of these two elements does not exist, the effort will not be very effective.
The situation becomes more difficult when the person is missing both essential requirements, in this case, the heart will be lacking Towhid (Oneness of Allah), Tawakil (trusting in Allah), Taqwa (righteousness), and Tawajhu (awareness of Allah’s Presence), plus the person does not have a sufficient material armament.
The second part of epilepsy treatment involves the person who is treating the ailment and who is required to have the same necessary weapons mentioned above. When these weapons are ready, one sometimes merely needs to say (to the evil spirit), ‘Get out of him,’ or, ‘In the Name of Allah,’ or, There is no power nor strength except with Allah.’The Prophet (PBUH) used to say in such cases:
In general, no one can deny the type of epilepsy that is caused by negative forces except those who have little knowledge and comprehension. We should in addition state that the majority of those afflicted by the touch of evil spirits are themselves in error due to weak faith and hearts and tongues that don’t remember Allah, they fail to seek refuge with Him and they fail to use Prophetic guidance, (supplications and remedies).
The evil spirits find the people that are vulnerable and take advantage of them. If the truth was uncovered, we would discover that the majority of mankind, is under the influence of negative forces which guide people according to their evil wishes. The people are unable to set themselves free from this control or even oppose it. Most people suffer from this common type of possession (epilepsy), from which the afflicted person cannot wake up. And unless the veil that obstructs their sight is removed, they will not realize that it is they who are actually afflicted by epilepsy. We seek Allah Alone for His help.
Curing (epilepsy) possession that results from a touch of evil requires the cooperation of a sound mind and sincere faith in what has been sent down to the Prophets (PBUH) then one would act as if both Heaven and Hell are right in front of his eyes and heart. They would remember that the people of this earth life suffer calamities and trials that come down in their homes just as the rain does, all the while being unaware of what is going on around them.
Epilepsy that evil causes is truly severe, but since it touches so many people and is so common, people are no longer surprised by it. Since they are so many, it is strange to see someone who is not touched by it. When Allah wills that a certain slave should acquire what is good for him, that slave will wake up from these fits of epilepsy and will realize at the children of this life are suffering from epilepsy. He will discover that some of them have surrendered to insanity and that some of them might briefly recover from the bout to fall back into another bout soon after. Some of them would be awake from the bout and would act like sane people, but when he falls into another boat, they would act confused. (This is the state of those who do not have the correct Faith).
Epilepsy that results from physical causes:
This type of epilepsy alters the constitution and is accompanied by spasms that prevent the limbs from functioning normally or from normal movements. Physical or constitution-related epilepsy occurs due to the accumulation of thick, viscous substances near the brain that partially obstructs the cerebral cavities. In this case, the area of the brain responsible for the senses and the various movements is impeded, and accordingly, the organs (including limbs) of the body suffer from the same condition.
There are other causes for this type of epilepsy, such as the accumulation of thick flatulence that impedes the soul in some manner, or a viscous vapor accumulates in an organ of the body and ascends to the brain, or from an acute ailment. The brain suffers from spasms due to fighting the harmful substances that are affecting the brain, and accordingly, the various organs of the body suffer from spasms. The person will not be able to stand up straight for very long he or she will fall down and foam accumulates in and around the mouth. This type of epilepsy causes intense pain during seizures. It is in addition a chronic illness that is hard to cure and that remains for many years, especially if the person afflicted by it is more than twenty-five years old, and repeatedly falls into epileptic fits.
Hippocrates said that epilepsy remains with such people until they die.
As for the woman mentioned in the Hadith who suffered from epilepsy and who used to take off her clothes because of epileptic fits, she might have been suffering from the physical type of epilepsy. That is why the Prophet(PBUH) promised her Paradise if she observes patience, or otherwise, the Prophet would have asked Allah to cure her without guaranteeing her that she will be cured. She chose Paradise, but the Prophet (PBUH) asked Allah on her behalf not to take off” her clothes during these fits. The Hadith indicates that it is allowed for Muslims to forgo the use of a remedy.
Furthermore, the Hadith indicates that the cure of the soul is exclusively tied to invoking Allah and turning to Him sincerely. The best medical authorities confirm the fact the psyche has an effective role in curing disease. The medical profession suffers from some ignorant, heretic doctors who do not do service to their profession. It appears that the woman mentioned in the Hadith suffered from epilepsy which is caused by a physical condition (chemical imbalances). Yet, she might have been suffering from the type that is caused by evil negative forces. We stated that the Messenger of Allah gave her the choice to observe patience and then acquire Paradise or that he would invoke Allah to cure her. She chose the first option but asked to be relieved from discarding her clothes because of the epileptic fits.